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What is ISM?

By EbWelch1 Dec 09, 2012 1147 Words
Ebony Welch
West Civ II
March 20, 2012

What’s the ISM?

What’s the meaning of ism? Ism is used to form uncount nouns that refer to political or religious movements and beliefs. It is also used to form uncount nouns that refers to attitudes and behaviors. For example, Buddhism, nationalism, heroism and pacifism are all ism. Ism is also used to form nouns that refer to unfair or illegal discrimination against particular groups of people. Examples of this discrimination based on racism, sexism, and disability. The political history of the western world begins with the rise of statism, goes through the age of absolute monarchism, building up to the French Revolution and the rise of nationalism. An analysis of the Western world reveals “isms” helped define, mold and shape their culture. Lets begin with Statism. Statism is defined, according to Merriam Webster, as concentration of economic controls and planning in the hands of a highly centralized government often extending to government ownership of industry. In the western world, we see rise of this beginning with the Mongol Empire. The Mongol Empire was the largest contiguous land empire in human history. From 1206 – 1297, the empire was unstoppable. This couldn’t have been done without the Khans. Beginning with Genghis Khan in 1206 through 1337 with Toghan Temur Khan, they conquest Central Asian steppes, Eastern Europe to the Sea of Japan, covering large parts of Siberia into Southeast Asia, Indian Subcontinent and the Middle East. Genghis did govern a code of law for the empire, which was called Yassa. Under Yassa, chiefs and generals were selected based on merits, Religious tolerance was guaranteed, and thievery and vandalizing of civilian property was strictly forbidden, those of ranks shared much of the same hardships as the common man. Penalties were also imposed; death penalty was decreed if one mounted a solider following another did not pick up something dropped from the mount in front. Penalties were also decreed for rape and to some extent for murder. The Mongol empire very tightly disciplined which made the empire extremely safe and well ran. The Mongol empire was the foundation of statism for the western world. For the most part, the Khan was the central government of the empire. The way they conquered and governed their empire was repeated through out history, with little changes here and there. Next we’ll move into absolute monarchism. Absolutism was a political theory that encouraged rulers to claim complete sovereignty within their territories. An absolute monarch could make law, dispense justice, create and direct a bureaucracy, declare war and levy taxation, without the approval of any other governing body. Louis XIV was determined to demonstrate that the power of central monarch was absolute. It is claimed that Louis was disturbed. As a child, Parisians entered his bedroom and Louis witnessed the intrusion as a horrid affront not only to his own person but also to the majesty of the French state he personified, According to the textbook. He reigned from 1643-1751. During his time he pursed such a policy on many fronts, asserting his power over the nobility, the clergy and the provincial courts. This made Louis have total control. They had no other choice but to look to him to guarantee their interests, and their own power became more closely connected with the sacred aura of the monarchy itself. On the other hand, Absolutism’s promise of stability, prosperity and order was the most appealing, especially compared to the disorder of the “iron century” that preceded it. Fundamental to Louis's theater of power was the display of monarchical wealth, power, and largesse. To this end, he moved the monarchical residence out of the center of Paris to a suburb in Versailles. There he built the single most opulent palace ever built for a king of Europe: the palace of Versailles. It was an awe-inspiring structure and was built as a stage on which to perform the public rituals and to display monarchical power. Louis also required all the nobles to spend time at the Versailles. He would have performances and rituals designed to show the nobility his power. In order to secure his power, Louis had to centralize the military, take control of national taxes, reign in independent territories, break up the legislative assemblies, and imposed a religious unity on the country. Louis did all of these to not only display his control but to also maintain it. Without the control over taxes, the nobles and territories, Louis would have not been able to keep his reign. Everyone and everything under him was his foundation. Without them, he would have failed. There are many causes of the French Revolution. International struggles for hegemony and Empire outstrips the fiscal resource of the state. Political conflicts between the Monarchy and the nobility over the “reform” of the tax system led to bankruptcy. The Enlightenment was a cause because it intensified political conflicts and also went against traditional aristocratic constitutionalism. Also, Conflicts between aristocracy and the bourgeoisie, Louis XVI and economic hardships were causes too. The French King Louis XVI was very unpopular. He was an ineffective monarch and France wasn’t doing well. France was in very bad debt, so the peasants who made up 98 % of the population had to pay higher taxes while the aristocracy and clergy paid NO taxes. Most of the French debt was because they helped American against Britain during there revolution. This gave the French the idea of fighting against there monarchy. The Revolution started in 1789 and overthrew Louis XVI and his unpopular Austrian wife Marie-Antoinette. The guillotine executed them. A man called Maximiellien Robspierre hijacked the revolution and killed millions by the guillotine during the Reign of Terror. Robspiere was later killed the gulliotine. Eventually Napoleon would take control of France. The French Revolution brought together the people as a nation. Once Napoleon took power, he made France a powerful nation again. He stabilized the government and threw his military conquests he conquered more land for France. A new sense of nationalism arose as Frenchmen began to again think of them as one of the super powers of the world, along with Great Britain. The poverty lessened and the disparity between the two classes shifted for the better. Napoleon made all people equal before the law regardless of whether someone was of royal blood or peasant. By reopening the Louvre and bringing hundreds of famous painting and other works of art, he inspired national pride. The Grande Armee was created by Napoleon and was made up of French citizens. French soldiers marching and fighting across Europe, spreading the ideas of the revolution, winning great victories inspired much nationalism in France. Statism helped shape Western Culture. Absolute Monarchism helped rule Western Culture. The French Revolution helped redefine France, while Nationalism help rejuvenate the love the French have for their country.

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