Tutor profile: Nathan C.
Subject: World History
In what ways was the Silk Road vital to the development of the world beyond just economic reasons?
The Silk Road was a path toward connecting the old world. Its primary purpose was for trade but through trade, people from different parts of the world were able to connect when they otherwise would not have. Through the Silk Road came exotic goods, like spices, as well as new languages and religions. The Silk Road was one of the many first stepping stones toward forging the modern world.
Subject: US History
Given the general consensus among historians today regarding George Washington and his very real lack of any attributes which would make him a proper leader, why is the decision to appoint him as the United States' first President not only a good idea but in fact a necessity at the time?
The United States, at the time of George Washington's appointment as the first President, was still little more than an infant. It had been bound together through a loose-fit unity against a common enemy (Great Britain) but still lacked any sense of a true nationalistic mindset among the people. People identified not necessarily as Americans, but as citizens of their towns or states. To manufacture a union among its people, the Founding Fathers made sure to appoint a well-loved figure as the first leader, in order to maintain a stable foundation that the new nation could grow from. George Washington was a figurehead for a new idea, and while he showed some skill in political policy, he performed the best at keeping the peace between feuding members of thought, who would later become the different parties in American politics. Above all else, George Washington kept the nation from fracturing.
Subject: European History
In the 18th and 19th centuries, the European theatre saw the collapse of the old world structure of the imperial nature, where a single central figure would hold supreme power. In the collapse of the old-world structure rose the new-world order of nation-states, where the power dynamic was shifted in favor of the people. Given this information, how was it possible that a single, central figure was able to gain and maintain power, like in the Soviet Union?
Given the shift in power that came during the transition between empire to nation-state, it seems an almost impossible notion that a single central figure would be able to once again rule tyrannical and unrivaled. Even the likes of Otto von Bismarck could not properly maintain his German state as he could not appropriately appease the people. However, this transition of power also gave rise to those who would be able to manipulate the new system in order to further their own ambitions. With regard to the Soviet Union and other Communist powers that came thereafter, Joseph Stalin was among the most successful. He was able to use the system to reach a position prior to Lenin's death that would be perfectly situated in order to take control of the party and the Soviet Union. Once in power, he used tactics of violence, fear, and aggressive censorship policies in order to maintain power. The most successful and significant tactic, however, was his ability to create a cult of personality. He was charming and presented that cadence toward the nation which resulted in a voluntary concession of power by the people. The rise of the cult of personality has been the ultimate tactic used by new-age dictators to maintain power by manipulating the people to concede what they have.
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