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World History Terms

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Chinese Communist Revolution

The revolution of 1925-1927 in China is the unfinished bourgeois-democratic revolution aimed at the destruction of imperialist oppression and domination of semi-feudal order in the political and economic structure of China. The aggravation of the contradictions between imperialism and the Chinese people after the World War I, intensified exploitation of workers, and the impact of the socialist revolution led to the revolution of the masses. In Guangzhou, single national anti-imperialist and anti-militarist front was based on cooperation of the Communist Party of China and the Kuomintang. Besides the core of the revolutionary army was formed by defeating the counter-revolutionary forces in Guangdong, it increased worker and peasant movement. All this contributed to the folding of the immediate revolutionary situation that developed into a revolution after the events of May 30, 1925 in Shanghai. Its driving force was the working class, the urban bourgeoisie and the national bourgeoisie. In the course of the revolution, the latter sought to subjugate the masses to their influence. The revolution was defeated, but China has not returned to pre-revolutionary state. The ruling bourgeois-landlord bloc was formed while establishing the positions of big bourgeoisie, which sought to unite the country under its power, and being in league with foreign imperialists.

Negotiated Decolonization

The collapse of the colonial system and decolonization are mainly related to the rise and fall of economic and military situation in European metropolitan countries. The process of negotiated decolonization is characterized by the change of international status of the country by adopting specific documents and signing decisions on decolonization of certain countries. In the process of decolonization, the United Kingdom has changed the status of its colonies including Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the Union of South Africa, recognized them as dominions, and expanded their rights.

The decolonization after World War II was particularly intense. In June 1945, the UN held a discussion on the future of the colonies, which resulted in the charter of the organization and was recorded provision for a trust territory, autonomy, or independence. Given the constant cravings and enhancements of the colonies to self-determination, the metropolis made the number of changes in their colonial politics and relationship. During 1960, 17 countries of African continent achieved independence, and the United Nations proclaimed it the year of Africa. The longest period of holding the colonies belongs to Portugal. However, in 1973-1975, it granted independence to Angola, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau, Sao Tome and Principe, and Cape Verde.

Revolutionary Decolonization

The process of revolutionary decolonization can be discussed based on the Algerian decolonization, where the decolonization fight had been taking place during the period of 8 years. The problem was that France did not want to lose such a piece of rich soil and resources. The country used all the forces and means to prevent independence of Algeria. In 1954-1962, there was a colonial war associated with greater integration of the two economies of both countries and with the fact that there were found huge oil fields in Algeria. Only in 1962, Algeria became independent aided by the support of the international community and the UN. The latter adopted the Declaration on Granting Independence to Colonial Countries and People in 1960. Although the process of decolonization was considered as negotiated for the rest African countries, in fact, it was not the one as the world military forces that controlled specific countries and areas decided this question using their capabilities, and they were always ready to use revolutionary methods to reach the needed agreement. The force with more significant power had the right to decide the situation and dictate the future of the colonial countries.

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Two Theories of Revolutionary War (Algeria)

There are two theories of revolutionary war – military theory and theory of revolutionary decolonization and violence. Military theory is based on the process of solving the problems of colonial countries by using military forces and getting ready to protect the independence by organizing military campaigns with the final aim of decolonization. At the same time, there is another theory that was developed by Franz Fanon who shared and propagated it during the Algerian war. This theory bases on fighting with the monopolist countries and aiming at revolutionary decolonization while using way of violence and fight with the oppressors. Considering revolutionary violence as great response mechanism of the oppressed, Fanon has had a significant impact on both the national liberation movements in Africa and Latin America and the left-radical movements in Western countries. Fanon’s ideas are seen directly through Jean-Paul Sartre’s thoughts, who wrote the preface to the book “The Wretched of the Earth”, and Herbert Marcuse’s vision, who adapt them to the West-European realities. Anti-colonial ideas outlined in the book “The Wretched of the Earth” had significant impact on revolutionary leaders in different regions of the world – Che Guevara in Latin America and Steve Biko in South Africa.

Vietnam Wars/ Viet Minh

The main events of the war occurred in Vietnam, where after winning the elections to the National Assembly, the patriotic movement Viet Minh of Vietnam Democratic Republic was proclaimed on the 2nd of September, 1945. Viet Minh is a military-political organization founded by Ho Chi Minh to fight for Vietnamese independence from France and Japan. The first Vietnam War is known as the “War of Resistance” – the war of the Vietnamese nationalists and communists united under the auspices of the military-political movement “Viet Minh” against the French colonial administration in 1945-1954.

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France was at war with the support of local allies, the US and the UK powers. Democratic Republic of Vietnam was at war with the support of China and the Soviet Union. First Indochina War ended by the division of the territory of Vietnam along the 17th parallel into two independent states: the Democratic Republic of Vietnam with the capital city Hanoi in the north and the State of Vietnam with its capital Saigon in the south.

Cuban Revolution and the Cold War

During the Cold War, the confrontation between the two superpowers, the Soviet Union and the United States, had been expressed not only in direct military threat and the arms race but also in efforts of expanding their areas of influence. The Soviet Union sought to organize and support the liberation of socialist revolutions in various parts of the world. In case of victory of the revolution, the country became a member of the socialist camp, there were built military bases and invested significant resources. The Cold War was worsened after the Cuban revolution.

The Cuban Revolution is an outstanding event, which opened a new page in the history of America. It paved the way for the Cuban people to freedom, independence, and socialism. As a result of the revolution, the Cuban government nationalized enterprises owned by citizens and the US government. In response, the United States has stopped the supply of oil and blocked the purchase of sugar. These steps put Cuba in a very difficult position. By that time, the Cuban government has established diplomatic relations with the USSR that sent oil tankers and organized the purchase of Cuban sugar.

1968 Counterculture

The year of 1968 is called mysterious because the researchers cannot explain why people in different parts of the planet at the same time fell into a revolutionary rage.

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Sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll are three pillars on which rests the phenomenon that is called “counterculture”. The term “counterculture” was first introduced by the American sociologist T. Roszak as a background for a generalized designation of alternative trends in the arts, social thought, religious life, politics, and everyday life. For counterculture, it is characteristic to appeal to the unorthodox spiritual traditions and esoteric practices like European and Eastern mysticism, shamanism, Satanic cults experiments, narcotics and chemicals causing hallucinations. Yoga can be mentioned among other tendencies. For counterculture, bizarre compound symbolism of different cultures and eras trying to play culture models of marginal behavior being alienated in the modern context of the developed world is also characteristic. This includes foolishness of the European Middle Ages, Zen art, romance, and decadence of modern times.

The sources that defined the style of thinking ideologists of the counterculture of the 1960s became the philosophical concept of Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, Freud, Marcuse, Kafka, G. Hesse, and others.

Fossil Fuels/Democracy

The issue of democracy and the ratio of fossil fuels start with figuring out how to relate to each other, democracy, and coal. Modern democracy became possible by raising living standards; it is based on fundamentally new volumes of energy consumption. It is the use of fossil fuels that has provided the thermodynamic force. It had been increasing exponentially during the 19th century. The democracy is considered as direct consequence of these changes taken place to the extent that rapid spread of industrial life destroyed old forms of power. However, the demand for democracy was not just a by-product of the growth of production and consumption of fossil fuels. People formulate political demands and promising programs, acquiring the ability to act, which stems from the very essence of a new energy system. Using the features of its functioning, they are grouped in the political machine of a special type.

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The concentration of political power was weakened by a transition from the forms of collectivity, kept on the use of coal to social existence, which was more and more dependent on oil.

Abu Ghraib Prison Scandal

In April 2004, the American channel «CBS» showed a story about tortures of prisoners in Iraqi prison Abu Ghraib, which caused a loud international scandal. The reports of tortures were met with outrage in Iraq. The representatives of the Interim Governing Council of Iraq called the tortures “hateful practices aimed at humiliation of human dignity of the Iraqi people”. During the tortures of prisoners, the US military were taking photos while posing at a background of their victims. As mentioned in «The New York Times Magazine», philosopher Susan Sontag believed that the prison photos are typical expression of American pop culture with evident influence of brutalized violent pornography, sadistic movies, and video games; the fashion documented and publicly displayed their lives. Seven soldiers were convicted of the cases of abuse at Abu Ghraib. From 2004 to August 2007, the military tribunal considered more than 11 cases with American guards, eight of them got a prison sentence. Two more are under investigation. However, experts believe that the liability can be held this time to the representatives of higher army administration.

Bolivia, Nationalization, and US Aid

The US does not have an ambassador in Bolivia since 2008, when Philip Goldberg was declared persona non grata for subversive activities aimed at overthrowing the government of Evo Morales. For a long time, Bolivia was completely dependent on the United States in all the spheres including political, financial, economic, and military sectors. Morales and his team of associates have made restoration of the independence and sovereignty of the country.

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Unconditional US dominance in Bolivia ended after the nationalization of oil and gas fields, the approval of new Constitution, the inclusion of indigenous people in the Indian political and economic life of the country, the initiation of integration processes for the Latin Americans. Bolivia currently has become, along with Colombia and Peru, a major supplier of coca to the world market. In 2005, the production of this drug has increased in Bolivia by a third. According to UN data, the area under coca cultivation is over 23 thousand hectares in the country. El Evo says that coca is not a drug and is, in fact, harmless. He proposes to organize manufacture of soft drinks, chewing gum, and soap based on coca in Bolivia. The US administration is extremely concerned about such initiatives.

Neo-Liberalism vs. Dependency Theory

Dependency theory is a social theory based on the assertion that the resources move from the poor countries to the rich and developed ones. The central position of dependency theory lies in the fact that the poor countries get poorer, and the rich ones become richer because of the economic system integrated into the world. Dependency theory emerged in the 1950s in response to the neo-liberal economic views. It became popular in the 1970s as an alternative to early versions of modernization theory. The neo-liberal theory argued that all societies pass through the same stages; thus, the modern underdeveloped countries are in the same position as the current developed ones some time ago. Dependency theory has criticized these provisions, arguing that underdeveloped countries are not just older versions of modern societies but have their own unique features and structures, and that it is important for them to occupy a weaker position in the global economic system while comparing with the developed countries. According to the theory in general, the authors argue that the poverty of underdeveloped countries stems not from the fact that they are not integrated into the world market but from the fact that they are its part.

Liquid Modernity/Societies of Control

The fluidity of the modern world, according to Bauman, represents tremendous human freedom in the world. Everything is open, permeable, and dynamic. Consequently, the liquid modernity and permeability of the world embody the main value of the time, the freedom. Speaking about the specifics of modern wars, the author points out that none of the military operations carried out by the US army in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Yugoslavia intended to conquer their territory. According to Bauman, the territory of these countries is useless in itself. The US, being the bulwark of freedom, fluidity, and permeability, wanted to extend this very freedom, fluidity, and permeability to the rest of the world. The Americans wanted to eliminate the barriers to flow and permeability in individual countries.

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According to the theory of societies of control, the individual is now a continuous transition from one place to another, each of which has its own law. First, it is the family law, then the school, the factory, the hospital from time to time, then perhaps even a prison, the predominant and most complete form of detention. Society of control exists to monitor the individuals. For this reason, it needs the whole world to be liquid, transparent, and available for monitoring.

The Crisis of Capitalism

The crisis of capitalism is the period of the revolutionary downfall of the regime as a social system and internal corruption. It is also the decay of the world capitalist system that falls away from it and forms new units, and the struggle between socialism and capitalism on a world scale. The basis for the crisis of capitalism was World War I and the Great October Socialist Revolution, which overthrew the capitalist system on one sixth territory of the globe. As a result, the capitalism has ceased to be a global system. Instead, the socialism, being more progressive social system, began to develop and strengthen. The crisis of capitalism has gained general spread to all the capitalist relations: the economy, the political system, social structure, politics, and ideology. At the heart of the deepening crisis of capitalism, there was a changing balance of forces on the world arena in favor of socialism. Radical changes and qualitative leaps determined the stage of profound crisis in the process of alteration. The growth of the positions of socialism not only narrowed the scope of the domination of capitalist monopolies, but also contributed to the aggravation of the internal contradictions of capitalism, the growth of the class struggle under capitalism, and the rise of the national liberation movement.

Arab Uprisings

Arab Uprisings of 1936-1939 is a series of Arab riots, terrorism, and warfare of the Arabs in Palestine against the Jews, the British authorities, and against other Arabs. In April 1936, Arab Higher Committee called for general strike of workers and Arab boycott of Jewish products. Arab new committee forbade other Arabs to pay taxes and called for the closure of the municipal authorities. The committee declared that the Arab general strike would continue until the government does not comply with three demands: to end Jewish immigration, to prohibit the transfer of land to Jewish property, and to stop the creation of National Government. The revolt did not reach its goals, but modern Arab-Palestinian historians argue that it was the birth of the Palestinian Arab identity. Another result of the rebellion was the birth of the two economic systems in Palestine – Jewish and Arab ones. Before the uprising, only one Jewish city of Tel Aviv was used as the seaport adjacent to Yafa. The port in Tel Aviv itself was built after the uprising. The suppression of the British and the expulsion of Palestinian Arab elite outside of the mandate extremely weakened Palestinian Arab society, which was crucial in 1948 war with Jewish Yeshiva.

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