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HIST410 Contemporary History
Week 1 Case Study  Imperialism and Exploitation
The exploitation of colonial resources and indigenous labor was one of the key elements in the success of imperialism. Such exploitation was a result of the prevalent ethnocentrism of the time and was justified by the unscientific concept of social Darwinism, which praised the characteristics of white Europeans and inaccurately ascribed negative characteristics to indigenous peoples. A famous poem of the time by Rudyard Kipling, White Man’s Burden, called on imperial powers, and particularly the U.S., which the poem was directed at, to take up the mission of civilizing these “savage” peoples.
Read the poem at the following link:
Link (website): White Man’s Burden (Rudyard Kipling) (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
After reading the poem, address the following in a case study analysis:
Define social Darwinism in your own words.
Analyze the motivations and consequences that Kipling presents for undertaking the “White Man’s Burden.”
What specific examples of ethnocentrism can you identify?
Were the “Half-devil and half-child” peoples truly uncivilized?
HIST410 Contemporary History
Week 3 Case Study Mobilizing the Masses
Adolph Hitler was a charismatic figure with remarkable oratory skills that he was able to use to unify the German people under his leadership by appealing to their sense of grievance over the outcome of WWI and the resulting conditions in Germany in the intervening period as well as to their pride in their nation and its history.
Read Hitler’s speech at the following link:
Link (website): Berlin: Proclamation to the German Nation (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
Address the following in a case study analysis:
What factors, both internal and external, does Hitler blame Germany’s problems on?
In what ways does he appeal to the nationalism of the German people?
What actions does he suggest that portend the measures that Germany will take in the coming decade, resulting in WWII and the Holocaust?
As a German, not knowing the measures that Germany will take and suffering from the conditions Hitler describes, how would you respond to this speech?
HIST410 Contemporary History
Week 5 Case Study The Creation of Israel and Israeli Settlement in Palestine
The nation of Israel was officially created on November 29, 1947 as a result of UN Resolution 181 to provide a homeland for the Jewish people in a region with strong historical significance to people of Jewish faith (as well as Muslim and Christian faiths). This was accomplished by partitioning Palestine, an Arab nation, into two nations, creating animosity among the Arab peoples in the region, particularly the Palestinians, and resulting in decades of conflict between them and the nation of Israel. In the intervening years, Israel has engaged in the practice of expanding its territory into Palestine by creating Israeli settlements there. One of the recent incidents of this practice was address by Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, Executive Committee member of the Palestinian Liberation Organization.
Review the following resources:
Link (website): UN Resolution 181 (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
Link (website): Statement of Dr. Hanan Ashrawi in Regard to Jewish Settlements (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
Address the following in a case study analysis:
According to UN Resolution 181, what are the rights of Arabs in Israel and what are the rights of Palestinians in Israel?
Are the resulting conflicts religious, economic, territorial, or a combination of these? Support your assessment with evidence.
Is the practice of creating Israeli settlements in Palestine illegal? Assess Dr. Ashrawi’s statement that “Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is more committed to settlement expansion than to peace.”
What is the US position on this practice and how has this affected international relations?
HIST410 Contemporary History
Week 7 Case Study: Generation Kill A Conversation With Stanley McChrystal
According to, “Stanley A. McChrystal led the Joint Special Operations Command in Iraq during the Persian Gulf Wars and was top Commander of American forces in Afghanistan” (“Stanley McChrystal Biography,” n.d.). In the following interview, he describes the challenges of fighting terrorist/insurgent forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Link (library article): Generation Kill A Conversation With Stanley McChrystal (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
Address the following in a case study analysis:
According to McChrystal, how did the battle against terrorist organizations/insurgencies change after 9/11 and from what factors do they draw their strength?
What technological methods are used in Afghanistan and Iraq and how have they been used tactically (i.e., what goals are they used to achieve)?
Have they been successful?
What is the risk of using technological capabilities against terrorists?

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