The Struggles of an Empire (L110)

1.) What was the Kulturkampf?

Translating to “culture struggle” in English, the Kulturkampf refers to a time period in which German policies carried out by Prussian Prime Minister Otto van Bismarck were inclined to reduce the voice of the Roman Catholic Church in Prussia in order to push his new Empire into a single whole.

2.) Discuss the arguments advanced in favor of and against the British Empire in the two articles you read.

Throughout both articles, many important points were brought to light pertaining to the actions taken to preserve the British Empire. Most appallingly, and most well known, the back story goes that “the chicanery employed by the British authorities to evict the 1,500 islanders of Diego Garcia from their home in the Indian Ocean to make way for a U.S. military base in 1970” (James). However, what was left out were the 8,800 papers held at high security that detailed the accounts of relentless, shameful and horrific attacks on hundreds. Accounts in the previously withheld papers also included the frequent torture and murder of Mau Mau insurgents (Cobain). Yet, despite these blatant facts, James went on to finish his piece by stating “the Empire was a dynamic force for the regeneration of the world. It brought peace, security and stability to people who had lacked them; it delivered the products of science and technology to vast tracts of the world; and showed their inhabitants how they could master their environment” (James). This is true, I suppose, if you’re willing to ignore the mutilation of an entire civilization of people. The British, it could be said by James, had to first master the people before they could teach them to master their surroundings; the despicable acts carried out in this time are nothing to be proud of. According to James, the British took the “do as I say not as I do” route to “peace”. No societal advance should be made at the expense of another person or society; James is incorrect to believe the acts carried out were necessary to attain peace, stability and security.


James, Lawrence. “Yes, Mistakes Were Made, But We Must Never Stop Being Proud of The Empire.” Mail Online. Associated Newspapers, 18 Apr. 2012. Web. 31 Mar. 2015. <;.

Cobain, Ian, Owen Bowcott, and Richard Norton-Taylor. “Britain Destroyed Records of Colonial Crimes.” The Guardian. Guardian News, 17 Apr. 2012. Web. 31 Mar. 2015. <>.

Writing Assignment (L45)

What are some of the characteristic features of (a) Mannerism and (b) the Baroque?

A.) A few characteristic features of the Mannerism art period are how dramatic, elaborate and sophisticated each piece is. Many captured religious and spiritual depictions, some violent, some tear-jerking. A main pull during this period was really getting a reaction from the viewer. This meant going a step deeper than the Renaissance had; artists such as Tintoretto and El Greco found themselves creating images with a newly profound perspective on use of light, shadow, and the connection between space and people.
B.) A few characteristic features of the Baroque art period include intense drama, energy, motion, and increased light use. Again it is observed that gods as well as other spiritual entities and encounters are depicted (sometimes for a more dramatic affect on the viewer). Aside from paintings, many sculptures and other art forms became popular. Figures carved into stone captured exact movement better with bulging muscles and poised perfection. Wrinkles lined marble faces spelling out exact emotion. This was a time of overwhelming detail.

Describe Peter the Great’s program for Russia

Peter the Great’s plan for Russia was to modernize (Westernize) it, and bring in what he thought was the best of information/ideas from each place he had traveled in order to improve Russia. Going against everything he had been taught by his father, Peter the Great discontinued men’s ability to wear beards, long hair. Should a man want to do either he would be heavily taxed for it. Also unlike his father, he encouraged the Western dress. He created a more modernized army (after an embarrassing defeat) by raising existing taxes and creating new ones. Although he was relatively religiously tolerant, he did pursue the persecution of the Old Believers. He also ultimately gains control of the Russian Orthodox Church for the state.

What did Frederick William accomplish?

Frederick William is known greatly for being one of the first to have established a large standing army to defend and extend his lands. Eventually, his standing army amounted to 3% of his entire population, and it continued to grow under his son Frederick I.