Table of Contents
TAKING SIDES: Clashing Views in World History, Volume 2: The Modern Era to Present, Third Edition
Unit 1 The Modern World
- Issue 1. Did the Industrial Revolution Lead to a Sexual Revolution?
YES: Edward Shorter, from “Female Emancipation, Birth Control, and Fertility in European History,” American Historical Review (June, 1973)
NO: Louise A. Tilley, Joan W. Scott, and Miriam Cohen, from “Womens Work and European Fertility Patterns,” Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies (Winter, 1976)
Historian Edward Shorter argues that employment opportunities outside the home that opened up with industrialization led to a rise in the illegitimacy rate, which he attributes to the sexual emancipation of unmarried, working-class women. Historians Louise A. Tilley, Joan W. Scott, and Miriam Cohen counter that unmarried women worked to meet an economic need, not to gain personal freedom, and they attribute the rise in illegitimacy rates to broken marriage promises and the absence of traditional support from family, community, and the church.
- Issue 2. Was the French Revolution Worth Its Human Costs?
YES: Peter Kropotkin, from “The Great French Revolution, 1789–1793” (Shocken Books, 1971)
NO: The Economist staff writer, from “The French Revolution: Bliss Was It In That Dawn,” The Economist (December 24, 1988)
Peter Kropotkin (1842–1921), a Russian prince, revolutionary, and anarchist, argues that the French Revolution eradicated both serfdom and absolutism and paved the way for Frances future democratic growth. An article in THE ECONOMIST argues that the French Revolution “culminated in the guillotine and the substitution of the state for the sovereignty of the nation”, negative legacies it left to the modern world.
- Issue 3. Does Napoleon Bonaparte Deserve His Historical Reputation as a Great General?
YES: Graham Goodlad, from “Napoleon at War: Secrets of Success, Seeds of Failure?” History Review, December 2009
NO: Jonathon Riley, from ”How Good Was Napoleon?” History Today, July 2007
Professor Graham Goodlad states that because of his extraordinary military career, Napoleon Bonaparte deserves his reputation as a great general. Author and Military Commander Jonathon Riley states that because Napoleon never succeeded in transforming a defeated enemy into a willing ally, his historical reputation as a general must be questioned.
- Issue 4. Did British Policy Decisions Cause the Mass Emigration and Land Reforms That Followed the Irish Potato Famine?
YES: Christine Kinealy, from “This Great Calamity: The Irish Famine, 1845–1852” (Roberts Rinehart, 1995)
NO: Hasia R. Diner, from “Erins Daughters In America: Irish Immigrant Women In The Ninteenth Century” (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1983)
Christine Kinealy, fellow of the University of Liverpool, argues that the British governments response to the Irish potato famine was deliberately inadequate. The British governments“hidden agenda” of long-term economic, social, and agrarian reform was accelerated by the famine, and mass emigration was a consequence of these changes. Historian Hasia R. Diner credits the Irish people with learning from their famine experiences that the reliance of the poor on the potato and the excessive subdivision of the land within families were no longer in their own best interests.
- Issue 5. Did the Meiji Restoration Constitute a Revolution in Nineteenth-Century Japan?
YES: Andrew Gordon, from “A Modern History of Japan: From Tokugawa Times To The Present,” (Oxford University press, 2003)
NO: W.G. Beasley, from “The Meiji Restoration,” (Stanford University Press, 1972)
Historian Andrew Gordon states that the Meiji Restoration was responsible for the most dramatic change in Japans history and deserves to be referred to as revolutionary. Historian W.G. Beasley argues that when compared with other revolutions like the French and Russian, the Meiji Restoration did not constitute a revolution in the classical sense.
- Issue 6. Were Economic Factors Primarily Responsible for British Imperialism?
YES: J. A. Hobson, from “Imperialism: A Study,” (University of Michigan Press, 1967
NO: John M. MacKenzie, from “The Partition of Africa 1880–1900: and European Imperialism in the Nineteenth Century,” (Methuen and Co., 1983)
J. A. Hobson (1858–1940) states that economic factors fueled 19th century British Imperialism. John M.MacKenzie argues that the motivation for British imperialism was multicausal and that most of the causes can be found in the general anxiety crisis permeating British society in the late nineteenth century.
Unit 2 The Early Twentieth Century
- Issue 7. Was Chinas Boxer Rebellion Caused by Environmental factors?
YES: Paul A. Cohen, from “History in Three Keys: The Boxers in Event, Experience, and Myth,” (Columbia University Press, 1997)
NO: Henrietta Harrison, from “Justice on Behalf of Heaven,” History Today (September 2000)
Professor Paul A. Cohen contends that while anti-foreign and anti-Christian attitudes played a role in the start of the Boxer Rebellion, a more immediate cause was a severe drought and its impact on Chinese society. Historian Henrietta Harrison concedes that while the Boxers were motivated by more than one factor, opposition to Christian missionary activity was at the core of their Rebellion.
- Issue 8. Were German Militarism and Diplomacy Responsible for World War I?
YES: V.R. Berghahn, from “Imperial Germany, 1871–1914: Economic, Society, Culture, and Politics,” (Berghahn Books, 1994)
NO: Christopher Ray, from “Britain and the Origins of World War I” History Review (March 1998)
History professor V.R. Berghahn states that, although all of Europes major powers played a part in the onset of World War I, recent evidence still indicates that Germanys role in the process was the main factor responsible for the conflict. History professor Christopher Ray argues that anti-German attitudes which developed in England in the late 19th century, encouraged them to take a stand against Germany which led to their participation in World War I.
- Issue 9. Was the Treaty of Versailles Responsible for World War II?
YES: Derek Aldcroft, from “The Versailles Legacy,” History Review (December, 1997)
NO: Mark Mazower, from “Two Cheers for Versailles,” History Today (July, 1997)
Derek Aldcroft states that a combination of the flaws present in the post-war Versailles Treaty and the resultant actions and inactions of European statesmen created a climate that paved the way for World War II. Mark Mazower finds that the Treaty of Versailles contained weaknesses and failed due to the lack of enforcement of its principles by a generation of European leaders
- Issue 10. Did the Bolshevik Revolution Improve the Lives of Soviet Women?
YES: Richard Stites, “Women and the Revolutionary Process in Russia,” in Renate Bridenthal, Claudia Koontz, and Susan M. Stuard, eds., Becoming Visible: Women in European History, 2nd.ed. (Houghton Mifflin, 1987)
NO: Lesley A. Rimmel, from “The Baba and the Comrade: Gender and Politics in Soviet Russia,” The Womens Review of Book (September, 1998)
History Professor Richard Stites argues that, in the early years of the Bolshevik Revolution, the Zhenotdel, or Womens Department. helped many working women take the first steps toward emancipation. Historian Lesley A. Rimmel finds that the Russian Revolution remains unfinished for women, who were mobilized as producers and reproducers for a male political agenda.
- Issue 11. Was German “Eliminationist Antisemtism” Responsible for the Holocaust?
YES: Daniel Jonah Goldhagen, “The Paradigm Challenged,” TIKKUN (June, 1988)
NO: Christopher R. Browning, from “Ordinary Germans or Ordinary Men?: A Reply to the Critics,” in Michael Berenbaum and Abraham J. Peck, eds., The Holocaust and History: The Known, The Unknown, The Disputed, and the Reexamined Indiana University Press, 1998)
Political Science professor Daniel J. Goldhagen states that the use of victims testimony can be used to prove the antisemitic nature of Holocaust perpetrators. Holocaust historian Christopher R. Browning argues that Goldhagens thesis is too simplistic, and that a multi-causal approach must be used to determine why ordinary German citizens willingly participated in the Holocaust.
- Issue 12. Was Stalin Responsible for the Korean War?
YES: Paul Wingrove, from “Who Started Korea?” History Today (July 2000)
NO: Hugh Deane, from “Korea, China, and the United States: A Look Back,” Monthly Review (February 1995)
Historian Paul Wingrove holds Josef Stalin as primarily responsible for the Korean War. Historian Hugh Deane states that United States support for Syngman Rhees non-Communist government was responsible for the Korean War.
Unit 3 The Contemporary World
- Issue 13. Are Chinese Confucianism and Western Capitalism Compatible?
YES: A.T. Nuyin, from “Chinese Philosophy and Western Capitalism,” Asian Philosophy (March, 1999)
NO: Jack Scarborough, from “Comparing Chinese and Western Roots: Why ‘East is East and....,” Business Horizons (November, 1998)
Professor A.T. Nuyen believes that the basic tenets of classical capitalism are perfectly compatible with key elements of Chinese philosophy. Management professor Jack Scarborough contrasts the western heritage of democracy, rationality, and individualism with Confucian values of harmony, filial loyalty, and legalismwhich he finds incompatible with capitalism.
- Issue 14. Were Ethnic Leaders Responsible for the Disintegration of Yugoslavia?
YES: Warren Zimmerman, from “Origins of a Catastrophe: Yugoslavia and Its Destroyers,” (Times Books, 1996)
NO: Steven Majstorovic, from “Ancient Hatreds or Elite Manipulation? Memory and Politics in the Former Yugoslavia,” World Affairs (Spring, 1997)
Career diplomat Warren Zimmerman, the United States last ambassador to Yugoslavia, blames the republics ethnic leaders, especially Slobodan Milosevic, for the nations demise. Political Science professor Steven Majstorovic contends that while manipulation by elite ethnic leaders played a role in the disintegration of Yugoslavia, the fragile ethnic divisions within the country also played an important role in the countrys demise.
- Issue 15. Was Ethnic Hatred Primarily Responsible for the Rwandan Genocide of 1994?
YES: Alison Des Forges, from “The Ideology of Genocide,” Issue: Journal of Opinion (1995)
NO: Rene Lemarchand, from “Rwanda: The Rationality of Genocide,” Issue: Journal of Opinion (1995)
Alison Des Forges states that ethnic hatred between Hutus and Tutsis in Rwanda was primarily responsible for the Rwandan Genocide of 1994. Rene Lemarchand admits that ethnic rivalries played a role in the catastrophe, but the ability of the Hutus to engage in “planned annihilation” free of any local or international restraint was a more important factor.
- Issue 16. Does Islamic Revivalism Challenge a Stable World Order?
YES: John. L Esposito, from “The Islamic Threat: Myth Or Reality?” 2nd Ed. (Oxford University Press, 1992)
NO: Sharif Shuja, from “Islam and the West: From Discord to Understanding,” Contemporary Review (May, 2001)
Professor of Middle Eastern Studies John L. Esposito sees the Iranian Revolution against Western-inspired modernization and Egypts “holy war” against Israel as examples of the Islamic quest for a more authentic society and culture, which challenges a stable world order. Professor of International Relations Sharif Shuja identifies the rise of Islamic movements as resistance to Western domination rather than a threat to the West as such and traces Western fears of a monolithic Islamic entity to the errors of an Orientalist mindset.
- Issue 17. Is the Influence of the European Union in World Affairs Increasing?
YES: Mitchell P. Smith, “Soft Power Rising,” World Literature Today (January-February 2006)
NO: Efstathios T. Fakiolas, “The European Unions Problems of Cohesion,” New Zealand International Review (March-April 2007)
Political Science and International Studies Professor Mitchell P. Smith argues that the European Union excels in the use of soft power to achieve desired outcomes at minimal cost, by avoiding the use of military force and sharing the burden of enforcement with others. Efstathios T. Fakiolas, Strategy and SouthEast European Affairs Analyst, contends that Europes failure to achieve European “Union-hood” seriously hampers its effectiveness in the global community.
- Issue 18. Is Indias Secular Democracy Severely Threatened By Religious Nationalism?
YES: Sharif Shuja, “Indian Secularism: Image and Reality,” Contemporary Review, July 2005
NO: Mukul Kesavan, “Indias Embattled Secularism,” The Wilson Quarterly, Winter 2003
Sharif Shuja, Research Associate in the Global Terrorism Research Unit at Monash University in Australia, asserts that the goal of the Hindu Nationalist Party [BJP] to convert India into a Hindu nation, threatens both the secular democracy and the unity of India itself. New Delhi History Professor, Mukul Kesavan, argues that Indias peculiar form of secularism will survive, despite attempts to discredit it, because it has come to stand for resistance to the campaign of religious nationalism to proclaim the primacy of the Hindu majority