Brief Review in Global History and Geography

Global Interdependence

Document-Based Essay

This task is designed to test your ability to work with historical documents and is based on the accompanying documents (1–8). Some of the documents have been edited for the purposes of this question. As you analyze the documents, take into account both the source of each document and any point of view that may be presented in the document.

Directions: Read the documents in Part A and answer the questions after each document. Then, read the directions for Part B and write your essay.

Type in your answers in the text boxes following each question below. You can then e-mail them to your teacher.

Your first name only:

Your teacher's e-mail address:

Obtain the correct e-mail address from your teacher
(e.g., "teachers_name@somewhere.com")

Historical Context: The second half of the twentieth century was a period of conflicts and achievements.

Task: Using information from the documents and your knowledge of global history and geography, write an essay in which you discuss how tensions between governments, or the people they govern, shaped the world from 1945 to 2000. Discuss whether the world, in dealing with these tensions, became a better place in which to live. Why or why not?

PART A: SHORT ANSWER

Document #1

"We ask every Chinese citizen—every worker, peasant, soldier, civilian, celebrity, every government official, policeman, and our accusers—that you place your hand on your heart and ask yourself: What wrong have we done? What "turmoil" have we created? What causes have led us to protest, to demonstrate, to boycott classes, to fast, to hide ourselves? Why did this happen? Our words were not heard in good faith. We were beaten by police when we marched, though we were only hungry for the truth. Our representatives knelt for hours, presenting our petition, only to be ignored by the government. Our request for dialogue has been put off again and again. The safety of our student leaders is now uncertain.
     What shall we do?
     Democracy is supposed to be the highest of human aspirations and freedom a sacred human right, guaranteed at birth. Today these must be bought with our lives."
—Tiananmen Square Hunger Strike Declaration
(May 13, 1989)

1. According to this document, how did the Chinese government react to the student protests for democracy?

Document #2

"On November 9, it [the Berlin Wall] cut through the heart of Berlin, a jagged wound in the middle of a great city, the Great Divide of the Cold War. On November 10, it had become a dance floor, a picture gallery, a bulletin board, a movie screen, a videocassette, a museum, and, as the woman who cleaned my office put it, "nothing but a heap of stone." The taking of the Wall, like the taking of the Bastille, transformed the world. No wonder that a day later, in Alexanderplatz, East Berlin, one conqueror of the wall marched in a demonstration with a sign saying simply, "1789–1989." He had helped dismantle the central symbol around which the postwar world had taken shape in the minds of millions."
— Robert Darnton, historian

2. Why does Robert Darnton compare the fall of the Berlin Wall with the taking of the Bastille?

Document #3

Use this representation contrasting NATO and the United Nations forces to answer the following question.

3. What differences between NATO and the United Nations forces and their respective actions can be inferred from this cartoon?

Document #4

Ethnic Groups in the Former Soviet Republics

Republic Local Nationality Russian Other
Armenia Armenian 93% 2% Azeri 3%
Azerbaijan Azeri 90% 3% Armenian 2%
Belarus Belarussian 78% 13%  
Estonia Estonian 65% 28%  
Georgia Georgian 70% 6% Armenian 8%
Kazakhstan Kazakh 46% 35% Ukrainian 5%
Kyrgyzstan Kirghiz 53% 18% Uzbek 13%
Latvia Latvian 57% 30%  
Lithuania Lituanian 81% 9% Polish 7%
Moldova Moldovan/ Romanian 65% 13% Ukrainian 14%
Russia Russian 82%   Tatar 4%
Tajikistan Tajik 65% 4% Uzbek 25%
Turkmenistan Turkmen 77% 7% Uzbek 9%
Ukraine Ukrainian 73% 33%  
Uzbekistan Uzbek 80% 6% Tajik 5%
4. According to the table, what might be a source of tension in the former Soviet Republics?

Document #5

"Latin American democracy was a late arrival on the scene, and it has been disfigured and betrayed time and time again. It has been weak, hesitant, rebellious, its own worst enemy, all too eager to worship the demagogue [tyrant], corrupted by money, riddled with favoritism and nepotism. And yet almost everything good that has been achieved in Latin America in the last century and a half has been accomplished under democratic rule, or, as in Mexico, a rule heading toward democracy."
—Octavio Paz

5. According to Octavio Paz, what problems have plagued Latin American governments?

Document #6

"I know that you join us in our call to the members of the international community, and in particular to those nations of East and West which have much more power and resources than my small nation can ever hope to wield. To them I say with the greatest urgency: let Central Americans decide the future of Central America. Leave the interpretation of and the compliance with the Peace Plan to us. Support the efforts for peace in our region, not the forces of war; send us not swords but plowshares, not spears but pruning hooks. If, for your own purposes, you cannot stop hoarding the weapons of war, then in the name of God, at least leave us in peace."
—Dr. Oscar Arias Sánchez of Costa Rica, Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech (1987)

6. What is Dr. Arias Sánchez's advice to the powerful nations of the East and West?

Document #7

Use this representation of China to answer the following question.

7. In what way is China represented in this cartoon, and what opinion of possible Chinese actions can be inferred from it?

Document #8

"I remember a period in the early 1960s, when there was a great deal of political tension, and we often used to encounter armed police in Soweto. … I remember the humiliation to which my parents were subjected by whites in shops and in other places where we encountered them, and the poverty. All these things had their influence on my young mind … and by the time I went to Orlando West High School, I was already beginning to question the injustice of the society … and to ask why nothing was being done to change it."
—Mosima Gabriel Sexwale (1978)

"Factors such as South Africa's changing demography [population], the rate of urbanisation, the striving of the majority of people for a place in the sun, make it impossible … for the anachronistic [outdated] viewpoint of the right wing and sections of government [apartheid] to survive."
—Van Zyl Slabbert (1998)

8. According to Sexwale and Slabbert, what factors led to the end of apartheid?

PART B: ESSAY

Directions: Using information from the documents provided and your knowledge of United States history, write a well-organized essay that includes an introduction, several paragraphs, and a conclusion.

Historical Context: The second half of the twentieth century was a period of conflicts and achievements.

Task: Using information from the documents and your knowledge of global history and geography, write an essay in which you:

Discuss how tensions between governments, or the people they govern, shaped the world from 1945 to 2000. Discuss whether the world, in dealing with these tensions, became a better place in which to live. Why or why not?

Guidelines: When writing your essay, be sure to

  • address all aspects of the Task by accurately analyzing and interpreting at least four documents.
  • incorporate information from the documents in the body of the essay.
  • incorporate relevant outside information throughout the essay.
  • richly support the theme with relevant facts, examples, and details.
  • write a well-developed essay that consistently demonstrates a logical and clean plan of organization.
  • introduce the theme by establishing a framework that is beyond a simple restatement of the Task or Historical Context and conclude the essay with a summation of the theme.

When you're done, your answers to your teacher.