1. Prologue
  2. Imperialism and Colonization
  3. Industrial Revolution
  4. Socialism, Communism, Capitalism, Revolutions
  5. France, America, Russia
  6. China, Japan
  7. Germany, Italy, World Wars
  8. Decolonization Post WW2


From 2013, UPSC has introduced world history as a syllabus topic for General studies paper 1. There is lack of good quality mock questions on this topic for practice. Therefore, I’ve collected questions from following previous exams:

  1. Last 12 term end exams of IGNOU BA, MA history course code: EHI6, EHI7 and MHI2
  2. Previous papers of UPSC (History) Optional Subject Paper II from 1979 to 2012
  3. Old NCERT Class 10 (Arjun Dev): all the relevant chapters already uploaded on Mrunal.org/History

Some of these questions are outside the syllabus and/or beyond the (expected) difficulty level of General Studies Mains paper, hence Readers’ discretion is advised.
Official UPSC syllabus is following:

History of the world will include events from 18th century such as industrial revolution, world wars, redraw of national boundaries, colonization, decolonization, political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism etc.- their forms and effect on the society
Where can you find answers?

  • the foundation material for most of these questions=available in Old NCERTs, uploaded on Mrunal.org/history
  • for additional points to make up a 10-12-15 marks content, selective study of  those IGNOU courses: EHI6, EHI7, MH2 (from Egyankosh.ac.in) or Arjun Dev / Norman Lowe / Jain-Mathur
  • and search google/Britannica as and where necessary.

Imperialism and Colonization

  1. Discuss the basic feature of colonialism in what ways colonialism is different from imperialism?
  2. European conquest of the world
  3. Explain the workings of Imperialism in the context of any one imperialist country.
  4. In what ways are colonialism and imperialism related to each other?
  5. Define: Mercantilism, Colonial state, Canton System
  6. What is colonialism? Give an account of the different stages of colonialism.
  7. Write a note on the process of the expansion of the world by European powers.
  8. Write a note on the process through which the European powers conquered the entire world.
  9. Critically discuss the various theories of imperialism.
  10. Discuss the measures taken by the British state towards modernisation.
  11. What was the impact of Colonialism on Africa? Discuss.
  12. Write a note on the imperialist rivalries that developed in the late 19th and the early 20th century.
  13. Define nation. What is the process through which nations have emerged in the world?
  14. Discuss the main features of direct colonial domination by European powers
  15. Discuss the three stages of British colonialism in India.
  16. Making of the British Nation-State
  17. Examine the features of colonialism with reference to the stages through which it developed.
  18. Write a note on Theories of Imperialism
  19. What is colonialism? Discuss the various stages of colonialism.
  20. A cleaver conquer will always impose his demands on the conquered by installments.
  21. After 1757 there grew up a State of Bengal which was a ‘sponsored state as well as a plundered state.
  22. Assess critically the economic impact of the British rule in India till the end of the nineteenth century.
  23. At the end of the battle of Sedan (1870), Europe lost a mistress and gained a master.
  24. By 1914, the sick man of Europe was no longer just Turkey : it was Europe itself. Explain.
  25. Colonies are like fruits which cling to the tree only till they ripen.
  26. Critically examine the culture system in the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia) during the nineteenth century. Why was it dismantled?
  27. Critically examine the Dutch colonial policy in Indonesia.
  28. Discuss the emergence of neo-imperialism in the late nineteenth century.
  29. Discuss the view that the British rule brought about economic changes in India to serve the needs of the imperial economy and establish a dependent form of underdevelopment in this country.
  30. Explain how American imperialism in Philippines differed with European imperialism in Indonesia and Indo-China.
  31. Explain the British policy of Subordinate union of Indian States with British India from 1858 onwards? How did the Government of India implement this policy during this period?
  32. Holland was engaged in a systematic exploitation of Indonesia in the nineteenth century. Elucidate.
  33. If imperialism is viewed as a phase of the struggle for power between States, its result must be judged in terms of its role in power politics.
  34. Imperialism and Colonialism have long employed as instruments of national policy.
  35. In all the long annals of Imperialism, the partition of Africa is a remarkable freak.
  36. Mercantilist philosophy was based upon a belief that private & social interests are not necessarily in harmony.
  37. New imperialism was a nationalistic, not an economic phenomena.
  38. One great effect of the geographical discoveries of the 15th century was  the growing belief that America, Asia and Africa were to be used extensively for the benefit of Europeans.
  39. Orientalism produced a knowledge of the past to service the needs of the Colonial States. Elucidate.
  40. Plantations and mines, jute, banking, insurance, shipping and export-import concerns in India were run through a system of interlocking managing agencies.
  41. Portugal and Spain, the pioneers in world exploration, were also first in the race to conquer overseas countries
  42. Rabindranath Tagore’s nationalism was based on a Catholic internationalism.
  43. The British conquest of Sind was both a political and moral sequel to the first afghan war. Comment.
  44. The British industrial policy in the nineteenth century ruined the Indian handicrafts.
  45. The British Raj had a deeply racist aspect and it ultimately existed to protect colonial exploitation.
  46. The Christian Missionary propaganda from 1813 onwards was often insensitive and wounding.
  47. The countries in the Middle East became, after 1919, the scene of constant effervescence and some striking changes.
  48. The Crimean War was the most useless war ever waged.
  49. The discovery of the new world, coinciding with the swift diffusion of printed books, taught the Europeans that Truth is the daughter not of authority, but of time.
  50. The educated middle class in the 19th century often found the domain of reason to be oppressive, as it implied the historical necessity of ‘civilizing’s colonial rule.
  51. The forces of free trade and the British determination to create a political and administrative environment conductive to trade and investment had shaped the British policy towards India in the first half of the nineteenth century. – Elucidate.
  52. The Government of India from Canning to Curzon was regarded as a white mans burden rather than as a call to creative effort or the preparation for a new era.
  53. The Indian Middle Class firmly believed that Britain had imposed a colonial economy on India which had impoverished the country.
  54. The Montague Declaration (20 August 1917) was observed more closely in the realm of imperial relations than anything else.
  55. The period 1919 to 1945 is important in the history of Egypt for the explanation of its resources by Great Britain and rise of strong nationalism. Discuss.
  56. The railways, instead of serving as the catalyst of an industrial revolution as in Western Europe and the USA, acted in India as the catalyst of complete colonization.- Examine.
  57. The rise and expansion of British empire was an accident rather than the result of a deliberate policy and design. Critically examine this statement.
  58. The simultaneous expansion of European powers overseas during the last quarter of the 19th century brought them into frequent collisions at a remote points all over Africa and Asia.
  59. The sponsors of the overseas expansion of Europe were national monarchies.
  60. The treaties made at the Paris Peace conference in 1919-20 were replete with unstable compromises, reflecting more materialism than idealism. Elucidate.
  61. Trace the stages in the partition of Africa after 1870. How did it affect international relations?
  62. Trace the various stages of European imperialism in Africa in the nineteenth century.
  63. What do you understand by Imperialism? How did it affect the people of Asia in the nineteenth century?
  64. What do you understand by imperialism? State briefly its unique features in the case of Africa?
  65. What was the culture system in the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia) during the 19th century? Why was it dismantled?
  66. Write a critique on the partition of Africa from 1870 to 1914, with particular reference to Germany’s imperial designs in the Continent.
  67. Describe the steps, giving examples, by which the imperialist countries ‘took over most of Africa.
  68. Why were Asian and African countries so easily dominated by the Western powers?
  69. How did nationalism help to make imperialism ‘popular’ in Europe?
  70. Describe the emergence of the United States of America as an imperialist power Give examples
  71. Explain the meaning of the following terms, with examples: Sphere of influence, exploitation, extraterritorial rights, protectorate, Monroe Doctrine, Dollar diplomacy.
  72. Prepare maps of Asia and Africa showing the colonies and spheres of influence of the various imperialist powers before the First World War
  73. Write an essay on ‘Slavery and Slave Trade and the Struggle for their Abolition
  74. How did the empires of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries differ from the empires of ancient times —for example, those of the Mauryas, the Romans and of Alexander?
  75. Discuss the differences between the imperialist expansion during the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries and 1870 to 1914
  76. Name and discuss some of the big problems faced by newly independent countries Why are their problems also the problems of all countries?
  77. Discuss the long-term impact of imperialist control on the countries of Asia, Africa and South America
  78. The Eastern Question has always been an international question. Elucidate.

Industrial Revolution

  1. Explain why the Industrial Revolution led to the emergence of imperialism
  2. Analyse the different ways in which industrialization took place in Europe.
  3. Critically discuss the process of industrialization in Britain, France and Germany.
  4. How did industrial revolution impact the family system in Europe?
  5. How did the industrialisation of Russia take place in the period prior to the Russian Revolution?
  6. How was Russia industrialized during the 19th century? Examine.
  7. Give a critical account of the Agricultural Revolution in Western Europe in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. How did it affect the social and economic life of the people?
  8. The Industrial Revolution brought about great changes in the social and economic life of Europe. Explain.
  9. The Industrial Revolution Changed England in character and culture.
  10. The Industrial Revolution put mobility in the place of stability.
  11. The period 1500 to 1700 in Europe has been called the heyday of the Commercial Revolution. Explain the causes that led to this Revolution examine its impact on society.
  12. The process of industrialization in some other countries of Europe was different from that in England.
  13. What was the extent of industrialization in western Europe by the end of the nineteenth century?
  14. Whoever says Industrial Revolution, says cotton. Comment.
  15. Identify the main features of industrial development in India from 1914 to 1947 with special reference to the emergence of a class of factory laborers.
  16. What conditions are most favourable or essential for industrialization?
  17. Give examples to show that the Industrial Revolution with its demand for raw materials and markets made nations more dependent on one another.
  18. Describe the conditions which prevailed in industrial cities and factories as the Industrial Revolution spread. How these conditions were slowly improved?
  19. The Industrial Revolution was a mixed blessing’.
  20. Why does industrialization affect farming, transportation, communication, trade and how does it result in the need for more education?
  21. How does industrialization help in raising the level or the standard of living?
  22. Would you say that industrialization was ‘a natural step’ in man’s progress? Why or why not?

Socialism, Communism, Capitalism, Revolutions

  1. The ideology of Subhash Chandra Bose was a combination of nationalism, fascism and communism.
  2. What were the features of the lower middle classes and the working classes in Europe in the 18th century?
  3. Analyze the changes in social structure as a result of modernization in the western world.
  4. Critiques of Capitalist Economy
  5. Explain the views of Rousseau, Karl Marx and Mahatma Gandhi on the nature of State.
  6. How did a nation state system develop among the countries of Europe in the 19th century?
  7. How did the nation-states develop in 19th century Europe?
  8. How was the socialist pattern of industrialization different from the capitalist one?
  9. Liberal Theory of the State
  10. Make a comparison between the Capitalist and the Socialist patterns of industrialization.
  11. Marx on demographic change
  12. Transition from Feudalism to Capitalism
  13. Define: War communism, Welfare State, Comintern
  14. What do you understand by the state? What is the Marxist understanding of the state?
  15. What do you understand by the state?Write a note on the major theories of the state.
  16. What is capitalist industrialization?Write a note on the various theories for the emergence of capitalism. Write a note on the European penetration of the New world.
  17. What is nationalism?Write a note on its emergence in modern world.
  18. Write a note on commercial capitalism.
  19. Write a note on the socialist critique of capitalist economy.
  20. Comment on the formation of the Nation – State in Britain. How was the British national identity fostered?
  21. Define and discuss the characteristics of industrial capitalism.
  22. Define class society. Distinguish between pre- modern and modern class society.
  23. Analyse the factors that helped the growth of nationalism in Eastern Europe.
  24. Write a note on the Chartist movement.
  25. Review the background of the Chartist Movement. Despite its failure how had their demands been met in the succeeding years?
  26. The roots of Chartism are partly political and partly economic. Elaborate.
  27. Discuss some features of the socialist Europe in the post war world.
  28. Discuss the development of new social classes in Europe.
  29. Discuss the political transition in Britain between 1780-1850.
  30. Discuss the position of the peasantry with the development of capitalism in Europe.
  31. Discuss the process through which Britain made a transition to a modern polity.
  32. Discuss the role of bureaucracy in the foundation of the Modern State in Europe.
  33. Discuss the role of the bureaucracy in the formation of modern European states.
  34. What was the nature of industrial capitalism as it developed in France?
  35. What led to the economic crisis in Europe in 1929?
  36. What was the nature of the liberal democratic regimes that developed during the period after the First World War?
  37. What was the process through which a modern class society emerged in Europe?
  38. Why did the First Socialist Revolution take place in Russia?
  39. Write a note on modern state and polity as it developed in Europe.
  40. Write a note on the development of industrial capitalism in England.
  41. Write a note on the emergence of new social groups in 19th century Europe.
  42. Discuss the significance of Industrial Capitalism in Europe.
  43. Doctrine of Free Trade
  44. How did Industrial Capitalism develop in England?
  45. How did the landed classes in England respond to the changes in the economy?
  46. How did the Ottoman Empire break down and make way for the emergence of a nation-state system?
  47. Revolutions of 1848
  48. The Working Class
  49. Was the British state able to develop a notion of liberty between 1780 – 1850?
  50. What are the characteristic features of nationalism as it developed in Europe?
  51. What are the main features of industrial capitalism?
  52. What are the main features of the modern state and polity?
  53. What do you understand by class society ?Discuss.
  54. What do you understand by nationalism? How did nationalism develop in Europe?
  55. What is class society? Discuss the transition to the modern class society.
  56. Write short note about Reform Act of 1832 in Britain
  57. What is socialism? Why did the first socialist revolution occur in Russia?
  58. What led to the Revolutions of 1848 in Europe? What were its consequences?
  59. What was the demographic pattern in Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries?
  60. Account for the growth of Liberalism in Britain in the nineteenth century. How far did it influence the contemporary social and economic issues-in the country?
  61. Discuss the nature of the leadership and programme of the Congress Socialist party.
  62. Effect of British liberalism on the social or economic life of the people of England.
  63. France was more fertile than Britain in producing new Socialist theories and movements, though they bore less concrete results in France than in Britain.
  64. Marxian Communism is primarily the offspring of German Hegelianism and French Socialism.
  65. Most of the European Revolutions of 1848 were nationalist as well as popular insurrection against foreign rule and repressive policy of Metternich.
  66. President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal had the wish to start the political economy in a fresh, more promising direction. Do you agree?
  67. Protestantism contributed substantially to the rise of capitalism.
  68. Rousseau’s political philosophy contains the seeds of Socialism, Absolutism and Democracy.
  69. The Bill of Rights (1688) set the seal on Parliamentary supremacy in England.
  70. The capitalism which gave the European empires their apparent solidarity and permanence also hastened their downfall.
  71. The characteristic motive of this period (1830-1871) was not so much Liberalism as Nationalism.
  72. The Communist international and the League of Nations both announced the end of the Balance of Power.
  73. The emergence of left-wing group in the (Indian) congress radicalized its social economic agenda.
  74. The perpetuation of the economic malaise was the main cause of the political instability of Europe during the next two decades (1919-39). Explain.
  75. The promptings of the heart are more to be trusted than the logic of the mind. Rousseau.
  76. Trace the growth of capitalism in Britain in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Why was France, as compared to Britain, late in developing the capitalist spirit and the institutional framework of capitalism?
  77. Trace the growth of Capitalism in England in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. How did it affect the Wage System in the country?
  78. Trace the rise and growth of the New European Society in the inter-war period.
  79. Explain the meaning of the following terms : Industrial Revolution, capital, capitalism, socialism, protective tariff, laissez faire.
  80. What are the main features which distinguish capitalism from feudalism?
  81. How did the growth of trade unions help to put on end to the idea of laissez faire?
  82. Study the weaknesses and disadvantages of producing goods and services under the capitalist system of production. What are the advantages that a socialist system can have over a society based on capitalism?
  83. Explain the following terms: Third Estate, Bourgeoisie, Proletariat, Junkers, Paris Commune, Means of Production, Socialism, Utopian Socialists.
  84. Two markers: Jefferson, Washington, Thomas Paine, Louis XVI, Voltaire, Rousseau, Montesquieu, Napoleon, Simon Bolivar, Mazzini, Garibaldi, Cavour, Bismarck, Babeuf, Karl Marx, Rosa Luxemburg.
  85. When was the First International formed? What were its main contributions to the growth of the socialist movement?
  86. When was the Second International formed? For which other great event is that year important? What were the main aims of the Second International?
  87. Explain the consequences of the economic crisis of 1929-33.
  88. What, in your view, led to the collapse of the Soviet Union and of the communist governments there and mother countries of Europe? Do you think this collapse means that ideas of socialism are no longer relevant? Discuss.
  89. Discuss the ‘Secret society movement’ in Europe.
  90. Critically examine the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt. Did he want to introduce a sort of socialism?


  1. French political writers of the eighteenth century were influenced by Locke and also by the curious contrast. Which they perceived between the government of his country and their own.
  2. How did Napoleon Bonaparte heal the wounds of France inflicted by the Revolution and correct the errors perpetrated by its leaders?
  3. How did Napoleon fuse the French of the ancient regime with the France of the post-revolutionary ear?
  4. How did Nepoleon Bonapart fuse the old France with the new?
  5. If monarchical misrole ignited the French revolution, lofty ideas both inspired and sustained it.
  6. Napoleon was the child of the Revolution, but in many ways he reversed the aims and principles of the movement from which he sprang
  7. No event as encompassing as the French Revolution occurs in an intellectual vacuum.
  8. The connection between the philosophers and the outbreak of the French Revolution (1789) is somewhat remote and indirect.
  9. The French Revolution (1789) really achieved far less than what it intended to effect. Do you agree?
  10. The French Revolution (1789) sought to remove both the religious and secular props of the existing social order. Elucidate.
  11. The French Revolution attacked privileges and not property.
  12. The most important single factor … in the years following 1919 was the French demand for security.
  13. The Napoleonic Empire was doomed because of its inherent and self-defeating contradictions. Elucidate.
  14. The writings of the philosophers had a tremendous influence on the minds of the people and created a revolutionary awakening in their minds and formed the intellectual creed of the French Revolution
  15. To what extent did Napoleons economic war with England become his undoing?
  16. What were the ideals of the French Revolution of 1789? How far is it correct to say that it overthrew mercantilism and the surviving relics of feudalism and contributed to the political supremacy of the middle class?
  17. What were the main ideas behind the French Revolution?
  18. Explain why the following documents were ‘revolutionary’ when they were written : Declaration of Independence, Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen, Communist Manifesto,
  19. Explain the impact of the French Revolution on the Spanish colonies in America.
  20. Cultural Legacy of the French Revolution
  21. What is the legacy of the French Revolution for the modern world?
  22. What was the impact of the French Revolution on the social and political life of France?
  23. Discuss some aspects of agriculture in France during the 18th century.
  24. Write a note on Bonapartism. What led to the failure of the Second Empire in France?
  25. Write a note on the process through which a modern state developed in France.
  26. Discuss the factors leading to the French evolution of 1789.
  27. Discuss the impact of the French Revolution on political systems in Europe.
  28. Explain how repression was combined with mobilisation of popular support under Bonapartism.
  29. Explain the role of masses in overthrowing the Ancient Regime in France.
  30. Landed classes in France
  31. 2 markers each: The Bourgeoisie, The Girondins
  32. The Jacobin Republic and Terror
  33. What are the salient features of modern politics as it developed in Europe after the French Revolution?
  34. What led to the downfall of the Ancient Regime in France?


  1. Critically examine the nature of the American War of Independence.
  2. What were the distinguishing features of American society before the American revolution? How did they affect the subsequent revolutionary process?
  3. Discuss the characteristics of pre-revolutionary American society.
  4. Discuss the important factors responsible for the American Revolution. What were the effects of the Revolution?
  5. How did the ‘peculiarity of being a new society’ affect the American Revolution?
  6. The American Revolution
  7. The notion of liberty
  8. At the news of the Declaration of Independence crowds gathered to cheer, fire guns and cannon and ring church bells in Philadelphia. Boston and other places, but there were many people in America who did not rejoice.
  9. No Taxation without representation.
  10. The American Revolution was a natural and even expected event in the history of colonial people who had come of age.
  11. The American Revolution was essentially as economic conflict between American capitalism as British mercantilism.
  12. The American War of Independence deprived Great Britain of one empire, but it strengthened the foundations of another .
  13. The American war of Independence transformed Europeans as well as America.
  14. The Great Depression (1928-34) was attended by momentous consequences in the economic as well as in the political sphere.
  15. To some extent, the American War of Independence inspired the French Revolution
  16. What were the factors that worked in the drafting of the American Constitution? Do you agreee the US constitution being an Economic Document?
  17. How far is it correct to say that every feature of the American Constitution was ultimately of English Origin?
  18. Explain briefly the conditions that brought about the American and French revolutions.
  19. Write a note on “People Revolt when Conditions become Unbearable”, using the either French, Russian or American revolutions as evidence.
  20. Examine the issues involved in the American Civil War. Was it a contest between two separate nations?


  1. What were the main features of industrialisation in Russia?
  2. Bolsheviks
  3. What is the significance of the Russian Revolution in the modern world?
  4. What led to the Russian Revolution of 1917?What was its legacy?
  5. Write a note on the October Revolution in Russia.
  6. Write a note on the significance of Russian Revolution for 20th century politics.
  7. Collectivization of Agriculture in USSR.
  8. Account for the overthrow of the Tsarist regime in Russia.
  9. Analyze the causes of the Russian Revolutions of 1917. Why was the second Revolution significant in more than one way?
  10. Examine the causes of the Russian Revolution of 1917 and indicate its significance in world history.
  11. In Russia, Lenin was the father of socialism, organizer of the revolution and the founder of the new Russian society.  Examine the statement.
  12. Lenin’s role in the Russian Revolution of 1917
  13. The impact of the French Revolution (1789) was initially confined the Europe, but, that of the Russia Revolution (1917) was global. – Critically review.
  14. The Russian Revolution (1917) was an economic explosion hastened by the stupidities of the autocratic Government’s
  15. The Russian Revolution of 1917 was a single revolution which developed two phases. Elucidate.
  16. What were the causes for the success of Bolshevik Revolution of 1917? Discuss its significance in the history of the world.
  17. Stalinist Russia was a despotic regime. Critically examine this view.
  18. Explain the following terms: Bolsheviks, Mensheviks, Soviet, February Revolution, October Revolution, Bloody Sunday, Communist International
  19. Describe the social and economic conditions in Russia before the Revolution of 1917. How did Russia’s participation in the First World War help create conditions for the fall of the Russian autocracy,
  20. What were the main objectives of the Russian revolutionaries?
  21. Describe the immediate consequences of the October Revolution on Russia’s participation in the First World War, the ownership of land, and position of the non-Russian nationalities of the Russian empire.
  22. Explain the attitude of the USSR. towards the movements for independence in Asia.
  23. Discuss the impact of the Russian Revolution on the world.
  24. Discuss the view that the Russian Revolution was brought about by a small group of revolutionaries without the support of the masses.


  1. What were the basic characteristics of traditional Chinese economy? What was the attitude of Chinese bourgeoisie towards the 1911 Revolution?
  2. Examine the main features of the May Fourth Movement.
  3. By 1861, China may be said to have been fully though grudgingly opened to the Westerner.
  4. Critically analysis the cause and the results of the Chinese revolution of 1940
  5. Discuss the circumstances leading to the Chinese Revolution of 1949 and analyse its significance.
  6. Discuss the internal problem of China after the First World War and account for the establishment of Communist rule in the China in 1949
  7. Divided into spheres of influence by foreign powers, China in the 19th century presented a sorry spectacle. How did China react to it?
  8. Examine the circumstances in china in the years 1945-49. What did the United States do to resolve the conflict between the Nationalists and the Communists there?
  9. How did the Treaty Port System in China develop between 1840 and 1860? What was its inference on Chinese attitude to foreigners?
  10. Importance of the Opium War in the history of China. Give a critical account of the progress of merchantalism in the 17th century. How far is it correct to say that it paved the way for the Industrial Revolution?
  11. Review the political circumstances in China in the years 1945-49 leading to the establishment of the Communist rule in the land. How did the United States seek to resolve the conflict between the Nationalists and the communists in the period?
  12. The Treaty of Nanking is the basic act in the imposing but unstable structure of international relations which governed China for a hundred years.
  13. With the proclamation in Nanking of a Chinese Republic with Sun-Yat-Sen as the President in 1911, the old China wilted rapidly.
  14. The years 1840 to 1860 confronted the Ching dynasty and the people of China with unprecedented crises due to imperialist designs of western powers. Discuss critically.
  15. To what extent did the Western powers bring China under their domination without annexation?
  16. Trace the distinct phases of the Sino-Japanese War. Assess its political economic and cultural impact on China, both occupied and free.
  17. Why is the period from 1842 to 1900 considered as half a century of humiliations in the history of China? What was the reaction of China?
  18. All long marches begin with small steps.
  19. Analyse the factors responsible for the victory of the Communists in the civil war in China during 1945-49.
  20. Analyse the nature and impact of Taiping Rebellion.
  21. Analyse the various factors responsible for the early nineteenth-century crisis in China.
  22. Boxer Rebellion
  23. Canton system
  24. Communist Party of China
  25. Critically analyse the factors responsible for Boxer Rebellion. What was its significance?
  26. Describe the main characteristics of traditional Chinese economy.
  27. Discuss the agrarian programme of the Taipings. Why did the uprising fail?
  28. Discuss the Chinese response to Western imperialism in the 1840s.
  29. Discuss the contribution of Sun-Yat-Sen in the Chinese liberation movement.
  30. Discuss the emergence of nationalism in China. Explain its important features.
  31. Discuss the factors that hindered the growth of capitalism in China.
  32. Discuss the factors which led to the Boxer Uprising. Explain the Boxer Protocol.
  33. Discuss the impact of Opium Wars on China.
  34. Discuss the relationship between religion and peasant revolts in China.
  35. Discuss the role of Mao Tse Tung in the Chinese Revolution.
  36. The announcement of the creation of the Peoples Republic of China on October1, 1959 by Mao Zedong ended the civil war between the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the Nationalist Party (KMT). – Elaborate.
  37. Discuss the role of students and intellectuals in the development of new culture after the revolution of 1911.
  38. What led to the emergence of the ‘New Culture’ movement in China after the revolution of 1911? What was the role of intellectuals in this movement?
  39. Discuss the role of Sun Yat Sen in the anti- imperialist struggle in China.
  40. Discuss the role of the communist party in the success of the Revolution of 1949 in China.
  41. Discuss the significance of the Boxer protocol.
  42. Discuss the significance of the May fourth movement in China.
  43. Discuss the socio-political reasons behind the emergence of Marxism in China.
  44. Examine the attitude of Chinese bourgeoisie towards the 1911 Revolution.
  45. Examine the main features of the May Fourth Movement.
  46. Explain the unequal treaties signed after the Opium Wars.
  47. Manchukuo
  48. Open Door Policy
  49. The Wuchang Rebellion.
  50. What led to the Taiping Uprising? Why did it fail?
  51. What was the Chinese response to Western imperialism in the 1840s?
  52. What was the impact of the Opium trade on Chinese economy?
  53. What was the impact of Warlordism on Chinese society?
  54. What was the Long March? Did it achieve its goals?
  55. What was the nature of Chinese response to western imperialism in the second half of the nineteenth century. Discuss the growth of Japanese industrial economy between the two World Wars.
  56. What was the significance of the May Fourth Movement in China.
  57. What were main reasons for the failure of the Taiping Rebellion?
  58. What were the causes of the Opium Wars? How did they affect China’s relations with the Western powers?
  59. What were the initiatives taken by the Meiji government to establish a centralized political system
  60. What were the main features of the self-strengthening movement in China? Examine.
  61. What were the Twenty One Demands? Discuss the reaction of China on these demands.
  62. Write a note on the significance of the Chinese Revolution of 1949.
  63. Write an essay on Sun Yat Sen and the rise of Nationalism in China.
  64. Kuomintang


  1. How did Japan develop between 1868 and 1894? Did the Restoration of Meiji mark a sharp break with the past?
  2. How did the Japanese occupation of South-East Asian countries during the Second World War give a boost to nationalize in the regions? Explain with examples.
  3. Show how the presence of a weak and helpless China next door brought about the rise of militarism and collapse of democracy in Japan.
  4. The Anglo-Japanese Treaty (1962) marks a milestone in the development of Japan as an Asiatic power.
  5. The years 1853-1894 witnessed the transformation of Japan. Explain.
  6. Trace the growth of militarism in Japan in the inter-war years. What international reaction did it provoke?
  7. Describe the imperialist expansion of japan up to 1914
  8. Militarism in Japan
  9. Analyse the main factors responsible for the decline of the Tokugawa Shogunate.
  10. Analyse the significance of Anglo-Japanese alliance.
  11. Anglo-French rivalry in Japan
  12. Discuss the causes of the Russo-Japanese War. What was its impact on the nationalism in Asian countries?
  13. Discuss the economic policies of the Meiji government.
  14. Discuss the factors which led to the decline of the Tokugawa shogunate in Japan.
  15. Discuss the main features of Meiji constitution.
  16. Discuss the major characteristics of the Meiji political system.
  17. Discuss the nature of Japanese imperialism up to the Second World War.
  18. Discuss the political and economic implications of the Allied occupation of Japan.
  19. Discuss the political and economic reforms which contributed towards the modernisation of Japan.
  20. Discuss the stages of Japan’s emergence as an imperialist power during 1894-1912.
  21. Explain the developments in the economy of Japan prior to World War II.
  22. Explain the various ideologies behind the expansionist policy of Japan.
  23. Outline the stages of Japan’s emergence as an imperialist power during the period 1894 – 1912.
  24. What was the impact of the Russo-Japanese War?
  25. What was the political implication of the Allied Forces’ occupation of Japan after the Second World War?
  26. What were the main economic reforms carried out in Japan after the First World War?
  27. What were the political and economic reforms which contributed towards the modernization of Japan?
  28. What were the primary issues in the economic development of Japan between 1868 – 1885?
  29. What were the various ideologies behind the expansionist policy of Japan?
  30. What was the role of political parties in Japan between the two World Wars?
  31. Discuss the significance of the Anglo-Japanese alliance.
  32. Account for the rise of militarism in Japan between the two World Wars. How did it affect the peace of the world?
  33. Write a Note on Zaibatsu


  1. Write a note on Zolleverein (Customs Union)
  2. Did the Weimar Republic represent liberal democratic experiment in Germany? How successful was this experiment?
  3. Discuss Bismarck’s role in German unification.
  4. Discuss the changes brought by Nazi rule in Germany.
  5. Discuss the role of Bismarck in unification of Germany.
  6. Write a note on the emergence of Nationalism in Germany?
  7. Discuss the emergence of Nationalism in Germany.
  8. Discuss the ‘German National Idea’.
  9. Explain the emergence of the ‘two Germanies’ in post war Europe
  10. Gestapo
  11. State and Society in Nazi Germany
  12. Besmirch created a new Germany with the policy of blood and iron.
  13. Bismarck united Germany not by majority of votes and speeches but by a policy of Blood and iron. In the light of this statement assess the contribution of Bismarck to the unification of Germany.
  14. Comparison of the fascist regime in Italy with the National Socialist regime of Germany is almost inevitable. The similarities are obvious, but there is one point of difference which is worth mentioning.
  15. Critically examine the main features of the foreign policy of Nazi Germany.
  16. What were the weaknesses and difficulties of the Weimer Republic? How did Hitler succeed in establishing his dictatorship?
  17. Hitler did not really want a world War. His intention was only a short war with Poland.
  18. Hitler was a creature flung to the top by the tides of revolutionary change, or the embodiment of the collective unconsciousness of a people obsessed with violence and death.
  19. How did the policy of appeasement escalate the problem of Nazi aggrandizement?
  20. Isolation of France constituted the keystone of Bismarck’s foreign policy. Elucidate.
  21. It is one of the ironies of history that Napoleon was the creator of modern Germany.
  22. Napoleon kindled the national sentiment, but German unity was achieved by Bismarck. Discuss.
  23. The political unification of Germany was accomplished solely by Bismarck
  24. The Unification of Germany was the one thing Bismarck was determined to prevent.
  25. There was an element of system in Hitlers foreign policy His outlook was continental.
  26. Was German unification achieved more by coal and iron than by blood and iron?


  1. Comment briefly on the cultural background of Italian nationalism.
  2. Discuss the main features of the revolutions of 1848.
  3. Discuss the emergence of Nationalism in Italy.
  4. How do you explain the rise of fascism in Europe?.
  5. Italian Nationalism
  6. What are the general features of fascism?
  7. What is Fascism? Discuss the foundation of Fascist state in Italy.
  8. What led to the rise of fascism in Italy? Discuss the nature of the fascist state.
  9. Corporate State was Mussolini’s answer to sociopolitical problems of his country. Elucidate.
  10. Extreme nationalism of the Fascist Variety has various faces in various countries, but it has everywhere certain common characteristics.
  11. The roots of the rise of Fascism lay in Peace Treaties.
  12. The unification of Italy and that of Germany constituted a contrast in respect of the ways they were affected and impact they left on later international politics. Elucidate.
  13. The unification of Italy completed…the destruction of the European order.
  14. Trace the course of the movement for Italian Unification from 1848 with special reference to the contribution of Mazzini.
  15. Trace the various stages that led to the Unification of Italy between 1848 and 1870.
  16. What were the obstacles to Italian unification till 1852? How and with what methods was the unification of Italy achieved?
  17. Describe the different stages in the unification of Germany and Italy.
  18. What were the main features of the fascist and Nazi movements?
  19. Describe the consequences of the victory of fascism on Italy and Germany.
  20. What were the main aims of the foreign policies of Italy, Germany and Japan?
  21. What were the views of Jawaharlal Nehru and the Indian National Congress on fascism?

World Wars

  1. How did the two World Wars affect politics in the 20th century?
  2. What were the consequences of the advent of Nuclear Weapons in WW2?
  3. Chemical Warfare
  4. Write a note on the nature of the two World Wars.
  5. Discuss the implications of first world war on human society.
  6. Discuss the implications of second world war on human society.
  7. How did the two World Wars affect the politics and economy of Europe?
  8. What are main features of modern warfare?
  9. Analyze the provisions of the Treaty of Versailles of 1919 and examine the validity of Germany’s objections to the treaty.
  10. Any single explanation for the outbreak of the First World War likely to be too simple. An amalgam of factors intellectual, social, economic as well as political and diplomatic contributed to this horrifying conflict of monumental propositions. – Explain.
  11. In the long run, the Locarno Treaty (December 1925) was descriptive both of the Treaty of Versailles and of the Covenant.
  12. In the post -Second World War scenario friends in war did not remain friends in peace. Examine the truth of this view in the period of your study.
  13. Show how the Spanish Civil War a prelude to World War II.
  14. The Manchurian crisis decided the fate of the league of Nations.
  15. The peace of Versailles lacked moral validity from the start.
  16. The Treaty of Versailles was merely an armistice for twenty years.
  17. The Wars (First World Wars) most permanent contribution to the spirit or the post-War years was disillusion.
  18. Thus the League sought to achieve to profoundest of all psychological revolutions to transform the war mentality of man into a peace mentality.
  19. Treaty of Versailles contained the seeds of future conflicts.
  20. Until December 1941 the battlefield of the Second World War was exclusively European and Atlantic; thereafter it became also Asiatic and Pacific.
  21. What led to the formation of the Berlin-Rome Tokyo axis? Indicate its impact on international politics.
  22. Explain the basic reasons for the conflicts between European nations from the late nineteenth century to the early years of the twentieth century.
  23. What were the countries comprising the Triple Alliance and the Triple Entente? What were the main aims of these groupings?
  24. What is meant by the Pan-Slav movement? Why did it add to the conflict between Russia and Austria?
  25. Explain the reasons for the entry of the United States in the First World War.
  26. Why the war that broke out in 1914 is called the First World War?
  27. Explain the consequences of the First World War on Germany, Austria, Hungary and Turkey
  28. What were the purposes for which the League of Nations was established?
  29. Why did Russia withdraw from the war after the 1917 Revolution?
  30. On a map of the world, show the areas in Asia and Africa which caused conflicts among various European countries Also show the European countries which emerged as independent states after the First World War.
  31. How was the world ‘redivided’ among the victorious powers? Prepare a map to show the territories which were taken over from the defeated countries by the victorious countries.
  32. How far were imperialist rivalries the basic cause of the First World War?
  33. Do you think the peace treaties laid the foundations of a just and stable peace? Discuss.
  34. How is it that an otherwise minor incident led to the outbreak of a world war? Discuss.
  35. What is meant by the term ‘Axis Powers’
  36. Describe the main events between 1936 and 1939 which created conditions for another world war
  37. What did the Western powers do to counter the aggressive acts of Japan, Italy and Germany between 1931 and 1938?
  38. Explain the terms: ‘Phoney War’, Second Front, the Battle of Britain
  39. Do you think Western policy of appeasement of the fascist powers brought about the Second World War? Why? Or why not?
  40. What was the basic reason for the policy of appeasement?
  41. Do you think the United States was justified in using the atom bomb against Japan?
  42. Why did the Soviet Union sign the Non-Aggression Pact with Germany? What did she gain from it? Discuss
  43. What were the immediate consequences of the Second World War in Europe?
  44. For a tired and timid generation Metternich was the necessary man.
  45. The Brussels Treaty of 17 March, 1948 paved the way for the formation of NATO.
  46. The international situation that confronted the peacemakers in Paris was in the brutal realities of history, the result of a temporary redistribution of the balance of power in the world.
  47. There was not only a difference of principles at Paris (Peace Conference) but a clash of personalities.
  48. What do you understand by the notion of Total War? How did it affect military strategy?

Decolonization, Nationalism, Redrawing Boundaries Post WW2

  1. Write a note on the issue of “The Korean Question”
  2. Explain the various approaches towards decolonization.
  3. What is Decolonization? Write with reference to Decolonization in India.
  4. Write a note on Decolonization giving reference to French and British decolonization.
  5. Write an essay on the nature of international relations during the post-World War period.
  6. What was the nature of politics and economy in Europe after the Second World War?
  7. Discuss critically the emergence of the modern democratic polity.
  8. Discuss the nature of politics in post-war Europe.
  9. What was the nature of politics and economy in Europe after the Second World War?
  10. Write a note on the emergence of the unipolar world
  11. Explain the process of economic reconstruction in past-world war Europe.
  12. What were the kind of challenges faced by the liberal democratic polities in the initial years of the 20th century?
  13. …… the European nations in emphasizing their solidarity, their European’s in dealing with Asian countries inevitably gave rise to a feeling of Asianness.
  14. Arab nationalism and oil – these were the principal Factors in complicating the relations of Middle Eastern countries with the outside world.
  15. Asian Nationalism is just a product of Western impact on the Asian intelligentsia in the last decades of the nineteenth century.
  16. Both freedom and partition were the work of Indian middle classes.
  17. Discuss the aims of the establishment of the Arab League and assess it role in safeguarding the interests of the Arab nations.
  18. Europe faced peace in 1945 politically disorganized and economically crippled. Elaborate.
  19. Explain the circumstances leading to the emergence of Third World and analyze its impact on world affairs.
  20. Give a brief account of the struggle against Apartheid in South Africa.
  21. Nascent nationalism in Indo-China developed within both an Asian and a European context with but scanty reference in either case to traditionalist considerations.
  22. Nominally the new Turkey was republican and democratic.
  23. One of the last Strongholds – of oil imperialism and European colonialism it (Middle East) cultivates a fiery nationalism as a weapon against foreign oppression
  24. One of the most important consequences of the Second World War was division of Europe, eastern and western.
  25. The Arab nationalism had a peculiar character. It stood for nation independence for separate Arab States as well as for the unity of all Arabs irrespective of their state boundaries. – Examine.
  26. The Collapse of Berlin Wall in 1989 brought new ideas of co-operation in Europe.
  27. The decolonization led to the break-up of empires.
  28. Trace the growth of Arab nationalism after the, First World War. How far was it a reaction to oil imperialism?
  29. Turkish renaissance guided by Kemal Pasha revolutionized the Turkish life a many levels. Amplify.
  30. Under Mustafa Kemal’s dictatorship; Turkey was rapidly nationalized.
  31. Why did Vietnam go through thirty years of war after the Second World War?
  32. Would you argue that the Non-Aligned Movement played a crucial role in dismantling the colonialism?
  33. Write a critical note on the process of decolonization accelerated by the second World War.
  34. Identify the main strands in the Egyptian nationalist movement in the first half of the present century and explain the role played in it by Zaghlul Pasha.
  35. Identify the main strands in the Nationalist Movement in Indonesia between the two World Wars. How did Japanese occupation of land influence the course of the Movement?
  36. Describe the growth of national movements in Asia after the First World War. Name the Asian countries which won their independence between 1919 and 1939
  37. Trace the history of the freedom movements in Asian countries.
  38. What were the main aims of the foreign policy of the United States? What was the reason for the military intervention of the United States in Vietnam? What were its consequences?
  39. What was the impact of the Portuguese revolution of 1974 on the Portuguese colonies in Africa?
  40. What is meant by nonalignment? Why did most of the newly independent countries follow this policy?
  41. Trace the history of the freedom movements in Africa
  42. Describe the changes which have taken place in South Africa after 1989
  43. Trace the developments that led to the collapse of the Soviet Union.
  44. Describe the main changes which have occurred in Germany and the countries of Southern Europe since 1989
  45. Discuss the factors which led to the weakening of imperialism after the Second World War
  46. Some countries of Asia had become members of military alliances. Do you think it helped in strengthening their independence? Why? Or why not? Give arguments with examples
  47. Discuss the impact of the emergence of Asian and African countries as independent nations on the world.
  48. Do you think the post-Cold War world is a safer place to live in and there is no danger of any country dominating over other countries unlike the Colonial times?