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Discussion 1: Atlantic Slave Trade

The system that had the greatest effect on the growth of the Atlantic slave trade in the 18th century was sugar cultivation. Sugar plantation was done on a large scale and many workers were needed to work on the farms. The North and South American farmers required cheap labor for their sugar cane plantations, thus increasing the slave trade activities in the Atlantic region. During this period, the British colonial power introduced sugarcane plantation in the Northern part of America, since the prices of tobacco and cotton were on the decline and farmers turned to sugarcane growing (Sherman et al. 34). In addition, the type of soil was favorable for sugarcane growing and since the plant was new, profitable, and less competitive in the region; hence, it attracted many farmers. This increased the demand for low wage firm workers, leading to the rise in slave trade in the entire region.      

Discussion 2: Rousseau

Ideally, Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s work was inspired by the Scientific Revolution and used his political philosophy that had remarkable impact in France. The Swiss philosopher, composer, and writer contributed to the development of French Revolution, especially in improvement of socialist theory and liberal conservative.  His fictitious writings helped in developing romanticism and formulating the French Revolution, thus created descent monarchies. This is supported by the fact that he understood the concept of human liberty and perpetuated it in his writing to make sure that the authority granted the people the freedom to express their feeling and ideas. As a result, his inspirations led to creativity in scientific field, thus revolutionized the scientific development of the country. National sentiments were significant during the French Revolution and most contemporaries of the ideals surrounded the issue of patriotism as a way of advocating for the common good that benefits a larger number of people.

Discussion 3: Nationalism and the French Revolution

The relationship between nationalism and the French Revolution is that the nationalists had a contribution to the development of ideas, which propelled the revolutionary changes in France. For example, nationalism ideals such as the General Will, which was developed by Jean-Jacques Rousseau, justified the role of nationalists in formulating the best ways of life that guaranteed the people elaborate freedom to interact and express initiatives.  In this regard, an idea emanating from a patriotic figure is essentially considered to be that of the people and that obeys the will and aspirations of the majority. Apparently, nationalism was used during the French Revolution to incorporate the wishes and aspirations of the people. Nationalism was created before the revolution because there were patriots who advocated for the rights of the majority. They perpetuated the national ideals during this period by justifying attacks.  

Discussion 4: Industrial Revolution in Europe

Flying Shuttle is one of the new inventions which aided European companies during the Industrial Revolution. This new technology was used in weaving and increased the speed of production. Since the European and international demand for cotton yarn was significantly increasing, the sewing wheel could not meet the market need and thus necessitated a faster means of production. Many investors were involved in developing the flying shuttle. This new invention changed the weaving industry and the entire world through improved efficiency and increased rate of production.  The short time effect was that the new technology increased individual worker’s production rate since it raised the number of his or her spindles from one to eight. Moreover, its long-term consequences included the increase in efficiency, quantity, and quality of the cotton yarn.  This was due to the consistent improvement to the flying shuttle resulting from the workers’ innovation, thus improved production efficiency.

Discussion 5: European Nationalism in the 19th Century

The country that was worst affected by European nationalism was the German Empire. Since nationalism was a wave that swept across Europe in the 19th century, it created development opportunities and affected other countries in the continent. For example, the wave of transformation during this period was propelled specifically by romantic nationalism. This was the engine of growth, because it promoted national identity. The German Empire was more affected by the wave due to its size and the degree of structural organization. Smaller states, which had common national characteristics, were compelled to unite so that they formed a stronger economic block that could position them better to benefit from the waves of transformation. The German Empire was thus affected since it had to unite with other smaller states to form Germany. In addition, the states were close and shared some similar national identities, including cultural practice, traditional food, and language.  

Discussion 6: “New Imperialism" In the 19th Century

The cause of new imperialism that made more of an impact in the European attempt to expand their global empires than the others was the need for steady supply of industrial raw materials. The imperial powers understood that for the consistency of industrial production, the supply of raw material was essential. Moreover, the raw materials were mostly found in the colonies, meaning that the imperialists had to express interest in maintaining trade relations with the countries endowed with the resources. Even though this was viewed as a new wave of imperialism, it was necessary since the European countries were experiencing industrial growth and development. In addition, the European economy was changing rapidly from subsistence to manufacturing for export, hence the need for steady supply of the raw materials. This activity affected the operations of local industries, thus many people saw it as neo-imperialism. Notably, the flow of resources promoted production.

Discussion 7: The 19thC European Imperialism

The country that was most affected by European imperialism in the 19th century was India due to the complexity and numerous impacts it had on the country’s economy. The significance of European imperialism in India was unequivocal and used to explain the consequences of this act during 19th century. The British controlled a large part of India and imposed economic laws that did not favor the locals since the country controlled most commercial activities such as large scale farming and export trade. Trade was marred with increased corruption and over-exploitation of local resources by the imperialists. The Indians could not benefit from the agricultural potential and resources, which were being exploited in the country. The imperialists also dominated trade in India, thus was unfair to the locals whose interests were not considered.  As the population in India increased rapidly, the exploitative policies did not change, plunging the country into crisis.   

Discussion 8: The Haitian Revolution

The major causes of the revolution included slavery, social hierarchy, and anger at France. Slavery in Haiti necessitated a revolution to relieve the people from bad treatment, such as poor access to education, medical facilities, domestic violence, and discrimination by the whites (Sherman et al. 52). The field hand and domestic slaves were subjected to the inhuman treatments during their work, thus creating anger and rebellions against their masters, ultimately resulting in conflicts.  The America' role in the Haitian Revolution was driven by the determination to end the war before it could spread to the plantations in their country. The US authority knew that the country could lose if the slaves, who were working on the plantation, also staged conflict against their masters. On the other hand, L'Ouverture and the Revolution stood out in world history because the two occurrences formed a strong force to call for freedom from slavery.   

Discussion 9: The Reds and the Russian Civil War

The Reds won the Russian Civil War against the Whites because of three main reasons. First, the Reds did not relent on the aggression against the Whites. Second, they had acquired sophisticated weapons, such as guns, which they used to fight their enemies who had surrendered their weapons. Third, they had a strong and organized military for launching offensive attack. The reasons are important because the Whites believed they could not be defeated by the Reds, but the situation turned opposite. Notably, the Whites were fighting in small groups and not as a unified force. This gave their opponents (the Reds) an opportunity to launch successful offensive attacks. In addition, the Whites also pulled their forces outside Russia, weakening their military operations. This gave their opponents advantages to fight back relentlessly, defeating the decreasing number of the Whites’ troops. The Whites did not get necessary military from Britain and France.

Discussion 10: Artistic Work and its Contribution to Age of Anxiety

The artist chosen in this case is Wassily Kandinsky and his Composition VII, oil on canvas, made in 1913 (State Tretyakov Gallery). It demonstrates the interwar period and how the forces confronted the opponent. In essence, the work is reflective of the "Age of Anxiety" since it depicts the war scenario and the ways, in which the Reds Troops confronted the Whites and their command structures. The artistic work is rather difficult to interpret because the representation does not display clarity of the events, but what could be grasped is a war scenario. It is easier for one to tell that the scenario depicts a situation of disorganized setting, where everything is not adding to any form of a peaceful atmosphere, thus showing a state of anarchy. The symbolic impression in the piece of work is the state of confusion that stimulates the brain to think of the impending consequences.

Discussion 11: King Faisal I of Iraq

The leader ruled the Kingdom of Iraq for a short time (12 years, 1921 to 1933). First, the king could be considered a nationalist because he was advocating for the common interest and good of the people. For instance, he promoted peace between two neighboring communities, the Shiite and Sunni. Indeed, that was his attempt to ensure that the communities coexisted and had common loyalty to the authority. Moreover, it was his strategy to promote Pan-Arabism, which was in the interest of the ordinary people. He stood for the unity of the Arabian communities, starting with Syria and Iraq. Specifically, he used his nationalism to fulfill the agenda through expanding his leadership to be inclusive of the different religious and ethnic groups. The action reflected his leadership style that depicted the diversity in the region and promoted a peaceful relationship. Therefore, he was a nationalist and left an admirable legacy.     

Discussion 12: Bombing the Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Despite the controversy that surrounded the action, the motive behind Truman’s bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, using "Little Boy" and "Fat Man" on August 6 and August 9, 1945, respectively, was to achieve triumph in the World War II. This was an offensive attempt to disable the Japanese authority and its troops so that the country could surrender to the allied powers, which were fighting in Europe during the war (Sherman et al. 82). Suppose I was the president in August of 1945, I would not commit a similar offence of destroying the cities in Japan for fear of killing innocent civilians. Since I am aware of the destructive nature of the nuclear bombs, launching an assault in a place inhabited by human beings is unethical due to likely civilian suffering. The then president was acting as an authoritarian leader with no regard to the safety of the local people.    

Discussion 13: The Cold War

According to historical literature, the Cold War was a non-confrontation conflict between the communists of the Soviet Union and democrats of the United States due to economic, political, and ideological differences between the two states. Since it was non-confrontational, the specific tools, which were used to perpetuate this war, included diplomatic haggling, propaganda, and economic sanctions. There is no clear time when the war started, but historical data point to 1947, following the then US president Truman’s decision to adopt an anti-communist policy. Essentially, the president was aware that the Soviet Union was a communist region; therefore, affirming an anti-communism policy was meant to sabotage the bilateral relationship between the two economic blocks. Even though there could have been other unlawful actions that the Soviet Union would have committed, it did not take a formal action first. This means that it is the United States that began the Cold War.     

Discussion 14: Collapse of the Soviet Union

Several reasons, internal and external, have been put forward to explain the collapse of the Soviet Union. For this discussion, the focus is on the internal factors since they were significant to the once giant economic block. For example, by the end of the WWII, the Soviet Union had almost lost everything and thus experienced various economic problems. This means that most business operations and transactions took place at the black market. Second, increase in disease outbreak also contributed to the fall, since the country did not have proper medication for its citizens. Third, internal aggression led to the disintegration of the USSR into smaller and independent states, such as Russia, China, Korea and Malaysia, among others, and contributed to the collapse of the Union. The Korean forces were involved in the internal aggression that ultimately culminated in the events of December 25, 1991. Essentially, the forces were largely internal.  

Discussion 15: Communists Win the Civil War in China

The main reason that explains the communists’ success during the civil war in China is that they got the peasants’ support. The relationship between the communists and the peasants was cordial and the latter joined them in the quest for support. The communists did not mistreat the peasants, but treated them with respect. Second, the communists were allied to the Soviet Union and professed similar ideologies. In essence, the similarity in their ideologies led to close ties in the beliefs and ways of life and therefore gave the communists an advantage. Third, the KMT was less powerful and thus unable to defend themselves from the communists’ invasions. Out of the reasons, the support the communists received from the peasants was more significant for their success. The reason is that the Soviet Union was a communist block and any force against the ideology was bound to fail (Sherman et al. 176).    

Discussion 16: Chile’s Conflict in the early 1970s

The 1970s war in Chile was due to the region’s demand for independence. Since the people were not happy with the way Spain ruled them, they reacted to liberate themselves from oppression. The conflict was due to high tension between the leaders of the Chilean kingdom and the Spanish Empire. Literally, the locals were not happy and did not want the continued oppression. The main intention of the US’s involvement in the conflict was motivated by the country’s political and economic interest in Chile. Certainly, the US was not happy with Spain’s occupation of Chile; therefore, it wanted the country to be free so that it could increase its bilateral arrangement. Given the economic interest, the US was right since the presence of Spain in Chile was a barrier to economic cooperation between the two countries. However, the political interest was not justified, because it could interfere with Chile’s sovereignty.  

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