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1. Discuss the factors that led to the Chinese Revolution of 1949.

How did the revolution leave an

indelible impact on the history of the world?


 Introduce briefly about the revolution

 Discuss the factors and the dynamics behind the revolution
 Conclude with the impact on world history



The Chinese Communist Revolution started from 1945, after the end of Second Sino-Japanese War,
and was the second part of the Chinese Civil War. It was the culmination of the Chinese Communist
Party's drive to power after its founding in 1921.

Factors behind the Chinese revolution -

 Two major goals –

o End the civil war by overthrowing the Kuomintang (KMT) regime that had become
anti communist and anti peasant.
o End foreign influence in Chinese affairs which had resurfaced through Cold War.
KMT was supported by USA while USSR supported the Chinese Communist Party
(CCP) after 1945.
 Larger Background –
o 1912 - Rise of Chinese nationalist consciousness seen from aspirations of Dr Sun Yat
Sen in establishing a united, democratic and modern China free from foreign
interference. Dr Sen established the KMT.
o 1921 - CCP was established by Mao Zedong.
o KMT initially was involved in rousing Chinese nationalism but after the death of Dr
Sen, it came under the leadership of Chiang Kai Shek, who was pro capitalist and less
o KMT’s Purification Movements (1927), Encirclement Campaigns (1930-34) to
eliminate communists and general negligence of peasants started Civil War and
legitimised CCP as the true party of China.
o 1936 – 45 – Civil war paused due to invasion of Japan.
o 1946 – Civil war resumed along with influence of USA and USSR.
o 1949 – CCP emerged victorious and KMT had to escape to Taiwan.

Impact of Chinese revolution –

 Success of Chinese revolution brought the People’s Republic of China (PRC) into existence
and endorsed Communist principles across the world.
 It proved Marx wrong as he had refused to accept the revolutionary potential of peasant
communities. Thus, the Chinese revolution expanded the scope of Communism to non
industrial countries.
 Intensification of the Cold War - In 1950, China joined the Soviet block by signing the treaty
of Mutual Friendship.
 USA got involved significantly to stall Communism as seen from Eisenhower doctrine. The
direct participation of US forces in Korea and Vietnam was the result of the same.
 Thus, it left an indelible impact on history.

2. “Napoleon not only organized the ancien regime but consolidated the revolution as well”.


 Introduce with Napoleon and his influence worldwide.

 Discuss how he organized the ancient regime but consolidated the revolution at the same
 Conclude suitably



Napoleon was a French military leader, described as the child of the revolution who rose because of
the French revolution, led France to heights during the Napoleonic wars and left significant politico-
cultural legacies.

Napoleon at one time was seen to be a firm believer in the revolutionary ideas but he brought back
many elements of the old ancien regime in his quest for power.

How Napoleon organized the ancien regime?-

 He brought back monarchy instead of popular sovereignty which the French Revolution had
called for.
 He claimed to use elected bodies, but in reality the system of elections was so indirect that
universal suffrage was made meaningless. All constitutional changes were put through a
plebiscite but in practice they were rigged. Thus, Napoleon bent the rules to suit his ideas.
 In reintroducing Roman law, he portrayed the ideal that women "should stick to knitting",
which went against the equality which was a main factor in the revolution.
 Education was to be restricted to boys, especially the sons of civil servants and officers.
 He also abandoned the Declaration of the Rights and Man and the Citizen, which was the
main stepping-stone of the revolution.
 Land taxes rose slowly, which was beneficial to the landowners. A tax on salt was
introduced. This went against the ideals of the revolution as it sought to lift the burden from
the poor.
 He used secret police, censorship, propaganda and spies to retain control and destroy any
opposition to his rule. Thus, he impinged on ‘liberty.’
 Re-imposed slavery

How Napoleon consolidated the revolution? –

 Ended the doctrine of the Divine Role of the King and enabled a common man to become
the Emperor.
 Brought together different social classes to constitute the French nation.
 Centralization to bring efficiency in governance and administration.
 Civil service and military system was based on merit, thus ensuring ‘equality’
 Napoleonic Code made laws and application of laws uniform thus embracing revolutionary
principles of equality.
 Napoleonic wars spread ideas of liberty, equality while securing nationalism and fraternity
among the French people.
 Tax system was applied equally.
 Educational reforms - set up lycées and provided state scholarships for those deserving. This
meant that equality was enforced to some extent. He also created the 'Legion of Honour' -
this was open to all those who served the state.
 Napoleon issued the Concordat, which brought back the idea of Catholicism being the main
religion, but he secretly put in the organic articles without the consent of the Pope, which
guaranteed equal rights for Protestants and Jews.


There is debate whether Napoleon preserved or destroyed the revolution as he seemed to have
done both. Alexis de Tocqueville wrote that Napoleon "fell, but what was really substantial in his
work lasted; his government died, but his administration continued to live...” The Bourbon Prince de
Conde summed up Napoleon as "One-third philosopher, one-third Jacobin, and one-third aristocrat."

3. How did World War II play an eventual role in the decolonization of Southeast Asia? Also,
highlight the impact of decolonization on these newly independent countries.


 Introduce how decolonization took place around the globe after WW II

 Discuss about the specific role of WW II in engendering decolonization and its limitations
 Conclude with the impact of decolonization in newly independent countries



The weakening of colonial powers after WW II, recognition of national self determination and self
rule movements in colonies led to decolonization in Asia and Africa between 1945 and 1960. E.g
India, Indonesia, Ghana etc

WW II’s role in decolonization of Southeast Asia –

 Invasion Phase –
o The Japanese invasion destroyed the myth of White supremacy. Subsequently,
Japanese propaganda such as the ‘Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere’ and ‘Asia
for the Asiatics’ consolidated local nationalism.
o Japanese supported local nationalists in return for their support to the Japanese war
effort. In Indonesia, they freed Sukarno and Hatta from imprisonment under the
Dutch and put them in charge of mass organisations.
o The Japanese sponsored military training to local nationalists.
 Japanese atrocities - While Japanese support empowered nationalists, wartime atrocities
caused many to see that life under the Japanese was no better. E.g The Death Railway
 Exploitation of power vacuum after Japanese surrender - Sukarno proclaimed Indonesian
independence in 1945 in anticipation of the Dutch return. Likewise in Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh
also declared Vietnamese independence and readied the people for the imminent return of
the French.
 Return of colonial powers –
o WWII and Japanese training had equipped the colonies to resist better. E.g
Indonesia, Vietnam.
o In Vietnam, the Vietminh had entrenched themselves during the power vacuum and
also enjoyed widespread support that resulted in the French withdrawing from
Vietnam altogether.
o In Burma, Aung San led street protests against the British. As the British did not
want to risk another war, Burma got her independence in 1948.

This shows that WWII did indeed contribute to the success of nationalist movements after 1945 as
they were empowered in a way that was impossible under colonial rule.

Limitations of WW II in decolonization -

 In Malaysia it was ethnic issues that delayed the success of Malayan nationalism and
independence and not WW II.
 Philippines were to get independence in 1944 but Japanese invasion in fact delayed its
independence as USA wanted to oust the Japanese first.
 Independence was also granted to some states where WWII had little impact. E.g Cambodia
and Laos.
 Role of Cold War –
o Sukarno was anti communist. Thus, USA supported him and forced the Dutch to
withdraw making Indonesia independent.
o Conversely full independence for the entire Vietnam could not be attained due to
the Cold War considerations of the USA.

Impact of Decolonization –

 Endemic Crisis of Authority – independence bequeathed immature nations-state with

recurrent tension between state supranationalism and the more particularistic nationalisms.
E.g Phases of dictatorship and democracy in Indonesia and Phillipines. Myanmar only
recently got free from military rule.
 Violence – the use of force had expedited decolonization further legitimizing the use of
violence in resolving disputes over national authority and identity. E.g Cambodian Killing
Fields, violence in Indonesia, Rohingya statelessness.
 Plurality – Colonization created plural societies but with inherent ethnic tensions – E.g
Malaysia, Singapore
 Cold War tensions – Vietnam War and delay in independence of Vietnam, genocide in
 Identity crises and ideological confrontations – E.g Communism in Vietnam, mixed capitalist
influence in Indonesia, pro USA influence in Philippines.
 Despite challenges, Southeast Asian countries have rapidly decolonized and have adopted
ASEAN values.

4. “Post-independent India played a significant role in strengthening the decolonization process in

Africa”. Discuss citing suitable examples.


 Using examples highlight role of India in supporting decolonization of Africa

 Conclude with need for further cooperation



Post independent India has played a significant role in acting as the flag bearer of decolonization
across the world.

How independent India helped strengthen decolonization in Africa? –

 Moral Courage - Through Non Aligned Movement (NAM), India voiced against colonialism,
racialism and supported decolonization. Today, all African nations (apart from South Sudan)
remain NAM members.
 Leadership - India voiced against the apartheid era in South Africa. Through UNCTAD, India
led the Third World’s agenda for New International Economic Order (NIEO) which called for
a favourable trade relationship with the developed countries. Africa was the core of NIEO as
it majorly exported raw materials.
 Non Alignment – India led the path of non alliance with any major superpower blocs during
the Cold War, thus, encouraging African countries to focus on development and not
 Peacekeeping – India has deployed soldiers in Africa to enable newly independent states to
stabilise, conduct elections and develop political institutions. 80% of India’s peacekeepers
are presently serving in Africa. E.g Namibia, Angola, Liberia, Congo.
 Model State – India with its roots in democracy, strong political institutions and economic
prosperity has encouraged African states to mimic her. Its multi ethnic character is
inspiration for African peace and stability.
 Solidarity & Cooperation –
o India mediated with USA to solve the Suez Crisis through Eisenhower-Nehru
o India has supported African membership in UNSC. It also supports an African owned
and African led growth as seen from recent initiative of Asia-Africa Growth Corridor
(AAGC), in partnership with Japan. Other programmes are Indian Technical and
Economic Cooperation (ITEC), SCAAP (Special Commonwealth African Assistance
Programme for capacity building.

Limitations to India’s role –

 NAM has not been greatly effective in working against colonialism. E.g Francafrique exists;
Africa is today the site of neo-colonial contestation between China, Europe and Asia for
 Capacity building has to be more vigorously pursued. Today Africa still remains backward
with poorly developed political institutions, existence of violence, lack of infrastructure,
health and education.
 Peacekeeping record is mixed due to complexities of geo-politics, political will and the lack
of capacities and resources, backing the peacekeeping efforts.

5. Where ‘The league of Nations’ failed and the ‘United Nations’ won is in maintaining their prime
objective of world peace. Do you agree?


 Introduce with the need for rise of organizations such as LoN and UN
 Discuss how LoN failed while UN won in bringing world peace
 Highlight some challenges of UN
 Conclude suitably for a stronger UN



League of Nations and United Nations were bodies established in the aftermath of WW I and II
respectively to institutionalise collective security, prevent wars and establish peace.

Where League of Nations won? –

 Helped setting up of ILO which worked on improving conditions of labourers

 Refugee organization helped return Prisoners of War (POWs) from Russia.
 Health – e.g combating typhus epidemic
 Resolving minor political disputes – between Finland and Sweden, Greek invasion in Bulgaria

Where League of Nations failed? –

 Membership –
o USA, USSR and Germany were not members in 1920. USSR joined in 1934. Germany
joined in 1926 but withdrew under Hitler. As war sentiments rose, Japan too
withdrew the league.
o Dominance of Britain and France
 Institutional –
o Members had contradictory understanding of idea of collective security thus
inhibiting its actuation. E.g 1923 resolution
o Conference of Ambassadors overruled the league
o Could not stop Germany, Italy and Japan from defying the league.
 Dispute settlements - Disputes settled were neither major nor impacted major powers.
 Disarmament – only Germany was forced to disarm unlike the actual call for disarmament of
all countries.
 Principles – self determination was not recognised for Germans, Turks, Arabs.

Where UN wins? –

 Membership – encompasses the globe i.e 193 sovereign states

 Institutional –
o Invoked collective security during Korean and Gulf Wars.
o Defused Suez crisis in 1956.
o No World War III so far
 Disputes/ Wars -
o The Lebanon civil war was successfully brought to an end in 1978
o In 1988 the 8 year long Iran Iraq war was brought to an end
o Peacekeeping
 Principles –
o Self determination is core principle of UN Charter. E.g even Palestine is recognised
as non member observer state.
o Human Rights
o Actuation of collective security through UNGA – Uniting for Peace resolution.
o Sovereignty Right to Protection (R2P)

Thus, UN has displayed a stronger and better record in maintaining world peace for more than 70
years. However, UN has its failures too.

Failures of UN –

 Failed to resolve the Palestine issue due to USA’s firm support to Israel
 During Cold War, UN and USSR vetoed each other, thus making Collective Security non
functional. E.g Hungarian revolt of 1956
 UN failed at preventing the genocide in Bangladesh, Rwanda, and Serbia.
 Syrian Crisis- UN failed in controlling the crisis, allowing a free run to both Russia and the US
 UN failed to act against NATO when NATO invaded Iraq in the name of destroying weapons
of mass destruction (WMD ), where none were found after the invasion.

Way Forward –

 Reforms (e.g UNSC, veto power etc) are needed in UN to make it more representative and
reduce conflicts.
 Policy of disarmament needs to be forwarded in a horizontal and non discriminatory
6. How did the industrial revolution reshape the political and social landscape of Britain in the
19th century?


 Introduce about Industrial Revolution

 Discuss how it impacted the landscape in Britain
 Conclude suitably



Industrial Revolution refers to the process of rapid social, economic and technical change that
transformed the nature of British society between 1750 -1850.

Change in political and social landscape of Britain –

 Political unrest as there were increasing demands for improved social welfare, education,
labour rights, political rights and equality, as well as for the abolition of the slave trade and
changes in the electoral system. As a result, the slave trade was abolished in 1807 and the
Great Reform Act was passed by Parliament in 1832. After this Reform Act, manufacturing
cities such as Birmingham and Manchester could be represented in Parliament for the first
time, thereby substantially changing the character of parliamentary politics.
 Economic prosperity and rise of the merchant class. This class began influencing politics and
came closer to the King. E.g Queen was shareholder in the East India Company (EIC) sent out
to colonise India.
 Enclosure Movement freed workers to work in cities while mechanised farm practices
ensured food security to British.
 Urbanization - Migration of workers from villages to towns for employment, rise of cities as
centers of production.
 Poor working conditions led to worker movements such as by Luddites and Chartists. Marx
was also inspired to give idea of socialism and communist society to check negatives of
capitalism. E.g concessions such as Factory Acts and Trade Union Acts were wrested through
 Democracy -Worker movements forced Britain to become democratic, granting universal
adult franchise in 1929.
 Rise of imperialism and colonialism – To secure markets and raw materials. The earnings
from colonialism were also distributed among the British thus preserving capitalism from
going bust. Colonialism also promoted White Man’s supremacy and White Man’s burden.
 Rise of nationalism concurrent to expansion of colonies brought Britain into war mongering
with other countries like Dutch, French etc and led to the domination of British in sea.

Thus, Industrial Revolution reshaped the British political and social landscape in 19th century but
more than that it shaped the socio-politico landscape of the globe as industrialization spread to
other countries and European powers scrambled for colonies.