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Synopsis: Mains Self Study Test – 13

Insights Mains Self Study 2016- Test 13

You can find Mains self Study Question papers and answer written by aspirants HERE

These questions are based on THIS Timetable.

Note: Following answers are neither model answers nor proper synopsis. We are trying to provide you information that is not usually found in textbooks.  If you have already written answers to these questions, compare and check if you have written relevant points, if you haven’t answered yet, choose important points from the following content to frame 200 words answer.

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1) The European imperialist push into Africa was motivated by three main factors, economic, political, and social. Examine these factors. (200 Words)

Between the 1870s and 1900, Africa faced European imperialist aggression, diplomatic pressures, military invasions, and eventual conquest and colonization. By the early twentieth century, however, much of Africa, except Ethiopia and Liberia, had been colonized by European powers. By 1900 much of Africa had been colonized by seven European powers—Britain, France, Germany, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, and Italy. The European colonial expansion, Europeans turned to Africa to satisfy their greed for resources, prestige, and empire,Examining the following factors which pushed imperial powers into Africa :-

Economic factors

  • The imperatives of capitalist industrialization—including the demand for assured sources of raw materials, the search for guaranteed markets and profitable investment outlets—spurred the European scramble and the partition and eventual conquest of Africa. Thus the primary motivation for European intrusion was economic. (For example Algeria became one of the profitable colonial possession for French goods; resources of Africa, for example Gold and Diamond mines in South Africa, Ivory, rubber, gold, and timber, copper from Congo attracted the colonial powers)
  • Slaves were brought through slave trades for working in the colonies of European powers America, as there was large scale extermination of original inhabitants. The demand of slave trade gradually increased and this led to more expansion by colonial powers in Africa
  • Development of Suez Canal in Egypt by French company in 1869, aroused the interest of colonial powers in the African region and they wanted to safeguard their route to India. Military intervention was done in Egypt on the pretext of protection of Suez canal and this way Egypt came under British control

Political factors

  • The political impetus derived from the impact of inter-European power struggles and competition for pre-eminence. Britain, France, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Portugal, and Spain were competing for power within European power politics. One way to demonstrate national pre-eminence was through the acquisition of territories around the world, including Africa.
  • When slavery started become hindrance for colonial powers to penetrate interiors of Africa. The colonial powers started promising abolition of slave trade and subsequently went to war with local chiefs and kings to expand, their territorial possession
  • Explorers, Christian missionaries saw Africa as a place for spreading message of Christianity and they were supported by European governments by sending troops.

Social factors

As a result of industrialization, major social problems grew in Europe: unemployment, poverty, homelessness, social displacement from rural areas, and so on. These social problems developed partly because not all people could be absorbed by the new capitalist industries. One way to resolve this problem was to acquire colonies and export this “surplus population.” This led to the establishment of settler-colonies in Algeria, Tunisia, South Africa, Namibia, Angola, Mozambique, and central African areas like Zimbabwe and Zambia. Eventually the overriding economic factors led to the colonization of other parts of Africa.


The nineteenth century was a period of profound and even revolutionary changes in the political geography of Africa, characterized by the demise of old African kingdoms and empires and their reconfiguration into different political entities. Some of the old societies were reconstructed and new African societies were founded on different ideological and social premises. Consequently, African societies were in a state of flux, and many were organizationally weak and politically unstable. They were therefore unable to put up effective resistance against the European invaders.

Extra information

The scramble of Africa was so intense that there were fears that it could lead to inter-imperialist conflicts and even wars. To prevent this, the German chancellor Otto von Bismarck convened a diplomatic summit of European powers in the late nineteenth century. This was the famous Berlin West African conference (more generally known as the Berlin Conference), held from November 1884 to February 1885. The conference produced a treaty known as the Berlin Act, with provisions to guide the conduct of the European inter-imperialist competition in Africa.


2) Describe the nature of few movements that defined African resistance to European imperial expansion and colonial rule in Africa. (200 Words)

By 1885 Western Europeans had mastered the art of divide, conquer, and rule, honing their skills over four hundred years of imperialism and exploitation in the Americas, Asia, and the Pacific. In addition, the centuries of extremely violent, protracted warfare among themselves, combined with the technological advances of the Industrial Revolution, produced unmatched military might

Nature of African resistance to European Imperial Expansion:

Adding to the complexity was the fact that rapid European imperial expansion in Africa did not necessarily change relationships among African communities. Those in conflict with one another tended to remain in conflict, despite the impending threat from the French, British, Germans, and other powers. There was, moreover, no broadly accepted African identity to unite around during this period. The strongest identities were communal and, to a lesser extent, religious, which begins to explain the presence of African participants in European conquests of other African societies. The complexity of Africans’ political relationships among themselves, then, influenced the nature of their resistance to colonial rule. As they resisted European invasions, they confronted both European and African soldiers. That is, they confronted a political hierarchy imposed by Western Europeans that included African proxies. The power was European, but the face of it on the local level was often African.

Africans evaluated their circumstances, assessed possible actions and consequences, to make rational responses. Some form of resistance, moreover, remained constant during the period of formal European political dominance. Ethiopia stands alone, however, as the one African society to successfully defend itself against an invading European army and remain free of direct European political domination. Ethiopians rallied around Menelik II and took pride in the kingdom’s glorious history. Between 1832 and 1842 in Algeria, Islam became another source of unity, as Abd al-Qadir led his resistance against the French.

Territories conflicts among African societies hindered the effectiveness of their resistance. In the 1880s, for example, in what is today Zimbabwe, the British used existing disputes between the Ndebele and neighbouring communities to foment a conflict in which the British would have to intervene and would ultimately gain a position to claim control over Ndebele land. 

Much to the detriment of African societies, the enmity between them often fostered alliances between Africans and Europeans against a common African enemy. Political and economic competition with neighboring communities remained the highest priority, particularly when the European presence appeared to be an economic and political advantage

There was also cultural and religious resistance The Aba Women’s Revolt was an effort on the part of Igbo women to protect their economic and political interests. It was not a movement against European colonial rule; rather, it aimed at particular policies that the women perceived to originate with the British-imposed warrant chiefs. They resisted to control their religion, for example – Cheikh Ahmadou Bamba, a Muslim leader in Senegal who in 1883 founded the Mouride Brotherhood. Ahmadou Bamba aimed to sustain a level of social and economic autonomy,his goal was to protect Islam from the corruptive forces of European rule

After World War II most African leaders engaged the colonial state through formally organized political parties and trade unions.

The discussion of pragmatic resistance in Africa comes full circle with the former Portuguese colonies, South Africa, and Kenya. In these territories, violent resistance brought colonial rule to a close. For example – there was no military confrontation within South Africa around apartheid, but mass uprisings and sporadic guerrilla attacks spurred the fall of the apartheid regime. The people of South Africa took to the streets in mass civil unrest to overwhelm the resources of the apartheid regime.


Africans confronted European military superiority and political dominance—whether they aligned themselves with Europeans, sought protection, or responded with aggressive military resistance—they were mindful of their social and political environment as they saw it at the time. It would have been difficult for African societies to fully and accurately weigh the consequences of their decisions, or of the European presence, for that matter. Yet they possessed an understanding of their immediate reality, which they took into careful consideration as they attempted to protect their interests and survive in the midst of growing European military aggression and political dominance.


3) Discuss how the Cold War influenced decolonization process in Africa. (200 Words)

The term Cold War is used to describe the relationship between America and the Soviet Union 1945 to 1980. Neither side ever fought the other, but they did ‘fight’ for their beliefs using client states who fought for their beliefs on their behalf e.g. South Vietnam was anticommunist and was supplied by America during the war while North Vietnam was pro-Communist and fought the south (and the Americans) using weapons from communist Russia or communist China. In Afghanistan, the Americans supplied the rebel Afghans after the Soviet Union invaded in 1979 while they never physically involved themselves thus avoiding a direct clash with the Soviet Union.

The Cold War was a state of political and military tension after World war 2 between powers in the western Bloc (the United states, its NATO allies and others) and powers in the Eastern Bloc (the Soviet Union and its allies in the Warsaw pact). The term “cold” is used because there was no large-scale fighting directly between the two sides, although there were major regional wars, known as Proxy wars, and supported by the two sides.

Support of USA  to European colonial powers, demanded from them for the early withdrawal from colonies.Although the U.S. Government did not force the issue, it encouraged the European imperial powers to negotiate an early withdrawal from their overseas colonies. The United States granted independence to the Philippines in 1946. This marked the beginning of Decolonisation

Though the process of decolonization that began, in most African territories, at the close of World War II, African leaders gained greater political power under European rule. Decolonization, then, was a process as well as a historical period.

Influence of Cold war on decolonization process in Africa

Cold War helped facilitate European decolonization, and affected some specific processes of decolonization. United States’ Marshall Plan helped western European states with post-WWII economic reconstruction, thereby relieving them of the need to hold on to their colonies. United States’ diplomacy (e.g. with Spain), intervention (e.g. French in Syria / Lebanon) or support (e.g. French in Vietnam) changed specific processes of decolonization.

It was this fear of Soviet influence in Africa, particularly on the part of the United States, that created such a major problem for African nations. Western powers viewed African independence through the lens of the Cold War, which rendered African leaders as either pro-West or pro-East; there was little acceptable middle ground.

Although Western European powers granted aid to African nations, they also coerced governments to support their agendas and instigated and aided coups against democratically elected governments. They also supported civil unrest to ensure that governments friendly to their Cold War agenda remained in power and those that were not were removed by political machinations or assassination. In the Congo, for example, Joseph Mobutu took a strong anti-communist position and was subsequently rewarded by Western powers. It mattered little that in 1960 he helped orchestrate the coup that removed and ultimately brought about the murder of Patrice Lumumba, was among the most anti-democratic leaders on the continent, and siphoned Western aid and revenue from the nation’s natural resources into personal accounts. Mobutu’s rise to power and economic and political damage to Congo in the process—with the help of his Western allies—demonstrates that the politics of the Cold War, more than anything else, defined the successes and failures of African decolonization.

The decolonization of Sub-Saharan Africa from the late 1950s to the mid-1970s resulted in several proxy Cold War confrontations between the United States and the Soviet Union over the dozens of newly independent, non-aligned nations. The first such confrontation occurred in the former Belgian Congo, which gained its independence on June 30, 1960.

Nevertheless, directly and indirectly, the USSR drove the process of African decolonization through its attempts to gain power in Northern Africa and to curtail the influence of Western European colonial powers. Because initial Soviet efforts to establish a sphere of influence in Africa was continuously thwarted by the weary Western democracies from the onset of debate on former colonial territories, the USSR had little choice but to push for immediate independence of trust territories so as to prevent Britain, France, and the United States from benefiting as trustees of regions outside of Soviet control. Also, the Soviet Union implicitly propelled decolonization through their propaganda campaigns in the UN.           

Although it is of no question that the Soviet Union used its power to influence African decolonization, the UN was not the main instrument it utilized in its activities. Especially in the case of Libya, much more debate and negotiation was done in the meetings of the Council of Foreign Ministers rather than in the UN Trusteeship Council. The UN was indeed a political tool manipulated by the USSR, but it was not the only means that the Soviet Union used in its efforts to hold the Western powers in check.


The decolonization process during cold war saw political autonomy, aids from foreign power to have indirect control over African nations. Cold War was neither a primary cause of the fact of decolonization (many causes had its roots in WWII instead), nor was it the only major factor affecting decolonization processes (e.g. among other factors, presence of white settlers in colonies played important roles too).


4) Critically analyse the social and economic impact of colonialism on India. (200 Words)

British colonialism in India was based on a capitalist system directly interfered to ensure greatest profit and benefit to British capitalism. Every Policy was pointed towards the strengthening and expansion of British capitalism, so whatever positive outcomes were there, it was the by product.

For and against for Social Impact


  • Exposure to modern ideas and institution such as Rationalism, liberalism, humanism, Parliament, etc led to social reforms in Indian society in form of Abolition of sati, widow remarriage, girls education, etc
  • It also led to growth of a nationalist and anti-colonial consciousness.
  • The knowledge of English has given Indians an edge in the global market, was introduced during colonial period. Though, English continues to be mark of privilege in some pockets of India, it has become necessity and an important tool of communication.
  • It lead to considerable movement of people from one part to another within India and Outside India for employment in tea plantation, as government employees and professionals like doctors and lawyers. This helped in better integration of India and national consciousness.
  • Due to growth of urbanization and industrialization, employment opportunities grew and the remittances were used for the development of the villages- establishment of educational institute, trusts, fashionable houses, etc.


  • To prevent opposition from Indian people, British imposed laws to curtail expression of public opinion. They excluded Indians from responsible position in government and discriminated against them in other institutions and in Social life
  • The role of moneylender, Zamindars changed the social structure in villages. The relationship of tribes with forests was changed.
  • Movement of people from India to other colonies threatened the change in social system of caste. It also involved the oppression of laborers by curtailing their freedom and exploiting them.
  • Industrialization also led to growth of new social grouping in the society and new social relationship, which further caused division within society.

For and against for Economic impact


  • Industrialization in India was started with the set up of cotton mills in India
  • Railway construction was started on large scale to extend the Indian market for British Goods.
  • New urban centers sprawled up like Bombay and Madras, which was at the cost of decline of old urban centers such as Surat and Masulipatnam.
  • Led to growth of commercial farming and production of cash crops in India.


  • Industrial revolution in England, led to pouring of British goods in India at an unprecedented rate, which ruined the Indian handicraft Industry and led to de-industrialization in some sectors. For example- traditional exports of silk and cotton manufactures declined in India.
  • Money, resources were drained out of India and India’s interests were subordinated more and more to British interests
  • It changed the land ownership laws and decided what crops to be grown and what ought not be grown.


Even though colonialism helped India in growth of railways, telegram, parliamentary form of government but its socio-economic impact was horrible which led to poverty, inequality and division of society on communal lines and growth of communal politics.


5) Comment on Monroe Doctrine and Dollar Diplomacy. (200 Words)

Monroe Doctrine

The Monroe Doctrine was a U.S. foreign policy regarding domination of the American continent in 1823. The Monroe Doctrine was articulated in President James Monroe’s seventh annual message to Congress on December 2, 1823. It stated that further efforts by European nations to colonize land or interfere with states in North or South America would be viewed as acts of aggression, requiring U.S. intervention.

The Doctrine was issued in 1823 at a time when nearly all  Latin American colonies of Spain and Portugal had achieved or were at the point of gaining independence from the Portuguese and Spanish Empires.


The three main concepts of the doctrine —separate spheres of influence for the Americas and Europe, non-colonization, and non-intervention—were designed to signify a clear break between the New World and the autocratic realm of Europe.  It provided precedent and support for U.S. expansion on the American continent

At the same time, the doctrine noted that the United States would neither interfere with existing European colonies nor meddle in the internal concerns of European countries.

The Monroe Doctrine was invoked in 1865 when the U.S. government exerted diplomatic and military pressure in support of the Mexican President Benito Juárez. This support enabled Juárez to lead a successful revolt against the Emperor Maximilian, who had been placed on the throne by the French government.


Dollar Diplomacy

The term “Dollar Diplomacy” refers to the use of diplomacy to promote the United States commercial interest and economic power abroad by guaranteeing loans made to strategically important foreign countries.

The Dollar Diplomacy (1909 – 1913) is primarily associated with the administration and the foreign policy of Secretary of State Philander C. Knox and President William Taft – hence the well-known phrase ‘Taft’s Dollar Diplomacy’.


Taft and Knox used ‘Dollar Diplomacy’ in several countries in central America including the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Colombia. ‘Dollar Diplomacy’ was also used to aid the stability of Caribbean countries such as in Honduras and Haiti.

By using Dollar Diplomacy Taft attempted to extend the American sphere of influence in China and also to Liberia in West Africa.

Taft and Knox also attempted to promulgate Dollar Diplomacy in China where it was even less successful, both in terms of U.S. ability to supply loans and in terms of world reaction.

The dismal failure of Dollar Diplomacy—from its simplistic assessment of social unrest to its formulaic application—caused the Taft administration to finally abandon the policy in 1912. The following year Pres. Woodrow Wilson publicly repudiated Dollar Diplomacy.



6) Many commentators are declaring that arbitrary, carelessly drawn imperial borders are to blame for all that’s wrong with the Middle East today. Do you agree? Critically examine. (200 Words)

The Middle East, as we know it today, was created out of the six-hundred year-old Ottoman Empire. The empire came to an end at the conclusion of World War I and since then colonial powers have also played role in the region.

Points supporting the statement

  • Policy of divide-and-rule that the French and British used to sustain their power, led to conflicts and has deepened the differences. For example- In Syria, the French cultivated the previously disenfranchised Alawite minority as an ally against the Sunni majority. This involved recruiting and promoting Alawite soldiers in the territory’s colonial army, thereby fostering their sense of identity as Alawites and bringing them into conflict with local residents of other ethnicities. The French pursued the same policy with Maronite Christians in Lebanon, just as the Belgians did with Tutsis in Rwanda and the British did with Muslims in India, Turks in Cyprus and innumerable other groups elsewhere. 
  • The boundaries of Middle East countries were arbitrarily fixed by the Western powers after Turkey was defeated in World War I and the French and British mandates  were set up. The areas allotted to Israel under the UN partition plan had all been under the control of the Ottomans , who had ruled Palestine from 1517 until 1917. Forceful settlement of Jews in Israel by the support of British mandates has led to perpetual conflict for boundaries and expansion among Israel and Palestine.
  • Middle east nations were one of the largest producer of Oil and European nations were heavily dependent on oil supplies from Middle east and wanted to make sure that oil producing states had friendly governments. So, they stated interfering in local politics and also influenced the drawl of boundary for their motives.

Points against the statement

  • Already there was existence of ancient boundaries and many such boundaries already existed in the Ottoman empire. For example – The three separate provinces — Mosul, Baghdad and Basra — that were joined to make Iraq, for example, were often treated as a coherent economic and military area by the Ottoman government. And of course, the region’s geographic unity going back to the origins of human civilization, had long been recognized in the term “Mesopotamia.” Meanwhile, the fact that Iraq’s eastern border with Iran followed a line set by the 16th-century conquests of Suleiman the Magnificent didn’t prevent the countries from fighting a decade-long conflict over it.
  • The violence is not over boundaries, it is about dominance of ideologies. It is about identity of Shias, Sunnis and other religious groups in the region.
  • The region was in a perpetual state of war, as was pretty much the entire world before the inter-war period. The contemporary era is less violent than all history before it by an immense degree.
  • The conflict in Middle east consists of – desires of Arabs to achieve political and economic unity among Arab states; the desire of many Arabs to put an end to foreign intervention in their countries.
  • The conflicts in Middle east nations has been mixed of many issues and is not only related to boundary disputes, such as – Problem of Jerusalem, Gulf wars, Iran- Iraq war, civil wars over religious differences and political motives.


7) Did Japanese imperialism differ from European imperialism in any way? What effects Japanese imperialism had on Asia? Examine. (200 Words)

Japan started its imperialist expansion in last decade of the 19th century. In 1867, after a change in government, known as Meji restoration, Japan began to modernize her economy. Within a few decade it became one of the most industrialised countries in the world. Due to scarcity of natural resources, Japan looked for the lands that had resources and also for market to sell her manufactured goods. So the period of Japanese imperialism is said to be form 1870s to 1910.

Difference of Japanese imperialism from European Imperialism

With many similarities to the West, Japanese imperialism differed from Western imperialism in that it was the first non-Western imperial power, and that it rose to imperial status after facing colonization by the West.  Like Western powers, Japanese expansion was fuelled with Social Darwinism and racism:

  • Need to ruthlessly protect itself, which could mean siding with the Western powers and act as they did to the other Asian countries.
  • Despite Japan’s civilization, Western countries, because of racism, treated it the same way as other Asian countries.
  • Imperial expansion the last chance to win Western respect and ensure security and survival as a nation, and even bring civilization to other countries in Asia.

Imperial expansion went hand in hand with growing Japanese nationalism: Reaction to the Treaty of Portsmouth and Public opinion urging the country to war with Russia after talks were bogged down

Effects of Japanese Imperialism on Asia

  • After war between Japan and China over Korea in 1894. China recognized  “independence” of Korea; Taiwan and Liaodong Peninsula (Port Arthur)were given  to  Japan and Japan gains investment  rights in China, so this increased the Japan’s influence over China. The Anglo-Japan Treaty of 1902 recognized Japan as a power of equal standing with the great European powers.
  • Russian activities in China and Korea clashed with Japanese intentions to expand to these regions. In Russo- Japanese war (1904-05), Japan defeated Russia. As a result of this war half of the Sakhalin was ceded to Japan.
  • In 1910, Korea became the colony of Japan, which provided raw materials, farmland, and security.


Japan’s rise as an imperialist power helped to show that imperialism was not limited to any one people or region. Rather, it was the result of greed for economic and political power which could distort the policy of any country regardless of its race or cultural claims.


8) How did the Holocaust impact Europe? Discuss. (200 Words)

The Holocaust was the systematic, bureaucratic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of six million Jews by the Nazi regime and its collaborators. Holocaust is a word of Greek origin meaning “sacrifice by fire.” The Nazis, who came to power in Germany in January 1933, believed that Germans were “racially superior” and that the Jews, deemed “inferior,” were an alien threat to the so-called German racial community. Germans called it “Final solution to Jewish Problem”

Impact of Holocaust on Europe

  • Even after Holocaust and post war, countries like Poland experienced a number ofviolent anti-Jewish riots. The largest of these occurred in the town of Kielce in 1946 when Polish rioters killed at least 42 Jews and beat many others.
  • The Holocaust survivors, migrated to westward to other European territories, Liberated by western allies. There they were housed in hundreds of refugee centres and Displaced person (DP) campsin Germany. The United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNNRA) and the occupying armies of the United States, Great Britain, and France administered these camps.
  • The largest survivor organization,Sh’erit ha-Pletah (Hebrew for “surviving remnant”), pressed for greater emigration opportunities. Yet opportunities for legal immigration to the United States above the existing quota restrictions were still limited. The British restricted immigration to Palestine. Many borders in Europe were also closed to these homeless people.
  • The Holocaust, led to a dramatic, sudden decline in the use of Yiddish, as the extensive Jewish communities, both secular and religious, that used Yiddish in their day-to-day life were largely destroyed. Around 5 million, or 85%, of the victims of the Holocaust, were speakers of Yiddish. Yiddish language and culture was almost completely rooted out of Europe, with no chance of ever recovering to its once great status as an international language attempting to unify the Jewish Diaspora throughout the world.
  • The Holocaust has indeed had a profound impact on art and literature, for both Jews and non-Jews. The Holocaust also had a major impact onworks of art created before the Holocaust. The reason is that huge amounts of works of art were looted by the Nazis from Jewish art collectors and dealers, Thus, any work of art that existed prior to 1945 has a potential provenance  This is a serious obstacle for anyone who currently collects pre-1945 European art. 
  • In the immediate aftermath of the Second World War, theJewish agencies demanded reparations to Jews by Germany. After lot of negotiations, Germany paid it in various phases.


Extra Information

Movement of Jews to other places

With the establishment of the State of Israel in May 1948, Jewish displaced persons and refugees began streaming into the new sovereign state. Possibly as many as 170,000 Jewish displaced persons and refugees had immigrated to Israel by 1953.

In December 1945, President Harry Truman issued a directive that loosened quota restrictions on immigration to the US of persons displaced by the Nazi regime. Under this directive, more than 41,000 displaced persons immigrated to the United States. Approximately 28,000 were Jews.

In 1948, the US Congress passed the Displaced Persons Act. The act provided approximately 400,000 US immigration visas for displaced persons between January 1, 1949, and December 31, 1952. Of the 400,000 displaced persons who entered the US under the DP Act, approximately 68,000 were Jews.

Other Jewish refugees in Europe emigrated as displaced persons or refugees to Canada, Australia, New Zealand, western Europe, Mexico, South America, and South Africa.

what was done during Holocaust?

  • As Nazi tyranny spread across Europe, the Germans and their collaborators persecuted and murdered millions of other people. Between two and three million Soviet prisoners of war were murdered or died of starvation, disease, neglect, or maltreatment.
  • The Germans targeted the non-Jewish Polish intelligentsia for killing, and deported millions of Polish and Soviet civilians for forced labourin Germany or in occupied Poland, where these individuals worked and often died under deplorable conditions.
  • From the earliest years of the Nazi regime, German authorities persecuted homosexuals and others whose behaviour did not match prescribed social norms.
  • German police officials targeted thousands of political opponents (including Communists, Socialists, and trade unionists) and religious dissidents (such as Jehovah’s Witnesses). Many of these individuals died as a result of incarceration and maltreatment.


9) What’s Marshall Plan? Was it successful? How did it impact Europe? Examine. (200 Words)

The Marshall Plan (officially the European Recovery Program, ERP) was an American initiative to aid Western Europe, in which the United States gave $13 billion (approximately $130 billion in current dollar value as of August 2015) in economic support to help rebuild Western European economies after the end of World War II.

The plan was in operation for four years beginning in April 1948. The goals of the United States were to rebuild war-devastated regions, remove trade barriers, modernize industry, make Europe prosperous again, and prevent the spread of communism.

The Marshall Plan required a lessening of interstate barriers, a dropping of many regulations, and encouraged an increase in productivity, labour union membership, as well as the adoption of modern business procedures.

Success and Impact

The Marshall Plan was very successful. The western European countries involved, experienced a rise in their gross national products of 15 to 25 percent during this period. The plan contributed greatly to the rapid renewal of the western European chemical, engineering, and steel industries. Truman extended the Marshall Plan to less-developed countries throughout the world under the Point Four Program, initiated in 1949.

Marshall Plan aid allowed the nations of Western Europe to relax austerity measures and rationing, reducing discontent and bringing political stability.

The communist influence on Western Europe was greatly reduced, and throughout the region communist parties faded in popularity in the years after the Marshall Plan.

The trade relations fostered by the Marshall Plan helped forge the North Atlantic alliance that would persist throughout the Cold War. At the same time, the nonparticipation of the states of Eastern Bloc was one of the first clear signs that the continent was now divided.

The Marshall Plan also played an important role in European integration. Both the Americans and many of the European leaders felt that European integration was necessary to secure the peace and prosperity of Europe, and thus used Marshall Plan guidelines to foster integration.


The view over Marshal plan being the sole reason for saving Europe from economic disaster and communist takeover is debatable. But, yes it played role in recovery of the economies in Western Europe.


10) What do you understand by New Imperialism? Illustrate with examples. (200 Words)

Early European imperialism was in the form of small colonies, trading posts and missionary works but that was beginning to change. The “new imperialism” of the late 19th century may be seen as part of a worldwide movement whereby the industrial countries of Western Europe partitioned among themselves the hitherto undeveloped areas of the globe. It should be remembered that the United States, in this context, is clearly an economic and cultural outpost of Europe. Americans are enthusiastic players in the Imperial sweepstakes; for the most part, at the expense of Spain. (Hence the term New Imperialism).

In Africa, in the South Pacific, and in Burma (Myanmar), Indochina, and Malaya, as well as in Indonesia, a new “forward movement” was taking place to fulfil the demands of raw material and a new market for finished goods, investments for profits, etc. The New imperialism was also seen as power and status symbol among the colonies.

One necessary condition for the New Imperialism, was technology. Prior to the 1870s Europeans could overawe native peoples along the coasts of Africa and Asia but lacked the firepower, mobility, and communications that would have been needed to pacify the interior.  The tsetse fly and the Anopheles mosquito—bearers of sleeping sickness and malaria—were the ultimate defenders of African and Asian jungles.

The correlation of forces between Europe and the colonizable world shifted, however, with the invention of shallow-draft riverboats, the steamship and telegraph, the repeater rifle and Maxim gun, and the discovery (in India) that quinine is an effective prophylactic against malaria. By 1880 small groups of European regulars, armed with modern weapons and exercising fire discipline, could overwhelm many times their number of native troops.


Colonial take over by Britain :

In 1819, great Britain founded a colony at the tip of the Malaya Peninsula called Singapore, which was major stopping point for traffic going to and from China; Britain also advanced into the kingdoms of Burma to protect their possession in India and to gain land route for China.

Colonial take over by US :

In 1898, United States defeated Spanish fleet in Manila Bay, allowing Americans to colonize Philippines. US believed it as moral obligation to civilize other parts of the world, but it was motivated by economic benefits and to check expansion of Japan

The US, the supreme capitalist power, largely rejected the old colonial model. In its stead, less coercive, but even more binding economic ties were secured through ‘aid,’ loans, investments, and post-war institutions like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. This ‘neo-colonial’ tactic especially recommended itself because of the needs of the Cold War and the vast economic asymmetries favouring US power. 

It is important to note that their choice of a more benign imperialism was not based upon moral considerations, but self-interest. Moreover, it necessarily preferred stability when possible, even if stability came through the exercise of military might. 

In the post-World War II era, the Marshall Plan and The Point Four program were early examples of neo-colonial Trojan Horses, programs aimed at cementing exploitative capitalist relations while posturing as generosity and assistance. They, and other programs, were successful efforts to weave consent, seduction, and extortion into a robust foreign policy securing the goals of imperialism without the moral revulsion of colonial repression and the cost of vast colonies.

In the wake of World War II, US imperialism reaped generous harvests from the ‘new’ imperialism. Commerce Department figures show total earnings on US investments abroad nearly doubling from 1946 through 1950. As of 1950, 69% of US direct investments abroad were in extractive industries, much of that in oil production. Clearly the US had recognized its enormous thirst for oil to both fuel economic growth and power the military machine necessary to protect and enforce the ‘internationalization of business.’

The idea of parleying economic power, capital resources, loans, and ‘aid’ into neo-colonial dependency through the mechanisms of free and unfettered trade–the ‘internationalization of business’–may well be seen as the precursor of the various trade organizations and trade agreements of today, like GATT, NAFTA, TPP, and so many other instruments for greasing the rails for US corporations.


However, New- Imperialism, brought benefits to colonies in terms of transportation and communication technologies, modern and global economic system, commercial agriculture, etc. But, it ruined the traditional economy, loss of culture, exploitation of peasants, which also raised the national consciousness and understanding about its impact led to freedom struggle in such colonies.