Archivo de la categoría: history

Cuban Missile Crisis

In History, we finished revising the Cuban Missile Crisis. As homework, Lenny told us to do a MindMap, a Venn Diagram and a paragraph of the Causes and the responsibility of the countries involved for the beginning of the crisis.

MindMap

Venn Diagram

Who is most responsible for the Cuban Missile Crisis?

In my opinion, there is not one country who is the most responsible. I think that each country involved in the crisis contributed equally to the break out of the conflict, as they all did something to increase tension and to lead to the installation of the missiles

The Berlin Blockade

In history, we started to see the Cold War, and one of the events which lead to the start of it: the Berlin Blockade. After reading the book and watching some videos, we had to do a chart and answer some questions about the topic.

Chart

 

Questions

  1. What was life like in Berlin in the post-war era?

In the Yalta Conference, it was agreed that Berlin would be divided into four zones: a Soviet, an American, a French and a British. The city was devastated after the war, so both sides were in a state of poverty. However, while the Western side was seeking recovery, the Eastern side leader was seeking keep the zone crippled.

  1. How did Soviet policy towards Berlin differ from that of the West?

On the one hand, the West side policy was one of recovery, as well as being capitalist. On the other hand, the East side policy had as an objective to keep the zone crippled, and was Communist.

  1. Why was reform of the German currency a key issue for both sides?

Germany having a self currency meant economic independance and freedom. It was an important step for recovery. Moreover, it was a way to represent the new Germany, different from the one from the past. The West encouraged Germany to have a currency of its own, while the East didn’t.

  1. Why was the airlift such a major feat?

The airlift was a way of showing the world that the West wouldn’t fall under Soviet tirany, and was a real conflict, which contributed to the atmosphere of tension, and to the start of the Cold War.

  1. In what respect can the USSR and US be responsible for further increasing tensions during the airlift?

On the one hand, the USSR was responsible, as she was the one who started the conflict by closing all the roads, and tried to persuade Western people to go to the East. On the other hand, the USA was responsible too, as she sent a lot of air supplies, increasing tension and showing a will to resist.

  1. Why did Stalin eventually agree to talks over the airlift?

Stalin agreed to talks over the airlift, as he could clearly see that the Blockade wouldn’t stop the West from opposing to Communist expansion, and keeping their side of Berlin. He could see the Americsn will to resist, and realisrd the Blockade wasn’t helping at all.

 

Extension question: On the one hand, the USSR was to blame, as she interrupted peace with the blockade. On the other hand, the USA was to blame as well, as she was willing to resist any Soviet attempt to expand.

The League of Nations- Luz Esteban and Tomás Braun

 

 

 

 

1) What are the aims of the league?

2)What happened to Wilson when he returned to the USA after signing the treaty of Versailles?

3)Why did German immigrants didn’t want to join the league

4)What economic reason did the USA give to stay out of the league?

5)How did Americans feel about imperialism in Europe

6)Why did Poland invade Vilna? Why did the League not act about it?

7)Why was Upper Silesia an important region for Poland and  Germany?

8) How did the League solve the problem in Vilna?

9)What did the League decide to do about the Aaland Islands?

10) Why did Mussolini invade Greece in the Corfu conflict?

11) Why was the League criticised about the resolution in the Corfu conflict?

12) How did the Geneva Protocol weaken the League?

13) Why did Greece invade Bulgaria in 1925?

14) Why did Greece complain that the League “seem to have one rule for the large states (such as Italy)  and another for the smaller ones?

 

  Answers

  1. The aims of the League were:
  • to  encourage nations to disarm
  • to discourage aggression from any nation
  • to improve the living and working conditions in all parts of the world
  • to encourage countries to cooperate, especially in business and trade

2) What happened to Wilson was that he got very ill, so he could no longer be the United States’ president. However, his successor continued the campaign, which consisted in the United States joining the League. Unfortunately for him, the republican party won and they could not be part of the League of Nations

3)German immigrants didn’t want to join the league because this was supposed to enforce the Treaty of Versailles, and the German hated the treaty because they saw the treaty as a punishment to their country.

4)The economic reason the USA gave to get out of the League was that if the League imposed sanctions, it would be American trade and business that suffered a lot.

  1.       5)About European Imperialism, America felt that the league would be controlled by Britain and France, and this empires would call United States for help to defend themselves. Also, many of the US’ people were anti-empires. People disliked the fact that the League was being controlled by the Anglo-French Entente.

          6) Poland attacked Vilna, mainly because they wanted territorial control of the city, as, before the Treaty of Versailles, this was a Polish city, however, after the treaty, it became the Lithuanian capital.Therefore, most of the population were Polish. The League of Nations, whose leaders were France & Britain, did not act about it because they were not prepared to, as they were recovering from war, and they feared that, if she took out Polish troops from Vilna, Poland would join forces with Germany.

          7) Upper Silesia was the border between Poland and Germany. The population in there was a mix between Polish and German people. Germany wanted to remain this zone, as it was a very rich and important industrial zone in Europe, and because of the German population inside the area. For example, the twenty-one percent of the German coal production belonged to Upper Silesia, and the population was divided in a sixty percent Polish and forty percent German.

         8) This problem was not solved because the League was not prepared to act, as its members and leaders were all recovering from war. In fact, this conflict was a failure for the League. In addition, the Anglo-French Entente feared that, if they took out Polish soldiers from Vilna, Poland would join forces with Germany. Therefore, the League allowed Poland to keep Vilna.

         9)The League ruled on a dispute between Finland and Sweden for the Aaland Islands. In order to solve this conflict, she measured the distance from the island to both countries. Finland was closer, so Switzerland accepted the League’s decision of Finland keeping the Aaland islands  

         10) Mussolini decided to invade Greece because, at first, there was a border dispute between Greece and Albania, and the Conference of Ambassadors, who was given this job, appointed an Italian general called Tellini to supervise it. While Tellini and his team were supervising Greece’s part of the frontier, they were killed. Mussolini, the Italian leader, blamed the Greeks and demanded that she had to pay a compensation and kill the murderers, but the Greece state didn´t know who the murderers were. As Greece did not do anything about the Mussolini’s demands, on August 31st, he bombarded and occupied the islands of Corfu.

       11)The League’s decision over the Corfu islands was criticised because, as the historian Zara Steiner said: “the dispute showed that the weakest of the great powers could get it’s way when Britain and France agreed to sacrifice justice for cooperation”. What she meant was that the League didn’t had power over other countries and that she would do anything for cooperation.

       12)The Geneva Protocol said that if there was a dispute between two members of the League, the conflict would be taken to the League and both countries would have to accept the Council’s decision. Unfortunately, as there was a new conservative government in Britain, she did not signed the protocol because she feared that Great Britain would be forced to agree with something that she was not interested in. This situation weakened the League

       13)Greece decided to attack Bulgaria because there was a border incident where some Greek soldiers were killed. Bulgaria appealed to the League and, after a long conflict, this situation concluded on Greece paying a bill of forty-five thousand pounds in compensation.

       14)Greece complained that their seemed to be some rules for large states and other rules for other states because it seemed that the most powerful countries were more important and had more priorities over the smaller states and most of the League’s disputes she resolved concluded with benefits for the Great Powers. For example, in the dispute for Corfu, it was Mussolini who decided to start firing, but the problem concluded on Italy staying with the islands.

History Essay N°2

 

Statement: How successful was Wilson on achieving his aims at Versailles? Explain your answer.

 

    

 

   As an idealist, Wilson had lots of aims ,which he presented in the Paris Peace Conference, to achieve a fair and lasting peace in the world. However, not all of them were accomplished. In this essay, I will say how successful Wilson was in achieving his aims at Versailles by saying which aims he had, which ones were accepted and which ones not.

   Before the war ended, in 1918,  Woodrow Wilson presented some aims to achieve  world peace called “the fourteen points” in the United States’ congress. This ones were: no secret treaties, open seas, free trade between countries, disarmament, colonies to have a say in their future, German troops to leave Russia, Independence for Belgium, France to regain Alsace-Lorraine, Frontier between Austria and Italy to be adjusted, Self-determination for countries from Eastern Europe, Serbia to have access to the sea, Self-determination for the people of the Turkish empire, Poland to be independent and to have access to the sea and the League of Nations, an international organization to assure lasting peace and to save the world from another war, to be set up. Afterwards, during the post-war period, he established his principal aims for the conference: Don’t be too harsh on Germany, because she would recover and seek revenge in the future. Then, strengthen democracy in defeated countries, for example Germany. Also, to give self-determination to small countries that once had been part of the European empires and International cooperation, which is referred to the League of Nations.

  On the one hand, many of these points were accepted. To begin with, one of the issues that was accepted was the League of Nations, starting to work in 1920. Then, open seas and independence for Poland. This new country was given  part of Germany, but on one of the terms of the Treaty of Versailles, Germany’s territories and colonies, affirmed that Poland would be a new country and she would have a port in Danzig, city now controlled by the League of Nations. Also, France regained Alsace-Lorraine, because in the Franco-Prussian war Germany  had taken it from the French empire. Finally, disarmament and self-determination to small countries that once had been part of the European empires were taken into account but only for Germany.

   On the other hand, there were some aims which were not respected. Firstly, Wilson did not achieve a fair and lasting peace, because in the treaty the big three obligated Germany to accept the guilt of starting the war. Secondly, free access to seas was not reached by Woodrow because they prohibited  the access to sea to Germany. Thirdly, free trade could not be a possibility because many of the countries had their economy in a very bad shape, mostly Germany who had to pay reparations. Fourthly, strengthen democracy for defeated countries because the German government was not strong at all after the treaty. Lastly, disarmament and self-determination to small countries that once had been part of the European empires were not completely reached because it was only applied to one country.

   To conclude, Wilson was not so successful in achieving his aims in the treaty because some of them were not respected and some of them were not even taken into account. Also, he searched a long and lasting peace, but the only thing that he got was a whole country filled with the desire of revenge.

Conversation between Woodrow Wilson, David Lloyd George And Georges Clemenceau-Paris Peace Conference

Luz Esteban, Matias Ripoll and I made a conversation between “the big three”, which consisted on talking about what did they wanted as a compensation of the war, their views about the fourteen points and which punishment did Germany had to face.

Conversation

In my opinion, this helped me a lot on my studying because now I can know what things the wanted, their ideas and thoughts in a specific and clear way. In addition, the conversation stays “recorded” in my mind, helping me to know everything, and it’s a very interesting and entertaning way of learning more about the Treaty of Versailles

I personally enjoyed the recording, because I found funny the fact that we made the voices of the big three.

Sincerilly, I found this way of working very entertaning and I think that I would not change anything, except for one thing which is the size of the dialogue.