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BHIC-111: History of Modern Europe - I (c. 1780 - 1939)

BHIC-111: History of Modern Europe - I (c. 1780 - 1939)

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2022-23

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Assignment Code: BHIC-111/ASST/TMA/2022-23

Course Code: BHIC-111

Assignment Name: History of Modern Europe –I (C. 1780 – 1939)

Year: 2022-2023

Verification Status: Verified by Professor


There are three Sections in the Assignment. You have to answer all questions in the Sections.




Answer the following in about 500 words each. 20x2


Q1) Discuss the importance of judiciary and political parties in democracy.

Ans) Paradoxically, as the contemporary state consolidated authority, American politics grew "democratic." The state claimed to reflect the "public will" and the "sovereignty of the people," thus there should be no paradox. The electoral system mirrored the people's sovereignty. A democratic or people's state had such great power. The modern state arose from revolutionary upheavals in America, Britain, and France in the late 18th century.


Importance of Political Parties

Democratic politics didn't mean people ruled. People can't be rulers. They could have ruled directly if the population were small enough, a few hundred at most, to convene frequently, make decisions, and hold public office. Modern nations have millions of people; thus, democracy is a fantasy. In Europe and America since the 18th century, people elect representatives who choose rulers. Modern democratic constitutions take this shape.


Revolutionaries and counterrevolutionaries wanted a different democracy. As in liberal democratic politics, they gained authority and legitimacy from popular support and choice, as shown by elections and votes. Elections might be organised using coercion, voters could be excluded, or their ballots marked by others, and people could only vote for one candidate. It should not be assumed that Stalin or Hitler did not enjoy popular backing at some times. They tried to show their popularity through all election procedures.


So, dictatorships can be imposed democratically. In 1851, Louis Napoleon was chosen through a plebiscite in France; he then proclaimed himself emperor and ruled by decree on this democratic foundation. Many dictators have utilised plebiscites and referendums to prove their democracy. Hitler, who won the 1932 elections and became chancellor of Germany, acquired dictatorial powers from the Reichstag in 1933. The Bolshevik regime in the Soviet Union relied on soviets, or people-elected councils.


Importance of Judiciary

The bureaucracy, armed forces, paramilitary forces, and police didn't claim to be democratic, but they were the omnipotent instruments of the modern democratic state. Equally important was the judiciary and legal profession. Ironically, it's deemed fundamental to democracy despite being selected and answerable to the people.


The judiciary has two roles. One is that it judged conflicts by applying the law and interpreting it as it did so. It settled conflicts between individuals and the state. Judges might rule in favour of individuals even though the state claimed to represent the people. This is why political politicians have called the court reactionary for opposing their wishes. This is the first reason a non-elected, non-responsible court is essential to democracy.


Next, judicial review is crucial to democracy. This implies the Supreme Court can review legislation to determine if it violates the constitution. Supreme court judges may reject a statute enacted by the people's representatives. Some of an independent judiciary's powers are practically comparable to those of the legislative, while some are superior. Such extraordinary powers are allowed on the basis that the written constitution contains the democratic essence of the political system and that only legal experts can decide if new laws are compatible with it.


In the US, judicial review is famous and extensive. Diverse European countries have different procedures, but the British system famously lacks judicial review, while judge-made law through interpretation of earlier laws is common. Independent judiciaries limit the power of democracy in all pluralist liberal democracies, and these limits are part of democratic theory through the notion of the separation of powers.


Q2) Analyse the process and nature of industrialization in Britain.

Ans) Modern industrial production was initially realised in Britain, as is generally known, and it peaked in the middle of the nineteenth century. The first industrialised country to maintain a balance between population and productivity was Britain. The significant growth in population was the first time that per capita increased during the nineteenth century. Britain continued to lead the industrial world for more than 50 years.


Agrarian Structure

The transfer of human and material resources from agriculture to industry was a key element of modern industrialisation. We discover that, in this regard, Britain was light years ahead of other European nations in the middle of the nineteenth century. A population that was mostly engaged in non-agricultural activities required increased production as a result of the rapid agrarian changes. The term "agricultural revolution" refers to this development of English agriculture over a certain time span.


In comparison to other nations, Britain began this process significantly early. It involved four key elements: the transition from the mediaeval open-field system to farming in larger enclosed units; the acquisition of common land for cultivation and the promotion of livestock husbandry; the eviction of the peasantry from the land and their conversion to agricultural labour; and a significant increase in agricultural productivity.


Demographic Changes

In comparison to the rest of Europe, Britain saw a greater pace of population growth. As a result of irreversible population expansion that took place during the 18th century, the population of England and Wales nearly tripled from 5.8 million in 1701 to 14 million in 1831. The population grew slowly in the first half of the 18th century, but it quickly increased in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. An average growth rate of 10% per decade was noted between 1781 and 1911. English population increase greatly outpaced that of other European nations. Between 1680 and 1820, the population of England expanded by 133%, whereas France's population increased by 39% and the Netherlands' population increased by merely 8%. The development of the new economy and industrialization and population expansion.


Technological Innovations

The practical application of mechanical devices to increase productivity had a dramatic impact on the industrialization process. Furthermore, the initial wave of modern industrialisation was defined by a number of inventions rather than the adoption of a single invention. Instead, the drastic transformation of the British economy in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries was ultimately driven by the rising adoption of a group of technologies. British businesspeople were comparatively more imaginative and risk-takers when it came to technology. Numerous labour-saving devices were created and put to the test in the manufacturing process.


The British economy was therefore the most industrialised, urbanised, commercialised, and monetised in Europe in the middle of the nineteenth century. The limits of this early industrialization period were, however, relatively constrained. By the 1840s, all other industries aside from cotton were only partially mechanised. The most mechanised sector of the economy, textile manufacturing, only employed 6% of the total labour force by the 1850s. Most industrial workers continued to utilise hand tools.


Rapid railroad construction starting in the 1830s was a key component supporting more intensive industry, which resulted in a huge increase in the output of iron, steel, and coal. A new phase of industrialization focused on capital goods industries, particularly iron and steel, took place in Britain from the 1840s onward until the end of the nineteenth century. Additionally, during this time, new technology advancements across industries were used to generalise factory output.




Answer the following questions in about 250 words each. 10x3


Q1) Discuss the role of Bismarck in establishing dictatorship with popular support.

Ans) The acceptance of authoritarian structures of power was more common than what might be inferred from the impression that such regimes only arise as a result of contingency in exceptional circumstances in some contexts, such as Germany in the second part of the 19th century. The history of the German empire, which was established in 1871 as a result of Prussia's victory over the Second French Empire, illustrates how an authoritarian government with popular support was forced to use imperial expansion as a strategy to achieve domestic political stability.


Otto von Bismarck, who assumed the office of Minister-President of Prussia in 1863 and later held the title of Imperial Chancellor after the unification of Germany in 1871, was the individual who was able to successfully lay down the fundamental principles of this policy. In truth, a beleaguered Prussian monarchy summoned Bismarck from his farm in East Prussia in 1863 to resolve a political and constitutional crisis brought on by a divide between the administration and the liberal majority in the Prussian parliament over the very sensitive topic of army expansion.


The military ministry under Von Roon attempted to erect barriers against "illegitimate" parliamentary participation in the government's prerogatives, but the liberals desired to exercise parliamentary authority over how the army was to be conducted. When a new statute was presented to the Landtag for budgetary approval of the war ministry's intentions for army expansion, the conflict initially took shape in 1860. This was viewed by the liberal majority as a move toward increasing militarization of society. They worried that increasing the size of the regular army at the expense of the citizen militia would give Prussian dictatorship a tool for repression.


In the end, his ability to "drive internal politics on the steam power of foreign affairs" was what made this Bismarckian tactic of garnering parliamentary support for the conservative administration through electoral machinations successful. He rapidly accomplished the prophecy that he would "overcome internal obstacles with a robust foreign policy." Imperial expansion started to appear on the agenda of the Bismarckian state about the same time he was busy promoting an industrial-agrarian combination against the liberal opposition, since the constitutional crisis of the 1860s had been addressed through a successful foreign policy.


Q2) Analyze political, cultural, and economic background of Italian nationalism.

Ans) Italian nationalism is frequently believed to have its roots in the Renaissance, it didn't become a political force until the 1830s, under Giuseppe Mazzini's leadership. In the 1860s and 1870s, it was a driving force behind the Risorgimento.


Political Background of Italian Nationalism

The growth of Italian culture and ideas provided the country a classical heritage, which discouraged Italian nationalists from identifying with popular culture. As Peter Burke has argued, the finding of dialect was contentious because there already a standard literary Italian. The cultural elitism of Italian humanists and literary geniuses was too great for Italian nationalism of the 19th century to overcome.


Cultural Background of Italian Nationalism

A Roman Republic was established following the uprising in Rome and the Pope's exile. The Pope's attempts to return were successful in June 1849 with the aid of French and Austrian armies. Both the Pope and the Catholic Church had a conservative role during the period of Italian unification. The Pope barred the faithful from taking part in national politics after losing temporal authority, and the ban stood until 1904. Nominal Catholics began casting ballots in elections once the suffrage was expanded in 1882, even though full participation was not authorised until 1919. The Church's hostility to a secular government, along with socialist, anarchist, and labour movements, led to the fusion of anticlericalism with parliamentary democracy. Only after World War I did Christian Democracy and the Popularis become a political force.


Economic Background of Italian Nationalism

Similar to Germany, the Italian national movement was not supported by a powerful industrial bourgeoisie. Prior to political unification, Italy had less economic unification than Germany since its customs union couldn't compete with the German Zollverein. The significant economic backwardness of the Italian south was still another major issue. There was no "one, fundamentally coherent Italian economy," according to several academics who have studied the Italian economy from the 18th century to the middle of the 19th century. However, Italy was unlike any undeveloped region of either pre-industrial Europe or any other continent, even if it experienced an economic downturn in the 17th century.


Q3) Explain the transition to modern class society in Europe.

Ans) The pre-modern society served as the incubator for the ideas that would eventually give rise to the modern class society. The class conflicts between the bourgeoisie and the peasantry as well as the nation state as a political entity posed a threat to the feudal social systems. The alteration of the feudal social structure's mainstays, the landed aristocracy and village communities, made the transition a challenging one. The feudal economic system's terrain and methods of class conflict were destroyed, and capitalism emerged.


Strong, centralised monarchs with many of the traits of a modern state and nation were established in early modern Europe. The political power of these absolutist regimes gradually weakened the feudal landed aristocracy, and as trade, commerce, and agricultural practises advanced, this aristocracy underwent a fundamental change in character. The state system of Europe in the second half of the eighteenth century was marked by conflict between monarchies, which frequently invoked divine right in an effort to expand and centralise their power, and landed aristocracies, which generally resisted them and sought to reassert historical privileges.


The bourgeoisie and monarchy formed a natural partnership in the new nation states. They objected to tolls and other insignificant rules that impeded trade and other economic activity. In the shift from feudal societies to contemporary class societies structured as nation-states, municipalities and the bourgeoisie emerged as significant factors. Once the economic ties that supported them began to crumble, the estate system was altered, if not entirely destroyed.


In Europe, social forces whose interests and value systems were very different from those of the former lords, the peasants, and even the artisans organised in guilds began to emerge with the emergence of a significant commercial bourgeoisie, whose sources of wealth were based on sources other than wealth, and the development of a unified market, domestic and international in scale. The putting out system of production in rural society aided the emergence of the bourgeoisie, which was liberated at the expense of the guild-organized craftspeople.


The nobility of every nation was the richest segment of the people notwithstanding the developing industry. Even though land was the landed aristocracy's main source of income, its influence extended beyond its estates. Every aspect of life was affected by their influence. The emergence of capitalism persisted throughout the 18th century. A brand-new type of civilization had emerged, although it still had elements of the previous one.




Answer the following questions in about 100 words each. 6x5


Q1) Discuss the notion of liberty.

Ans) The British polity's claim to support "liberty" for its citizens needs to be noted at this point. In addition to several British writers, a number of foreign observers emphasised in the eighteenth century that the British democracy was unique not just because of its potent parliament but also because its citizens generally enjoyed freedom of expression and security of person and property. Some contemporary thinkers have also observed that by the start of the nineteenth century, Britain was increasingly being governed by the rule of law rather than by using direct force to extract surplus from the working classes.


But during the eighteenth century, the British state placed its greatest emphasis on bolstering the agrarian gentry at the expense of self-sufficient farmers and labourers. The enclosure movement, which involved displacing the poor farmers and converting the common land of rural communities into vast estates used for commercial farming, had strong parliamentary backing.

Q2) Write a note on the Reform Act of 1832.

Ans) One of the most significant moments in Britain's transition to modern politics was the enactment of the Parliamentary Reform Act of 1832, which gave the country's growing middle class a stake in the country's political stability. Since the late eighteenth century, as industrialization increased, there have been increasing calls for change of the British parliamentary system. Particularly after the 1780s, a number of laws were submitted to Parliament in an effort to better represent the new industrial hubs. But none amassed enough support. The ruling Tories were still opposed to any constitutional change, despite the commitment to reform of the radicals under Burdett's leadership and some Whig leaders like Brougham and Russell.


Politics today also benefited from the rise of contemporary political parties designed for electoral rivalry and the mobilisation of public opinion. The Whigs and the Tories had operated up to 1832 more or less as factions battling for power in the king's administration, but with no structure or order inside or outside of parliament. Following the Reform Act, they were compelled to reinvent themselves as modern parties and contend for control of the parliament on the basis of stated platforms and an organisational network that reached every region of the nation.


Q3) Impact of Urbanization on Urban Growth

Ans) Industrialization had a variety of social and economic effects. The three biggest shifts were from rural to urban, from agriculture to industry, and finally from mediaeval to contemporary. We shall primarily concentrate on the changes brought on by the progress of urbanisation based on the history of humanity.

  1. There were discrepancies between the rural and urban ecosystems due to the unplanned rise of new towns and the overpopulation of older ones. People from rural areas have more issues and challenges transitioning to urban life.

  2. Second, a sizable population of rural people were drawn to urban regions to supply the need created by industrial development. Because many rural migrants took their rural cultural traditions to urban areas, this phenomenon is known as the "ruralisation of the city."

  3. Third, the expansion of transportation and the advancement of transport technologies made it possible to ship large quantities of perishable agricultural produce to urban areas. This promoted population expansion in cities.


Q4) Write a note on Women movements for equal rights.

Ans) Women were not just passive observers of the injustice that they endured in a culture and society that was ruled by males. A segment of the intellectuals paid close attention to the idea of equality because it challenged the prevalent belief in the superiority of natural males. By the start of the twentieth century, the organised women's movement, which had its beginnings in the nineteenth, had succeeded in fortifying female bonds and pressuring the government to recognise women's equal rights.


Along with political, social, and intellectual advancements, economic changes also influenced the movement for women's rights and emancipation in Europe. The socialist movement, which criticised the new industrial socioeconomic order, and the 1848 Revolution, which demanded popular control, encouraged many people in Europe to challenge the status of women in politics and society. Growing middle class support for women's property rights, access to divorce, and voting rights in Britain and other nations fueled women's movements. In daily life, there was discussion over the status of women. Female suffrage was demanded in the 1860s, and the National Society for Women Suffrage was founded in 1867.


Q5) Russification of the Ukraine

Ans) Nationalist organisations like the Society of Saints Cyril and Methodius were repressed, and the Ukrainian language had long been outlawed. Since numerous publications were outlawed and the Russian language was mandated at all levels, Ukrainian nationalism turned to theatre as an outlet. However, nationalists from Ukraine fled across the border to Galicia in the Habsburg Monarchy, where they were welcomed with open arms.


In fact, just as the Russian state supported Lithuanian against Pole and Estonian and Latvian against Baltic German, the Habsburgs were active in promoting Ukrainian nationalism among the Ruthenes of Galicia in opposition to the perilous preponderance of Polish nationalism and culture. Since the 1780s, the Habsburgs have been playing this game; it picked up steam after 1848. Ukrainian nationalism so grew stronger in the Habsburg Empire than it had in the Ukrainian regions of the Russian Empire. Galicia remained the most nationalist, vehemently anti-Russian, and anti-Soviet region of the Ukraine even after it was eventually merged with it after World War II.

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