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Evolution Of The World Civilizations | History Assignment

Historical Context:

Q 1: Briefly elaborate the evolution of the world civilizations.

            Through the succession of various ancient civilizations and eventual upliftment of the cultures of the civilization, the modernization of the world civilizations has been possible. At the very beginning, there was the Mesopotamian civilization which was born between the rivers named Tigris and Euphrates, in the area where modern day Iraq is. Around the years of 3500 to 1500 BCE, three major civilizations were born, namely the Sumerian, the Babylonian and the Assyrian, and thus the period is quite well known as the Cradle of Civilisation. Along the course of Nile, in Egypt, another major civilization arose. One of the two key features of the Egyptian civilization was there exceptional skill of Agriculture, allowing them a permanent settlement and urban life emerged from it. Along with that the people of Egyptian civilization also picked up the skill of writing which is also commonly known as Hieroglyphics worldwide. In around 1600 BCE, along with the emergence of the Bronze Age the Chinese civilization was also born with the establishment of Shang Dynasty. Around 403-221 BCE, after a long period of warring states, the country was finally unified under the Ch'in, which is also the source for the name China. Around the years of 2600-1900 BCE, on the Indus River Valley, the earliest South Asian civilization emerged. Thus Ancient India was born and was stretched across the plains from Indus to the Ganges, and around 500 BCE was the 'Golden Age' of Hindu culture.  The years around the 1000 BCE were known as the 'Classical antiquity' as it was the dawn of the emergence of various cultures from various civilizations. Among these, the most signific ........

civilizations and eventual upliftment of the cultures of the civilization, the modernization of the world civilizations has been possible. At the very beginning, there was the Mesopotamian civilization which was born between the rivers named Tigris and Euphrates, in the area where modern day Iraq is. Around the years of 3500 to 1500 BCE, three major civilizations were born, namely the Sumerian, the Babylonian and the Assyrian, and thus the period is quite well known as the Cradle of Civilisation. Along the course of Nile, in Egypt, another major civilization arose. One of the two key features of the Egyptian civilization was there exceptional skill of Agriculture, allowing them a permanent settlement and urban life emerged from it. Along with that the people of Egyptian civilization also picked up the skill of writing which is also commonly known as Hieroglyphics worldwide. In around 1600 BCE, along with the emergence of the Bronze Age the Chinese civilization was also born with the establishment of Shang Dynasty. Around 403-221 BCE, after a long period of warring states, the country was finally unified under the Ch'in, which is also the source for the name China. Around the years of 2600-1900 BCE, on the Indus River Valley, the earliest South Asian civilization emerged. Thus Ancient India was born and was stretched across the plains from Indus to the Ganges, and around 500 BCE was the 'Golden Age' of Hindu culture.  The years around the 1000 BCE were known as the 'Classical antiquity' as it was the dawn of the emergence of various cultures from various civilizations. Among these, the most significant culture was the Ancient Greek and the Ancient Roman culture. The ancient Greek culture is often considered to be the foundation of the western civilization.  Along with the emergence of the Greek civilization the Roman monarchy was overthrown, and an oligarchic republic was born in ancient Rome. However, by the fifth century, the classical world was already degraded due to various crises and emergence of the Dark Ages. Invasion of the barbarians and the primitive nomadic people, namely, The Mongols, in civilizations around the ages of 1206 and 1405, an empire of unequal scope and range was born. The invasions have a profound effect on the history of the world's civilization as anarchy and chaos cause the people to become uprooted and dispersed from their native land. Civilisations fell, and the ethnic character of many regions changed permanently.

Q 2: Why did the World War I happen?

            The main reason behind the events of World War I is the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, in June 1914, by a group of Serbian nationalists, named Black Hand. This event led to the vigorous conflict between Austria, Hungary, and Russia. In the previous decade, a system of the alliance has been formed within the nations of Britain, France, and Russia which was named as Triple Alliance. Another collaboration was formed within Germany, Austria, and Hungary in the verge of the conflict and was known as Central Powers. In brief, the main reasons behind the World War I were, The German Problem, The Eastern Question, Imperialism and Nationalism.

Q 3: Which factors provoked the events of World War II?

            World War I was meant to be the 'War to end all wars.' However, within a generation, the wars again broke out within nations and this time the scope of the wars truly went global. The war started as a European war as Nazi Germany, and the Soviet Union invaded Poland on 1 September 1939.Within days, UK and France declared war on Germany. The base of war was more engulfed as the Japanese military attacked the US military base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii on December 7th, 1941. Moreover, the factors provoking the events of WWII are more intense than that of WWI. The factors associated with the outbreak of WWI have been The WWI peace settlements, The global economic crisis, Japanese expansionism in Asia, and last but not least Nazi Expansionism.

Q 4: Was 9/11 a turning point in global history?

            Due to various reasons, the events of 9/11 were a turning point in history. After the event, the world has become very much afraid of the global terrorism, and the human perspective for one another has changed in drastic level. People tend to think each other a possible threat; people walk on the street scared, without knowing what is going to happen. Security has been much stricter since the events of 9/11. Moreover, patriotism has been changed in America due to 9/11. After the events of the day, Patriotism has become one of the most important things. The date changed a lot of lives and was a huge turning point in the global history.

Q 5: Discuss the inevitability of the Cold War.

            History presents evidence that each of the large-scale events in the course of time has had significant reasons backing them up. Same goes for the activities of Cold War. The Cold war was the outcome of the eruption of tensions and conflicts among two superpowers of the world namely USA and USSR. However, the war did not end up in violence, or the two nations did not physically fight one another, but the war was still a war. Tensions have been building up long before the emergence of WWII, and after the war, the two nations abandoned their differences. These differences slowly turned into conflict between one another and strengthened the inevitability of the Cold War.

Q 6: Would WWII have happened without Hitler?

            There are various controversies regarding the various background reasons of WWI. However, the debate regarding the personal responsibility of Hitler in the WWII has been particularly intense. The 'War aims' policy of Hitler was the first war thesis that was able to emphasize the clear relation between the war strategies and the set of aims he had for his war. Hitler was able to achieve Greater Germany through unfolding the Nazi Expansionism. On the other hand, some other theorists have also concluded that the expansionism approach of Hitler has coincided with the interests of German big business. Moreover, the policy of appeasement of UK encouraged Hitler to believe that he would be able to invade Poland without precipitating war with the UK and eventually lead to WWII. Hence it can be said that Hitler plays a significant role in the emergence of WWII.

Q 7: What was the reason(s) behind the emergence of cold war after 1945?

            The emergence of the Cold War involved the relational breakdown between the Soviet Unions and the United States and their allies in the year after 1945. The cold war was fabricated on the base of diplomatic confrontations. Furthermore, the war stretched further in the issues of political boundaries and democratic control of east by Soviet Union Armies. Moreover, the reasons behind the emergence of Cold War can be traced back to the Potsdam conference of 1945, which witnessed the disagreements between the division of Germany and Berlin into four zones. Furthermore, the post-1945 world was predominated by the figures of authorities of USA and USSR which was also known as 'Superpowers,' and this superpower era was characterized by the Cold War.

Theories of Global Politics:

Q 8: Democracy is a guarantee of peace. Provide arguments in support or against the statement.

            The democratic peace is no doubt the most debated thesis as to whether democracy brings peach or not. The democracy is directly linked to the people, and their livelihood and their freedom in taking decisions are what can be called as the democracy. However, some realists would argue against the statement. Below some points and evidence have been discussed which described both the perspectives towards the peacefulness of the democracy.

            For:

  • The empirical analysis shows that with emergence of democracy 'zones of peace' have been generated where the political or military conflict is practically unthinkable. History provides evidence that wars do not break out between the countries that are governed by democracy. However, it is also true that between the authoritarian and the democratic nations wars are still there.
  • In democratic countries, people only tend to seek for accommodation rather than confrontation which lead them to use force only as a last resort. History shows that wars are caused by governments, not by the people. However, the people have to suffer and casualties or victims of the war. To avoid this disruption and hardship, people of democracy tend not to encourage war among governments.
  • Democracy is governance of people resolving matters with compromise, negotiation, and conciliation. This leads rivalries to resolve things peacefully and non-violently.
  • Among democratic countries, the most reliable bond is the bond of culture. Each democratic nation with their freedom of will and decisions, tend to develop and nurture particular norms. These include a belief in the government's actions, the power of the constitution, freedom of speech, sense of property and ownership and so on. Most of the times these norms and governmental structures turn out to be common among countries under democracy, and hence the states tend to see each other as friends rather than foes.

            According to these factors, it can be quite evident that the peaceful coexistence of the countries under the democratic governance is entirely a natural and expected condition. However, some realists also argue against these statements and claim that democracy is not an agreement of peace at all. Their elements of discussion have been presented below.

            Against:

  • The continuous war between the democratic and the authoritarian are a significant factor that is considered by the realists. Nationwide wars like the invasion of Russia into Georgia and the attack of NATO in Kosovo or the wars between Iraq and Afghanistan evidently establishes the point of the realists against the statement that democracy invokes peace. These countries are democratic and yet they fight each other dissolving peace among nations. However, it is also necessary to remember the causes of these wars as democratic countries only resolve to brute force and violence only when they need self-defense. 
  • Realists also argue that the violence, selfishness, greed merely is human nature and no constitutional binding can suppress these characters. Hence, they conclude that the factors that provoke the wars are not much different in democratic countries than authoritarian countries. They also argue that the constitutional make-ups are the lesser reason behind the war; the conflict is mostly fuelled by the fear of people regarding the chaos of post-war scenario or the international anarchy that precedes the war.

            From this brief analysis of both the arguments, for and against the statement it can still be concluded that it is no doubt that basic conflicts between people with authorities and governmental disagreements can lead to nationwide wars, however, in case of democracies these conflicts have lesser potential to grow and ultimately invoking the war.

Q 9: What is Theory and what forms does it take?

            A theory can be described as the supposition or system of ideas which are intended to explain or execute actions based on general principles. In particular, the theory might serve different purposes with different forms. Three basic forms can be identified within the forms of theories. These are as described below;

    Explanatory Theory: This is the form of the theory which helps to explain why or how the certain actions or events occur or developments unfold.

    Interpretive Theory: This is a form of a theory which focuses on the meaning or the interpretation of certain event rather than focusing on the causality of the event.

    Normative Theory: The normative theories present the 'norms' of conduct. In other words, these theories describe the values and standards of conduct.

Q 10:Why have realists argued that world affairs should be understood in terms of power and self-interest?

            The realism or more commonly known as political realism claims to offer an account of world affairs that are to be seen from a perspective which can be called 'realistic.' Their sense of realism is often a hard-headed subject decision, and devoid of wishful thinking and deluded moralizing. Often as per the perspectives realists, the world affairs have been portrayed as the power politics model. They believe that the politics and global issues are struggles of men overpower. In this perspective, irrespective of the ultimate aim, the authority over power is always the immediate goal for human being.

Q 11: Why do liberals believe that world affairs are characterised by balance or harmony?

            The central theme of liberalism is the notion of characterizing the world affairs by balance and harmony. This balance is necessarily among the competing interests. According to their theories, states and individual groups may pursue their objective, however; they also need to maintain a natural equilibrium among themselves. At a further level of assertion, it can be said that competing interests complement one another. According to them, the conflict among nations or the reasons behind nationwide wars is never irreconcilable. From the liberal perspective, the economic life is very much influenced by the natural or unregulated equilibrium.

Q 12: How are the periods of peace and stability described in the perspective of realists?

            Realists also argue that the violence, selfishness, greed merely is human nature and no constitutional binding can suppress these characters. Hence, they conclude that the factors that provoke the wars are not much different in democratic countries than authoritarian countries. They also argue that the constitutional make-ups are the lesser reason behind the war; the conflict is mostly fuelled by the fear of people regarding the chaos of post-war scenario or the international anarchy that precedes the war. Hence the idea of peace and stability of a nation is almost undermined by the realists because of the continuous wars between the democratic and authoritarian states.

Q 13: To what extent is realism a single, coherent theory?

            The theory of realism exists within several different strands of thought. A brief definition of reality shows that the idea of authenticity nurtures within the theories of the attempt to effectively understand the international relations. Along with that, the realism tries to tie the international relations and the world affairs as a whole. However, realism can also be viewed as a paradigm. In other words, realism can be defined as the source theory from which all the strands of theories and thoughts generate. From realism, different other strands of thoughts develop their viewpoints. Hence, it is impossible to view realism as single coherent theory.

Q 14: Is the democratic peace thesis persuasive?

            The democratic peace is no doubt the most debated thesis as to whether democracy brings peach or not. The democracy is directly linked to the people, and their livelihood and their freedom in taking decisions are what can be called as the democracy. However, some realists would argue against the statement. In democratic countries, people only tend to seek for accommodation rather than confrontation which lead them to use force only as a last resort. History shows that wars are caused by governments, not by the people. However, the people have to suffer and casualties or victims of the war. To avoid this disruption and hardship, people of democracy tend not to encourage war among governments. Hence it can be said that democratic peace thesis is not much persuasive.

Q15: Briefly discuss the concept of realism.

            Realism and liberalism are two significant concepts of the global politics. Realism, also known as political realism, provides such world affairs which are realistic. More precisely, it can be mentioned that global politics are about power and self-interest for the realists. For the same reason, the global politics are also considered as the ‘power politics’ models in the international relationship. There are two assumptions in the theory of power politics. Generally, people are found to be competitive and selfish which signifies that egoism is the main character of human nature. On the other hand, the state system works in an atmosphere of global anarchy which means there is no authority higher than the sovereign state. Therefore, it can be concluded that power politics is equivalent to the sum of egoism and anarchy. Besides that, this formulation of realism divides it into two separate schools of thought such as classical realism (discusses power politics in terms of egoism) as well as neo-realism or structural realism (discusses power politics in terms of anarchy).

Q 16: What are the main factors of realism?

            Realism offers such type of world affairs which are realistic in nature. Besides that, the main factors which play a significant role in realism are discussed below.

  1. State egoism and conflict:

The political life is always characterized by unavoidable trouble which motivates the political leaders to rule by using cruelty, cunning as well as manipulations.

  1. Statecraft and the national interest:

Realism is also motivated by statecraft to a certain extent and politics is always ruled by the objective laws which have their root in human nature.

  1. International anarchy and its implications:

The neo-realists believe that the international anarchy tends towards conflict, tension as well as unavoidable probability of war because of self help, security dilemma, and relative gains.

  1. Polarity, stability and the balance of power: 

The classical realists consider the balance of power as a consequence of product statecraft whereas the neo-realists treat it as the outcome of the structural dynamics of the global system.

Q 17: Define the term liberalism.

Liberalism is a significant concept in the theory of international politics which describes the notion of harmony or the balance among the competing interests. The end of the cold war, increasing impact of globalization and the new wave of democratization build this concept of liberalism. The key themes of this liberalism are interdependence liberalism, republican liberalism and lastly liberal institutionalism. The liberal paradigm is not clearly different from realism because both the theories describe the similar types of assumptions about the global politics. Besides that, both the realists and liberals think that the world affairs have been made by competition among different states. This also signifies the fact that the international system must remain decentralized. The liberalism has been the most dominant ideological factor which shaped the western politics. The theories and ideas of this liberalism have a significant influence on the theory of international relationships.

Q18: What are the significant factors that influence liberalism?

There are some significant factors which have a vital role to play in the liberalism. The factors are described below:

  1. Interdependence Liberalism:

The liberal theories about interdependence are based on the trade and economic relationship theory. According to this theory, free trade has many economic benefits because it enables each nation to manufacture such goods or services in which it has a comparative advantage. Besides that, free trade between countries also generates the common commercial culture and values among people.

  1. Reputation Liberalism:

The liberals have seen the democracy as a guarantee of peace which is evident from the democratic peace thesis. Moreover, if the support of people cannot be generated thorough active participation and popular consent, then the patriotic war would be the last solution. The liberals give emphasis on international harmony and peace whereas the realists rely on the power politics.

  1. Liberal Institutionalism:

The main external mechanism which liberals believe is required to constraint the aims of the sovereign states is the international organizations. This fact is related to the rule of law which was derived from the theory of Woodrow Wilson. This theory had turned the idea of jungle of the international politics into a zoo.

War and Peace:

Q 19: Describe the interrelation between war and politics.

            History often showed that most of the wars are effects caused by the various political conflicts among nations, or within different groups of a nation with different political perspective. According to the most influential theory proposed by Clausewitz, wars tend to have a similar objective character as they are often a continuation of the politics and hence a mere means to an end. Along with war, peace has also become the factor of politics. The rational pursuit of the self-interest of an individual in authority emphasizes the conflict and thus characterizes the war and peace. The only difference which chooses the path of either war or peace is the means of executing one's interest or how one decides to achieve a certain goal. The cost-benefit analysis of the implementation of the path of achievement of the goal of an individual can describe the war as a policy instrument. Often international affairs are shaped into a system of the state which also shapes the relations of various policies among the states. The wars are often shaped as the rational pursuit of the interest of the states and conflicts among the state relations. Hence, it was also quite evident that the states who started the wars were also the party who won the wars. This also limited the costs of warfare as the wars were only fought by armies, affecting the formal combatants. The civilian populations remained unharmed the most of the time. Though Clausewitz was condemned for declaring war as an inevitable and normal event, it also quite evident that narrow state interest is quite destined to result in war as it conflicts with the principles of justice. Moreover, it is also described by the theory that if the political purpose of the war is strong, the moral implications are often ignored by the nations participating in the war. Many also argue that the theory proposed by Clausewitz is only relevant to the wars of the Napoleonic era and has no resemblance with the political system of the modern age. In support of this many theorists argue that political conflicts may be one of the biggest influences of war, but it is not the only one. However, many also argue that economic and political circumstances of the state invoke the war, but with time it has become less effective. The wars of the present era are mostly industrialized warfare, and in this context, the Clausewitzian theory of warfare is no longer applicable. Along with that the cost-benefit analysis of the war according to the theory has also become much less reliable.

Q 20: Justify whether the military power has become redundant or not.

            Military power has often been viewed as the strength of a nation and the chief currency of the international politics of a country. However, in recent years it can be seen that the global conflicts have decreased exponentially and use of force has become increasingly obsolete. Hence the redundancy of the military power of the countries has become a matter of question for the global politics and relations. Many argue that the high-intensity conflict has become almost obsolete in various parts of the world. Hence the requirement of military power has also become irrelevant. Worldwide the democratic governance has been spread and new 'Democratic zones of peace' have emerged throughout the globe. A global system of international centered on the UN has changed the moral outlook of the nations regarding the use of force. Also, the states have more pressing concerns regarding the resources, public services, technological improvements, industrial globalization and many more. Hence, it is quite evident that the warfare of the world has gone down exponentially, and so did the relevance of the military forces. However, realists argue that the wars can never come to an end. To them, the conflict is in the human nature.  They believe that the international systems always remain biased in favor of the conflict among states. In this kind of environment, military forces remain the assurance of the survival and the security of the country. The military forces are on the other hand the reason other nations stay in fear and avoid attacking each other. Moreover, theories say that rolling back of globalization and economic nationalism can mean the end of the democratic safe zones of peace. Furthermore, the great global predominance of the military force of USA is the base reason behind the decline of interstate wars, and hence it is evident that military forces are not as redundant as thought. Furthermore, it is also quite evident throughout history that decline of inter-state war does not make the world a safer place. Security threats always emerge in newer ways. Terrorism is the most relevant example of such security threat as demonstrated by various attacks on the global government. Terrorism shows how the globalization has made the world more dangerous and vulnerable to be attacked.  Through globalization, terrorists have gained access to devastating weaponry and technology to operate and terrorize on a transnational or a global level. These threats of global terrorism, calls for national security which can only be provided by the military force of the state. Terrorism thus invokes the need for the development of sophisticated military strategy. Therefore, even if there is no war in the world insurance of tighter security against every form of national or global security threats, military forces are the only solution for the country. Hence it can be concluded that the military troops cannot be redundant as it is the only assurance of security from the ever-growing threats from foreign domestic camps or the states harboring terrorists.

Q 21: Define War and discuss the types of War.

            Wars can be defined as the state of armed conflict among states or countries or even societies for power or total dominion or sometimes just for self-defense. Wars can be categorized by destruction, extreme aggression and mortality using military forces. Over the course of time, humans have evolved and so did their needs and reasons for conflict. Along with the change, the forms of warfare have also changed. At first, there were Inter-state wars. These wars were often fought over territory or resources. It was often considered to be an archetypal war of plunder. Then over time, the interstate wars have been replaced by the Civil-wars which were often fought by non-state actors such as terrorists, guerrilla groups, and resistance movements and so on. Then there came the Conventional Warfare which was very much organized and disciplined, involving the military forces subject to uniforms, drills, and ranks and saluting. These wars are highly rule-governed as in the warfare followed the 'laws of war.' Other differences between wars come from the scale of the conflicts or the nature of stakes or outcomes of the war. These wars are commonly known as the Hegemonic Wars which often have the scale of 'global,' 'general or 'world' wars.

Q 22: What are the main factors driving towards a war?

            As history suggests, there have been many wars over the time. However, none of them particularly had any common factor in the reasons behind them. Although, theorists argue that there are some deeper indications or underlying explanations that apply to each of these wars. The most common explanation that the theorists agree to is that the war, the conflicts generate from the instincts and appetites which are innate to human nature. Thucydides have argued that the war is the outcome of the lust of human being for power that arises from greed and ambition. Hence as a base assumption for the reason behind the wars, it can be said that war is the outcome of infinite desires and appetites of human for strength and dominion.

Q 23: When would it be justifiable to resort to war?

            Wars can be justified if and only if there is an immense humanitarian crisis. It is evident from all the wars over the course of history that most of the times, the wars are fought over territories or resources or for the absolute dominion of power over the other. Furthermore, wars have always been a phenomenon entailing casualties and damage to resources and properties. However, if the war is fought to save humans from mass genocide or other atrocities, then it can be said that the war is justified or more necessary. In other words, for the security of the people of a nation, to avoid immediate crisis from any act of terrorism, war is necessary.

Q 24: What is the difference between War and other forms of violence?

            As it can be seen from various acts of violence and wars over the various time periods of humanity's evolution, the one thing common between wars and acts of violence is the hostility. However, as it can be seen from many events, wars may or may not include violence, and similar enough, acts of violence may or may not mean war. Wars are an act of hostilities on a large scale which often lasts a long duration of time. However, wars can also involve cold-shouldering, economic sanctions, social alienations. Moreover, wars occur between large, powerful authorities. On the other hand an act of violence is always expressed through physical force and often does not have relation on the scale of its occurrence.

Q 25: Why are the asymmetrical wars to difficult to win?

            Asymmetrical wars are often characterized by the subject of adoption of organized military strategies and tactics. Asymmetrical wars are more of a matter of nations leveling the playing field. This includes the strength of the military forces, the economic background and so on. Hence, in case of Asymmetrical wars, the strengths of the opponents participating have quite significant difference as most of the time the parties do not own a military force much strong or have strong economic capabilities. Hence the outcomes of the Asymmetrical wars are often inevitable and unasserted. Hence it can be said that the asymmetrical wars are quite difficult to win for these reasons. 

Q 26: Why do pacifists reject war?

            In history, it can be seen that nations and governments who participate or provoke war, always have justified the reasons for war with the sense of morality and placing the war within a framework of justice. However, the pacifists view the conflict and morality as irreconcilable. Pacifists have a firm belief that all wars are morally wrong. Their opinions are based on two fundamental moral principles. First of all, they believe war is illegal because killing is wrong. Hence they reject war and killing irrespective of the circumstances under the firm belief of sanctity of life which is often rooted in the convictions of some religious kind. Another reason for them to reject war is that they believe in more comprehensive and quite long-term benefits of non-violence for human well being. They think and have established the fact that violence breeds more violence and the loop continues. Therefore force can never be viable solution for anything, and hence the pacifists reject wars.