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MEH Week 1 Post an Article

Page history last edited by Henry T. Hill 15 years, 10 months ago

MEH Assignments

August 22, 2008

Find an article that relates to Modern European History.   Copy the article and paste it on this page.  Be sure to include a link and/or reference to where you found the article.  Write two questions you have about the article at the end of the article.  Write one observation about the article at the end of the article.

Here is an example: 


Russian pomp and dominance

Moscow presents a patriotic concert in South Ossetia as it continues to assert authority in Georgia.

By Michael Robinson Chavez and Borzou Daragahi


Los Angeles Times Staff Writers

August 22, 2008

TSKHINVALI, GEORGIA — Russian flags waved and Russian music was performed at a patriotic concert Thursday in this war-torn city, the capital of Georgia's breakaway republic of South Ossetia, as Moscow and its loyalists tightened their grip on territory that was the focus of clashes this month.

In front of a badly damaged government building, a Russian orchestra performed pieces by Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich as 1,000 or so residents held up candles and the flags of Russia and South Ossetia, the catalyst in this month's conflict between Russia and Georgia.

"We are here today to express our admiration for you, to tell the whole world that we want it to know the truth about the horrible events in Tskhinvali," Valery Gergiev, an ethnic Ossetian Russian and well-known conductor who led the orchestra, told those gathered.

The concert was among the latest measures by Moscow to assert authority over territory that is technically part of Georgia, a small, staunchly pro-American Caucasus Mountains state that enraged Russia by pushing to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and attacking Russian positions in South Ossetia.

Moscow's punishment of Georgia extends beyond South Ossetia. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Thursday that a contingent of 500 troops would remain at eight posts in Georgia proper, well outside South Ossetia, a pro-Moscow enclave that has been at odds with the central government in Tbilisi, the Georgian capital.

If implemented, the plan would indefinitely place Russian soldiers where they could move against Georgian forces at a moment's notice. It would mean Russian troops would be deployed along Georgia's main east-west road, just outside the key transportation hub of Gori, near the country's railway line and the crucial U.S.-backed pipeline pumping Caspian Sea crude oil to tankers off the Turkish coast.

At a contentious meeting Thursday of the United Nations Security Council, Western envoys pressed Russia to clarify the role of the soldiers it intends to keep on Georgian soil.

"We have a presence of so-called Russian peacekeepers in key Georgian choke points that will control economic life, that will control humanitarian activities," Alejandro Wolff, the deputy U.S. representative to the U.N., said after the closed session. "It raises the question whether this is an effort to strangle the Georgian state."

The council is debating a Russian draft resolution that would endorse a cease-fire deal permitting a continued Russian military presence in a vaguely defined security zone in and around South Ossetia. Western diplomats are insisting that Russia accept limits on its troops and recognize the region as part of Georgia.

Russian peacekeepers have long been stationed inside South Ossetia and Abkhazia, another enclave that seeks independence from Georgia and has been largely autonomous since the early 1990s. Both Georgian and Russian troops held sway over their checkerboard of ethnic areas.

But since the current conflict broke out Aug. 7, Russian troops and allied militias have taken over all parts of South Ossetia, including the mostly ethnic Georgian areas.

Russian troops and South Ossetian militiamen now guard the entrance to the town of Akhalgori, formally a part of South Ossetia but controlled by Georgia since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Ethnic Georgian families could be seen fleeing the area in rickety Lada automobiles. The patriarch of one family said they had not been threatened or forced to leave but felt compelled to anyway, because the town was under the control of the South Ossetian militia.

"We're making a peaceful protest to ask the Russians to leave," said Lamara Gulashvili, a high school teacher attending a rally Thursday outside the Akhalgori checkpoint.

Demonstrators waved red-and-white Georgian flags, but Georgian police refused to allow them to approach, saying they were under orders not to allow a confrontation.

Russians offered different and confusing predictions on when their forces would leave the parts of Georgia that are neither in dispute nor inside their claimed security zone, including Gori, in the center, and the port city of Poti, where Russians have set up a checkpoint leading to Georgia's main Black Sea access point.

Russian army Gen. Vladimir Boldyrev, commander of ground forces, said it would take 10 days for soldiers "not involved in peacekeeping operations" to return to Russia. Meanwhile, Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said Russian troops were to begin moving by 6 a.m. today and finish by the end of the day, according to the Interfax news agency.

Lavrov, who spoke in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi, said that Russia's withdrawal began several days ago but that Western nations "seem to be reluctant to notice it."

His assertion contradicted the accounts of most Georgian and independent observers. At a recently established Russian outpost near the town of Igoeti, about 25 miles west of Tbilisi, a Russian truck filled with military cots pulled up and soldiers started unloading equipment.

"Here in the city we have not seen signs of Russians leaving," Alexander Lomaia, Georgia's national security advisor, said in a phone conversation from Gori on Thursday. "They promised to pull out by the end of tomorrow."

Russians have ruled out a return of the breakaway regions to Georgian control.

"We have deserved to live in an independent republic," Eduard Kokoity, the pro-Moscow leader of South Ossetia, said at a rally, according to Interfax.

michael.robinson-chavez @latimes.com


Times staff writer Robinson Chavez reported from Tskhinvali and Daragahi from Akhalgori and Tbilisi. Staff writer Sergei L. Loiko in Moscow contributed to this report.



What is the historic relationship between Georgia and Russia?

What is the rest of Europe doing about this?



Russia's invasion is a punishment of Georgia.  One way countries punish other countries by invading them.





Dissolution of Yugoslavia (View on Wikipedia)

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  (Redirected from Breakup of Yugoslavia)
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An animated series of maps showing the breakup of the second Yugoslavia; The different colors represent the areas of control.      Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia      Federal Republic of Yugoslavia; Serbia and Montenegro; Serbia      Slovenia      Croatia      Republic of Macedonia      Bosnia and Herzegovina                      Inter-Entity Boundary Line between Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Republika Srpska      Montenegro      Kosovo
An animated series of maps showing the breakup of the second Yugoslavia; The different colors represent the areas of control.

     Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia      Federal Republic of Yugoslavia; Serbia and Montenegro; Serbia      Slovenia      Croatia      Republic of Macedonia      Bosnia and Herzegovina                      Inter-Entity Boundary Line between Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Republika Srpska      Montenegro      Kosovo


           By: Marina Nikolic


Yugoslavia was a former country that occupied a strip of land stretching from present-day Central Europe to the Balkans — a region with a history of ethnic conflict. The country was a conglomeration of six regional republics and two autonomous provinces that was roughly divided on ethnic lines and split up in the 1990s into several independent countries. These eight federal units were the six republics: Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and two autonomous provinces within Serbia: Kosovo and Vojvodina. Ethnically mixed Bosnia and Herzegovina had not existed as a state since 1465, and moreover, it did not have a clear ethnic majority with “44% Muslims, 33% Serbs, 18% Croats and minorities.” The geographical distribution of the ethnic groups which composed Yugoslavia was such that each nation had a population living in all six republics. With Bosnia's demographic structure comprising a population of Serbs and Croats making close to 50%, and with ideas on independence resting with the ethnicities rather than the nation on the whole, control of territory once again became open to interpretation, with large sections of Bosnia, Croatia and Serbia under dispute as to its proper ownership. The most important elements which fostered the discord are the formation of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, the civil war and genocide (see Jasenovac concentration camp) by the Independent State of Croatia during the Second World War, the overreaching idea of "Greater Serbia," and the Balkan adaptations of Pan-Slavism.




Questions: Why did Yugoslavia keep on getting smaller and smaller?


Current problems of European democracy

Modern Age,  Wntr, 2003  by Pierre Manent


 It is a privilege to introduce the work of Pierre Manent to the readers of Modem Age. Manent is one of the outstanding political philosophers writing in Europe today. Born in 1949, he was educated at the Ecole Normale Superieure and for several years was an assistant to Raymond Aron at the College de France. In 1978, together with Aron and Jean-Claude Casanova, he helped found the quarterly Commentaire, a journal that has played a decisive role in challenging the Left's domination of French intellectual life. Manent is presently a professor at the Centre de recherches politiques Raymond Mon at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris.

In such books as The Births of Modern Politics (1977), Tocqueville and the Nature of Democracy (1982, English trans., 1996) and An Intellectual History of Liberalism (1986,1994), Manent explored the permutations of the European liberal tradition, the place of religion in modern life, and the enduring tensions between modern conceptions of freedom and a "substantial" affirmation of the human good. His magisterial The City of Man (1994,1998) combines an incisive critique of the historicism, economism, and sociologism characteristic of modern thought with a searching exploration of the tensions between nature and grace, reason and revelation, at the heart of modern life.

The following article was originally delivered as a lecture in Warsaw in March 2002, and was published in the summer 2002 issue of Commentaire. It provocatively develops the critique of European "depoliticization" at the center of Manent's most recent work, especially his Cours familierde philosophie politique (2001). This articlewas translated for Modern Age by Daniel J. Mahoney and Paul Seaton.--M.C.H.

Link European Government


1) What do you believe was Europe's most successful government state?

2) What is your opinion of their new current system?

Opinion: It seems that there have been many changes within their government, and all have had flaws and positive aspects.


Mackenzie Knoop


Catalonia steps up to challenge Spain


BARCELONA: Less than a year after the Basque region said it had the right to break away from Spain, Catalonia is debating a similar proposal that risks creating a new conflict between Madrid and the Spanish regions.

The proposal, which will be put to a final vote at the regional Parliament here Friday, includes an assertion of what advocates call Catalonia's "historic rights." Analysts say that this would challenge the supremacy of the Spanish Constitution over local law.

The debate in Barcelona has already created a political headache for Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, a Socialist, who is being portrayed by the conservative opposition as preparing to open the door to the Balkanization of Spain.

While the Basque government seems to have backed away from its declaration, at least temporarily, other Spanish regions are considering lesser autonomy proposals and are watching the Catalonian situation closely.

Catalonia, a region of about seven million people in Spain's northeastern corner, is one of the country's economic engines, accounting for 18 percent of gross domestic product.

1.) why does catalunya want to be independent?

2.)what would the benefits of their independence be?


1.)catalunya would loose a lot because most of their money comes from spain


Alvaro Muntane



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