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Discussion Week 7

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1. "France's new leader, Napoleon, brought stability at home while his military conquests exported important political and social developments of the French Revolution across Europe." Discuss.
[Napoleon left an indelible legacy of political principles (e.g. the Civil Code) which found positive and negative expressions overseas and in post-Napoleonic France. Mao Tse-Tung, the Chinese Communist leader, was once asked what he thought the effects of the French Revolution were. He answered: "I don't know. It's too soon to tell."]

2. "War revealed the systemic weakness in Russia's newly industrialized autocracy, leading to the March Revolution." Discuss.
[Russia was dragged into an imperialistic war which cannot have been popular. She was sucked into it through her alliance with France and Britain (The Triple Entente) and through Czar Nicholas' ties of kinship with the British royal family. The revolution in March 1917 was a partial and unsatisfactory one. The Bolsheviks seized power in October. Lenin and his Bolshevik followers had challenged Kerensky's government to fully reform and to take Russia out of the war which had cost her millions of lives and gained her nothing, only what she lost to Germany at the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk.]

Copyright ©2008 Aidan Breen, Ph.D.