Tutor profile: Scott J.
Subject: World History
China was the premier world state in the fifteenth century. This was followed by a precipitous decline in the following centuries. List three reasons for China's disastrous decline.
1. A turn inward. While China had been an expansive power during the time of Emperor Zhu Di and his explorer/admiral Zheng He, the emperors that followed pursued a path of isolation from the wider world. China slowly slipped as a competitor on the world stage. 2. China had developed advanced technologies such as gunpowder and the printing press, but did not use them in the same dynamic that the West went on to develop. Combined with isolationism, this further eroded China's status. 3. This erosion led to more erosion and a decline in China's military and trading power. In the 19th century, the West imposed the Opium Wars and the forced opening of Chinese society, dooming China to vassal status until the Communist Revolution of 1949.
Subject: US History
List three arguments that American slaveholders in the South used to justify slavery.
1. Slaveholders said that slaves in the South had a better situation than wage-slaves in the Northern industrial towns. In the North, when a worker got sick or aged, he/she was on his/her own. In the South, slaves were provided for during such occasions. 2. An end to slavery without considerable financial and social preparation, would lead to immense social displacement, unemployment and the collapse of slave-driven markets like cotton and tobacco, mainstays for the Southern economy. 3. Slavery had existed throughout human history, in all corners of the globe, including Palestine in Biblical times. It was obviously a natural state.
Subject: European History
Consider four origins of the First World War. Please explain what each origin is and how it helped lead to the War.
1. The Alliance System. The Great Powers were enlisted in a series of alliances meant to curb certain other powers and to guarantee aid to allies in the case of war. In practice this meant that once two Powers went to war with each other, the other three were obliged to join sides. 2. Hair-trigger military planning. In anticipation of war, the Great Powers, Germany and France in particular, had developed war plans that called for mobilizing and acting before the enemy. In practice this meant that, at the first hint of conflict, huge forces were put into movement, and, once moving, they continued to be moved by their own momentum. That is, there came a time when it was nearly impossible to stop them. 3. Imperialism and hyper-capitalism. Britain, France and Germany were particularly caught up in an economic idea that led to the constant search for new markets and new sources of raw materials. This was viewed as a zero-sum game; "If you win, it must be at my expense." The society served the economy. In practice this meant that economic competition, in Europe but also in the colonized parts of Africa and Asia, became a cause of belligerence, especially when combined with the fourth origin, following. 4. Nationalism. The idea of national identity as the primary identity came to the fore in the nineteenth century. Regionalism and sectarianism were still there, but they took a back seat to identity as French or English or German. As with the prevailing economic sides, nationalism was for many a zero-sum game. This was especially true of Germany, which was a latecomer to national unification. In practice, this led to Germans subscribing to an idea of Deutschland Uber Alles- the inherent superiority of Germany and things German.
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