The Cuban Missiles Crisis

After reading about the Cuban Missiles Crisis, we had to do a task, which involved three questions. In the first one, we should produce a mindmap including the causes of the crisis. In the second one, we should create a Venn diagram comparing how resopnsible Cuba, Usa and the Ussr were for the start of the crisis. In the third one, usinf the diagram, we should answer which country is most responsible for the crisis. This is my work:

The Berlin blockade

In the previous clases, we read about the Berlin Blockade. Lenny, our History teacher, adked us to complete a chart and answer some questions using the information gathered. This is my chart and my answers:

HISTORY QUESTIONS

  1. What was life like in Berlin in the post-war era?
  2. How did Soviet policy towards Berlin differ from that of the West?
  3. Why was reform of the German currency a key issue for both sides?
  4. Why was the airlift such a major feat?
  5. In what respect can the USSR and US be responsible for further increasing tensions during the airlift?
  6. Why did Stalin eventually agree to talks over the airlift?
  7. Extended question: Who was more to blame for Berlin becoming a major flashpoint in the Cold War, the Soviets or the Americans?

ANSWERS

  1. The second world war had included also civilians. Berlin, as a consequence, had been entirely destroyed. Everything had been lost, so people’s lives in the post-war era was poor and devastating, as everything had disappeared. Casualties were much more than in the first world war. Berlin people who had survived were very needy and their were shortages of all goods.
  2. The difference between the soviet and the west policies was that Stalin did not want  Berlin to recover too fast and to keep control of it. He was willing to cripple it. On the other hand, the west was recovering thanks to the US Marshal Plan, which used a new currency and loans precisely for the west recoverement. By doing this, the consequences of the world war two could be confronted and solved.
  3. The new currency was vital for capitalism because it united them against the soviet. The sharing of the same currency would allow them to achieve prosperity while the USSR didn’t. Also, it allowed USA to strengthen it’s policy of containment and stop the communist spread.
  4. The airlift was a major feat as it brought a lot of tension between the two rivals. It showed again that Stalin was desperate to expand and spread communism. On the other hand, it also showed that truman was strong enough to confront Stalin and that he would not be easily beaten. It showed that USA was also serious. Suspicion and grew from both sides thanks to this event.
  5. The USA and the USSR can be held responsible for the increasing of tension as they both, during the airlift, performed suspicious actions. ON the one hand, the USSR cut off over two million population of west berlin from receiving goods from western Germany. Canals and vital roads were closed by Stalin so that he could force USA out of Berlin. This increased tension as it threatened the USA, because if they acted it would be an act of war. On the other hand, the USA, confronted Stalin and sent supplies through the air. It showed Stalin’s defeat and Truman’s strength. It created tension and suspicion between both sides.
  6. Stalin, in the end, decided to reopen communication and transports, canals and vital roads were now available. He did this as he realised that his plan had failed. He understood that he wouldn’t be able to force USA out of Berlin and that Truman was strong and suspicious enough to give up the city.
  7. From my point of view, the soviets were more to blame for Berlin becoming a major flashpoint in the Cold War. The americans had a strong and firm reaction, but it was what it was needed. The citizens needed to recover economically and it wasn’t fair that they lost their part of Berlin, as it had been previously discussed at Yalta. Truman, although it created tension and was a suspicious act, did what it was correct, as he deserved West Berlin’s control. Stalin, on the other hand, had no right to close the roads and canals. His ambition impulsed him to keep wanting more territory that it did not belong to him. He is more to blame than the USA, as he knew his limits. However, he wanted all Berlin under communist influence.

Activity History – Analyze sources

During the last historyl classes, we started a project in which, in pairs of two, we had to analyze sources of our book. I was with Tomas Braun and this is our analysis of the sources 1, 3, 4, 9, 13.

SOURCE 1: In the following extract or quotation from Hitler’s biography, we can see his thoughts about the Treaty of Versailles. The German dictator thought they had been humiliated by it´s terms, as it was too harsh. Moreover, Hitler referred as a “robbery” and “disgrace”. This means that as Britain and France had won the war, they took advantage and crippled Germany, without mercy. We can understand that he demanded and was sure they deserved a better treatment as the entire country thought, for example, that they had not started the war, so why should they accept the term “War Guilt”? They agreed that they had participated but claimed that other causes had started it such as Russia’s mobilization or the murder at sarajevo. This anger that was brought about to Hitler, resulted in his willing for revenge and hatred towards the allies.

 

SOURCE 3:  This quote from a German woman who lived in the Ruhr, tells us a lot about how the French treated Germans when they invaded the city. It was clear that, after the First World War, the French were willing to destroy Germany. When the Treaty Of Versailles was signed, Germany accepted paying the war debts. However, although they successfully paid 50 million pounds the first year, the next one they didn’t pay nothing. This made France even more angry, so the invaded the Ruhr as a way of payment through resources and industries. As they were furious, French soldiers didn’t treat people too nicely, but, as this lady says, there was harassment, hunger, poverty and judgement. Moreover, this was seen as a humiliation for Germans

 

SOURCE 4: In this picture, we can see a representation of Germany’s relationship with Britain and France, and the state of German’s economy. On the one hand, the picture shows how the prime ministers of Britain and France look at Germany while it’s “drowning”. Moreover, they won’t help Germany with a loan. On the other hand, we can see Germany being on her knees in the water, meaning that she has to put much more effort by herself to pull the country out of the economic crisis, and not ask for help to other powerful countries.

 

SOURCE 9: In the following quote we can understand the people and the inhabitant´s thoughts about hyperinflation. The government and state claimed that hyperinflation was not an easy issue and that it had happened as a consequence of many causes. However, the public criticised them, explaining that they had to pay reparations for being unable to solve the problem and because of the excuses they brought. Moreover, they were so angry at the republic that they never forgave it because of this situation they didn’t managed to deal with.

 

SOURCE 13: In this poster, we can see that, in Germany, there was a huge cultural revival, similar to the USA’s one. In this specific case, we can see that new cinema stars emerged, and that sex became a talkable topic, not like before. Moreover, nightclubs and bars were created, along with Cabarets, where artist sang songs about politics and sex, which would have shocked and earlier generation of Germans.

League of Nations

n the History class, Lenny left us a task which was to watch a video from her blog and to read the second chapter form our History book, and then to answer some questions.

Here is the video:

 

Matías Ripoll and Trinidad Porretti.

QUESTIONS

1- What were the aims of the league?

2- What happened to Wilson when he returned to USA after signing the Treaty of Versailles?

3- Why did German immigrants in USA not want to join the league?

4- What economic reason did USA give to stay out of the league?

5- How did Americans feel about imperialism in Europe?

6- Why did Poland invade Vilna? Why did the league not act about it?

7- Why was upper Silesia an important region for Poland and Germany?

8- How did the league solve the problem in Vilna?

9- What did the league decide to do about the Aaland Islands?

10- Why did Mussolini invade Greece in the Corfu conflict?

11- Why was the league criticised about the resolution in the Corfu conflict?

12- How did the Geneva protocol weaken the league?

13- Why did Greece invade Belgium in 1925?

14- Why did Greece complain that the league “seemed to have one rule for the large states(such as Italy) and other for the small ones?

 

ANSWERS

 

1- The principal aims of the League were; to discourage aggression between countries, to encourage countries to disarm, to encourage countries to co-operate, especially in business and trade, and to improve the living and working conditions of people all around the world.This aims would lead to a fair and lasting peace, which the League clearly didn’t achieve, due to WW2.

 

2- Woodrow Wilson, after signing the Treaty, came back to USA and had problems. Before the USA could even join the league, he needed the approval of the Congress. However, in the USA the idea of joining the league wasn’t supported by everyone, because they didn’t want to get involved in international alliance, but follow it’s own policies and self-interest. In addition, his idea was defeated twice in 1919 and March 1920 by the congress. The Republican candidate for the elections, Warren Harding, campaigned for the opposite than Wilson, isolation, because he thought that the US had enough people and resources to be by themselves. He thought that the European instability, due to the post-war recovery, could affect USA’s stability. Harding won the elections, so when the League opened for Business, the US wasn’t present.

 

3- The German immigrants in USA didn’t want to join the league because this one, enforced the Treaty of Versailles which was hated by the Germans for the reason that it had weakened and humiliated them previously.

 

4- The economic reason that USA gave to stay out of the league was that if the league imposed sanctions it might be American Trade and Business that suffered the most. In addition, if she joined the League, she would have to give economic support for troops, as the other members of the League were in an economic depression, due to the post-war recovery.

 

5- The Americans, according to imperialism in Europe, feared the the League would be dominated by Britain or France because they were the most powerful empires, and would defend themselves, and make all of the decisions. And, the problem was, that many in the US were Anti-Empires.

 

6- Poland invaded Vilna in 1920 because she was in a dispute with Lithuania due to that she claimed that there were a lot of Poles living in Vilna(because before the Treaty of Versailles, the Lithanian capital belonged to Poland) and therefore it belonged to her. Because of this reason, Lithuania appealed to the league. However, the League (France and Britain), was not prepared to act because the League was new and they had economic issues due to the consequences of WW1. And because they weren’t prepared to act, they failed and therefore let the Poles get their way.

 

7- Upper Silesia was an important region for Germany and Poland because it was the border area between them, and the region was ethnically mixed with both Germans and Poles. In addition, this region was very rich in resources. This problem was solved by the League which oversaw a peaceful plebiscite(the rural area voted for Poland and the urban one for Germany)and divided the region among Germany and Poland. Finally both countries accepted this decision. This dispute was carried out in a positive way because it was solved in a peaceful and fair manner.

 

8- The League(France and Britain) didn’t solve this problem because they couldn’t persuade Poland to leave the city. The armed forces weren’t able to pull them out of the city. This meant that Poland was powerful. They didn’t leave the city until the outbreak of World War 2 in 1939.

 

9- After the dispute in 1921 between Finland and Sweden over the Aaland islands, the League intervened and decided that the islands should belong to Finland avoiding a war between them. Sweden accepted this decision. The organization decided to measure the distance between the islands and countries, as Finland was closer, she got to keep them. This was a fair resolution.

 

10- Mussolini, the Italian leader during that time, invaded Greece because he was furious and blamed the Greek government for the murder of the Italian general Tellini and his team(who were representing the League to sort out the border between Greece and Albania, and were killed by Greeks). In addition, they invaded Corfu because Mussolini demanded the Greeks to pay a compensation and execute the murderers. However, the Greeks had no idea who the murderers were. So on August the 31st he bombarded Greece and then occupied the Greek island of Corfu, and killed fifteen people.

 

11- The League was criticised about the resolution of the Corfu conflict because this showed that the weakest of all powers, Italy, could get its way if they were backed up by Britain and France, who agreed to sacrifice justice for cooperation. For this reason, Greece had to pay a compensation to Italy.

 

12- The Geneva protocol weakened the League because conflicts such as the Corfu dispute could continue happening. The Geneva protocol was supposed to strengthen the League, because it said that if two members were in dispute they would have to ask the League to sort out the disagreement and they would have to accept the Council’s decision. However, as Britain was having general elections, a new Conservative government was chosen and it refused to sign the protocol before it could be put into effect, because they feared if there was another conflict the League would solve it, acting to her own interests, not Britain’s. Therefore, this protocol which was supposed to strengthen the League, ended up doing the opposite. The Geneva protocol showed how Great Britain had control over the League in a negative way, because many countries started to follow GB’s lead by not signing the protocol.  

 

13- Greece invaded Belgium in October 1925 because of the incident on the border in which some Greek soldiers were killed. Greece thought that If Italy had done this, why couldn’t they do the same?So Bulgaria appealed to the League for help and finally, the League demanded both sides to stand their forces down and Greek forces withdraw from Bulgaria. Although they complained that there seemed to be one rule for the smaller, “less important” states, and another for the bigger, “more important” states. The resolution of this conflict was partly successful partly failure, because on the hand, she solved the fact that there could be a war between them. Although, on the other hand, she wasn’t partial or fair with Greece, who had done the same thing Italy did in the Corfu conflict. This showed that the league had a ruling for the big countries and another for the small ones.

 

14- Greece complained that the League “seemed to have one rule for the large states(such as Italy) and other for the small ones(such as Greece)” because it wasn’t fair, all States should have an only same rule. Because of this, the major states were likely to get things done in their way, they could decide over most of the issues, this meant they had benefits because they were more powerful. This made it clear that larger states were more important than the smaller ones, that they had more priorities, and that was unfair, the League, which was supposed to be fair, was the opposite.

 

The Treaty of Versailles – Essay writing

ESSAY WRITING
Essay Question: “How successful was Wilson in achieving his aims at Versailles?
Explain your answer”.

In the following Essay, I will explain and analyze how successful Wilson Woodrow was on achieving his aims and objectives according to the final terms previously discussed by the big three.

On the one hand, his aims weren’t totally excluded and this is why many of them were achieved. The League of Nations, Wilson’s most important point, was obtained and founded on January 10th of 1920. Moreover, the point number thirteen: “Poland to become an independent state with access to the seas” was accepted, giving them access to a sea port through Danzig. It was not only attained that France would regain Alsace-Lorraine but also he accomplished the disarmament of Germany, although he wanted all countries to disarm so that the “just and lasting peace” could be achieved. In addition, Woodrow, gained his aim of self-determination but not completely. In spite of the fact that Wilson wanted Self-Determination for all the countries, he gained the autonomy of the ethnic groups and the Germany’s colonies. This happened because Britain and France didn’t want to give their colonies, they thought that only losers must suffer the loss of them.

However, on the other hand, he didn’t obtain all his desires. Firstly, the war guilt made his idea of “just and lasting peace” and “not to be very harsh on Germany” be lost. This happened because Georges Clemenceau “was determined not to allow such devastation ever again”, this means, that he couldn’t let Germany invade France ever again and he thought that this was the perfect moment “to weaken them as much as possible”. In addition, his second point wasn’t accepted. As I mentioned before, the disarmament and self-determination was not totally completed because they were established only for Germany to suffer. Moreover, “the strengthen democracy in defeated countries”, was not achieved because the War Guilt and reparations made Germany’s economy fall. Finally, the third point of Wilson’s fourteen points, was either not obtained.

All in all, Woodrow’s aims weren’t accomplished completely, however, he managed to convince Ll. George and Clemenceau about almost half of them.

 

Other treaties made after the end of WW1

Today, in our History class, we started making infographics for each of the treaties, apart from the Treaty of Versailles, that were made after the end of WW1.

These are my infographics with the tool “easel.ly”:

Treaty of St. Germain – 1919

Treaty of Neuilly – 1919

Treaty of Trianon – 1920

Treaty of Sevres – 1920

Treaty of Lausanne – 1923

Hope you like it!

 

 

HIstory – Conversation of the Big Three

Some weeks ago, we started reading about the Big Three, what did they wanted as a compensation, their views about the fourteen points and which punishment did they want for Germany.

Luz Esteban, Tomás Braun and I did this conversation about the tasks already written:

This is the conversation downloaded in a PDF so that you can follow it while listening the conversation.

Finally, what I think about this project is that it was different from the normal ones and it was good to do it because I feel that I had learnt more because when you record the conversation you understand what you are saying and this makes you learn more about it.

The thing that I liked the most about this project is what I´ve just said, that reading the topic, analyzing it, writing the dialogue, checking the mistakes and finally recording it, makes you know a lot about it and this helps you also for the term test or If you are having an exam about it, because you remember a lot from what you have read, analyzed, wrote, checked and recorded.

If I would have to change something from this project if the class from Senior 1 next year were going to do it again, I wouldn´t change anything from the project, however, I would add, in a lesson, a moment in which we share and correct each of them so that we can understand what we have done wrong and what we have to improve from the three tasks.