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How did the relationship between individual and state change over the course of the twentieth century - Essay Example

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The feudal system had been present in Europe since the 8th century and was characterized by vassals being protected by Lords whom they had to serve in war. Due to various factors, the peasants…
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How did the relationship between individual and state change over the course of the twentieth century
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History The Relationship between Individual and over the of the Twentieth Century The rift between the individual and the state before 1787 was well depicted in France. The feudal system had been present in Europe since the 8th century and was characterized by vassals being protected by Lords whom they had to serve in war. Due to various factors, the peasants lost faith in the feudal system and stopped supporting it. These factors included increase in taxes, a growing middle class that was excluded from political power and the wide acceptance of philosophies by reformists. After 1789, there were bids to improve the relationship between the leadership and the subjects such as the proclamation of liberty, equality and fraternity of the citizens. This was a philosophy held by John Locke in the 17th century. In the traditional governments, only the high class citizens were allowed into politics and this did not include women. The Montagnards took up leadership and implemented revolutionary economic and social policies that resulted in revolts and violent reactions from the citizens. In the 19th century, most nations across Europe, North America and Spanish America adopted liberalism which opposed traditional conservatism and promoted representative democracy and the rule of law in government.
Over the 19th and 20th centuries, there was a characteristic change in the ideologies of citizens that influenced their relationship with state. The French revolution was characterized by various liberal movements including the women’s march on Versailles which forced the royal court back in Paris. Before World War I, the European political scene was dominated by liberalism but this was slowly replaced by socialism in the early 20th century. The Soviet Union communism was based on Marxism–Leninism ideology which held that the policies of understanding social life were the prevalent truths since the party was enlightened. It denied the possibility of multiple truths.
Nazism was a form of socialism in the 20th century that was featured by theories of racial hierarchy, expansion of power and subjection to a single strong leader. The Nazis under Adolf Hitler aimed at eradicating social divisions to promote a strong homogenous society by expanding its territories at the expense of its neighbors. Like the most previous ideologies, Nazism excluded women from political involvement and classified them as children. It was against interracial interactions and trained young girls to avoid race defilement. In the book Under a Cruel Star by Kovály, the writer describes her trials as a Jew during the Communism and Nazism regimes. The Jews were persecuted and many lost their lives in the gas chambers like Kovály’s parents. Her friends were scared of helping her for fear of victimization after her communism-supporting husband was arrested and hanged.
Fascism was an economic system in the 1920s and 1930s that was capitalist in which the state dictated all aspects of the economy. A known architect of fascism is Benito Mussolini. No economic activity could be started without the consent of the government and excess earning were confiscated as taxes. Bolshevism was a movement mainly in Russia that was against capitalism and supported some forms of socialism and communism. It advocated for a united Europe.
After World War II, the social international, an organization that advocated for social democracy and democratic socialism denounced both capitalism and Bolshevik communism. Further advancement in ideologies improved the relationship between the people and the government. Women representation in government was featured and Locke’s ideology of liberty, equality and fraternity of all citizens regardless of age, sex and race was adopted all over the world.
Broué P., Birchall I., Weitz E. D., Archer J., The German Revolution, 1917-1923, Haymarket Books, 2006.
Michael Newman. Socialism: A Very Short Introduction. Cornwall, England, UK: Oxford University Press, 2005.
Woshinsky O. H., Explaining Politics: Culture, Institutions, and Political Behavior. Oxon, England, UK; New York, NY, USA: Routledge, 2008. Read More
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