HISTORY – EUROPE
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To what extent was the French monarchy both the main cause and the main victim of the 1789 French Revolution?
This question is about the French monarchy as an institution, not only Louis XVI, thus the first part of the question needs an analysis of the nature of the monarchy, as head of an outdated feudal system and as a cause of the revolution, as well as of the actions of Louis. It could be relevant to give a brief background, possibly mentioning Louis XIV, then show the absolutist nature of the monarchy (no States General was called for 175 years until 1789). Government finances relied upon a mixture of increasingly burdensome direct and indirect taxation. Louis XVI was considered weak and incompetent, debt increased, and a series of ministers failed to solve it. But there were other causes, such as the economic situation, influence of the philosophers, and the American War of Independence.
The monarchy was a victim, in that Louis was executed, and the revolution was at least partly responsible for the dauphin’s death. The monarchy’s former absolutist power was removed by legislation, and it was abolished in 1792 (but restored in 1814). However there were other victims, and some judgment should be given on “main”. The question is intended to provoke thought on the nature of both the monarchy and the revolution. There are many ways of addressing the question, so reward what is written and relevant.
[0 to 7 marks] for inadequate knowledge and comments.
[8 to 10 marks] for narrative of causes and results with some implicit judgement. [11 to 13 marks] for focus on Louis XVI and the monarchy as cause and victim. [14 to 16 marks] for structured analysis of the monarchy as cause and victim. [17+ marks] for balance, perception and perhaps different interpretations.
Assess the domestic policies of Napoleon I between 1799 and 1814. This question covers the domestic policies of Napoleon from First Consul to his defeat and exile in 1814, as many of his reforms were instituted before he became emperor. The main areas to assess are his legal codes, the Concordat with the Church, administrative and economic reforms, public works and educational measures. He also restored law and order after the turmoil of the French Revolution, as well as keeping some of its gains. However as virtual dictator of France from 1799 to 1814, he was also responsible for censorship, even a police state, and the deterioration of the economy because of his later wars (especially the campaigns in Spain and Russia) which caused many causalities and a serious financial drain.
[0 to 7 marks] for irrelevant and inaccurate material.
[8 to 10 marks] for narrative of Napoleon with implicit assessment. [11 to 13 marks] for adequate knowledge and explicit assessment. [14 to 16 marks] for analytical and balanced treatment of domestic policies. [17+ marks] for an added skill such as different interpretations.
“The Congress System was a genuine attempt by the Great Powers to produce a unified policy, but their interests were too diverse for it to succeed.” To what extent do you agree with this judgment?
The demands of this question are such that candidates should consider two areas: was the Congress System a genuine attempt to work together to restore peace and stability after the turbulent years of the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars and did it fail because countries pursued their own national interests?...
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