1. Prologue
  2. Q4. Germany vs Italy unification
  3. Q5: Towards First World War
  4. Q6: League of Nations


Hi friends, this is Roman again. Hope your mains preparation are at its peak. I had the opportunity to give a TEDXtalk on “How to crack world’s toughest exam”. Click me to watch it on Youtube. Though I strongly feel watching the talk will be way better and highly enriching, yet I have jotted down the keypoints here: (we do care about those who don’t have high bandwidth internet to watch youtube:)

  1. You must either pursue your own dream or you will end helping others achieve theirs.
  2. Competence is more important than confidence. Minimum 1000 hours practice essential to become proficient.
  3. Follow the Roman’s rituals : Eat, Exercise, Sleep for 7-10 hours; Don’t drink desi liquor or smoke as they hamper your memory formation and cognitive performance.
  4. You have to be decisive. You’ve to come out of your comfort zone, go against what your loved ones want.
  5. Stop arguing with others, especially with irrational people because they will bring you down to their level and beat you with their experience.
  6. Overcome SAD: Stress-Anxious-Depressed mentality.
  7. Follow LAR: Logical, Argument and reasoning. Always have a rational outlook, Always question everything.
  8. Be more risk friendly: seduction of safety much more perilous than perception of risk.

Anyways, let’s continue from where we had left. The model world history Q&A for Mains exam. Please provide your valuable feedback in the comment section below. Earlier part available http://Mrunal.org/history

Q4. Germany vs Italy unification

Unification of Germany and Italy

Q. Compare and contrast German unification with Italian unification, with special emphasis on role of Bismarck and Cavour.

Ans. In the history of Europe, Both German and Italian unification were landmark events, with certain similarities and dissimilarities.

  1. Central theme was identical i.e struggle for national unity and its attainment.
  2. Both began the period with disunity and harsh treatment at the Congress of Vienna in 1815. They made unsuccessful attempts in 1848 (instigated by French Revolution), and finally attained unity at almost the same time with similar military operations in 1871.
  3. Both unification occurred with support of strongest state in both nations, Sardinia-Piedmont in Italy and Prussia in Germany.
  4. Both protagonists Count Cavour (Italy) and Bismarck (Germany) opposed republican system and supported strong monarchies.
  5. Both states encountered initial resistance from stubborn Austria and were trying to throw away Austrian yoke from their territories.

Dissimilarities: Resemblances between the two are superficial.

Points in favour of Bismarck:

  1. Germany already had a greater measure of unity prevailing than Italy. There was no foreign rule to be overthrown and no interferences from Pope’s side.
  2. Piedmont was an extremely weak state, so Cavour’s task was far more difficult as he was dependent on foreign aid for Italian Unification.
  3. In contrast, Bismarck just needed neutrality of other states as Prussia already commanded respect and prominent position in Germany. Zollverein provided economic unification which was absent in Italy.

Points in favour of Cavour

  1. Cavour had support of Italian people while Bismarck had to struggle and work against the popular will and force unity upon a reluctant nation.
  2. Cavour had full support of King Emmanuel II, while King William I supported Bismarck bitterly and reluctantly.
  3. Cavour had support of intellectuals such as Mazzini and Garibaldi, while Bismarck had to do everything on his own, unaided and alone.
  4. Bismarck had to wage two wars against two big European powers -Austria & France. Austria was deeply entrenched in Germany and its expulsion would have caused much more opposition in Europe as compared to in Italy. Hence, Bismark faced severe diplomatic difficulties than Cavour.

Q5: Towards First World War

Q. Killing of Duke Ferdinand was the immediate cause for WWI, but the seeds were sown decades back. Critically analyze.

Ans: On 28th July 1914, Austro-Hungary declared war on the Serbia, exactly one month after the assassination of Duke Ferdinand. Although the war was between 2 countries, the whole world came under its ambit only because of the seeds sown decades back through various treaties and events:

Rise of Germany:

  • In 1871, German Unification significantly improved its industrial and economic power.
  • Germany became one of the largest producer in iron, steel, coke, dye and pharmaceuticals, artificial dye and vied with the British Royal Navy for world naval supremacy.
  • Arms race between Britain and Germany eventually extended to the rest of Europe. All major powers began devoting their industrial base for defense production.


  • To protect infant Germany, Bismarck followed a policy of cautious continentalism.
  • “Triple Alliance” was signed among Germany, Austria, and Italy. But, this mutual alliance system was militant in character.
  • Thus, Bismarck laid down a curtain between Western and Eastern Europe, creating an environment of mutual suspicion among nations.

William II

Kaiser William II introduced the policy of “Aggressive Imperialism” and “Weltpolitik (world politics)” with three objectives:

  1. Interference in world politics
  2. Expansion of Germany
  3. Naval empowerment

This policy gave promotion to alliance system.

  1. Triple Entente among Britain, France and Russia to counter the Germany led Triple Alliance.
  2. France and Russia – Dual Alliance
  3. Britain-Japan friendship treaty (1902)

Although remaining world was out of formal treaties. They too were dragged to serve their colonial masters. Thus a deadly script was written on social, political, military and economic developments, leading to conflicts like Eastern question and Balkan crisis and finally culminated into WW1.

Q6: League of Nations

World History League of nations

Q. What were the important features and achievements of League of Nation. Why do you think it failed?

Ans. In his “14 point program for world peace”, US President Woodrow Wilson, emphasized the need of a global body to provide a forum for resolving international disputes and precluding another world war. Thus League of Nations (LoP) born in Geneva with 31 members initially:

LoP had 3 mechanisms to settle disputes:

  1. Call the 2 states and solve the predicament amicably. The offender nation would be ordered to cede the territory of other state.
  2. If the offender state refuted, League could put economic sanction on aggressor country by severing the economic ties and pushing it towards bankruptcy.
  3. If this too failed, League could permit physical sanctions i.e. combined military action against the offender.

Achievements of the LON:

  1. Solved the disputes among smaller countries such as Poland and Finland, Albania and Czechoslovakia.
  2. Rehabilitation of refugees of World War I.
  3. LoN’s Health organisation fought against the deadly diseases such as Chicken Pox and Malaria. Later it became WHO. (1948)
  4. Proposals for the protection of rights of minority their culture, language and religion e.g. Karachi session 1931

Reasons for Failure:

  1. Absence of big powers in initial years:
    1. League did not invite Germany and Russia for membership; and America eschewed itself from joining League.
    2. These nations were the strongest & most capable of putting military pressure to enforce League’s ideology.
    3. Britain & France were totally exhausted after WW-1 to enforce League’s ideology.
  2. Adamancy of big powers in their personal issue e.g. Japan refused to listen to LoN on Manchuria-issue (1931). Italy did the same on Ethiopia-issue.

Albeit, LoP had certain credit to its name, but due to such inherent weaknesses, inability to enforce the territorial-rights and the unstable economic-political situation of the world, League of Nations failed to fulfil its objective of maintaining the world order.

More questions later. In the meantime,