1. What was the effect of the break-up of the Ottoman Empire and what two major problems are continued to the present time?
The disintegration of the Ottoman Empire enabled the Great Powers to reconstruct the Arab world. On account of the League of Nations’ mandate system, the core of the Ottoman Empire was fragmented into six states: Turkey and the five new Arab states of Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Iraq, and Transjordan. Saudi Arabia and Yemen also emerged as distinct political entities. Of the mandates, France controlled Syria and Lebanon, and Britain controlled Palestine, Iraq, and Transjordan. The partition of the Ottoman Empire abolished the last vestiges of Arab unity and, in its place, created a multiplicity of factions united by ethnicity, religion, and tribal affiliation.
Such divisions caused sectarian, dynastic, and tribal conflict between inhabitants of the mandates, as in the case of the Kurdish people in northern Syria who revolted against the prospect of submergence in an Arab state. Now as well as before, Kurdish national rights are hindered by three interrelated issues: linguistic and religious diversity; political disunity; and, most importantly, external influence, repeated manipulation, and lack of superpower’s support in the midst of such repressive regimes as Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Armenia and Azerbaijan. Furthermore, Western diplomacy in the partitioned territory produced worldwide effects. The most prominent response to such diplomacy occurred in the British mandate of Palestine, which was beleaguered by the incompatibility of Palestinian Arab self-determination with Britain’s Balfour Declaration and Zionist aims in Palestine. This British policy was an integral factor in the so-called Palestine Question, which is at the heart of the present-day Arab-Israel conflict.
Also, the Palestine Question continues to be central in international affairs, for the hegemony of industrial and postindustrial societies depends upon oil-a commodity entangled in the volatile conflict of over Palestine. Most strategically important to the British was the safeguard of their own fundamental interests in the Arab lands: the protection of the Suez Canal and the growing stream of oil from Iraq and Iran. The latter point led to the construction of a pipeline spanning from northern Iraq across Transjordan and Palestine to Haifa. This oil discovery led to major political restructuring beginning in the late twentieth-century, as the world developed a general dependence on Middle Eastern oil supply, a dependency that still exists today.
2. What changes did Kemal Atatï¿½rk make in Turkey?
Under the dictatorship of Kemal Atatï¿½rk, the Republic of Turkey enacted reform measures to transform the Islamic state by modernization. Such enactments included: abolition of the caliphate; secularization of Turkish law in a code comparable to a Swiss model; abandonment of the Muslim calendar; and constitutional amendment, removing the statement declaring Turkey an Islamic. Furthermore, polygamy was outlawed; primary education became obligatory and schools ceased to provide religious instruction; a Latin script was introduced and the written use of Arabic characters for the Turkish language ceased. Beginning in 1935, the weekly day of rest was changed from Friday-the Islamic Holy day-to Sunday, and the word vikend-the period from 1:00 p.m.
Saturday to midnight Sunday-entered the language. Wearing the fez, which was considered too Muslim, became a criminal offense; however, the veil was not forbidden. In essence, more secular European outlooks replaced the prior Islamic view of society. A national past was eliminated from textbooks, and it was claimed that Adam was of Turkish descent. And, lastly, Turkish women received both the right to vote and the encouragement to enter the professional work force.
3. What changes did Reza Khan make in Persia?
Reza Khan ruled Persia until 1941 in a manner akin to that of an Iranian Kemal, that is, with the determination to achieve Persian independence through modernization. In 1928, he abolished the capitulations, while driving forward industrialization and the improvement of communications. Attributable to his secular aims, Reza Khan abolished the veil and religious school systems, and formed a close association with Turkey. Lastly, he made notable strides in the diplomacy of oil by terminating a concession held by the Anglo-Persian Oil Company. The outcome was evidence of the maturing independence of Persia as well as a turning point in the nation’s history, which was further vindicated when Persia was officially renamed Iran in 1935.
4. Who was the leader of the fascio di combattimento and how did the group gain power in Italy?
In 1919, Benito Mussolini spearheaded a political movement based on the fascio di combattimento-“union for combat.” The group, consisting of a subset of young thugs, sought power by any means, including violence. First, socialists and working-class organizations were targeted, followed by elected authorities. In due course, followers of the fascist movement received official or quasi-official patronage and protection from local authorities and police, for constitutional politicians could no longer subdue fascism by cooperation. By 1922, the political movement achieved notable electoral success; meanwhile, it inhibited orderly government in multiple areas by terrorizing its political enemies on the left and impelling the communist municipal government of Bologna to flee. The triumph of the fascist group was evident in the same year, when the king summoned Mussolini to form a government and, in effect, head the “March on Rome.”
5. Name and discuss three proofs that Roberts makes about an end to the 19th Century liberalism in western civilization.
Following the Great War, nineteenth-century liberalism was severed from western civilization. The questioning and qualifying of established ideas and values, such as the liberal idealization of the individual, accompanied the recession of liberal politics as well as liberal society. As evidence for the decline of nineteenth-century liberalism, Roberts accentuates the cultural welcoming of Freudianism during the inter-war period. Sigmund Freud-founder of psychoanalysis-redefined the way humanity viewed the natural world; he provided a new understanding of behavior and, in essence, a new cultural mythology. Though often misinterpreted, his ideas called in question the concept of the rational, responsible, consciously motivated individual-a central notion of western civilization and a presupposition of the right of society to impose morality.
Now, people were compelled to recognize that moral self-control was possibly damaging to their mental health. In addition to Marxism, Freudianism was one of the most blatant messages about traditional culture in western intellectual life in the inter-war period that disrupted liberal civilization. Moreover, the liberal concept of individualism was shattered in response to the emerging collective values of communism and fascism, the idolization of class, volk and nation. In conjunction with intellectual and cultural relativism, these factors attacked the core assumption of liberal civilization-the moral and mental autonomy of the individual. Roberts provides further evidence of the end of nineteenth-century liberalism in the triumph of modernism in the realm of art.
This movement reflected the uncertainty that accompanied the general skepticism of long-established liberal ideas. Modernism was a shift in the focus of the arts to the subjective, from the object depicted or story narrated to a vision, a state of mind and primal reaction, above all to the state of mind of the artist. Characteristics of this art movement included the abandonment of figurative tradition, perspective and illusion of depth. Moreover, a new dislocation of the image in painting emerged. Modernism reached its climax after 1918 in the world of “Dada” and “Surrealism,” both of which entered new levels of disintegration.
Lastly, Roberts claims the evidence to end of nineteenth-century liberalism is observable in the sweeping changes-the dominance of Freud’s philosophy, the chaos of the arts in the form of modernism, the feebleness and intellectual inadequacy of twentieth-century Christianity, and the incomprehensibility of a natural world that seemed unintelligible in a world of bending space and relative time-that caused society seek new bearings. Such a bewildered state perhaps prompted influenced the new irrationalism in politics and reinvigorated older ones, such as nationalism.
With the rise of uncertainty as demonstrated in the popularity of Freudianism, the collective values of communism and fascism, modernism, as well as society’s search for new bearings, Roberts asserts that a new world perspective emerged at the expense of liberal certainties of the autonomy of the individual, objective moral criteria, rationality, the authority of parents, and an explicable mechanical universe-Putting an end to nineteenth-century liberalism in western civilization.