Table of Contents
Clashing Views in World History: The Ancient World to the Pre-Modern Era Volume 2,
Unit The Modern World
- Issue Did the Industrial Revolution Lead to a Sexual Revolution?
YES: Edward Shorter, The Making of the Modern Family (Perseus, 1975)
NO: Louise A. Tilley, Joan W. Scott, and Miriam Cohen, from Women's Work and European Fertility Patterns, Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies (Winter, 1976)
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. Louise A. Tilley, Joan W. Scott, and Miriam Cohen argue 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 Was the French Revolution Worth Its Human Costs?
YES: Peter Kropotkin, from The Great French Revolution: 1789-1793, trans. N.E. Dryhurst (Shocken Books, 1971)
NO: Marisa Linton, Robespierre and the Terror, History Today 56.8 (2006)
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 France's future democratic growth. Historian Marisa Linton argues that Maximilien de Robespierre offers a lens through which to view the Terror and the real human costs of the French Revolution.
- Issue 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)
Graham Goodlad argues that because of his extraordinary military career, Napoleon Bonaparte deserves his reputation as a great general. Jonathon Riley argues that, because Napoleon never succeeded in transforming a defeated enemy into a willing ally, his historical reputation as a general must be questioned.
- Issue 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 Nineteenth Century (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1983)
Christine Kinealy argues that the British government's response to the Irish potato famine was deliberately inadequate. Its hidden agenda" of long-term economic, social, and agrarian reform was accelerated by the famine, and mass emigration was a consequence of these changes. Hasia R. Diner argues that large scale emigration occurred both before and after the famine and 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 Did the Meiji Restoration Constitute a Revolution in Nineteenth-Century Japan?
YES: Thomas M. Huber, from The Revolutionary Origins of Modern Japan (Stanford University Press, 1981)
NO: W.G. Beasley, from The Meiji Restoration (Stanford University Press, 1972)
Historian Thomas M. Huber argues that the Meiji Restoration was revolutionary and should be recognized as the most dramatic event of Japans modern history. 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 Was Popular Opinion a Significant Ingredient in Nineteenth-Century British Imperialism?
YES: John M. MacKenzie, from Another Little Patch of Red, History Today (August 2005)
NO: Bernard Porter , from What Did They Know of Empire? History Today (October 2004)
John MacKenzie argues that both imperial rule and the possession of an empire were essential components of British identity, life, and culture. Bernard Porter argues that, through most of the nineteenth century, most Britons knew little and cared less about the spread of the Empire.
Unit The Early Twentieth Century
- Issue Was China's Boxer Rebellion Caused by Environmental Factors?
YES: Paul A. Cohen, from History in Three Keys: The Boxers as Event. Experience, and Myth (Columbia University Press, 1997)
NO: Henrietta Harrison, from Justice on Behalf of Heaven: The Boxer Movement, History Today (September, 2000)
Paul A. Cohen argues 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. Henrietta Harrison argues that, while the Boxers were motivated by more than one factor, opposition to Christian missionary activity was at the core of their Rebellion.
- Issue Did Prussian Militarism Provoke World War I?
YES: Peter H. Wilson, The Rise of Prussian Militarism, History Today 51.5 (May 2001)
NO: Christopher Ray, from Britain and the Origins of World War I History Review (March 1998)
History Professor Peter H. Wilson argues that Prussian militarism, though not a direct cause of later horrors in the two world wars, posed a threat to Europe in the pre-war period. History Professor Christopher Ray argues that threatened German actions represented a challenge to English interests and honor, mobilizing public opinion in favor of Englands declaration of war in 1914.
- Issue 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, 1999)
Historian Derek Aldcroft argues 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. Historian Mark Mazower argues that ,while the Treaty of Versailles contained weaknesses, it failed due to a lack of enforcement of its principles by a generation of European leaders.
- Issue Did the Bolshevik Revolution Improve the Lives of Soviet Women?
YES: Richard Stites, "The Russian Revolution and Women in Marilyn J. Boxer & Jean H. Quartaert, eds., Connecting Spheres: Women in the Western World, 1500 to the Present (Oxford University Press, 1987)
NO: Lesley A. Rimmel, from The Baba and the Comrade: Gender and Politics in Soviet Russia, The Womens Review of Books (September, 1998)
Richard Stites argues that, in the early years of the Bolshevik Revolution, the Zhenotdel, or Women's Department, helped many working women take the first steps toward emancipation. Lesley A. Rimmel argues that the Russian Revolution remains unfinished for women, who were mobilized as producers and reproducers for a male political agenda.
- Issue Was German Eliminationist Antisemitism Responsible for the Holocaust?
YES: Daniel Jonah Goldhagen, The Paradigm Challenged, Tikkun (May-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)
Daniel Goldhagen argues that due to the nature of German society in the twentieth century with its endemic, virulent anti-Semitism thousands of ordinary German citizens became willing participants in the implementation of Holocaust horrors. Christopher R. Browning argues that Goldhagen's 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 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)
Paul Wingrove argues that Josef Stalin should be held primarily responsible for the Korean War. Hugh Deane argues that the United States support for Syngman Rhees non-Communist government was responsible for the Korean War.
Unit The Contemporary World
- Issue Are Chinese Confucianism and Western Capitalism Compatible?
YES: A. T. Nuyen 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)
A. T. Nuyen argues that the basic tenets of classical capitalism are perfectly compatible with key s elements of Chinese philosophy. Jack Scarborough argues that the Confucian values of harmony, filial loyalty, and legalism are incompatible with the Western heritage of democracy rationality, individualism … and capitalism.
- Issue Was Ethnic Hatred Primarily Responsible for the Rwandan Genocide of 1994?
YES: Alison Des Forges, from The Ideology of Genocide, Issue: A Journal of Opinion (1995)
NO: Rene Lemarchand, from Rwanda: The Rationality of Genocide, Issue: A Journal of Opinion (1995)
Alison Des Forges argues that ethnic hatred between Hutus and Tutsis in Rwanda was primarily responsible for the Rwandan Genocide of 1994. Rene Lemarchand, while admitting that ethnic rivalries played a role in the catastrophe, argues that the ability of the Hutus to engage in planned annihilation free of any local or international restraint was a more important factor.
- Issue Does Islamic Revivalism Challenge a Stable World Order?
YES: John. L Esposito, from The Islamic Threat: Myth or Reality? 2nd ed. (Oxford University Press, 1995)
NO: Sharif Shuja, from Islam and the West: From Discord to Understanding, Contemporary Review (May, 2001)
John L. Esposito argues that the Iranian Revolution against Western-inspired modernization and Egypt's holy war against Israel are examples of the Islamic quest for a more authentic society and culture, which challenges a stable world order. Sharif Shuja argues that the rise of Islamic movements represents 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 Have Afghan Women Been Liberated from Oppression?
YES: Sima Wali, from Afghan Women: Recovering, Rebuilding, Carnegie Council on Ethics & International Affairs (October 2002).
NO: Norwan, Mariam and Nasima, from The Wilson Quarterly .37.1 (Winter 2013)
International Afghan advocate for refugee women Sima Wali argues that Afghan women have played pivotal roles in rebuilding their communities, praises their courage in denouncing warlords, and calls for their full participation in the newly-formed constitutional government. Norwan, Mariam and Nasima, three Afghan women, argue that, despite some progress, many challenges remain for Afghan women as they continue to seek liberation from oppression.
- Issue 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)
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 argues that Europes failure to achieve European Union-hood seriously hampers its effectiveness in the global community.
- Issue Is Indias Secular Democracy Severely Threatened by Religious Nationalism?
YES: Sharif Shuja, Indian Secularism: Image and Reality, Contemporary Review (July 2005)
NO: Martha C. Nussbaum, Fears for Democracy in India, The Chronicle of Higher Education (May 18, 2007)
Sharif Shuja argues 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. Martha C. Nussbaum argues that, despite threats and internal divisions, Indias secular democracy remains strong. Its. institutional and legal structure functioned well even after Ayodhya, and within two years free national elections made a Sikh Prime Minister.
- Issue Will the So-called Arab Spring Benefit the Region?
YES: Elias D. Mallon, Will Democracy Bloom? A Closer Look at the Arab Spring, America (Oct. 10, 2011)
NO: Elliott Abrams, Dictators Go, Monarchs Stay: American Policy before and after the Arab Spring. Commentary. 134.3 October 2012
Elias Mallon takes a cautiously optimistic long term view of the prospects for some form of democracy in the region. Elliott Abrams takes a more pessimistic longterm view, citing the choice between monarchy and democracy that faces the region and the uncertainty of the outcome.