[Topic wise IAS World History Question Bank (1979-2015)]: (2) Origin of Modern Politics

Origins of Modern Politics:
(i) European States System.
(ii) American Revolution and the Constitution.
(iii) French revolution and aftermath, 1789-1815.
(iv) American Civil War with reference to Abraham Lincoln and the abolition of slavery.
(v) British Democratic Politics, 1815- 1850; Parliamentary Reformers, Free Traders, Chartists.
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(i) European States System

1. Account for the emergence of the national monarchies in Europe in the sixteenth century. Did the monarchs build the national states less by design than by chance? [1987, 60 Marks]

2. Examine the view that the thirty years’ war (1618-1648) was essentially a contest between the Bourbon and Hapsburg houses for mastery of the Continent of Europe. How for did it settle the issue? [1988, 60 Marks]

3. From the Thirty Years War finally emerged the modern state system of Europe. Do you agree? [1992, 60 Marks]

4. “The Peace of Westphalia the region of theology over the European mind and left the road obstructed but passable for the tentative of reason.” Comment. [1997, 20 Marks]

(ii) American Revolution and the Constitution

1.“At the news of the Declaration of Independence crowds gathered to cheer, fire guns and cannon and ring church bells in Philadelphia. Boston and other places, but there were many people in America who did not rejoice.” Comment. [1988, 20 Marks]

2. “The American war of Independence transformed Europeans as well as America.” Comment. [1990, 20 Marks]

3. The American Revolution “was a natural and even expected event in the history of colonial people who had come of age.” Comment. [1995, 20 Marks]

4. The American War of Independence “deprived Great Britain of one empire, but it strengthened the foundations of another”. Comment. [1998, 20 Marks]

5. What were the factors that worked in the drafting of the American Constitution? Do you agree with Beard’s view of the constitution being an Economic Document? [2005, 60 Marks]

6. “No Taxation without representation.” Comment. [2006, 20 Marks]

7. “How far is it correct to say that every feature of the American Constitution was ultimately of English Origin? [2010, 20 Marks]

8. “The American Revolution was essentially as economic conflict between American capitalism and British mercantilism.” [2012, 10 Marks]

9. “American Revolution seems to have come with remarkable suddenness. A roster of talented leaders emerged during 1763 to 1775 to make it happen.” Elucidate. [2014, 20 Marks]

(iii) American Civil War with reference to Abraham Lincoln and the abolition of slavery

1. “If I could save the Union without freeing-any slave, I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves, I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also do that.”. Comment. [1986, 20 Marks]

2. Examine the issues involved in the American Civil War. Was it a contest between two separate nations? [1991, 60 Marks]

3. “Six hundred thousand men had died. The union was preserved, the slaves freed. A nation ‘conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal’ had survived its most terrible ordeal.” [2013, 30 Marks]

(iv) French revolution and aftermath, 1789-1815

1. What were the ideals of the French Revolution of 1789? How far is it correct to say that it overthrew mercantilism and the surviving relics of feudalism and contributed to the political supremacy of the middle class? [1979, 60 Marks]

2. “The writings of the philosophers had a tremendous influence on the minds of the people and created a revolutionary awakening in their minds and formed the intellectual creed of the French Revolution.” Comment. [1983, 20 Marks]

3. “What mattered in 1789- and what made men revolutionary almost in spite of themselves was the whole revolutionary situation; and in producing that situation the work of the philosophers played no very important role.” Comment. [1985, 20 Marks]

4. “Napoleon was the child of the Revolution, but in many ways he reversed the aims and principles of the movement from which he sprang.” Comment. [1986, 20 Marks]

5. “Louis XIV was the first French sovereign to make of monarchy a serious profession.” Comment. [1989, 20 Marks]

6. The French Revolution (1789) really achieved far less than what it intended to effect. Do you agree? [1989, 20 Marks]

7. French political writers of the eighteenth century were influenced by Locke and also by the curious contrast, which they perceived between the government of his country and their own.” [1991, 20 Marks]

8. Discuss the view that Louis XIV of France was a great king-“the grand monarch”. [1991, 60 Marks]

9. “Napoleon was the child of the Revolution, but in many ways he reversed the aims and principles of the movement from which he sprang.” Comment. [1992, 60 Marks]

10. “The scale, splendour and organized power of the monarchy of Louis XIV were something new in Europe.” [1993, 20 Marks]

11. “At the end of the battle of Sedan (1870) ‚Europe lost a mistress and gained a master.” Comment. [1995, 20 Marks]

12. The French Revolution (1789) sought to remove both‚ the religious and secular props of the existing social order. Elucidate. [1996, 20 Marks]

13. “If monarchical misrule ignited the French revolution, lofty ideas both inspired and sustained it.” Comment. [1997, 20 Marks]

14. “To some extent, the American War of Independence inspired the French Revolution.” Comment. [1999, 20 Marks]

15. How did Napoleon Bonaparte heal the wounds of France inflicted by the Revolution and correct the errors perpetrated by its leaders? [2000, 20 Marks]

16. “The Napoleonic Empire was doomed because of its inherent and self-defeating contradictions.” Elucidate. [2001, 20 Marks]

17. “If monarchical misrule ignited the French Revolution, lofty ideas both inspired and sustained it.” [2002, 20 Marks]

18. “The French Revolution attacked privileges and not property.” Comment. [2003, 20 Marks]

19. “Napoleon was the child of the Revolution, but in many ways he reversed the aims and principles of the movement from which he sprang.” [2004, 20 Marks]

20. “The writings of the philosophers had a tremendous influence on the minds of the people and created a revolutionary awakening in their minds and formed the intellectual creed of the French Revolution.” Comment. [2005, 20 Marks]

21. “No event as encompassing as the French Revolution occurs in an intellectual vacuum.” Comment. [2007, 20 Marks]

22. How did Napoleon Bonaparte fuse the old France with the new? [2009, 30 Marks]

23. To what extent did Napoleon’s economic war with England become his undoing? [2010, 20 Marks]

24. “The connection between the philosophers’ ideas and the outbreak of the French Revolution (1789) is somewhat remote and indirect.”  Critically evaluate. [2012, 10 Marks]

25. How did Napoleon fuse the French of the ancient regime with the France of the post-revolutionary era? [2012, 30 Marks]

26. “The  Declaration  of  Rights  was  the  death-warrant  of  the  system  of  privilege,  and  so  of the ancient regime … Yet in the history of ideas it belonged rather to the past than to the future.” Examine. [2014, 20 Marks]

27. “The multiple contradictions that quickly undermined the new edifice, had been expressed even before the meeting of the Estate General in France. The internal conflict among Estates had manifested itself.” Critically examine. [2015, 10 Marks]

28. “The Continental Blockade was a misconceived idea of economically defeating Great Britain.” Critically examine. [2015, 10 Marks]

(v) British Democratic Politics, 1815-1850; Parliamentary Reformers, Free Traders, Chartists

1. Write a critical note on:
Effect of British liberalism on the social or economic life of the people of England. [1981, 20 Marks]

2. Account for the growth of Liberalism in Britain in the nineteenth century. How far did it influence the contemporary social and economic issues-in the country? [1984, 60 Marks]

3. What issues involved in the conflict between the King and Parliament in England in the seventeenth century? Discuss. [1990, 60 Marks]

4. “The Bill of Rights (1688) set the seal on Parliamentary supremacy in England.” Comment. [1997, 20 Marks]

5. Review the background of the Chartist Movement. Despite its failure how had their demands been met in the succeeding years? [2004, 60 Marks]

6. ‘Though reform was inevitable, the Act (1832) by which it was accomplished was open to grave criticism.’ [2005, 20 Marks]

7. “The roots of Chartism are partly political and partly economic.” Elaborate. [2010, 20 Marks]

8.“Change in Britain came comparatively peacefully through democratic process in the first half of the nineteenth century and a model of a functioning democracy through ballot box was successfully put in place.” Elaborate. [2013,  25 Marks]

9. “…  the  passing  of  the  ‘Reform  Act’  marked  the  real  beginning  of  modern  party organisation  in  England  …  In  a  real  sense,  the  present  political  system  of  England  dates from 1832.” Critically examine. [2014, 10 Marks]

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