Coursework: History Assignment
1. There were three countries that became independent in the twentieth century. These countries are Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine. They became independent thanks to the break-up of the Soviet Union. In Russia, there were military conflicts, and Belarus and Ukraine came to independence peacefully. All of the countries had referendums were citizens voted for independence. Russia developed as the successor of the Soviet Union. It kept its resources and continued its political paradigm. Although Russia is officially democratic, its leader – Vladimir Putin – is well-known for his undemocratic rule. Hence, at the present moment, the country is a strong political player, but a very big amount of Russians live beyond the poverty line because of poor economic development.
Belarus chose dictatorship. Its president Lukashenko rules the country for many years pressuring people. People’s rights are not respected, and citizens can do little to change the situation. The country is very dependent on Russia and has a hard time developing economically because of dictatorship and isolation from the Western countries because of that.
Ukraine has an unstable democracy because its leaders were changing often. The country suffered from corrupt political ruling. The corruption slowed down economic development. Nevertheless, the country is developing toward European Union and tries to free itself from the economic pressure of Russia.
2. The World War I treaty was one of the reasons for the World War II. Nevertheless, there were other causes except it. It is true that Germany was left humiliated and with awful economic state after the treaty. It blamed the treaty for the situation it was in. German nation was very disappointed with the war’s outcome, because it had to experience a challenging time. The treaty only strengthened these things. It imposed sanctions on Germany that began the second war as the result. The treaty was a catalyst not only for Germany. Other counties felt cheated and fooled like they did not get enough. Hence, they thought that the end of the war was not fair for them, and they were not against starting another conflict.
Still, there were other reasons for the World War II except for the World War I treaty. People were left jobless. Many men died or were hurt after the war. They could not work, and those who could were not able to find a job. After the treaty, governments and political systems of many countries changed. Radical and tyrannical leaders came to power. Hence, such rulers were also the reasons for the World War II.
3. The history does not give clear answers who was more to blame for the Cold War. Eastern empire – USSR – wanted to be ahead of the United States no matter what. Western superpower – the US – wanted the same thing. Hence, both countries were equally involved in the Cold War.
Nevertheless, one can say that the USSR and the Eastern block were the ones to blame the most for the Cold War. The USSR was a totalitarian empire which wanted to turn other countries into communists. Hence, it was threatening the democratic world. One can say that the United States’ actions were rather defensive, because the USSR was the one that started the overall aggression. The main reason for blaming the USSR is the fact that it was not democratic, and it did not respect human rights. Hence, it was using its resources in order to threaten the world.
4. I think that the biggest winner of the previous century was Europe that was finally able to unite itself. Eastern and Central European countries became free and chose democracy as a way to develop. Hence, Europe started developing economically and culturally combining different countries and different nations. Japan was also a winner in the previous century. Although it lost the war, it developed quickly which showed that the loss was actually a turning point which led the country to success in the future.
The biggest loser is probably Russia that lost many countries and resources that used to be a part of the USSR. Although Russia is still a very rich country, it is struggling in the modern world, because it is unable to become fully democratic and can no longer control other countries the way it used to do decades ago.