European Common Market (1957)

This document is a press statement written from the United States’ perspective that described a potential European Common Market and free rade area. This common market was to be comprised of Belgium, France, the German Federal Republic, Italy, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands. The intent of these negotiations was to eliminate trade barriers between member countries and to establish a common external tariff towards outside countries. Both the United States and Great Britain favored this initiative because it would further the political and economic strength of Western Europe by unifying this market.… Read the rest here

Nazi-Soviet Pact/Stalin’s Speech

The first of Wednesday’s readings, the Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact, was a document that created a mutually beneficial, albeit brief, truce between Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s Russia. Although both countries had fundamentally different political systems and ambitions, Russia favored entering into a non-aggression pact because it knew that Germany was a highly industrialized, blossoming state that posed them a significant threat. Stalin knew that if Hitler chose to strike Russia, they would not be adequately prepared to defend themselves.… Read the rest here

Adolf Hitler

In today’s readings: The Speech of April 12th, 1921, Mein Kampf, and The 25 Points of 1920, Adolf Hitler expressed many of the tenets of his political ideology, which was still in its fledgling stage. In this National Socialist ideology Hitler rejected both leftist and rightist ideologies alike. He stated, “the condition which must precede every act is the will and the courage to speak the truth-and that we do not see today in either the Right or in the Left.” Hitler despised capitalism because he believed that the Jews were able to harness it as a tool to oppress the German population through economic means.… Read the rest here

What is to be Done?

In Vladimir Lenin’s What is to be Done?, he articulated his views regarding the composition and organizational structure of the SocialDemocratic Party. He believed that a proper revolution required a small, tightly knit, highly select, and politically well-versed group of individuals at the top to lead the party in the manner they saw most fit. He argued that a true revolutionary is somebody whose profession is that of a revolutionary. This true revolutionary is somebody who can commit their wholehearted time, energy, and passion to the cause, without being simultaneously hampered by the responsibilities of a “regular” job.… Read the rest here

Emmeline Pankhurst on Women’s Suffrage

The predominant middle class value system of the 19th and early 20th centuries articulated an image of the “ideal woman.” This ideal woman was to be quiet and reserved, obedient and dependent on her husband, and the manager of the domestic sphere (the household). While much of the middle class, women included, aspired to exhibit these ideals, there were many who were dissatisfied with the prevailing notions of women’s role in society.   One critic in particular, Emmeline Pankhurst, in the document titled Militant Suffragist, 1913, rejected many of society’s conceptions concerning women.… Read the rest here

Manifesto of the Communist Party

Of the many thought provoking and avant-garde ideas contained in Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels’ Manifesto of the Communist Party, the core concept is explicitly stated in the opening line of the document where they wrote, “The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggle.” (126) This concept of class antagonisms is alluded to throughout several portions of the text. They believed that the proletariat would ultimately rise up and unify, dissolving all class distinctions to create a society conducted by a tier-less working class.… Read the rest here

The Wealth of Nations and Essay on Population

An Inquiry into the Nature and Cause of the Wealth of Nations

Author: Adam Smith. A pioneering economist who developed revolutionary concepts associated with free market economic theory. He argued that rational people, acting in their own self-interest, could create en efficient economic system. He studied in England but was of Scottish decent. He was influenced by the Scottish Enlightenment.

Context: The work was published in 1776. It was published during the beginning of the industrial revolution in response to the outdated economic ideas of the time.… Read the rest here

The Cult of the Supreme Being

During the initial stages of the French Revolution there was growing support for the separation of church and state. Many of the contributing members of society from all social strata (the Third Estate), ranging from peasants at the lower end to merchants at the top, began to reject the Catholic Church because it was perceived as a tool of repression and subjugation. Several of the revolution’s leaders initially tried to completely distance French society from any degree of religious inclination.… Read the rest here

Berlin Stories

In the section titled Sally Bowles, of Isherwood’s The Berlin Stories, the protagonist of the novel, Chris, relates his tumultuous relationship with an aspiring actress named Sally. The presence of money, or lack thereof, is a constant theme throughout the entire novel. Sally is interested in finding wealthy gentlement whom she can swindle with her good looks and charm. Sally and Chris confide in each other and are engaged in a platonic relationship. They jokingly referred to each other as “gold diggers” when they both befriend and financially benefit from a wealth gentleman named Clide.… Read the rest here

Mazower Chapter 5

In chapter 5 of Mazower’s Dark Continent, he describes the various approaches and policies that Hitler implemented in an attempt to convert Europe into a functioning German empire. Many of Hitler’s policies were based upon the 25 Points of 1920 that the Nazi party created during their infancy.

Within chapter 5, Mazower used the heading “Living in Historic Times,” to emphasize the drastic changes that were taking place throughout this period. Germany had conquered an enormous land mass as a result of their revolutionary Blitzkrieg tactics. Read the rest here