Essay on History of Europe

Published: 2019-05-06 19:47:29
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George Washington University
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The several disputes between different communities and social classes in the French society were the primary causes of the French Revolution. The event which occurred in a period of ten years (1789 to1799) marked an important chapter in the history of the French community. Differences in ideologies amongst other reasons were some of the factors that triggered the event which brought significant changes in France as a country, its leaders, leadership, governance and the entire community as a whole. 

Most activists were opposed to the current leadership which initiated unfavorable laws thus inflicting in them the desire to restructure the ruling system which was considered unworthy and bogus. There are numerous social and economic factors which triggered the French Revolution which was partly quelled by the French aristocracy. The consequences were broadly felt throughout Europe and brought several reforms in the face of the continent.

One of the triggers of the revolution was power abuse and an unfair taxation system that was characterized by injustice and inconsideration. The French rulers in their thirst and quest for more power abused their nobility and credibility while ruling. The groups were comprised of the monarchs of the Bourbon dynasty, the French nobility, and the clergy who in their arrogance blatantly declined to leverage tax revenue to the government. The situation created an unfair system which did not consider the aristocracy of the ordinary people.

Secondly, a major financial crisis that erupted in France in the late 1700s also led to the revolution. For several decades, France had been recognized as a powerful and prosperous country due to its long established financial stability. However, the country began to get involved in wars (Seven Years War) that drained its treasury. Additionally, its participation in the American Revolution from1775 to 1783 led to an increase in the government due to the costs incurred in maintaining the army during those times. Another situation which exasperated the condition was the extravagant spending and ultimate indulgence of the aristocracy. Several costs were incurred during upkeep of King Louis XVI who lived in an ornate palace. Such extreme spending infuriated the common citizens who had to pay massive costs in maintaining such lavish lifestyle of the king. The act of fiscal irresponsibility among the authority was another primary factor which irked the common folks who were forced to go into a rebellion to seek changes in the system.

By the end of the revolution, dramatic changes had occurred in France and the entire Europe. The event led to several changes not only to the social order but also to the church and the political construct. It caused a spread of nationalism throughout France and other countries surrounding it. Additionally, it was the cause of several wars between various countries in Europe. The rise of the Napoleon was also a consequence of the rebellion.

The increase in popularity of socialism throughout Europe led to the formation of several associations formed by European workers who were championing the rights of employees and the right to take part in democratic rights such as voting. Socialism was introduced in Russia when the country was predominantly based on agriculture. The system of socialism depended on the rate of growth of the working class population who were united by certain social ideas and the beliefs that it was possible to replace socialism with capitalism. It also depended on the development and growth of production and other social amenities such as transport and communication. The event was expected to achieve a particular level where the basic social amenities could provide the entire population. However, this was not the case in Russia as the country lacked the required production power and the acceptance of the idea of socialism by the citizens. Additionally, it did not receive support from other nations in overthrowing capitalism. 

Russia becoming the first country to try socialism was a coincidence. The nation was in dire need of such system due to several unfavorable factors which revolved around the community. Basing on facts from Lenin's changed concept of socialism, Implementing socialism was not as easy as he had initially envisioned. Therefore, his initial perception that socialism would succeed in Russia was later disregarded due to several reasons; one, because the economic system in Russia could not permit effective transitioning. 

Russia was characterized by a high level of primitiveness in its production processes. Most peasants individually practiced small production in small firms accompanied by a separate industrial production system. Lenin also added in his concept that overcoming the current state of affairs in Russia was not achievable, adding that setting up socialism during such unfavorable economic situation was an illusion and the chances of such a system surviving in that state were minimal. These proofs rendered Lenin's original view of socialism as a means of ending dictatorship and a pathway to public ownership of property baseless because, in the end, it was the reverse that was experienced.

I feel that socialism could have worked better in a country such as Germany. They had a well established economic system which favored a transition process. Additionally, their production and industrial processes were centralized which promoted coercion and independence amongst the socialists. The associations and unions formed in Germany to champion for socialism were also useful are they campaigned for funds to be set aside for distressed workers; they demanded a reduction in working hours and the rights to exercise legislative and democratic roles. Implementing socialism in that situation would have been successful. However, the revolution of several anti-socialism campaigners made it difficult for the system to be used.

Czechoslovakia was known to be the most successful capitalist democratic system in Europe. The system was based on a two-fold where democracy was integrated with capitalism. The social ideology was as a result of the combination of the democratic economic system combined with a capital economic system. The doctrine made it possible for the working class to combine efforts with nations that were undergoing oppression in exchange for victory and fostering effective relationships between the countries. Czechoslovakia created a chance to get rid of conflicts that arose due to nationalism and thus promoting self-determination and voluntary unification throughout Central Europe.

The system was founded on political freedom and global market liberalization which benefited most economists in Europe. Policymaker enacted rules and ideologies which improved competition in the markets. The state of the society was shaped by the market condition as most markets were left to determine their flow. The system enhanced the economy as most traders could freely take part in market activities without restrictions as the policy encouraged beneficial outcomes which were due to the influence of Czechoslovakia to the economy.

Several social characteristics made the Czechoslovak a thriving capitalist democracy. The population had certain social advantages that were earned through the system. For example, a large percentage of the people were provided with a pension. Ad hoc groups such as widows, seniors, and orphans were the primary beneficiaries of the pensions. Additionally, they were provided with social security benefits which ensured that the old groups and the disabled were financially protected and could earn wages to sustain their lifestyles.

Other than pensions, there were several other benefits that the Czechoslovak provided for its citizen. For example, the system provided facilities and social amenities for citizens. Younger children were provided with nursery facilities where they could learn how to read and write. Also, the comprehensive universal system provided social security for everyone, and it ensured that each received free medical care. Everyone was entitled to receive free and quality healthcare regardless of their social status. Improvement in health facilities was also made where the old facilities were replaced with new ones. The changes were experienced during the shift in the distribution of health resources.

The Czechoslovak used its specialized resources, both in health and social amenities to improve the lives of the community (Edward, 2015). The free healthcare facilities, for instance, ensured that everyone whether rich or poor had access to medical care. The orphans, the elderly and the disabled were also accorded special treatment as seen in the offered pensions. These services eased the lives of the people as they offered preventive medicines through the National health planning system. The services provided by the Czecho-Slovakia were the primary cause of its success as a capitalist democracy since it was centered on the welfare of the society.

The period during the World Wars was characterized by a lot of turbulence, confusion, and strife. Several rebellious groups that were opposed to the system erupted. The colonial powers experienced rebellion from different people and nations. Gandhi, however, led the people in peaceful demonstrations where they demanded their rights to be acknowledged by the colonialists. The wars officially began after the invasion of Poland by the Germans. It also led to the popularity of the communist party where citizen's lives were controlled by a single political party. Communism also prohibited private ownership of property by individuals. Ethnic prejudice and racism were the main driving factors of the war. The use of nuclear weapons on the civilian populations was quite rampant at that time.

Authoritarianism was also rampant in the rule of the Nazi party lead by Adolf Hitler. The system differed from different countries. Nazism was a notorious party that was founded in authoritarianism with several authoritarians who formed the largest part of the government. Several factors lead to the rise in authoritarianism during the first and Second World War.

One factor that led to the rise of authoritarianism was the disruption posed by the First World War. The war left a legacy and consequences that could not be repaired. Millions of lives were lost, and a global economic and spiritual devastation was experienced throughout the continent. Nazism also erupted due to the tremendous losses that were suffered by Germany which had experienced several social unrests due to the enacted Treaty of Versailles. Such postwar factors were the primary causes of the rise of authoritarianism.

Another factor that contributed to the system was harsh economic conditions. Germans were forced to give out massive reparations to other colonies that triumphed in the war. The requirement denied the Germans a chance to recover their economic condition. However, few British economists came out to condemn the act claiming that denying Germany an opportunity to grow economically would possibly lead to the rise of authoritarianism.

Most of the German population was opposed to the punitive measures that were included in the treaty. It resulted in the increase of Nationalism where the German ruler, Adolf Hitler put more emphasis on superiority which irked more resentment from the Germans. Nationalism evidently saw absolute rulers who were dictators get into power. In worst cases, it led to the loss of several lives through genocide. Additionally, racism and revenge have been perpetuated by the concept of nationalism. These were some of the reasons for the rise of authoritarian states.



Amin, S. (2016). Russia and the Long Transition from Capitalism to Socialism. NYU Press.

Geldenhuys, D. (2016). Foreign political engagement: remaking states in the post-Cold War world. Springer.

Goodwin, A. (2016). The friends of liberty: The English democratic movement in the age of the French revolution. Routledge, 

Taborsky, E. (2016) Communism in Czechoslovakia, 1948-1960. Princeton University Press, 



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