Part Three, Long Essay: Choose one of the following two essay questions to answer. Support your argument with specific examples from your readings and the lecture. Be careful to provide a basic chronology for the events you describe; this means you must put down the approximate dates in which they occur. [40 points]
A) The First World War ushered in an era of uncertainty and general discontent in the immediate postwar period. What was the nature of this malaise, and how did writers like Gertrude Stein, Oswald Spengler, and Aldous Huxley (Brave New World) critique emerging changes in global society? Next, identify the underlying crises that ultimately led to the Great Depression. What actions did national governments initially take to avert the collapse, and why did they fail? What new government programs did Franklin Roosevelt advocate to revitalize the economy and American society as a whole? Finally, what social and political alternatives emerged in Europe, Japan, and other regions of the world as a direct response to these postwar anxieties? In your answer, describe the rise of both Italian fascism and National Socialism. Why were these new ideologies considered appealing modern alternatives to established democratic systems? Be sure to utilize your
readings from the Depression era, Brave New World, Hitler’s Mein Kampf, and other relevant documents to make a persuasive case.
B) Historian Arno Mayer contends that the Second World War constituted only one half of a singular foundational event, a massive global war with a short intermission in between. Do you agree with his premise? What characteristics of the Second World War made it similar to the Great War, and in what ways was it remarkably different? What were the most significant turning points of the war? What factors led the nearly victorious Axis powers to ultimate failure, and what innate advantages allowed the Allies to turn the tide? Finally, discuss how legacies of the conflict like the Holocaust and Hiroshima transformed the postwar world. Draw on specific ideas from lecture and discussion, as well as On Hitler’s Mountain, Embracing Defeat, and your other assigned readings to support your argument.