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Tutor profile: Samuel I.

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Samuel I.
History student and writing tutor
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Questions

Subject: World History

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Question:

Muhammad founded Islam in 622 A.D. By the time of the Abbasid Caliphate in the eighth century, the Islamic Empire encompassed most of the Middle East, North Africa, and modern-day Spain and Portugal. This period saw an unprecedented explosion of science, culture, and wealth that was centered on the Abbasid capital of Baghdad. How did the empire's geographic position allow it to experience such a golden age?

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Samuel I.
Answer:

The Abbasid Caliphate enjoyed a central position between Europe and Asia. This meant that it could bring together the scientific and intellectual developments of various regions. India, for example, had made great strides in mathematics and astronomy. Meanwhile, the Romans were building on the philosophical and scientific writings of Ancient Greece. The Islamic Empire linked these diverse cultures and benefitted from all of their discoveries and improvements. Additionally, that same central geographic position meant that the Abbasids exercised a significant degree of control over transcontinental trade. Trade between Europe and Asia required moving through their territory, as maritime trade routes going around Africa or through the Americas did not exist yet. This allowed the empire to grow wealthy.

Subject: US History

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Question:

Although World War II began in 1939 with Germany's invasion of Poland, the United States did not officially join the Allies until 1941. American public opinion was initially against entering the war- despite this, President Franklin Roosevelt believed that America should join the Allies. Provide one reason that Americans did not want to enter the war, as well as one reason that figures such as the president did want to enter the war.

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Samuel I.
Answer:

One reason that Americans did not want to enter the war was that they felt disillusioned by World War I. Propaganda had described that war as a battle for democracy, but Europe seemed no more democratic after the war than it had before. Ultimately, Americans felt that they had been drawn into a European squabble (in which many Americans died) that did not concern them. They were not eager to have that happen again. One reason that figures such as President Roosevelt did want to enter the war was that they saw the spread of fascism as a genuine threat. Hitler's expansionist policy, left unchecked, could eventually spread through Europe and present America with a powerful enemy. Roosevelt, through his talks with British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, would become more aware than most of the difficulties Britain was having. As such, he was very cognizant of Germany's growing strength.

Subject: European History

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Question:

The Netherlands is typically described as having experienced a golden age between the late sixteenth century and the late seventeenth century. What political, economic, and social factors may have led to this occurrence?

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Samuel I.
Answer:

Politically, the Dutch succeeded in becoming independent from Spain, with the war of independence ending in 1648. Economically, they went to war against Portugal and obtained valuable colonies in the East Indies. Additionally, the Reformation led to Calvinism taking root in the Dutch Republic. Calvinism emphasized prudent spending and education, and contributed to a healthy economy. Socially, the Dutch government was much more accepting of various ideas and philosophies than the other European powers. This led to a freer exchange of ideas and an environment that was more conducive to the sciences. The Dutch's newfound independence also led to a greater national consciousness and patriotism.

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