ISC History 2017 Class-12 Previous Year Question Papers Solved
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ISC History 2017 Class-12 Previous Year Question Papers Solved
-: Select Your Topics :-
Maximum Marks: 80
Time allowed: Three hours
- Candidates are allowed additional 15 minutes for only reading the paper. They must NOT start writing during this time.
- Answer Question 1 (Compulsory) from Part I and five questions from Part II, choosing two questions from Section A, two
- questions from Section B and one question from either Section A or Section B.
- The intended marks for questions or parts of questions are given in brackets [ ].
Part-I (20 Marks)
Answer all questions
ISC History 2017 Class-12 Previous Year Question Papers Solved
Question 1. 
(i) Name the first All-India Peasant Organisation.
(ii) What was the most important reform introduced at the provisional level, by the Government of India Act, 1935 ?
(iii) Who said, “You give me blood, I will give you freedom” ?
(iv) Name the first Chief Election Commissioner of independent India.
(v) Name the leader of the Indian National Congress (O) party that was formed after the split in the Congress (1969).
(vi) What is the historical significance of 25 June, 1975, in the context of Indian democracy ?
(vii) Where was the first Summit of the Non- Aligned Nations held ?
(viii) Why was the Indian government not prepared for the sudden attack on India by the Chinese army in 1962 ?
(ix) Who began the Total Revolution (Sampoorna Kranti) Movement is Bihar (1974) ?
(x) Against which social evil was a campaign launched by the Shree Sangharsh Organisation ?
(xi) State any one reason why Mussolini helped General Franco in the Spanish Civil War.
(xii) Mention any one serious tactical mistake made by the Japanese in the Second World War.
(xiii) Name the policy on the basis of which
communes were introduced in China.
(xiv) Who was the African nationalist leader of the Kenya African Unity Party (KAU) ?
(xv) What was the main issue that led to a disagreement between the Allied Powers at the Potsdam Conference of 1945 ?
(xvi) How did the fall of communism in East Europe impact the future of Germany, in October 1990 ?
(xvii) Under which US President was the Civil Rights Act of 1964 passed ?
(xviii) What was Martin Luther King’s dream ?
(xix) What was the Balfour Declaration of 1917 ?
(xx) Name the signatories of the Camp David Accord of 1979.
(i) The first All India Peasant Organisation was Akhil Bharatiya Kisan Sabha or All India Kisan Sabha.
(ii) Provincial autonomy.
(iii) Subhash Chandra Bose.
(iv) Sukumar Sen.
(v) Kamaraj and later Morarji Desai.
(vi) On 25 June, 1975, State of internal emergency was declared by the Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
(a) India and China had singned the Panchsheel based on five principles of Peaceful coexistence.
(b) Army was not prepared for attack.
(c) Over faith of India towards China.
(ix) Jayaprakash Narayan.
(x) The Shree Sangharsh Organisation launched a campaign against oppression of women.
(xi) On 28th November, the Italian government signed a secret treaty with the Spanish Nationalists. In return for military aid, the Nationalist agreed to allow Italy to establish bases in Spain if there was a war with France.
(xii) Attacking Pearl Harbor and attacking Soviet forces from Manchuria were the serious tactical mistakes made by Japanese in the Second World War.
(xiii) The great leap forward.
(xiv) Jomo Kenyatta.
(xv) Post war fate of Germany.
(xvi) The fall of communism in East Europe had an impact on the future of Germany in following two ways :
- The two Germanies were reunified ,
- fall of Berlin wall.
(xvii) President Lyndon Johnson.
(xviii) An end to racism in the United States and called for civil economic rights.
(xix) The Balfour Declaration was a short letter by Arthur Balfour to arguably one of the most influential Jewish families – the Rothschild’s. It was assumed that the letter was all about the British government’s support to the creation of a Jewish homeland in Palestine.
(xx) The Camp David accord was signed in the United States on September 17,, 1978 by Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar El-Sadat.
Part—II (60 Marks)
ISC History 2017 Class-12 Previous Year Question Papers Solved
Answer five questions in all, choosing two questions from Section A, two questions from Section B and one question from either Section A or Section B.
(a) Under what national and international circumstances was the Cripps Mission sent to India in 1942 ? State any four proposals of the Cripps Mission Plan.  (b) Give an account of the repressive measures adopted by the Government to supress the Quit India Movement.  Answer 2:
(a) Japan fought the Second World War against the British. In December 1941, they attacked Pearl harbour, an American naval base. It was also making significant gains in South-east Asia, which brought it closer to the borders of India. Hence, the British government was forced to seek the support of the leaders of India. There was a considerable pressure from the Allies, especially the USA on the Britain to grant constitutional reforms to India.
In March 1942, the British Government sent Stafford Cripps, the leader of the House of Commons in England, to India with a set of proposals in order to seek its support for the war.
Main proposal of the Cripps Mission :
- The British Government would set up an Indian Union with a dominion status.
- The proposed union would be free to decide its relations with Britain.
- The Government would constitute a Constituent Assembly, which would frame the Constitution.
- Some of the members of this assembly were to be elected by the provincial assemblies through proportional representation. The other members were to be nominated by the princes of the Indian states.
- Any provinces not willing to join the Indian union would be free to frame a separate Constitution and form a separate union.
- The British Government desired for effective participation of Indians in the governor- general’s council.
- The defence of India would remain in the hands of the British.
(b) The arrest of Gandhi and the Congress leaders led to mass demonstrations throughout India. Thousands were killed and injured in the wake of the Quit India Movement. Strikes were called in many places. The British swiftly suppressed many of these demonstrations by mass detentions; more than 100,000 people were imprisoned. At many places houses were burnt by the police, huge amounts of fines were realized from the people. Women and children were assaulted. There were firings on as many as 538 occasions by the police and the military.
The entire Congress leadership was cut off from the rest of the world for over three years. At many places houses were burnt by the police, huge amounts of fines were taken from the people. By November 1942, the official figures revealed 1,028 as killed and 3125 as seriously wounded. The figures no doubt were very less and the real death was much more. The movement revealed the people’s fighting spirit and their laying for freedom. This movement thus served as an eye-opener to the British Government about India’s attitude to imperialism.
(a) Explain the main features of the Mountbatten Plan.  (b) Why did the Congress agree to the proposal for the partition of India ?  Answer 3:
(a) 1. The provincial assemblies of Punjab and Bengal would, by simple majority, decide on the issue of partition. If the assemblies voted for partition, there would be two dominions and two Constituent Assemblies.
2. The province of Sindh was free to take its own decision.
3. A referendum would be organized in NWFP to decide on remaining in the Indian union or the other union.
4. The Indian princely states were either to join Pakistan or the Indian union.
5. If the partition was accepted then a boundary commission would be set up.
6. Both the dominions would be independent in determining their foreign relations and about the nature of their relations with the commonwealth countries and Britain.
7. Independence would come on 15th August,1947.
(b) 1. Peaceful and immediate transfer of power.
2. Getting rid of undemocratic means.
3. Communal situation in the country.
4. League’s negative tactics.
5. Threat to the unity of India.
6. Alternative of accepting a loose federation.
7. Threat of civil war.
(a) Discuss the circumstances that let to the formation of the Janata Government in 1977.  (b) Why did the Janata Government fail ?  Answer 4:
(a) The Janata Party was formed by political leaders and activists of various political parties who had been united in opposing the state of emergency imposed in 1975 by the then-Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. After elections were called in 1977, the Janata Party was formed from the union of the Congress (O), Swatantra Party, Socialist Party of India, Bharatiya Jana Sangh and the Lok Dal. Congress defector Jagjivan Ram, Hemvati Nandan Bahuguna and Nandini Satpathy formed the Congress for Democracy and joined the Janata alliance. The widespread unpopularity of Emergency rule gave Janata and its allied a landslide victory in the election.
(b) The Janata Government failed because of the following reasons:
- The Janata Government began to wither as significant ideological and political divisions emerged.
- The party consisted of veteran socialists, trade unionists and pro-business leaders, making major economic reforms which were difficult to achieve without triggering a public divide.
- Socialists and secular Janata politicians shared an aversion to the Hindu nationalist agenda of the Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh.
- The Government had failed to prove most of the allegations and obtained few convictions.
- Cases against Indira Gandhi had also stalled for lack of evidence, and her continued prosecution began to evoke sympathy for her from the Indian public and anger of her supporters.
- Through 1979, support for Morarji Desai had declined considerably due to worsening economic conditions as well as the emergence of allegations of nepotism and corruption involving members of his family.
- Desai also lost the support of the secular and socialist politicians in the party, who saw him as favouring the Hindu nationalist BJS.
- On 19 July 1979, Desai resigned from the Government and eventually retired to his home
- The broken health of Jayaprakash Narayan made it hard for him to remain politically active and act as a unifying influence, thereby his death in 1979 deprived the party of its most popular leader.
- Dissidents placed Charan Singh as the new prime minister in place of Desai.
- President Reddy appointed Charan Singh as the Prime Minister of a minority Government on the strength of 64 MPs, calling upon him to form a new Government and prove his majority.
- The departure of Desai and the BJS had considerably diminished Janata’s majority, and numerous Janata MPs refused to support Charan Singh. MPs who were loyal to Jagjivan Ram withdrew themselves from the Janata Party.
- Former allies such as the DMK, Shiromani Akali Dal and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) had distanced themselves from the Janata party.
- Desperately seeking enough support for a majority, even Charan Singh sought to negotiate with Congress (I), which refused. After three weeks Charan Singh resigned.
Discuss the causes and consequences of the Indo-Pak war of 1971.  Answer 5:
The causes of the Indo-Pakistan war of 1971 were as follows:
Differences due to languages – Urdu and Bengali : After Mr. Jinnah became the Governor general of Pakistan, he declared in 1948, ‘Urdu alone would be the state language and the lingua franca of the Pakistan state’. The Bengalis in East Pakistan (present Bangladesh) didn’t appreciate it. They launched an agitation that peaked in 1952. The Pakistan Government relented and granted it the official recognition in 1956.
Political alienation : The East Pakistan was not treated and ruled well by the central Pakistan leadership. When military leaders began to rule the nation, they were even more one-sided with the West Pakistan and the alienation increased. Sheikh Mujibur Rehman, the leader of East Pakistan fought for the rights of East Pakistan. He came up with Six Points movement. It basically sought equal power for the East Pakistan on political, budgetary and military resources. The military leadership of West Pakistan didn’t heed it. Sheikh Mujibur Rehman and East Pakistan felt they were seeking more powers and autonomy. The military and West Pakistan saw it as an effort for separation. Mujibur Rehman was also arrested and imprisoned.
1970 elections and the break point : In the 1970 elections, out of the total 300 seats, Mujibur Rehman’s Awami League came first with 160 seats, followed by Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s Pakistan People’s party winning 81 seats and other parties the remaining. The majority required was 151, and Awami League had won it. But the Pakistan military leadership and the West Pakistan political leadership combined to deny a legitimate. When the military establishment was dragging its feet, East Pakistan grew restive. In March 1971, Mujibur Rehman called for independence. The Pakistan President, Gen. Yahya Khan declared martial law in East Pakistan and ordered arrest of Mujibur Rehman. Then, the Pakistan military attacked East Pakistan and refugees flooded into India. Also, some of the East Pakistan forces, the Muktibahini had been trained by Indian armed forces and they attacked Pakistan military. The 1971 Bangladesh liberation war had begun. Following are the Consequences of Indo- Pakistan 1971 War:
- Creation of Bangladesh (Previously known as East Pakistan): Birth of a new nation.
- Myth of superiority of Islamic armies busted.
- Indo-Soviet Friendship.
- Military posture of Pakistan: With defeat of magnitude comparable to Stalingrad- Pakistan started covert aggression against India through militancy in Kashmir & Punjab.
- Bid to acquire Nuclear weapons.
- Signing of Shimla agreement in June 1972 for restoration of peace and order between the two states.
(a) What were the main features of the Towards Equality Report (1974) ?  (b) Discuss briefly the efforts made by various Women’s Movements in India, to root out the social evils of :
(ii) Domestic violence in the 1970’s and 1980’s.  Answer 6:
(a) The report revealed the deplorable condition of women in the country evident from demographic data, an analysis of the socio-cultural conditions prevalent, the legal provisions and safeguards, economic role played by women in all sectors, women’s access to education, political participation, the policies and programmes for welfare and development, the impact of mass media, etc. The report also made several recommendations which included stressing the important role of the State and the community in the achievement of ‘gender equality’.
It highlighted the need for a concerted effort to eradicate oppressive practices such as dowry, polygamy, bigamy, child marriage, ostentatious expenditure on weddings. It also emphasized the need for a campaign on legal awareness, the provisions of creches, better working conditions for women including equal remuneration for equal work, the compulsory registration of marriages, law reform on aspects concerning divorce, maintenance, inheritance, adoption, guardianship maternity benefits, the universalisation of education, etc. The report reiterated the constitutional goal of a Uniform Civil Code for the country.
(i) The Progressive organisation of Women in Hyderabad organized new and fresh protests against dowry. In the late 1970s, Delhi became the focus of the movement against dowry and the violence inflicted on women in the marital home. Groups which took up the campaign included ‘Shree Sangharsh’ and ‘Mahila Dakshita Samiti’. Later, a joint front called the ‘Dahej Virodhi Chetna Mandal’ (organization for creating consciousness against dowry) was formed under whose umbrella a large number of organizations worked. The anti dowry campaign attempted to bring social pressure to bear on offenders so that they would be isolated in the community in which they lived. Experience in the campaign revealed the need for counseling, legal aid and’ advice to women.
It was in response to this that legal aid and counseling centers were set up in different parts of the country. Women’s organizations also succeeded in getting the dowry law changed,
(ii) The battered women’s movement, as it was called, exposed the failures of the law, medicine and society at large in responding to the 2-4 million women who were beaten in their homes annually. A massive outpouring of feminist activism and service provision for battered women in the mid-1970’s quickly caught the attention of Government officials, law enforcement, social workers and other non- explicitly feminist professionals. By the end of the decade many groups took on the work of the battered women’s movement.
Answer any two questions.
ISC History 2017 Class-12 Previous Year Question Papers Solved
(a) State the main aims of Hitler’s foreign policy and his plans to ful fil these aims.  (b) Give an account of the successful events of Hitler’s policy between 1933 and 1938.  Answer 7.
(a) The main aims of Hitler’s foreign policy were:
To destroy the Treaty of Versailles imposed on Germany. After her defeat in World War I, Hitler felt the Treaty was unfair and most Germans supported this view.
In a secret meeting in 1933, it was decided that from 1933 to 1935 Germany would rearm secretly. This would include :
- 300,000 men instead of 100,000.
- 1000 aircraft with secretly trained pilots.
- Barracks airfields and fortifications.
- New air force – Luftwaffe and 2500 aircraft and 300,000 men. In 1933 :
- Took Germany out from league and armament conference.
- Army to sign oath of allegiance.
- Signed non-aggression pact with Poland to make it seem as though Germany was no threat.
- Conscription – MARCH 1935 – announced publicly to have 500,000 men.
To unite all German speakers together in one country. After World War I there were Germans living in many countries in Europe e.g., Austria, Czechoslovakia and Poland. Hitler hoped that by uniting them together in one country he would create a powerful Germany or Grossdeutschland. To expand eastwards into the East (Poland, Russia) to gain land for Germany (Lebensraum living space).
(b) Following are the successful events of Hitlers’s policy between 1933 and 1938 :
The Saar : The Saar, with its rich coalfields, was an industrial area that had been taken from Germany by the Treaty of Versailles and put under the control of the League of Nations. A plebiscite (a vote by the people living in an area to decide the answer to an important question) was to be held after 15 years to decide if it was to be returned to the Germans. The plebiscite was held in January, 1935. The results of the plebiscite showed that over 90% of the population of the Saar wanted to reunite with Germany. Hitler considered this as a great triumph because it was the first of the injustices of the Treaty of Versailles to be reversed.
The Disarmament Conference- 1932-1934 : The conference first met in February. 1932. The main problem that they were discussing was what to do with Germany. Germany had been involved in the League for 6 years and many people accepted that Germany should be treated more fairly than it was said in the terms of the Treaty of Versailles. The question was, should everyone disarm to the level that Germany had been forced to or should the Germans be allowed to rearm to the level of other countries ? The Germans walked out of the conference in July 1932 when the other countries refused to disarm to the level that Germany had to. In May 1933, Hitler returned to the conference and promised that he wouldn’t rearm if ‘in five years all other nations destroyed their arms’. They refused and Hitler withdrew from the conference in October and not much later, the League of Nations.
Non-Aggression Pact with Poland 1934 :
Germany signed a non-aggression pact with Poland in January 1934. Hitler signed this for various reasons, including :
(i) He hoped to weaken the alliance that already existed between Poland and France.
(ii) He hoped to reduce the Polish fears of German aggression.
(iii) He wanted to show that he didn’t have a quarrel with Poland, merely the USSR.
Rearmament: Hitler staged a huge military rally celebrating the armed forces of Germany in 1935. He also reintroduced conscription and announced an army of 550,000 in the same year. An Air Ministry was set up to train pilots and build 1,000 aircraft. Hitler was breaking the terms of the Treaty of Versailles but he believed that he would get away with it due to the collapse of the Disarmament Conference. French, Italian and British representatives meet at the town of Stresa where they agreed to co¬operate to preserve the peace in Europe. They condemned the rearmament of Germany. This was known as the Stresa Front against German aggression. But it didn’t last long. It collapsed due to the Abyssinian Crisis which destroyed the relations between France, Britain and Italy and the Anglo-German Naval Treaty.
Anglo-German Naval treaty 1935 : Hitler was aware that Britain had some sympathy towards Germany regarding rearmament. Britain believed that the terms of the treaty had been too harsh on Germany and that a strong Germany would be a buffer against Communism. In 1935, Britain signed a naval agreement with Germany. This allowed the Germans to have navy fleet up to 35% of the size of the British fleet and had the same number of submarines. The British were accepting Hitler’s breach of the Treaty.
The Remilitarisation of the Rhineland 1936 : On 7th of March, 1936, Hitler moved German troops back into the demilitarised area of the Rhineland. This was a risk for Hitler as it was clearly a breach of the terms of the Treaty of Versailles. Also, the German army consisted of only 22,000 men and if the French army had reacted then there would have been no opposition. The men were also under strict orders to withdraw if they were faced with any opposition. But, neither the French nor British did anything. The troops remained in the Rhineland. Anschluss with Austria 1938 : Hitler was Austrian bom and he wished to see Germany and Austria united as one country.
(a) Discuss the initial achievements of Kwame Nkrumah in the field of internal and external affairs of Ghana.  (b) Explain the reasons for Nkrumah’s downfall and eventual overthrow from power in 1966.  Answer 8.
(a) As the corruption became entrenched, President Nkrumah made a “Dawn Broadcast” in April 1961 to denounce his ministers and other public officials engaged in corruption.
Led Protest Against British Rule in Africa : The ability of President Nkrumah to lead Ghana to attain independence from the British colonial rule is very much appreciated. While before President Nkrumah, Dr. J.B Danquah and others had formed UGGC to fight for independence, it appears they were not capable to lead thus, they invited President Nkrumah from UK to become the General Secretary.
Formed the Convention People’s Party :
The British convened a selected commission of middle-class Africans to draft a new constitution that would give Ghana a self-government. Under the new constitution, only those with money and property would be allowed to vote. Nkrumah organized a “People’s Assembly” with CPP party members, youth, trade unionists, farmers and veterans in September 1948.
Overcame Opposition Within Ghana : Dr. Nkrumah used his CPP’s parliamentary majority to ban all form of opposition and declared Ghana a one party state, and all forms of criticism, including constructive ones, were utterly suppressed.
Passed Bills such as the Avoidance of Discrimination Act 1957 and the Preventive Detention Act of 1958
Nkrumahism emerged as Sole Ideology by developing a One-Party Socialist State
Foreign Policy Based on Pan-Africanism and Liberation : Soon after Dr. Nkrumah became the leader of Ghana, he pursued an aggressive foreign policy, seeking to ultimately unite the whole of Africa. Hence, he was one of the founders of the Organisation of Africa Unity. He worked very tediously towards achieving this goal.
He was a founded member of NAM.
(b) Reason for downfall:
Role of Foreign Agents : It seems established that British and American imperialist circles, as well as the CIA and the British Secret Service, conspired with the military in bringing Nkrumah down.
Type of Mixed Economy : Ghana’s economic structure was a queer mixture of “welfare socialism” of the type seen in Western Europe and typical neo-colonialism. Such a combination hardly seems possible.
Parallel Private Enterprise : Quite a number of Ghanaian businessmen started up private concerns of their own, especially in consumer goods. As the socialist, democratic revolution grew and spread, there remained an under-lying potential for counter-revolution which proved to bring down Nkrumah easily.
Failure to Disarm Generals : As the coup plotters were later to allege, Nkrumah’s reign of terror created fear and panic among the populace. General insecurity created by mistrust came to take over from the well-knit Ghanaian society.
Lessons of the coup : A series of military coups (a quick and decisive seizure of governmental power by a strong military or political group) in the neo-colonialist states controlled by French imperialism like Dahomey, Central African Republic and Upper Volta; the way Ian Smith could get away with his Unilateral Declaration of Independence, and now the overthrow of Nkrumah, all point in the same direction-a seemingly uninterrupted wave of counter-revolutions is sweeping Africa. Only the military coup in Nigeria can be listed as a partial exception.
Nkrumah was a very complicated man. The times were turbulent and unpredict-able and his undertaking was of extraordinary complexity, His successes, his pan-African enthusiasm, the political galvanization of a very diverse, multifaceted society, the attainment of independence for Ghana and his early economic achieve¬ments have earned him an important place in history.
His failure emphasizes the extreme fragility of the developing world. It is a world with little or no tolerance for political, economic, social or natural shortcomings. Nkrumah’s serious shortcomings resulted in his political destruction and the near-devastation of a magnificent land and people.
Explain the deepening of the crisis in East- West relations during the Cold War with reference to :
(a) The Communist takeover of Czechoslovakia (1948).  (b) The Berlin Blockade (1948-49).  Answer 9.
(a) A coalition government was set up and led by the Non-Communist Benes. However, the Communists’ leader Gottwald made sure that they controlled the radio, the army and the police. Gottwald became the prime minister and set up a secret police force. Non¬Communists were arrested. In 1948, Communist workers went on strike, the Non¬Communist minister Masaryk committed suicide and Gottwald took over the government.
- It was the only remaining democratic state in Eastern Europe.
- It had a coalition government of communists and other left-wing parties in 1946.
- The communists had won 38 per cent of the votes and held a third of the cabinet posts.
- Prime Minister Gottwald was a communist, but President Benes and foreign minister, Masaryk, were non-communists. It was the only bridge between the East and the West.
- A crisis arose early in 1948: elections were due in May.
- There were signs that the communists were going to lose the elections as they had rejected the Marshall Plan.
- The communists decided to act before the elections and took control of the unionsandthe police in an armed coup.
(b) Berlin Blockade (1948-49) : The main cause of the Berlin Blockade was the cold war, which was started during that period. Stalin was taking over eastern Europe by salami tactics and Czechoslovakia had just turned Communist (March 1948). On the other side, the USA had just adopted the Truman Doctrine to ‘contain’ the USSR. The Berlin Blockade was just another event in this ‘Cold War’ between the superpowers. The second reason for the Berlin Blockade was that the USA and the USSR had different aims for what they wanted to do with Germany.
The USSR had already disagreed with Britain and the USA at Potsdam (July 1945) about this. Stalin wanted to destroy Germany, and the USSR had been stripping East Germany of its wealth and machinery. On the other side, Britain and the USA wanted to rebuild Germany’s industry to become a wealthy – trading partner (so as not to repeat the mistake of Versailles). This difference in aims was the underlying cause of the Berlin Blockade. The policy of the USA and the USSR towards Germany was so different that conflict was bound to break out there sooner or later.
These were the two causes which underlay the conflict in Berlin in 1948. Then there were three events which actually led to Stalin blocking off the borders.
Firstly, in January 1947, Britain and the USA joined their two zones together. They called the new zone Bizonia (‘two zones’). The Russians . realized that Britain and USA were beginning to create a new, strong Germany, so they were angry.
Secondly, on 31 March 1948, Congress voted for Marshall Aid. Stalin (rightly) saw this as an attempt to undermine Russian influence in eastern Europe. Immediately, the Russians started stopping and searching all road and rail traffic into Berlin.
Finally, on 1 June, America and Britain announced that they wanted to create the new country of West Germany; and on 23 June they introduced a new currency into ‘Bizonia’ and . western Berlin. People in eastern Europe began to change all their money into the new western currency, which they thought was worth more. The next day the Russians stopped all road and rail traffic into Berlin.
The Americans claimed that Stalin was trying to force the USA out of Berlin, and that the blockade was Russian empire-building in Eastern Europe. Stalin, however, claimed that – by introducing the new currency – the USA and Britain had been trying to wreck the east German economy. He said that the airlift was ‘simply a propaganda move intended to make . the cold war worse.’
Discuss the main features of Apartheid in South Africa and give a brief account of the opposition to Apartheid within South Africa.
Some Basic Features of Apartheid :
Basic premise : The races must be separated and allowed to develop their own way. In reality it was a system to keep white South Africans in control of the country.
Put into effect when the Afrikaners gained control of the Government (Afrikaners outnumbered other whites).
For years the system was supported theologically by a perversion of the Calvinist doctrine of predestination held in the South African Dutch Reformed Church.
The population was classified into four racial groups and had to carry internal passports which stated to which group the person belonged:
- European- whites – Afrikaners and British.
- Asians – from India – Brought over by the British to build the railroads and became a class of small shop owners.
- Coloured- People of mixed racial background – the largest number being in the Cape Town area.
- Bantu – the black residents of South Africa from numerous tribes.
Intermarriage was not allowed.
Only the white South Africans were considered complete citizens – The Bantu were considered foreigners living in South Africa.
Residence and jobs were determined by racial category – separate jobs, water fountains, benches in the park, residences, hospitals, schools – separate, but no equality was mentioned.
Criticism of the government was considered a Communist activity and was punishable by imprisonment.
Under the 90-day detention act, a person could be held in jail without being charged with a crime for 90 days (could be extended for a second 90 days).
Jnternational sanctions and embargoes helped in bringing an end to the system. Today all people are considered equal citizens of South Africa and Nelson Mandela (imprisoned for 27 yrs.) led the country, as president, into an era of real freedom and equality for all.
Opposition to apartheid within South Africa:
Internal resistance to the apartheid system in South Africa came from several sectors of society and saw the creation of organisations dedicated variously to peaceful protests, passive resistance and armed insurrection.
In 1949, the youth wing of the African National Congress (ANC) took control of the organisation and started advocating for a radical black nationalist programme that combined the tenants of Africanism with those of Marxism. The new young leaders proposed that white authority could only be overthrown through mass campaigns. In 1950 that philosophy saw the launch of the Programme of Action, a series of strikes, boycotts and civil disobedience actions that led to occasionally violent clashes with the authorities.
In 1959, a group of disenchanted ANC members formed the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC), which organised a demonstration against pass books on 21 March 1960. One of those protests was held in the township of Sharpeville, where 69 people were killed in the Sharpeville uprising.
The majority of whites supported apartheid. However, there were some who opposed apartheid, such as Helen Suzman, Colin Eglin and Harry Schwarz.
In the wake of the Sharpeville incident the government declared a state of emergency. More than 18,000 people were arrested, including leaders of the ANC and PAC. As a result both the organisations were banned. The resistance went underground, with some leaders in exile abroad and others engaged in campaigns of domestic sabotage and terrorism.
In the 1970s, the Black Consciousness Movement was created by tertiary students influenced by the American Black Power movement. BC endorsed black pride and African customs and did much to alter the feelings of inadequacy instilled among black people by the apartheid system. The leader of the movement, Steve Biko, was taken into custody on 18 August 1978 and died in detention.
In 1976, secondary students in Soweto protested against forced tution in Afrikaans. On June 16, it was meant to be a peaceful protest, 23 people were killed. In the following years several student organisations were formed with the goal of protesting against apartheid, and
these organisations were central to urban school boycotts in 1980 and 1983 as well as rural boycotts in 1985 and 1986.
In parallel to student protests, labour unions started protest action in 1973 and 1974. After 1976 unions and workers are considered to have played an important role in the struggle against apartheid, filling the gap left by the banning of political parties. In 1979, black trade unions were legalized and could engage in collective bargaining, although strikes were still illegal.
At roughly the same time churches and church groups also emerged as pivotal points of resistance. Church leaders were not immune to prosecution, and certain faith-based organisations were banned, but the clergy generally had more freedom to criticise the Government than militant groups did.
Among the white population, some 20 percent of which did not support apartheid, resistance was largely centred in the South African Communist Party and women’s organisation the Black Sash. Women were also notable in their involvement in trade union organisations and banned political parties.
(a) Give a brief account of the conflict in Palestine after the First World War that led to the outbreak of the Arab-Israel War in 1948.  (b) Discuss the causes and results of the Yom Kippur War (1973).  Answer 11.
(a) Palestine was absorbed into the Ottoman Empire in 1517 and remained under the rule of the Turks until World War One. Towards the end of this war, the Turks were defeated by the British forces led by General Allenby. In the peace talks that followed the end of the war, parts of the Ottoman Empire were handed over to the French to control and parts were handed over to the British – including Palestine. Britain governed this area under a League of Nations mandate from 1920 to 1948. To the Arab population who lived there, it was their homeland and had been promised to them by the Allies for help in defeating the Turks by the McMahon Agreement – though the British claimed the agreement gave no such promise.
The same area of land had also been promised to the Jews (as they had interpreted it) in the Balfour Declaration and after 1920, many Jews migrated to the area and lived with the far more numerous Arabs there. At this time, the area was ruled by the British and both Arabs and Jews appeared to live together in some form of harmony in the sense that froth tolerated the existence of the other. There were problems in 1921 but between that year and 1928/29, the situation stabilized.
The main problem after the war for Palestine was perceived beliefs. The Arabs had joined the Allies to fight the Turks during the war and convinced themselves that they were due to be given what they believed was their land once the war was over.
Clashing with this was the belief among all Jews that the Balfour Declaration had promised them the same piece of territory. In August 1929, relations between the Jews and Arabs in Palestine broke down. The focal point of this discontent was Jerusalem.
The primary cause of trouble was the increased influx of Jews who had immigrated to Palestine. The number of Jews in the region had doubled in ten years.
The city of Jerusalem also had major religious significance for both Arabs and Jews and over 200 deaths occurred in just four days in August (23rd to the 26th).
Arab nationalism was whipped up by the Mufti of Jerusalem, Haji Amin al-Husseini. He claimed that the number of Jews threatened the very lifestyle of the Arabs in Palestine.
In May 1936, more violence occurred and the British had to restore law and order using the military. Thirty four soldiers were killed in the process. The violence did not stop. In fact, it became worse after November 1937.
For the Arabs there were two enemies – the Jews and the British authorities based in Palestine via their League mandate. For the Jews there were also two enemies – the Arabs and the British.
Therefore, the British were pushed into the middle of a conflict they had seemingly little control over as the two other sides involved were so driven by their own beliefs. In an effort to end the violence, the British put a quota on the number of Jews who could enter Palestine in any one year. They hoped to appease the Arabs in the region but also keep on side with the Jews by recognizing that Jews could enter Palestine – but in restricted numbers. They failed on both counts.
Both the Jews and the Arabs continued to attack the British. Many Jews had fought for the Allies during World War Two and had developed their military skills as a result. After the war ended in 1945, these skills were used in acts of terrorism. the aftermath of the Holocaust in Europe, many throughout the world were sympathetic to the plight of the Jews at the expense of the Arabs in Palestine.
However, neither group got what they were looking for. The British still controlled Palestine. As a result, the Jews used terrorist tactics to push their claim for the area. Groups such as the Stem Gang and IrgunZvaiLeumi attacked the British that culminated in the destruction of the British military headquarters in Palestine – the King David Hotel. Seemingly unable to influence events in Palestine, the British looked for a way out In 1947, the newly formed United Nations accepted the idea to partition Palestine into a zone for the Jews (Israel) and a zone for the .Arabs (Palestine). With this United Nations proposal, the British withdrew from the region on May 14th 1948. Almost immediately, Israel was attacked by Arab nations that surrounded in a war that lasted from May 1948 to January 1949.
(b) The Yom Kippur War can be traced to three factors:
- The failure of all international initiatives for the resolution of the Arab-Israeli dispute.
- The emergence of an Arab coalition which was able and willing to do battle with Israel.
- The steady flow of arms from the superpowers to their regional clients.
Effects of war:
- Syria was unable to capitalize on its (brief) gains in the war.
- The primary effect of Egyptian-Israeli war was the fact that, in giving Israel a bloody nose, Egypt was able to achieve a sense of quid-pro- quo (a favor or advantage granted in return for something) – posts the 1967 debacle, in a way to achieve a “victory”.
- The primary Israeli effect of war was to kick off the final crumbling of the hegemony of the Israeli Labour party leadership and the rise of the Likud on the other hand.
- The blood-letting in the war briefly made Israel to be willing to negotiate withdrawal from conquered lands. This allowed Egypt to achieve its longer pre-war aims of recovering the Sinai peninsula in its entirety in exchange for a peace agreement in Israel. So, peace and withdrawal are two very significant after-effects.
- Militarily, the war gave a positive proof of the efficacy of the anti-tank missile and, to a lesser degree, the surface-to-air missile (these latter had a great test in Vietnam too).
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