World History Homework Twelve Answers - Student 3

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1. List, by order of influence, who you think were the five most influential persons in all of world history. By a Christian or atheist standard, Jesus Christ is by far the most influential figure in World History, but because he is much more than a historical figure, I leave him out of my list.

Muhammad is my fifth most historical figure; his religion has captivated believers ever since his time, good or bad Muhammad's Q'ran has caused many great wars up through today.

My fourth figure is Martin Luther; Luther's beliefs led him to challenge the Catholic faith and rebel. Luther's rebellion, along with other similar rebellions of the time, largely caused by Luther's, have irrevocably destroyed the idea of a unified Christian Church.

My third figure would be Karl Marx; Marx's books have caused massive starvation, bloodshed, economic collapse throughout the twentieth century.

My second figure is Thomas Jefferson; Jefferson combined all of the great ideas of the Enlightenment into our national Declaration of Independence, which has established America as the beacon of liberty and equality.

My choice for the most influential person in history is Socrates; Socrates was the first great philosopher. He was able to develop the dialogues which were the fundamental method of philosophical discourse. Socrates also inspired future thinkers to challenge their preconceived notions.

Very good analysis. My biggest objection would be to ranking Jefferson #2 in all of history, but you support it with good arguments. Ranking Socrates #1 is difficult to dispute.

2. List, by order of influence, what you think were the five most influential "breakthroughs" or ideas in all of world history. My fifth most important idea of World History is Communism: Communism, the idea of collective sharing, traces roots from Jamestown to the Revolutionary France to Karl Marx to Soviet Russia to today's Communist governments. A theory that has been disproven so many times and yet keeps shooting up again and again must be viewed as influential.

Fourth is Deism, the philosophy of a God that has no role in our lives except to have originally created humanity. Deism was popular among Enlightenment philosophers as well as many of America's founding fathers such as Jefferson and Franklin. Since Deism has influenced so many intellectual giants it must be viewed as influential.

Third is pragmatism, the philosophy of putting self-advancement at the front of one's actions. World History has been irrevocably distorted by this philosopy, from Machiavelli's famous book "The Prince" which teaches how to manipulate society to your personal advancement, to the Philosophy of Social Darwinism, which teaches that the only order in society is that of strength, and that the stronger may subjugate the weaker.

Second is Equality. From history's beginning, governments have tried to achieve social order, but only after the Declaration of Indepence has equality been treated as a goal. Since then equality has been used to justify the release of slaves, Communism, the laws granting women and blacks suffrage, same sex marriage, and many other movements. However adverse some of its effects may be, equality has clearly been a major breakthrough in World History.

In my opinion, Christianity has been the greatest idea in World History. Christianity has produced a unique western culture, been invoked as the cause of religious wars, and induced people to be charitable and altruistic. We live in a fundamentally Christian culture, an in my opinion of all ideas, Christianity has had the greatest impact on World History.

This is the best list in the class, with very good explanations for each choice. Your comparison between Machiavelli and Darwin is particularly insightful.

3. Compare and contrast World War II to World War I, focusing on their causes and effects rather than specific battles. World War I was caused by European alliances whereas World War II was caused by economic loss of Germany, caused by World War I. World War I was fought for an unclear reason and even now no-one can really say there was a "right" and "wrong" side. World War II, however, was a war between a racist power-crazed mass-murderer and western society trying to protect themselves from his rule. World War I was fought in Europe and Africa whereas World War II was also fought in Asia. The United States' reluctant entrance in the middle of both wars is a common feature of both wars. The effects are also similar as World War I caused World War II and the allies' generous amount of land granted to Soviet Russia caused the Cold War that would continue for most of the rest of the century.

Excellent analysis.

4. Add three terms and descriptions (five for credit for two questions) to the Study Guide. I added Erwin Rommel, Stalingrad and Yalta.

Good selections.

7. Does history repeat itself? Explain, with some examples. Yes, and there are even some examples relevant to today. The first is Islam's expansion. As Islam has expanded throughout World History it has always caused bloodshed, be it Charles Martel's "Battle of Tours" or "The Crusades". We must not allow Islam to similarly expand in our country today. Another example of history repeating itself is science mixing with non-science. Examples of people believing theories because non-scientists support them are manifest in Aristotle's theory that flies originated from rotting food, and Galileo's trying to support his (true) theory by stating that the Church supported his ideas. Today, when politicians and celebrities claim to understand "Global Warming" and thus make generalized statements or regulations that undermine the scientific debate that is still occurring, history is repeating itself. These are but a few examples of history repeating itself.

One of the best answers in the entire course, with a superb reference to a current controversy (global warming).

9. Who was right, President Truman or General Douglas MacArthur? Explain. I believe General MacArthur was right. Basically during the time period America's chief goal was to fight international communism; at home by such leaders as Joseph McCarthy, in Eastern Europe by supporting anti-communist "freedom fighters" as well as West Berlin, and finally in Asia by trying to stop the spread of Asian Communism, primarily in the Korean War. MacArthur's idea of taking an aggressive stance would have freed a large section of Korea from the yoke of Communism as well as giving the Capitalist free world another victory over Communism.

Right, and explained very well.

10. Discuss any issue or controversy related to World War II. I chose to write about the Yalta Conference. This was a conference between Joseph Stalin, Franklin Roosevelt, and Winston Churchill. The conference primarily focused on dividing the land captured in World War II between the Soviet Union, America, and England. Throughout the conference Roosevelt was influenced by a Communist insurgent, Alger Hiss, and thus, to the chagrin of Churchill, aggressively negotiated in favor of the USSR. This would result in the USSR being granted East Berlin, Poland, and much more territory that was destined to be oppressed and persecuted by the totalitarian "Evil Empire" that was the USSR.

Superb answer again, but "insurgent" is not the right word to describe Alger Hiss. "Spy" or "infiltrator" would be better, because he kept his communist work a secret and denied it for his entire life. But it was proven anyway.

Paul R.

Grade: 70/70. One of the finest homeworks in the entire course.--Andy Schlafly 19:50, 10 December 2011 (EST)
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