Essay Example: Patterns in Modernity after WWI

Published: 2019-10-17
Essay Example: Patterns in Modernity after WWI
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  History Political science World War 1
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1108 words
10 min read

Democracy, communism and supremacist nationalism all resulted as each countrys own form of adaptation to modernity. To begin with, the three patterns tried to accommodate ethnicity for the advancement of a nation. Countries that took the democracy turn believed that everyone was equal as it were and should be free to pursue their wishes. Communist states were also on the quest for equality but believed economic equality had to be taken from the ruling classes. Lenin subscribed to Marxs ideologies, with his own twist, which involved a military revolution. Supremacist nationals adaptation to ethnic nationalism was by declaring themselves superior to other nations. Scientists practicing the pseudoscience of Eugenics advanced the view held by supremacist nationalists that they were biologically superior to other races. It, therefore, followed that they should be better advanced than other nations. This ideology then escalated to the massacre of what was believed to be inferior races.

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World War I brought European countries many steps back financially. The war put the Allies, Britain, and France especially, in the debt of the U.S. Germany, on the other hand, had been slapped with reparation payments, which in the year right after the war greatly impaired its recovery. European countries, therefore, had to economically and politically adjust in ways that exhibited themselves in the three patterns of modernization. For France, it was the evolution of their constitutional government to socialism in the 1933-1934 periods due to labor unrest. Britains recovery was even slower, but socialism failed to take root in Britain. Unlike Russia with its land and resources, and France with the return of its provinces of Alsace and Lorraine, the British were mainly dependent on international trade, which had decreased dramatically in the years after the war. With the $4.3 billion war debt owed to the U.S socialist parties in Britain, therefore, had no financial means of increasing workers wages. British in its democratic mandate to prepare the Middle East states for independence took advantage of the discovered oil in these states to spur its economic recovery.

At the beginning of the World War, Russia was a backward nation, politically and industrially speaking, compared to the other European countries. The war took a huge toll on it, compared to other European countries, which had better finances. The collapse of the Tsardom caused as a result of a crippled industry deprived of workers then fighting the war presented an opportunity for the takeover of the state by Lenin and his Bolsheviks. The Bolsheviks found the war to be resource consuming while Russia became poorer. The Communist party sought to industrialize Russia to catch-up with its European counterparts

The three forms of modernity all shared aspirations of scientific, technological and industrial advancement. For capitalist-democratic countries, freedom of enterprise is encouraged, as everyone working for their benefit will yield scientific innovations. Communist from its origin aimed for state-driven industrial advancement and supremacy nationalists worked towards superiority in all matters including science, technology, and industry.

Each country went into World War I with its peculiar characteristics. The level of scientific and industrial revolution was a defining factor in the path a country took after the war. Non-industrialized undeveloped nations took the path of communism. Russia was hardly industrialized with limited methods of transportation and many inaccessible parts of the state. The war exposed Russians to better-developed countries with sophisticated weaponry that opened their eyes to their condition. A significant number of russians in the army were sent into the war field without guns, expecting to take the weapons off their fallen comrades. This strategy could not be expected to work with the Germans sophisticated machine guns. As a result, many Russians died in the battlefield while hardly advancing the war against the Germans. At the time of pulling out of the war, Russia was aware of its deficiencies and was in the correct state of mind to join the revolution planned by the Bolsheviks.

The strength of the ruling party or monarchy before the war also determined the countrys post-war form of modernity. Russias stardom had weakened with unreasonable and far-removed tsars. The serfs were also many compared to the nobles, and the leaders of the Bolsheviks were the sons of affluent men, which displayed disintegration in the class of nobles. The revolution was therefore quickly successful. After the war, other European countries had witnessed the bloodshed in Russia, and the prevention of communism was a priority. The German Empire on the other hand was strong and wholly involved in affairs of the state. It was, therefore, able to rein in the socialist parties and successfully transit from empire to republic. England was able to keep its government and monarchy in place as the government was strong and the monarchy played a minor part in the countrys political affairs.

The conditions on finalizing the war also played an essential part in the path of modernization a state took. Germany was made to take responsibility for starting the war, pay large preparation fees, return its western provinces of Alsace and Lorraine to France, and perhaps of greatest importance to this discussion, it was disarmed with restrictions placed on its military size. Germany was misrepresented in the settlement agreement, and the conditions were forced upon it. It thought the war was its fault as much as it was other countries, reparation payments were too large and burdensome, and disarmament would keep it under the Allies thumb. The peace settlements ended with Germany resentful towards the Allies over the peace settlement. Hitlers supremacists ideologies, therefore, came by at the ideal time in Germanys political atmosphere. Initially, Hitlers political program; ridding Germany of Jews, occupying Russia and punishing the Allies, was ridiculed by the population as a whole. In light of his achievements, decreasing unemployment and stabilizing the economy and his nationalist policies, Hitlers governance and ideologies became popular with Germans.

The idea of economic equality remains unattainable both for capitalistic and communist countries. Both capitalistic-democracies and socialist-communist states promised their way would yield equality or at least a smaller gap between the rich and the poor. The poverty gap has in fact widened, and society still showcases pre-WWI economic classes minus the direct slavery.

Ethnic nationalism is yet to be accommodating even in post-WWI and WWII modern societies. The backlash against refugees and discrimination of minority groups is still a problem in the worlds prided civilizations. During WWII, the U.S put its nationals of Japanese origin in camps a massive instance of ethnicity. Police injustice towards Blacks is still a national matter ninety years after WWII. In European countries, refugees of war are still denied entry into supposedly modernized countries.

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