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January 21, 2021, 12:31:16 am

Author Topic: History Extension Essay Marking Thread  (Read 9402 times)

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bigsweetpotato2000

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Re: History Extension Essay Marking Thread
« Reply #15 on: July 07, 2017, 07:53:51 pm »
Talk about an offer I can't refuse ;) My comments can be found within the spoiler :)

Spoiler
Mao Zedong: Reformer, Tyrant or Both?
The cost of ultimate power.

Throughout the decades of historical examination and analysis on numerous personalities of the past, Communist figure Mao Zedong continues to be a character of two contradictory perspectives I quite like this as an introductory sentence :). Was he a man who saw beyond the prominent ideals of democracy and capitalism that had risen during the Cold War period, or a tyrant who found pride and joy in his maniacal elimination of human lives? Hmmm not to keen on the use of rhetorical questions - this is an essay, not a speech. The Maoist period during the 20th century was the only time where terror and corruption co-existed with economical advancement, a frightening yet promising combination for the Chinese. Whilst recent historical analysis of the Chinese communist leader has showcased an increasing number of agreements "increasing number of agreements - that just sounds weird. I'd probably reword it like this "though (insert view) in recent historical analysis is becoming increasingly more accepted," something more like that. Also - why? Why has it become more accepted. I don't want you to just list the different perspectives,
 what I want to see is that you can analyse and dissect why these perspectives have come to be (though the integration of various historiographical issues and concepts).
that ‘he is one of the great leaders of the China… (His) new style was employed presumably to underline the twin principles of ‘democracy and reform’.’ (G.P.D, 1980) many agree to differ I get that you are trying to do the whole "agree to disagree thing" - but it's just a tad confusing, and not really consistent with how you are meant to construct an academic essay.. Arts correspondent Arifa Akbar share similar understandings with historians, including Frank Dikotter Unless these are key historians - i.e. they feature in every paragraph and their works are basically case studies, I don't really recommend including their names here, just because its a bit too much for an intro. that Mao Zedong ‘qualifies as the greatest mass murderer in world history’ (Akbar, 2010). There is no doubt one can come to this conclusion no doubt? But many people do doubt don't they? I'd shy away from making definitive statements like this in history extension. I'd probably say "the plausibility of this conclusion is evident," or something like that instead., as Mao Zedong’s campaigns including ‘The Great Leap Forward’ and the ‘Cultural Revolution’ brought approximately 30 million to 40 million deaths between 1959 to 1961 I'm gonna play devils advocate here, because you have to in history extension. Many suggest that these statistics are either a) false, or b) an oversimplification. Does that mean that they are right? No! However you can't just ignore these criticisms - this is another example of avoiding over-generalisations and definitive statements - especially if you don't provide a source to back it up!. Despite the contradictory views that surround Mao’s personality debate 'Mao's personality debate' sounds a bit off - 'The debate surrounding the actions and activities or Mao' sounds more sophisticated, historians are able to come together and recognize in the words of Historian Jonathan Spence ‘Mao’s beginnings were commonplace, his education episodic, his talents unexceptional; yet he possessed a relentless energy and a ruthless self confidence that led him to become one of the world’s most powerful rulers.’. Thus historians take into consideration what they perceiveheld more significance - the overwhelming ambition for a country’s rapid succession or the importance of the lives who uphold the country itself, to position themselves into the two sides of this controversy. This final sentence needed to be integrated earlier - this idea of contradictory perspectives forms the basis of your argument and is the historiographical element of your essay. This introduction came across as a little bit too much of just a list of perspectives. What I want to see is not what the perspectives are, but why they have developed. At present this is reading a little bit too much like 'the history of historiography' - what I need to see is just the historiography, the analysis, the thematic links, etc. etc. I see a glimmer of it here within this final sentence, but I want more!

Stuart R. Schram, an American Mao Scholar presents his understanding and perspective of Chairman Mao through the acknowledgement of his achievements and contributions to China. I think this should be the explanation of your judgement - not the judgement itself. Your introductory sentence should be more simple, and straight to the point (not necessarily shorter, but just lacking specific detail, such as historians) - perhaps: "The legacy of Chairman Mao is shaped by the way in which his achievements and contributions to China are perceived and interpreted - these interpretations a derivative not only of the historians own context and values, but further, their interpretations of __________" (idk if that last part is actually your argument, I'm just including it because I want to push the historiographical elements of your essay). Schram states that his views are shaped only by the accomplishments that advanced the contemporary nation, as ‘his virtues and vices, whether public or private, will be touched on only to the extent that they affected what he was able to achieve’ (Schram, 1994). Thus Mao’s recognition of the need for radical reform in China since his early years did not provide any grounding to the establishment of his character being sadistic and tyrannical, but rather having attained a advanced understanding of the requirements for a struggling country in the 20th century. So Schram's interpretation is essentially the destination is more important than the journey? I'd have a look at the concept of teleology (it might be completely inconsequential, but I'd take a look, because you might be able to integrate it his some how). Also just as a side note, considering this is about Mao, I hope you look at the Marxist Conception of history somewhere in this essay! His purpose and goals which were indeed, for the greater good for China as the nation faced constant suppression from Western superiority Could perhaps look at Edward Said's theory or 'Orientalism'? Again, you don't have to, just spit balling ideas :). Chairman Mao’s consideration of preserving China’s own culture and tradition whilst building on the prestige and wealth of the contemporary undeveloped country allows identification that his intentions as the leader of the developing country were pure Is this a reductionist view of Mao?. His efforts cannot be denied, as the numerous development tactics created modernization for rural areas and the foundation for China’s local industries, providing ‘a very substantial industrial and scientific base’ for the growing nation at the time This is reading a bit too much like a history essay - where is the analysis of the interpretation? Why does Schram accept this view? And I don't mean "because he looked at this evidence" - he would have come up with his hypothesis before looking at the evidence, this is just what he found to support his interpretation. What is his purpose or motive for writing history like this? Is he a marxist who seeks to validate the work of Mao? Is he a revisionist historian? etc. etc.. Furthermore, the increasing interactions with leaders of other countries opened many doors for China, securing their global market for exports to provide economic development in China.  Thus Mao’s recognition of the beneficial relationships with other countries encapsulates the view that by continuing to hide and be a ‘self-contained kingdom’, such isolation would never give rise to extreme success; another accomplishment of the Chairman which reinforces his role as a reformer. Despite the attacks on Mao Zedong’s progressive deterioration of legal human rights of expression and freedoms in the Chinese society during his rule, Schram recognizes the true intentions are they definitely true?!? Or are they just what he believes are true because _____________. behind such acts. He argues that the government’s response to the rebellious acts of rising confrontation through such immoral acts were the only solution to resolve the increasing foreign aggression placed on China at that period of time. Thus historian Tim Stanley affirms the necessity of the communist leader’s suppression as ‘Mao’s greatest fear was that his country would succumb to the bureaucratic style of socialism practiced in the Soviet Union’ (Stanley, 2012) highlighting the Chairman’s prioritization of his country’s economical and political stance in the global environment. Yet whilst numerous historians turn to the ideology of Chairman Mao being the vigorous force who brought incredible destruction to his country, Schram recognizes Chairman Mao the reformer through the success of his liberating acts implemented in China during the Post War period. His understanding of the necessity to eradicate and change the archaic environment China has sunk in is affirmed in his assertion that ‘By shaking up the ancient patriarchal, stratified world for China, Mao opened the way for the emergence of new ideas and institutions’. Where is your judgement? All I am really seeing is an explanation of Schram's. What is your opinion on Schram's view - do you think he is right? wrong? Why do you think that? Dissect his argument, tear it to shreds. Look at his methodology, his ideology, his socio-philosophical background. At present this is reading too much like just a list of the different perspectives. We know there are different perspectives - this is history! As EH Carr states, "interpretation is the lifeblood if history" - thus it is not enough just to tell me what the interpretations are. I need to see your interpretation of the interpretations!

A perspective that prioritizes ethical and moral considerations can be deprived from the work of historian Jonathan D Spence, who consolidates Mao’s character in his book, The Gate of Heavenly Peace. Again, I don't want you to mention the historians in your first sentence, that just strengthens my perception that this essay is just a list of different historians interpretations. It would have been much better if you started like this: "Shared and subjective notions of ethics and morality shroud interpretations of Mao Zedong, as his potentially positive contributions are clouded by the perceived terror of his regime." With that in mind, I would LOVE a discussion upon the historical implications of letting such a subjective concept of ethics centre a historical debate! The revolutionary aspect of Mao Zedong’s implemented acts on China presents the image of a tyrannical leader who acted without remorse I don't think Mao actually has anything to do with this image - more so the historians who curated it. That isn't to say that Mao wasn't that - but it wasn't he who developed that image, and as this is a historiography essay anyway, it is better to focus on the historians contributions anyway. Mao’s determination to achieve success by decreasing the time allocated for China to rise as the dominant world power resulted in ‘him (attempting) to push in a more radical direction so as to prevent stagnation’ (Spence, 1982), resulting in the increase of deaths of civilians. Spence affirms the terrors the Chinese suffered in the 1960s, where opposition to the political agenda was controlled by the cruel physiological and physical abuse on individuals who voiced their opinions that opposed the Maoist ways. Again - this is too much history, not enough historiography. Just because a historian says this doesn't mean its historiography (in the history extension sense). Spence documents his understanding through 20th century Chinese author Ding Ling, who suffered the suppression of her political government when echoing the thoughts of the nation as she ‘called on the Fourth National’s people’s congress… to restore some levels of socialist democratic rights’. Her writings which called out the unjust and inhumane ideals behind Mao’s revolutionary plans brought ‘struggle sessions’ that consist of officers continuously implementing ‘mental strain and physical abuse’ with the intention of reeducating. Under the sole purpose of China taking a great step forward in the global community, Chairman Mao brought immense struggle to his people, ranging from betrayals to death. History essay. Katherine Reist too, agrees with Spence’s consolidation of Mao’s power as she identifies why? ‘‘Mao, removed from much of the turmoil he created, willingly paid that price. The Chinese people are still reckoning the cost.’ (Reist, 2000) suggesting Mao’s  inhumane decisions to manipulate human lives like chess pieces portrays a tyrant who yields power as his sword. Furthermore, Chairman Mao under the Cultural Revolution acts not only utilized the youth of the contemporary nation to removal those upholding the bourgeoisie ideals through tyrannical means as seen numerous individualists’ humiliation through placards stating their counter-revolutionary and criminal identity History essay. Despite the Red Guards believing they performed courageous deeds for the bright future of China, Spence highlights the transition of the common enemy character from the Japanese to each other, reinforcing the perspective of Mao Zedong as a tyrant who manipulated the nation to his liking for his beliefs. Thus it is the clarification of Mao Zedong’s speech that the policies of the Cultural Revolution were aimed to ‘definitely destroy feudal, bourgeois, petty-bourgeois, liberalist, individualist, nihilist’ (McDougall, 1980) where the idea of individualist is leveled on the same platform as the feudal does one correspond Chairman Mao with the image of a brutal enforcer of his ethnics that held no moral consideration. Like before, I don't see your opinion, or your voice at all. All I see is an explanation of other peoples voices, and only on a surface sense. Why do these historians place morality and ethics above economic progress, whereas others the opposite? They both have access to the same evidence/sources (unless they don't -then that is something you can discuss!) - it is not about the history anymore when assessing their interpretation, it is about the historians.

Professor G P Deshpande no historians in first sentence presents an advanced and further understood ? this is an odd way of describing it response to Chairman Mao’s political agendas, as he counterpoints the presumed tyrannical ideologies painted on Chairman Mao with his recognition of the intellectuality behind such dehumanizing acts imposed in China during his reign. Deshpande presents the Western understanding of China’s revolutionary movement through their categorization of such action under the idea of a purge, yet presents how deeper understanding of the Maoist acts establishes the admittance of historians that such description ‘was not only inadequate by also irrelevant.’ (Deshpande, 1966.) This is better! This is historiography :) Still need to see your voice more, but this is definitely more like it - particularly the link to their Western heritage, and how that clouds their view. Again, suggest having a read of Edward Said's 'Orientalism'. His views were that the Cultural Revolution plan was not ‘the product of a whim or fantasy of ageing Mao’ or his weapon that yields to Mao’s tyrannical desires. Only through the correlation between the sixteen points program to China’s situation during that period did Deshpande present his understanding of the Maoist acts that were harnessed. This politburo resolution created and implemented by the Chairman addressed the economical and political issues China faced in the 1960s and 1970s, providing objectives that served as solutions that brought the nation a step closer to ‘Mao’s vision of tomorrow’s China.’ Deshpande himself illustrates how the sixteen points despite having ‘an air of militancy’ surrounding them, the goals of Chairman Mao all targeting one sole purpose; China’s attempt to break free from their powerless position in society and rise to new heights to take a great leap forward. Yet Deshpande’s understanding of the optimal motives behind each point was only found when considering the campaign under the conditions of contemporary context Methodology!! Great :D. The Maoist vision allowed him to understand how the program held no tactics that were new and original to revolutions but rather brought a driving force to mobilize the Chinese for the new China. In addition, Mao’s reasoning for the eradication of those who upheld the bourgeoisie and ‘the four olds’ ideologies during the revolutionary movement can be perceived through historian Dun J Li’s statement ‘let the demons and hobgoblins come out of their lairs in order to wipe them out better, and let the seeds sprout to make it more convenient to hoe them’ (Dun J. Li, 1969) bringing to focus Mao’s intentions were all contributions to China’s prosperous future. Thus by following up on Schram’s understanding of the necessity for Mao’s refurbishing revolution to eradicate the old customs of China and thus, create the groundwork for ‘national salvation and renewal’ (Schram, 1994), Deshpande presents his perspective that Mao’s creation of the Cultural Revolution was a ‘well-planned drive to mobilize the people, to make them more vigilant and tackle the enormous problems of China’ rather than a meticulous plan full of ‘the woes and failing of China’ (Pye, 1986) establishing Chairman Mao as a reformer tactician. This was a much better paragraph. It is still (mainly - I did like your discussion of methodology) an explanation of the perspective rather than an analysis, but it was still more historiography than the other paragraphs. What you need to improve on though is the integration of your own voice and opinion.

The ruthless dictatorship of Mao Zedong is drawn upon the understanding of his dismissal of lives that held significant power in their previous bourgeoisie government. This is the introduction of a history paragraph. Where is a mention of interpretations? Chinese Revolution historians Jung Chang and Jon Halliday affirm the inhumane character of the communist leader who recognized the sacrifice required in order to modernize the Chinese economy in Mao: The Unknown Story. Chang and Halliday reveal the horrific truth again - is it truth? Can one interpretation be objectively the truth? of the nation leader, a man who understood the effects of The Great Leap Forward on his people yet continued to export their food products for economical gain, reaching numbers of 4.74 million tons of grain in 1959. Mao’s falsified claims about the ‘unlimited supplies of food’ (Halliday, and Chang, 2007) to international leaders sheds light on the atrocities he committed his people to History essay. Peasants and agricultural workers suffered intense malnutrition and starvation due to Mao’s radical depletion of their food intake, as the exportation numbers were not calculated based on what could be produced, but rather what Mao required for his program to provide profit in order for China to overtake all the dominant capitalist countries in the 20th century History essay. Thus, the affirmation of Halliday and Jung that ‘Mao knew that in many places people were reduced to eating compounds of Earth. In some cases, whole villages died as a result, when people’s intestines became blocked.’ continues to expose such tyranny that existed in the 20th century. However, it brings us to questions where such sufferings effective in bringing positive change to the Chinese economy? Morality again! I really think that there should be a general discussion upon the historiographical implications of writing history based on morality as it is such a subjective concept. Historian Lucian Pye argues that despite Mao Zedong being recognized for his contribution to the wealth China is indulged in at this current time, the idea of the failures of the Maoist acts being undermined by his success is ‘not particularly convincing because China today follows very few of the early Mao’s ideologies.’ (Pye, 1986) So he invalidates history through a present day lens? Could maybe discuss the historiographical notions of hindsight being 20:20. It's very easy for historians (and anyone from the present day) to look back at historical personalities and civilisations and say that they were wrong because we know the outcome of their actions. The thing is - they DIDN'T. For example, we can look at the failures of the WW1 Generals, and say "Douglas Haig, upon looking at the failures of the battle of the Somme, I deem you an idiot and a bad man" - however, you've got to remember that Douglas Haig and all the other WW1 generals weren't used to or trained to deal with the new form of war (war of attrition) that developed during WW1, and thus had no experience dealing with the war, and no way of knowing the outcome. Obviously this is an oversimplification, but you get the point - it is very easy for us in the present to ridicule people from the past because we know their future, it is important to recognise that they did not. His utilities utilisation of the young crowd to carry out his cruel deeds were effective acts of manipulation, where Mao was able to eradicate his enemies through the student activists who support him and in so, hid behind the façade of being a nation valuing politician. History essay. Chang and Halliday asserts Chairman Mao’s fabrications of trust through his orchestration of turning the students against government figures who disagreed with Maoism, as ‘Many of these officials were on Mao’s hit list, but for now he used them to spread terror (Red Guards) - one that would soon engulf themselves’, bringing forth the reality of Mao’s understanding of the terrors he infringed on the Chinese, but regardless went forth under the reasoning of change. Similarly, Spence also affirms the mercilessness of Chairman Mao in his public announcements of encouragement of the destruction chased by the criticizing youth during the revolutionary period. Chairman Mao’s speech in February 1957 further establishes his support for the rebellion against the traditional values that plagued the country prior to his rule. Spence conveys this in the words of Harvard Professor Roderick MacFarquhar that he issued a ‘forceful warning that only through the creative struggle and daring would the Chinese be able to deepen the revolution and attain higher levels of political and social life’ (D Spence, 1982). This understanding, recognizes the truth again - is it truth? Is truth obtainable? of Mao Zedong’s understanding of the brutality of his policies, yet heeds no attention to the suffering under the belief that ‘To achieve its ultimate consolidation, it is necessary… to carry on constant and arduous socialist revolutionary struggles and socialist education on the political and ideological fronts’ (Mao, 1957).

Communist leader Mao Zedong has carried numerous different understandings of his character and his legacy over the decades. In the words of Tim Stanley, ‘there was a big gulf between the theoretical Maoism and Maoism in practice (of Mao Zedong)’. Whilst most recognize him as the tyrant who was a disaster to mankind ironically in the form of homo-sapiens himself ? I don't really get the irony here, and appears a bit too dramatic., some choose to look beyond his social and cultural impacts on the Chinese civilians and understand his policies were merely based on the understanding that China required immediate revolution in order to be where it is at this present time. In a context where Lucian Pye confirms that ‘loss of culture and of spiritual values, loss of hope and ideals; loss of time, truth and of life, loss, in short, of nearly everything that gives meaning to life’ one cannot deviate from the characterisation of Chairman Mao as a tyrannical leader who held no ethical values. However, once considering the recognition of the truth in Mao’s words ‘the struggle to consolidate the socialist system…will take a long historical period’ (Mao, 1957) historians realise that without such suffering China would not have arrived at the stage it is at today. Yet the perspective of Mao Zedong can only be developed once aligned with self valued morals and ethics and when examined at a particular period of time. Understanding of this controversial figure is only clear when one recognises the unavoidable ramifications of every action. Thus whilst Mao Zedong the tyrant, paid with his people’s lives the cost for China’s ultimate power, Mao Zedong the reformer would not have succeeded in modernising China if such sacrifice was not made.

Okay! So I'm going to be brutally honest (as I always am with history extension major works, as they are so important), as I assume that is why you wanted me to mark your response in the first place - to make this essay the best it can possibly be :) I think this essay needs quite a bit of work, and potentially in a few sections to be completely rewritten. You have a month to do this, so you should be sweet! But basically, for the most part what I read was either a) a history essay, or b) a history of historiography essay. Either you focused too much on the actual, historical narrative and detail of Chairman Mao, or you just listed interpretations. I can't recall seeing your own voice or judgement at all - I couldn't tell which interpretation you agree with, disagree with, I saw hardly any mention of ideology, methodology, purpose, context, etc. etc. That is what history extension is built upon! Here is the history extension syllabus.

Part 2: History Project
The history project provides the opportunity for students to design and conduct an investigation in an area of changing historical interpretation. Students develop and refine specific questions for investigation that add to their understanding of the key questions:

• Who are the historians?
• What are the aims and purposes of history?
• How has history been constructed and recorded over time?
• Why have approaches to history changed over time?

Apart from 'who are the historians' (which is probably the least significant of all the dot points), I haven't really seen any discussion upon these historiographical issues. These questions are what makes an essay a historiography essay and not a history essay. I need to see more analysis, more dissection. I need to see you rip into the historians, suggest their limitations, their failings, their successes - rather than just explaining the evidence they use to support their interpretation. If I wanted to know their interpretation, I'd just read their book (or a summary of their book on wikipedia). What I want is for your essay to provide me with a new experience! Unfortunately in this draft I didn't really feel it :(

Furthermore, in quite a few sections you make some very definitive statements, particularly in regards to "truth". One of the first things you go through in history extension is the notion (and really the implausibility) of objectivity and truth. Definitive statements like "he reveals the truth, etc. etc." are just not consistent with what the subject aims to convey. No interpretation is truth. If you are a relativist, you will suggest that some interpretations are more truthful, however still not the whole truth. If you are a postmodernist, you will assert that they are all equally untrue. I need to see this kinda stuff more throughout your essay.

I really think that looking at the concept of morality, and whether it can be a legitimate historiographical tool to view and judge the past would be fantastic- looking at the way in which Mao has been painted as a monster/tyrant/evil/villain. Furthermore, I think looking at the concept of race, and potentially how Western historians (many of whom would already have a negative interpretation of communism purely because of the culture they grew up in) have shaped interpretations through an 'orientalist' lens. That doesn't mean you need to present a sympathetic view of Mao Zedong, but I need more analysis of the interpretations, and why they have come to be. It isn't a matter of just "this historian assessed this evidence and came to this conclusion." There is just sooooo much more to history, and why historians construct certain narratives. But really, long story short, you just need way more analysis and links to historiographical concepts.

I really hope this hasn't discouraged you! I think you are more than capable of writing an absolutely fantastic essay bigsweetpotato2000 :), your grasp on language is for the most part fantastic (that kinda stuff can really hold back an essay, but aside from maybe a few sentences your language is very sophisticated) and you clearly have done a lot of research on Mao Zedong, much of which (even though we need to cut out a lot of the "history") will not go to waste. Now that we have identified the problems, it's going to be so much easier fixing them - and with a month to go you have more than enough time!!

Good luck, if you need any help with anything please let me know! :)

Susie


Wow Susie you are so brutal and harsh I honestly love it! Thank you so so much! I'll get to work right away!

Bigsweetpotato Farm

sudodds

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Re: History Extension Essay Marking Thread
« Reply #16 on: July 07, 2017, 11:18:21 pm »
Wow Susie you are so brutal and harsh I honestly love it! Thank you so so much! I'll get to work right away!

Bigsweetpotato Farm

I'm glad you appreciate it! The extension major work is so important, that I'd feel like I was cheating you if I sugar coated things. It's better to hear "harsh" criticism before you hand it in rather than after! Let me know if you need help with anything - I'm sure that in less than a month, you'll have produced a fantastic essay :D

Susie
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Maraos

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Re: History Extension Essay Marking Thread
« Reply #17 on: July 15, 2017, 01:39:18 am »
Hello!  :D
I've started my major project essay and I'm planning on trying to finish a draft by Sunday. Before I go all out this weekend (staying up till 2 am like i am right now trying to finish this bloody essay that's driving me mad  ;D ;D) it would be great if you could check to see if I'm going down the right track.
My synopsis is too long (should be 300 mine's like 413) so i gotta cut that. Its pretty rough at the moment however I just want to make sure I'm going down the right path.

Any advice would be great  ;D
Spoiler
Question: Critically analyse the historiographical implications of popular history

Case Study: An analysis of the Spartacus legend and the impact that popular culture may have on historical scholarship and the general public’s perception of historical truths.

Synopsis:
The 21st century and late 20th century has seen an influx of various forms of popular historical representations. Cinema, television and more recently video games have been crucial to the formation and wide dissemination of an historical consciousness of ancient history. These forms of popular histories have operated in tandem with, and more often than not in opposition to, the ancient historical records. For some, the cinema is the only form of exposure to history that they have experienced and thus their perceptions of the past are heavily based on what ‘Hollywood’ has decided to present as historical fact. Popular representations of historical events have not only been used as a method of entertainment, but they have also been utilized as a means of pushing the creator’s agenda on the audience. This has added even more layers, covering the historical objective truth behind a particular representation. The legend of Spartacus is one of the most prominent examples of the effects of popular history on historical scholarship and society. During my research I discovered a large amount of popular historical representations of the Spartacus legend. This discovery further developed the question of my essay, using Spartacus as a case study I decided to investigate the historiographical implications of popular history. This essay will focus primarily on the Spartacus legend however in-doing so I will also investigate the nature of popular history and its effects as a whole.

To address the question the essay I will begin with a general overview of the changing interpretations of the Spartacus legend, from antiquity to the modern popular interpretations. I will then go on to explain how popular culture can be used to explore the past. I will then discuss how popular culture reduces historical issues to basic, digestible narratives and how evidence is ‘cherry picked’ to make representations seem more entertaining and thus impacting historical truths. I will finish by exploring how popular culture can cloud our understanding through fictive elements and the creator’s agenda.

The content utilized in the essay includes a wide range of sources and material including; scholarly articles from online sources, academic books, films and television including the director interviews and film historian’s and websites. As with most academic assignments traditional sources (eg: academic books, scholarly articles) must be utilized as to maintain a high quality essay. The use of film and television material including information from directors and film historians is critical for my essay, due to the nature of my question (popular history). 

Essay:
The Spartacus legend is perhaps one of the most prominent examples of the impact that popular history may have on historical events. The perception and portrayal of the historical figure of Spartacus has changed significantly over time. Historian’s attitudes towards the true character of Spartacus are often conflicting, over time the interpretations of Spartacus have evolved from the Ancient perspectives who portrayed Spartacus as a criminal and bandit. This image remained mostly unchallenged in the Middle Ages and Renaissance. However from the 1700s onwards, the depiction of Spartacus changed. To many moderns Spartacus has been an outright inspiration, as pointed out by Eckstein; “There is a compelling and tragic appeal about an armed rebellion of the utterly downtrodden, which aimed at freedom.” However, beyond historical scholarship, the Spartacus legend has been re-ignited through popular culture. As pointed out by Cornelius; “prior to Kubrick’s film and Kirk Douglas’ portrayal of the man, Spartacus was a figure known in historical-political circles but hardly prevalent as a zeitgeist in popular culture. The film altered this; as a result, Spartacus became a name that most members of the general public could identify.” Therefore through popular history the Spartacus legend has been kept alive, as further argued by Cornelius; “The historical figure enabled the creation of the fictional figure and, in return, the fictional personage of Spartacus has ensured the legacy of the historical person.” This raises the question of the impact that popular history may have on ‘historical truths’ and whether or not popular representations are slowly diminishing the quality of historical scholarship. Furthermore, one interesting result of this interdependency between history and fiction is the insistent nature of the Spartacan narrative to be utilised as more than just a vehicle of entertainment. The narrative is, in most cases, connected to larger social issues related to the time in which the fictional versions of the history have been created. As argued by Carr, this raises the question of whether or not the historian or content ‘creator’ can ‘divorce himself from the outlook and interests of his age.’


Thanks! And also thanks for the awesome ancient lecture on Tuesday it really helped  :)
« Last Edit: July 15, 2017, 01:41:09 am by Maraos »
2016 HSC:
Mathematics
(1 down 6 to go... :D)

2017 HSC:
Physics
Extension 1 Mathematics
Design and Technology
Ancient History
History Extension
English Advanced

sudodds

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Re: History Extension Essay Marking Thread
« Reply #18 on: July 16, 2017, 12:37:15 am »
Hello!  :D
I've started my major project essay and I'm planning on trying to finish a draft by Sunday. Before I go all out this weekend (staying up till 2 am like i am right now trying to finish this bloody essay that's driving me mad  ;D ;D) it would be great if you could check to see if I'm going down the right track.
My synopsis is too long (should be 300 mine's like 413) so i gotta cut that. Its pretty rough at the moment however I just want to make sure I'm going down the right path.

Any advice would be great  ;D

Thanks! And also thanks for the awesome ancient lecture on Tuesday it really helped  :)

Hey Maraos!
Happy to have a look over everything (as this is really only your synopsis and intro, I'm not going to count this as an essay marked, so I'm not going to take 25 posts off your count :) ). My comments can be found in the spoiler below!
Spoiler
Question: Critically analyse the historiographical implications of popular history interesting! A super conceptual, I like it!

Case Study: An analysis of the Spartacus legend and the impact that popular culture may have on historical scholarship and the general public’s perception of historical truths.

Synopsis:
The 21st century and late 20th century in order to cut down words, you can just say "The 21st, and late 20th centuries..." has have seen an influx of various forms of popular historical representations. Cinema, television and more recently video games love the inclusion of video games here - people often forget them but they are becoming an ever crucial creative medium, particularly for history. have been crucial to the formation and wide dissemination of an historical consciousness of ancient history Just ancient history? I feel like all history has been widely impacted by popular history! Maybe, just to make it a tad clearer "dissemination of a historical consciousness of human history, in particular Antiquity.. These forms of popular histories have operated in tandem with, and more often than not in opposition to, the ancient historical records. For some, the cinema is the only form of their only exposure to history, that they have experienced and thus their perceptions of the past are heavily based on what ‘Hollywood’ has decided to present as historical fact. Popular representations of historical events have not only been used as a method of entertainment, but they have also been utilized as a means of pushing promoting the creator’s historical producers agenda on their audience. This has added even more layers further distorted, covering the historical objective truth behind a particular representation. The legend of Spartacus is one of the most prominent examples of the effects of popular history on historical scholarship and society. Great integration! During my research I discovered a large amount of popular historical representations of the Spartacus legend such as?. This discovery further developed the question of my essay Using Spartacus as a case study, I decided aim to investigate the historiographical implications of popular history. This essay will focus primarily on the Spartacus legend however in-doing so I will also investigate the nature of popular history and its effects as a whole.Last two sentences are a bit repetitive, you could probably cut out some words there!

To address the question the essayI will begin with a general overview of the changing interpretations of the Spartacus legend, from antiquity to the modern popular interpretations. I will then go on to explain how popular culture can be used to explore the past. I will then discuss how popular culture reduces historical issues to basic, digestible narratives and how evidence is ‘cherry picked’ to make representations seem more entertaining and thus impacting historical truths. I will finish conclude by exploring how popular culture can cloud our understanding through fictive elements and the creator’s agenda.

The content utilized in the essay includes a wide range of sources and material including; scholarly articles from online sources, academic books, films and television including the director interviews and film historian’s and websites. As with most academic assignments traditional sources (eg: academic books, scholarly articles) must be utilized as to maintain a high quality essay. The use of film and television material including information from directors and film historians is critical for my essay, due to the nature of my question (popular history). 

Essay:
The Spartacus legend is perhaps one of the most prominent examples of the impact that popular history may have on historical events. I think your introductory sentence should just focus on the impact of popular history, then in your second sentence you can introduce Spartacus! The perception and portrayal of the historical figure of Spartacus has changed significantly over time. Historian’s attitudes towards the true character of Spartacus are often conflicting, over time the interpretations of Spartacus have evolved from the Ancient perspectives who portrayed Spartacus as a criminal and bandit The continued "Spartacus" "Spartacus" "Spartacus" reads a bit clunky - might sound super simple, but refering to "Spartacus" as "him" or "they" a few times may make this sentence a little bit easier to read.. This image remained mostly unchallenged in the Middle Ages and Renaissance. However from the 1700s onwards, the depiction of Spartacus changed. To many moderns moderns? Spartacus has been an outright inspiration outright inspiration is too colloquial., as pointed out by Eckstein; “There is a compelling and tragic appeal about an armed rebellion of the utterly downtrodden, which aimed at freedom.” However, beyond historical scholarship, the Spartacus legend has been re-ignited through popular culture. As pointed out by Cornelius Conrnelius who?; “prior to Kubrick’s film and Kirk Douglas’ portrayal of the man, Spartacus was a figure known in historical-political circles but hardly prevalent as a zeitgeist in popular culture. The film altered this; as a result, Spartacus became a name that most members of the general public could identify.” Therefore through popular history the Spartacus legend has been kept alive, as further argued by Cornelius; “The historical figure enabled the creation of the fictional figure and, in return, the fictional personage of Spartacus has ensured the legacy of the historical person.” This raises the question of the impact that popular history may have on ‘historical truths’ and whether or not popular representations are slowly diminishing the quality of historical scholarship oooooo nice!. Furthermore, an interesting result of this interdependency between history and fiction is the insistent nature of the Spartacan narrative to be utilised as more than just a vehicle of entertainment. The narrative is, in most cases, connected to larger social issues related to the context in which the fictional versions of the history have been created. As argued by Carr, this raises the question a bit repetitive - you used the same phrase a few sentences ago of whether or not the historian or content ‘creator’ can ‘divorce himself from the outlook and interests of his age.’

Great work Maraos! Definitely think you're on the right track, and is looking a lot better than what you suggested you were intending to write a while back! Not much for me, just go through my comments in the spoiler and that should cover everything that I was thinking while reading your response :) Only piece of general feedback would be to be a bit more careful with language and sentence structure. It was by no means bad, however as this is your major work, you want to make sure that every word you use is well thought out and considered, and there were a few moments where I believe you could boost up the sophistication of you language a bit :)

But overall, fantastic work! It was so lovely to meet both you and Katie on Tuesday, I'm so glad you enjoyed the lecture, and felt like you got something out of it :) I had a lot of fun delivering it!

Susie
FREE HISTORY EXTENSION LECTURE - CLICK HERE FOR INFO!

2016 HSC: Modern History (18th in NSW) | History Extension (2nd place in the HTA Extension History Essay Prize) | Ancient History | Drama | English Advanced | Studies of Religion I | Economics

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Looking for a history tutor? I'm ya girl! Feel free to send me a PM if you're interested!

Maraos

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Re: History Extension Essay Marking Thread
« Reply #19 on: July 16, 2017, 01:04:54 am »
Hey Maraos!
Happy to have a look over everything (as this is really only your synopsis and intro, I'm not going to count this as an essay marked, so I'm not going to take 25 posts off your count :) ). My comments can be found in the spoiler below!
Spoiler
Question: Critically analyse the historiographical implications of popular history interesting! A super conceptual, I like it!

Case Study: An analysis of the Spartacus legend and the impact that popular culture may have on historical scholarship and the general public’s perception of historical truths.

Synopsis:
The 21st century and late 20th century in order to cut down words, you can just say "The 21st, and late 20th centuries..." has have seen an influx of various forms of popular historical representations. Cinema, television and more recently video games love the inclusion of video games here - people often forget them but they are becoming an ever crucial creative medium, particularly for history. have been crucial to the formation and wide dissemination of an historical consciousness of ancient history Just ancient history? I feel like all history has been widely impacted by popular history! Maybe, just to make it a tad clearer "dissemination of a historical consciousness of human history, in particular Antiquity.. These forms of popular histories have operated in tandem with, and more often than not in opposition to, the ancient historical records. For some, the cinema is the only form of their only exposure to history, that they have experienced and thus their perceptions of the past are heavily based on what ‘Hollywood’ has decided to present as historical fact. Popular representations of historical events have not only been used as a method of entertainment, but they have also been utilized as a means of pushing promoting the creator’s historical producers agenda on their audience. This has added even more layers further distorted, covering the historical objective truth behind a particular representation. The legend of Spartacus is one of the most prominent examples of the effects of popular history on historical scholarship and society. Great integration! During my research I discovered a large amount of popular historical representations of the Spartacus legend such as?. This discovery further developed the question of my essay Using Spartacus as a case study, I decided aim to investigate the historiographical implications of popular history. This essay will focus primarily on the Spartacus legend however in-doing so I will also investigate the nature of popular history and its effects as a whole.Last two sentences are a bit repetitive, you could probably cut out some words there!

To address the question the essayI will begin with a general overview of the changing interpretations of the Spartacus legend, from antiquity to the modern popular interpretations. I will then go on to explain how popular culture can be used to explore the past. I will then discuss how popular culture reduces historical issues to basic, digestible narratives and how evidence is ‘cherry picked’ to make representations seem more entertaining and thus impacting historical truths. I will finish conclude by exploring how popular culture can cloud our understanding through fictive elements and the creator’s agenda.

The content utilized in the essay includes a wide range of sources and material including; scholarly articles from online sources, academic books, films and television including the director interviews and film historian’s and websites. As with most academic assignments traditional sources (eg: academic books, scholarly articles) must be utilized as to maintain a high quality essay. The use of film and television material including information from directors and film historians is critical for my essay, due to the nature of my question (popular history). 

Essay:
The Spartacus legend is perhaps one of the most prominent examples of the impact that popular history may have on historical events. I think your introductory sentence should just focus on the impact of popular history, then in your second sentence you can introduce Spartacus! The perception and portrayal of the historical figure of Spartacus has changed significantly over time. Historian’s attitudes towards the true character of Spartacus are often conflicting, over time the interpretations of Spartacus have evolved from the Ancient perspectives who portrayed Spartacus as a criminal and bandit The continued "Spartacus" "Spartacus" "Spartacus" reads a bit clunky - might sound super simple, but refering to "Spartacus" as "him" or "they" a few times may make this sentence a little bit easier to read.. This image remained mostly unchallenged in the Middle Ages and Renaissance. However from the 1700s onwards, the depiction of Spartacus changed. To many moderns moderns? Spartacus has been an outright inspiration outright inspiration is too colloquial., as pointed out by Eckstein; “There is a compelling and tragic appeal about an armed rebellion of the utterly downtrodden, which aimed at freedom.” However, beyond historical scholarship, the Spartacus legend has been re-ignited through popular culture. As pointed out by Cornelius Conrnelius who?; “prior to Kubrick’s film and Kirk Douglas’ portrayal of the man, Spartacus was a figure known in historical-political circles but hardly prevalent as a zeitgeist in popular culture. The film altered this; as a result, Spartacus became a name that most members of the general public could identify.” Therefore through popular history the Spartacus legend has been kept alive, as further argued by Cornelius; “The historical figure enabled the creation of the fictional figure and, in return, the fictional personage of Spartacus has ensured the legacy of the historical person.” This raises the question of the impact that popular history may have on ‘historical truths’ and whether or not popular representations are slowly diminishing the quality of historical scholarship oooooo nice!. Furthermore, an interesting result of this interdependency between history and fiction is the insistent nature of the Spartacan narrative to be utilised as more than just a vehicle of entertainment. The narrative is, in most cases, connected to larger social issues related to the context in which the fictional versions of the history have been created. As argued by Carr, this raises the question a bit repetitive - you used the same phrase a few sentences ago of whether or not the historian or content ‘creator’ can ‘divorce himself from the outlook and interests of his age.’

Great work Maraos! Definitely think you're on the right track, and is looking a lot better than what you suggested you were intending to write a while back! Not much for me, just go through my comments in the spoiler and that should cover everything that I was thinking while reading your response :) Only piece of general feedback would be to be a bit more careful with language and sentence structure. It was by no means bad, however as this is your major work, you want to make sure that every word you use is well thought out and considered, and there were a few moments where I believe you could boost up the sophistication of you language a bit :)

But overall, fantastic work! It was so lovely to meet both you and Katie on Tuesday, I'm so glad you enjoyed the lecture, and felt like you got something out of it :) I had a lot of fun delivering it!

Susie
Thanks so much for the feedback (and for not counting towards my posts haha :D).
And yeah i completely agree, it is a bit clunky atm, I'll defs improve my vocab and structure.

Thanks again! I'll be sure to post the final essay draft once I'm done
2016 HSC:
Mathematics
(1 down 6 to go... :D)

2017 HSC:
Physics
Extension 1 Mathematics
Design and Technology
Ancient History
History Extension
English Advanced

sudodds

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Re: History Extension Essay Marking Thread
« Reply #20 on: July 16, 2017, 11:28:37 am »
Thanks so much for the feedback (and for not counting towards my posts haha :D).
And yeah i completely agree, it is a bit clunky atm, I'll defs improve my vocab and structure.

Thanks again! I'll be sure to post the final essay draft once I'm done

No worries! And yes! Would love to see the final essay draft, whenever you're ready :)
FREE HISTORY EXTENSION LECTURE - CLICK HERE FOR INFO!

2016 HSC: Modern History (18th in NSW) | History Extension (2nd place in the HTA Extension History Essay Prize) | Ancient History | Drama | English Advanced | Studies of Religion I | Economics

ATAR: 97.80

Studying a Bachelor of Communications: Media Arts and Production at UTS 😊

Looking for a history tutor? I'm ya girl! Feel free to send me a PM if you're interested!

olr1999

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Re: History Extension Essay Marking Thread
« Reply #21 on: July 17, 2017, 01:00:06 pm »
Hey! It would be amazing if you could give me some comments on my major work essay!
Thank you so much in advance  :)

sudodds

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Re: History Extension Essay Marking Thread
« Reply #22 on: July 18, 2017, 08:07:26 pm »
Hey! It would be amazing if you could give me some comments on my major work essay!
Thank you so much in advance  :)
Hey olr1999!
So keen to read through your essay, however you need a few more posts before I can do that! You may have missed it, but due to the increase in forum activity, so we can keep up we had to increase the post spend to 25 posts for an essay mark. You're super close, once you've reached 40 posts you'll qualify - once you've done that, nudge me and I'll get to marking your response ASAP!

Susie
FREE HISTORY EXTENSION LECTURE - CLICK HERE FOR INFO!

2016 HSC: Modern History (18th in NSW) | History Extension (2nd place in the HTA Extension History Essay Prize) | Ancient History | Drama | English Advanced | Studies of Religion I | Economics

ATAR: 97.80

Studying a Bachelor of Communications: Media Arts and Production at UTS 😊

Looking for a history tutor? I'm ya girl! Feel free to send me a PM if you're interested!

bigsweetpotato2000

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Re: History Extension Essay Marking Thread
« Reply #23 on: July 19, 2017, 01:27:45 am »
Helloo

Mind if you can challenge my word dump again? I hope it got better in terms of Ext history essay approach wise - the words are still mumble jumble because I want to get the style of writing correct first :D
And you were right - I rewrote my whole essay but I think in the beginning I was slowly working towards writing it in that approach so it's still a bit...****. (You can fill in the gaps :P)
AND I have one week left exactly - I'm kind of screwed.

Thanks Susie! So much appreciation for you :)

Spoiler
Throughout the decades of historical examination and analysis on numerous personalities of the past, Communist figure Mao Zedong continues to be a character of two contradictory perspectives. Numerous debates surrounded the character of a man who saw beyond the prominent ideals of democracy and capitalism that had risen during the Cold War period, yet were counteracted with the slaughtering imagery of a tyrant who found pride and joy in his maniacal elimination of human lives.  The Maoist period during the 20th century was the only time where terror and corruption co-existed with economical advancement, a frightening yet promising combination for the Chinese. The brutality suffered by the Chinese have led to countless paintings of the Chairman as a ruthless murder, these conclusions drawn from the focus on the price the civilians unwillingly paid with their lives for the nation. However, the ideology that such tyranny serving as sacrifices for the greater good in recent historical analysis is becoming increasingly more accepted, as historians have stepped away from painting the western understanding on the implications on the East. Yet despite this debate surrounding the actions and activities which shape one’s understanding of Chairman Mao’s character being an inconclusive argument, historians are able to come together and recognize in the words of Historian Jonathan Spence ‘Mao’s beginnings were commonplace, his education episodic, his talents unexceptional; yet he possessed a relentless energy and a ruthless self confidence that led him to become one of the world’s most powerful rulers.’. Thus historians take into consideration what they perceive held more significance, the overwhelming ambition for a country’s rapid succession or the importance of the lives who uphold the country itself to position themselves into the two sides of this controversy.

The legacy of Mao Zedong is shaped by the interpretation of his achievements and contributions to his country, for these understandings arise when historians’ ethical considerations prioritize what actions were implemented, rather than what the personality reflects. Stuart R Schram, an American Mao Scholar states that his views are shaped only by the accomplishments that advanced the contemporary nation, as ‘his virtues and vices, whether public or private, will be touched on only to the extent that they affected what he was able to achieve’ (Schram, 1994), this teleological understanding recognizing the importance for such modernization to be obtained in China. Thus Mao’s recognition of the need for radical reform in China since his early years established his attainment of an   advanced understanding of the requirements for a struggling country to evolve in the 20th century, which allowed Schram to recognize Chairman Mao as a great leader who would be remembered for his efforts to improve China. By approaching Mao Zedong from Schram’s political prioritizing point of view, one gains understanding that his purpose and goals which were indeed, for the greater good for China as the nation faced constant suppression from Western superiority. Schram asserts that Mao’s work provided ‘a very substantial industrial and scientific base’ for the growing nation at the contemporary time, which allows Schram to characterize the Chairman as a modernizing despot alongside Stalin. Despite his methods wrecking countless lives of the innocent, his achievements such as securing their global market for economical exports allow Schram to outweigh such sacrifices.   As a political scientist that prioritized the nation’s growth over its people, Schram recognizes that ‘by shaking p the ancient patriarchal, stratified world of China, Mao opened the way for the emergence of new ideas and institutions.’ Thus Schram applauds Mao’s recognition of the beneficial relationships with other countries and escape from being a ‘self-contained kingdom’, as such isolation would never give rise to extreme success; another accomplishment which allows Schram to reinforce  Mao Zedong’s image as a reformer. Despite the attacks on Mao Zedong’s progressive deterioration of legal human rights of expression and freedoms in the Chinese society during his rule, Schram through his understanding of Mao through Mao’s own texts only recognizes that such acts had potentially reflected the intended truth of Chairman Mao’s goals. He argues that the government’s response to the rebellious acts of rising confrontation through such immoral acts were the only solution to resolve the increasing foreign aggression placed on China at that period of time, ‘a successful modernizing despot’. Thus historian Tim Stanley affirms the necessity of the communist leader’s suppression as ‘Mao’s greatest fear was that his country would succumb to the bureaucratic style of socialism practiced in the Soviet Union’ (Stanley, 2012) highlights Schram’s belief that the Chairman’s priority was his country’s economical and political stance in the global environment. Yet whilst numerous historians turn to the ideology of Chairman Mao being the vigorous force who brought incredible destruction to his country, Schram’s recognition allows clarification of his perspective that Chairman Mao was a idealistic reformer, a thesis formed through his defined prioritization of the political agendas and the success of Mao’s liberating acts implemented in China during the Post War period. Therefore Schram’s viewpoint that Mao’s ‘merits outweighed his faults’ sheds lights on Chairman Mao’s legacy as a skillful reformer, however such a political view and Schram’s fascination with Mao Zedong’s character leads to a sense of biasness and a narrow interpretation, hindering the validity of such a perception.

Shared and subjective notions of ethic and morality have often been utilized to shroud interpretations of Mao Zedong, as his potentially positive contributions are clouded by the perceived terror of his regime. Historians such as Jonathan Spence present their subjective view of Chairman Mao as a tyrannical leader who acted without remorse through their interpretations of the primary recounts of suffering from the people. This verification can be denoted in Spence’s understanding that ‘him (attempting) to push in a more radical direction so as to prevent stagnation’ (Spence, 1982) becomes a confirmation of the immoral Maoist acts that brought astonishing death rates during the contemporary period. Furthermore, Spence’s detailed analysis of his extensive range of sources brings to attention his focus on the terrors suffered in 20th century China, highlighting his affirmation of the cruel suppression of the government to those opposing such implemented political agenda. His documentation of 20th century Chinese author Ding Ling showcases his ‘scrupulous attention’ to the ‘solid and sedulous readings’ his work is created upon. The explicit detail of the cruel psychological and physical abuse on intellectuals such as Ding Ling who voiced self opinionated reasoning in Spence’s book clarifies his conviction of Chairman Mao’s tyrannical leadership, as he states that she ‘called on the Fourth National’s people’s congress… to restore some levels of socialist democratic rights’.` Yet a voice that called for equality and justice was met with inhumane ideals that brought ‘struggle sessions’, a horrific suppression of individuals as Spence reinforces the Maoist acts that implemented ‘mental strain and physical abuse’ with the intention of reeducating. Dr Katherine Reist too, agrees with Spence’s careful consolidation of Mao’s power as she identifies ‘‘Mao, removed from much of the turmoil he created, willingly paid that price. The Chinese people are still reckoning the cost.’ (Reist, 2000) finding a certain extent of validity in Spence’s work through his exploration of extensive sources. Whilst the Red Guards continue to label their deeds as courageous acts benefitting the new world, Spence highlights the transition of the common enemy character from the Japanese to each other, reinforcing the perspective of Mao Zedong as a totalitarian who manipulated the nation to his liking for his beliefs. Despite Spence’s acknowledgement of the cultural, social and political ‘uniqueness’ on a balanced viewpoint, Chairman Mao’s achievements continue to be unappreciated as his immoral ethnics undermine the humane right of freedom of speech. Finally, as Spence’s interpretation is validated in the words of Mao Zedong as the policies of the Cultural Revolution were aimed to ‘definitely destroy feudal, bourgeois, petty-bourgeois, liberalist, individualist, nihilist’ (McDougall, 1980), the idea of individualist aligning with the feudal allows correspondence of Chairman Mao with the image of a brutal enforcer and so, further establishes his tyranny.

However the political agendas of Mao Zedong despite the painted tyrannical ideologies expressed the intellectual understanding of the Chairman
 in reforming China and also provided the foundation for China’s position as a leading world power. Professor G P Deshpande presents the Western interpretation of China’s revolutionary movement under the idea of a purge, yet retaliates how only deeper understanding of such beliefs with Mao Zedong’s policies at the contemporary time result in the admittance of historians that such description ‘was not only inadequate by also irrelevant.’ (Deshpande, 1966) Deshpande recognizes the advancing aspects of the Cultural Revolution through a Marxist thinking, aligning such a movement with the inevitable class struggles outlined in Karl Marx and Friedrich Engel’s economic and political philosophy. With clarification on the irrelevance of Mao’s character as an influence on neither his plans nor a weapon that yields to Mao’s tyrannical desires, Deshpande develops his thesis that extends beyond the dogmas of the west. Through the correlation between the sixteen points program to China’s situation during that period did Deshpande establish a new accepted understanding that the politburo resolution implemented merely addressed the economical and political issues China faced in the 1960s and 1970s.This modernist understanding led to Deshpande’s appreciation of Mao’s objectives that served as solutions bringing the nation a step closer to ‘Mao’s vision of tomorrow’s China.’ Despite such policies holding ‘an air of militancy, Professor Deshpande ‘argues in favour of the Leninist notion’(Deshpande, NIL)  that a party which is tight and cadre-based could bring about revolutionary leadership, seen in the eventful Cultural Revolution and so ultimately resulting in a fully developed world power.  Such a unique interpretation illustrates China’s attempt to break free of their powerless position in society and take a great leap forward, allowing one to attain a more diverse perception of the Chinese communist leader. Yet Deshpande’s understanding of the optimal motives behind each point was brought to the surface when considering the campaign under the conditions of contemporary context. The Maoist vision allowed him to understand how the program held no tactics that were new and original to revolutions but rather brought a driving force to mobilize the Chinese for the new China. Thus, Deshpande’s perception of Mao Zedong holds incredible significance, as Professor Alka Acharya reveals how he successfully provides a vision which contrasted the characterization at the time where commentary and reports were dominated by the influential West, Professor Deshpande’s assessments were able to ‘deconstruct the events in all their complexity’, demonstrating his thorough analysis to seek the most justified deconstruction of Chairman Mao. The validation of Mao’s eradication of the bourgeoisie and ‘the four olds’ arises from Deshpande’s modernist values and historian Dun J Li’s statement ‘let the demons and hobgoblins come out of their lairs in order to wipe them out better, and let the seeds sprout to make it more convenient to hoe them’ (Dun J. Li, 1969), bringing to focus that such acts was due to Mao’s realization of tradition being outdated in the new industrialized world. Thus by following up on Schram’s understanding of the necessity for Mao’s refurbishing revolution to create the groundwork for ‘national salvation and renewal’ (Schram, 1994), Deshpande’s perspective hold significant impact on developing the character of Mao Zedong. Such a detailed assessment which aligns with Edward Said’s Orientalism ideals removes the influence of the Western convictions and highlights Mao Zedong’s contribution by providing a foundation for modern China today. Rather than portraying the Chinese government as manipulative tyrants, Deshpande provides a fresh interpretation of the Chinese, which becomes an acknowledgement of their noble ideals, such including sacrifices made for the greater good. Thus, Deshpande’s perception of Chairman Mao as a reformer tactician becomes a thesis that holds slightly larger relevance than his tyrannical brutality, when analyzing the Communist figure.

The characterization of Mao Zedong as a ruthless dictator is found upon the interpretation of his beliefs on death bringing power and advancement as inhumane thoughts that lacked moral understanding. Chinese Revolution historians Jung Chang and Jon Halliday affirm the perceptions of a barbaric character who exploited his people for self or political gain in Mao: The Unknown Story. Chang and Halliday reveal their anti-Mao interpretations of this nation leader, their analysis detailing every action that reflected a brutal tyrant who purposely created massacres like the Cultural Revolution to catalyze the formation of his new country. The significant claims of Chairman Mao that led China to its demise has been thoroughly emphasized by Chang and Halliday, including how Communist leader Mao sold their nation’s agriculture supplies through falsified claims that they had ‘unlimited supplies of food’(Chang and Halliday, 2007) when the reality was half the population was suffering starvation. Furthermore, the atrocity of ‘Mao knew that in many places people were reduced to eating compounds of Earth. In some cases, whole villages died as a result, when people’s intestines became blocked’ reinforces their assessments of Mao and serves as insight when understanding this complex 20th century leader. Chung and Halliday’s research extended beyond exploration of numerous archives, they visited sites in China, annotated uncensored and published memoirs and interviewed thousands to provide their detailed thesis. In addition, Historian Lucian Pye‘s understanding of the Maoist acts being policies of success is ‘not particularly convincing because China today follows very few of the early Mao’s ideologies’ as such ideals go against his own Political Modernization Theory. This perception reinforces Chang and Halliday’s recognition that such actions undertaken by Chairman Mao mainly destroyed the Chinese rather than bring political advancement. However, such 20:20 hindsight belittles his recognition to an extent, which validates Professor Deshpande’s recognition that understanding Mao requires analysis from its context.  Ten years of intensive research created 800 pages of critique on Chairman Mao’s despicability. Such detail not only provides a clear insight on the brutality but leads us to question the narrow interpretation that shapes Chang and Halliday’s interpretation. Chang and Halliday’s research basis is from an extensive range of sources both published and unpublished, leading to the questioning of its reliability of some. Despite the provided citations, there is no provided information to evaluate sources’ authenticity which often leads to apprehension of their perspective. As Jung Chang was one of the numerous who suffered the consequence of Chairman Mao’s policies in her early years the formidable anger she retains may have potentially played a large influence in channeling the direction her and Halliday’s perspective, belittling the perspectives reliability.  Spence continues to affirm the tyrannical characterizations of Chairman Mao through his skillful integration of accuracy and emotion in his words, as his conveyance of the mercilessness of Mao Zedong in his encouragements of destruction evokes a sense of empathy for those who suffered and a sense of hatred for the brutal leader. Chang and Halliday’s understanding recognizes Mao Zedong’s awareness of the brutality retained in his policies, yet heeds no attention to the suffering allowing their comprehension of an immoral leader to develop. Thus such an understanding more or less created by heavy in-depth analysis and influenced by a personal influence, such perceptions despite aligning with other historians hold an element of biasness, becoming an interpretation which is considerably valid in assessing Chairman Mao’s tyrannical aspects but still carries a level of biasness, weakening the perspective.

Communist leader Mao Zedong has carried numerous different understandings of his character and his legacy over the decades. In the words of Tim Stanley, ‘there was a big gulf between the theoretical Maoism and Maoism in practice (of Mao Zedong)’. Whilst most recognize him as the tyrant whose machinations brought death to civilians, some choose to look beyond his social and cultural impacts on the Chinese civilians and understand his policies targeted the economical and political advancement. Chang and Halliday along with Spence all aimed to present the Chinese understanding and perspective of Mao Zedong as a tyrannical leader who held no ethical values. In contrast, Schram and Deshpande look beyond the surface infiltrated by stories of the sufferings and acknowledge Mao Zedong on his ability to achieve political and economical advancement. However, Chairman Mao’s controversial character cannot be with reformer or tyrant, but both. Once considering Mao’s words ‘the struggle to consolidate the socialist system…will take a long historical period’ (Mao, 1957) realization that without such suffering China would not have arrived at its current stage arises. Yet such recognition of Mao Zedong’s character can only be developed once aligned with self valued morals and ethics and when examined at the particular period of time. Understanding of this controversial figure is only clear when one recognizes the unavoidable ramifications of every action. Thus whilst Mao Zedong the tyrant, paid with his people’s lives the cost for China’s ultimate power, Mao Zedong the reformer would not have succeeded in modernizing China if such sacrifice was not made.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2017, 01:34:08 am by bigsweetpotato2000 »

sudodds

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Re: History Extension Essay Marking Thread
« Reply #24 on: July 20, 2017, 12:08:12 am »
Helloo

Mind if you can challenge my word dump again? I hope it got better in terms of Ext history essay approach wise - the words are still mumble jumble because I want to get the style of writing correct first :D
And you were right - I rewrote my whole essay but I think in the beginning I was slowly working towards writing it in that approach so it's still a bit...****. (You can fill in the gaps :P)
AND I have one week left exactly - I'm kind of screwed.

Thanks Susie! So much appreciation for you :)
Don't mind if I do! It definitely is very tricky, so don't lose faith if you're finding it hard - it is hard. It's history extension ;)

My comments can be found in bold within the spoiler :)

Spoiler
Throughout the decades of historical examination and analysis on numerous personalities of the past, Communist figure Mao Zedong in particular continues to be a character of two contradictory perspectives. Nice! Numerous debates surrounded the character of a man who either saw beyond the prominent ideals of democracy and capitalism that had risen during the Cold War period hmmm they were around a long time before the Cold War!, yet were counteracted with the slaughtering imagery of a tyrant who supposedly found pride and joy in his maniacal elimination of human lives. The Maoist period during the 20th century was the only time where terror and corruption co-existed with economical advancement, a frightening yet promising combination for the Chinese I like how you have emphasised this juxtaposition. The brutality suffered by the Chinese have led to countless paintings of the Chairman as a ruthless murder, these conclusions drawn from the focus on the price the civilians unwillingly paid with their lives for the nation. However, the ideology that such tyranny serving as sacrifices for the greater good in recent historical analysis is becoming increasingly more accepted, as historians have stepped away from painting the western understanding on the implications on the East I love this as a discussion, but sentence is a bit messy and confusing. Yet despite this debate surrounding the actions and activities which shape one’s understanding of Chairman Mao’s character being an inconclusive argument, historians are able to come together and recognize in the words of Historian Jonathan Spence ‘Mao’s beginnings were commonplace, his education episodic, his talents unexceptional; yet he possessed a relentless energy and a ruthless self confidence that led him to become one of the world’s most powerful rulers.’. Thus historians take into consideration what they perceive held more significance, the overwhelming ambition for a country’s rapid succession or the importance of the lives who uphold the country itself to position themselves into the two sides of this controversy. Why do they perceive certain things to be more significant though? I'm hoping that comes through in your essay. However a MUCH stronger intro already bigsweetpotato :) well done!

The legacy of Mao Zedong is shaped by the interpretation of his achievements and contributions to his country, for these understandings arise when historians’ ethical considerations prioritize what actions were implemented, rather than what the personality reflects A bit confused what you mean here?. Stuart R Schram, an American Mao Scholar states that his views are shaped only by the accomplishments that advanced the contemporary nation, as ‘his virtues and vices, whether public or private, will be touched on only to the extent that they affected what he was able to achieve’ (Schram, 1994), this teleological yisssss  8) understanding recognizing the importance for such modernization to be obtained in China link it back to the actual concept of teleological history as well - Schram's teleological perspective is shaped by his belief in progress, and moving forward. Thus Mao’s recognition of the need for radical reform in China since his early years established his attainment of an  advanced understanding of the requirements for a struggling country to evolve in the 20th century, which allowed Schram to recognize Chairman Mao as a great leader who would be remembered for his efforts to improve China. By approaching Mao Zedong from Schram’s political prioritizing "political prioritizing" sounds weird point of view, one gains understanding that his purpose and goals which were indeed according to________, for the greater good for China, as the nation faced constant suppression from Western superiority they didn't face suppression from Western superiority, more so the West's belief in their superiority!. Schram asserts that Mao’s work provided ‘a very substantial industrial and scientific base’ for the growing nation at the contemporary time, which allows Schram to characterize the Chairman as a modernizing despot alongside Stalin. Despite his methods wrecking wrecking is too colloquial countless lives of the innocent innocent lives, his achievements such as securing their global market for economical exports allow Schram to outweigh such sacrifices. As a political scientist that prioritized the nation’s growth over its people, Schram recognizes that ‘by shaking up the ancient patriarchal, stratified world of China, Mao opened the way for the emergence of new ideas and institutions.’ Thus Schram applauds Mao’s recognition of the beneficial relationships with other countries and escape from being a ‘self-contained kingdom’, as such isolation would never give rise to extreme success; another accomplishment which allows Schram to reinforce Mao Zedong’s image as a reformer. Just a question is Schram a communist/communist sympathiser? Just because marxist ideology focuses on this idea of the collective good, which may be another reason why he presents this sympathetic view of Mao, because he believes he was doing a collective good for society, even if individuals at the time were negatively impacted.Despite the attacks on Mao Zedong’s progressive deterioration of legal human rights of expression and freedoms in the Chinese society during his rule, Schram through his understanding of Mao through Mao’s own texts only recognizes that such acts had potentially reflected the intended truth of Chairman Mao’s goals. He argues that the government’s response to the rebellious acts of rising confrontation through such immoral acts were the only solution to resolve the increasing foreign aggression placed on China at that period of time, ‘a successful modernizing despot’ whats the purpose of this quote?. Thus historian Tim Stanley affirms the necessity of the communist leader’s suppression as ‘Mao’s greatest fear was that his country would succumb to the bureaucratic style of socialism practiced in the Soviet Union’ (Stanley, 2012) highlights Schram’s belief that the Chairman’s priority was his country’s economical and political stance in the global environment. Yet whilst numerous historians turn to the ideology of Chairman Mao being the vigorous force who brought incredible destruction to his country, Schram’s recognition allows clarification of his perspective that Chairman Mao was a idealistic reformer, a thesis formed through his defined prioritization of the political agendas and the success of Mao’s liberating acts implemented in China during the Post War period. Therefore Schram’s viewpoint that Mao’s ‘merits outweighed his faults’ sheds lights on Chairman Mao’s legacy as a skillful reformer, however such a political view and Schram’s fascination with Mao Zedong’s character leads to a sense of biasness I think I said this in the last one - really not a fan of this word, particularly in this context, as it suggests that other sources aren't biased. ALL sources are biased, no matter what their perspective. and a narrow interpretation, hindering the validity of such a perception. SOOOO much better bigsweetpotato1 Like - so much better. There is way more of a focus on historiography here :D Yayayaya

Shared and subjective notions of ethic and morality have often been utilized to shroud interpretations of Mao Zedong, as his potentially positive contributions are clouded by the perceived terror of his regime. Historians such as Jonathan Spence present their subjective view of Chairman Mao as a tyrannical leader who acted without remorse through their interpretations of the primary recounts of suffering from the people. This verification can be denoted in Spence’s understanding that ‘him (attempting) to push in a more radical direction so as to prevent stagnation’ (Spence, 1982) becomes a confirmation of the immoral Maoist acts that brought astonishing death rates during the contemporary period. Furthermore, Spence’s detailed analysis of his extensive range of sources brings to attention his focus on the terrors suffered in 20th century China, highlighting his affirmation of the cruel suppression of the government to those opposing such implemented political agenda. His documentation of 20th century Chinese author Ding Ling showcases his ‘scrupulous attention’ to the ‘solid and sedulous readings’ his work is created upon. The explicit detail of the cruel psychological and physical abuse on intellectuals such as Ding Ling who voiced self opinionated reasoning in Spence’s book clarifies his conviction of Chairman Mao’s tyrannical leadership, as he states that she ‘called on the Fourth National’s people’s congress… to restore some levels of socialist democratic rights’.` Yet a voice that called for equality and justice was met with inhumane ideals that brought ‘struggle sessions’, a horrific suppression of individuals as Spence reinforces the Maoist acts that implemented ‘mental strain and physical abuse’ with the intention of reeducating. Dr Katherine Reist too, agrees with Spence’s careful consolidation of Mao’s power as she identifies ‘‘Mao, removed from much of the turmoil he created, willingly paid that price. The Chinese people are still reckoning the cost.’ (Reist, 2000) finding a certain extent of validity in Spence’s work through his exploration of extensive sources. Whilst the Red Guards continue to label their deeds as courageous acts benefitting the new world, Spence highlights the transition of the common enemy character from the Japanese to each other, reinforcing the perspective of Mao Zedong as a totalitarian who manipulated the nation to his liking for his beliefs. Despite Spence’s acknowledgement of the cultural, social and political ‘uniqueness’ on a balanced viewpoint, Chairman Mao’s achievements continue to be unappreciated great discussion of limitations!as his immoral ethnics undermine the humane right of freedom of speech. Finally, as Spence’s interpretation is validated in the words of Mao Zedong as the policies of the Cultural Revolution were aimed to ‘definitely destroy feudal, bourgeois, petty-bourgeois, liberalist, individualist, nihilist’ (McDougall, 1980), the idea of individualist aligning with the feudal allows correspondence of Chairman Mao with the image of a brutal enforcer and so, further establishes his tyranny. Again, so much better! However, in both paragraphs, I'd like a bit more of a discussion on the actual historians contexts, and how that impacts upon their interpretations. I think a discussion upon the subjectiveness of morality as a concept would be good as well here - is morality a valid argument, if it is inherently not objective? (though personally I don't think any history is objective lol)

However the political agendas of Mao Zedong despite the painted tyrannical ideologies expressed the intellectual understanding of the Chairman in reforming China and also provided the foundation for China’s position as a leading world power. This sentence doesn't really make sense - I don't know what you're arguing here. Professor G P Deshpande presents the Western interpretation of China’s revolutionary movement under the idea of a purge, yet retaliates how only deeper understanding of such beliefs with Mao Zedong’s policies at the contemporary time result in the admittance of historians that such description ‘was not only inadequate by also irrelevant.’ (Deshpande, 1966) Deshpande recognizes the advancing aspects of the Cultural Revolution through a Marxist thinking conception of history, aligning such a movement with the inevitable class struggles outlined in Karl Marx and Friedrich Engel’s economic and political philosophy. Great link to theory! With clarification on the irrelevance of Mao’s character as an influence on neither his plans nor a weapon that yields to Mao’s tyrannical desires, Deshpande develops his thesis that extends beyond the dogmas of the west. Through the correlation between the sixteen points program to China’s situation during that period did Deshpande establish a new accepted understanding that the politburo resolution implemented merely addressed the economical and political issues China faced in the 1960s and 1970s.This modernist understanding led to Deshpande’s appreciation of Mao’s objectives that served as solutions bringing the nation a step closer to ‘Mao’s vision of tomorrow’s China.’ Despite such policies holding ‘an air of militancy, Professor Deshpande ‘argues in favour of the Leninist notion’(Deshpande, NIL)  that a party which is tight and cadre-based could bring about revolutionary leadership, seen in the eventful Cultural Revolution and so ultimately resulting in a fully developed world power.  Such a unique interpretation illustrates China’s attempt to break free of their powerless position in society and take a great leap forward, allowing one to attain a more diverse perception of the Chinese communist leader. Yet Deshpande’s understanding of the optimal motives behind each point was brought to the surface when considering the campaign under the conditions of contemporary context. YES The Maoist vision allowed him to understand how the program held no tactics that were new and original to revolutions but rather brought a driving force to mobilize the Chinese for the new China. Thus, Deshpande’s perception of Mao Zedong holds incredible significance, as Professor Alka Acharya reveals how he successfully provides a vision which contrasted the characterization at the time where commentary and reports were dominated by the influential West, Professor Deshpande’s assessments were able to ‘deconstruct the events in all their complexity’, demonstrating his thorough analysis to seek the most justified deconstruction of Chairman Mao. The validation of Mao’s eradication of the bourgeoisie and ‘the four olds’ arises from Deshpande’s modernist values what are modernist values? Be specific and historian Dun J Li’s statement ‘let the demons and hobgoblins come out of their lairs in order to wipe them out better, and let the seeds sprout to make it more convenient to hoe them’ (Dun J. Li, 1969), bringing to focus that such acts was due to Mao’s realization of tradition being outdated in the new industrialized world. Thus by following up on Schram’s understanding of the necessity for Mao’s refurbishing revolution to create the groundwork for ‘national salvation and renewal’ (Schram, 1994), Deshpande’s perspective hold significant impact on developing the character of Mao Zedong. Such a detailed assessment which aligns with Edward Said’s Orientalism ideals not really orientalism ideals - Said wasn't advocating for Orientalism (in fact the opposite!), it was just his theory, so it would be better to say: "Such a detailed assessment aligns with Edward Said's theory of Orientalism... removes the influence of the Western convictions and highlights Mao Zedong’s contribution by providing a foundation for modern China today. Rather than portraying the Chinese government as manipulative tyrants, Deshpande provides a fresh interpretation of the Chinese, which becomes an acknowledgement of their noble ideals, such including sacrifices made for the greater good. Thus, Deshpande’s perception of Chairman Mao as a reformer tactician becomes a thesis that holds slightly larger relevance than his tyrannical brutality, when analyzing the Communist figure. Are there any limitations to Deshpande's analysis though? Anything to criticise? I feel like you'd been a bit too kind to him ;) But again, fantastic work.

The characterization of Mao Zedong as a ruthless dictator is found upon the interpretation of his beliefs on death bringing power and advancement as inhumane thoughts that lacked moral understanding. Chinese Revolution historians Jung Chang and Jon Halliday affirm the perceptions of a barbaric character who exploited his people for self or political gain in Mao: The Unknown Story. Chang and Halliday reveal their anti-Mao interpretations of this nation leader, their analysis detailing every action that reflected a brutal tyrant who purposely created massacres like the Cultural Revolution to catalyze the formation of his new country. The significant claims of Chairman Mao that led China to its demise has been thoroughly emphasized by Chang and Halliday, including how Communist leader Mao sold their nation’s agriculture supplies through falsified claims that they had ‘unlimited supplies of food’(Chang and Halliday, 2007) when the reality was half the population was suffering starvation. Furthermore, the atrocity of ‘Mao knew that in many places people were reduced to eating compounds of Earth. In some cases, whole villages died as a result, when people’s intestines became blocked’ reinforces their assessments of Mao and serves as insight when understanding this complex 20th century leader. Chung and Halliday’s research extended beyond exploration of numerous archives, they visited sites in China, annotated uncensored and published memoirs and interviewed thousands to provide their detailed thesis great discussion of methodologies!. In addition, Historian Lucian Pye‘s understanding of the Maoist acts being policies of success is ‘not particularly convincing because China today follows very few of the early Mao’s ideologies’ as such ideals go against his own Political Modernization Theory. This perception reinforces Chang and Halliday’s recognition that such actions undertaken by Chairman Mao mainly destroyed the Chinese rather than bring political advancement. However, such 20:20 hindsight 20:20 hindsight it too colloquial - hindsight itself isn't - but the 20:20 part is. belittles his recognition to an extent, which validates Professor Deshpande’s recognition that understanding Mao requires analysis from its context I want you to explore this historiographical implications of this a bit more :). Ten years of intensive research created 800 pages of critique on Chairman Mao’s despicability. Such detail not only provides a clear insight on the brutality but leads us to question the narrow interpretation that shapes Chang and Halliday’s interpretation. Chang and Halliday’s research basis is from an extensive range of sources both published and unpublished, leading to the questioning of its reliability of some. Despite the provided citations, there is no provided information to evaluate sources’ authenticity which often leads to apprehension of their perspective. As Jung Chang was one of the numerous who suffered the consequence of Chairman Mao’s policies in her early years the formidable anger she retains may have potentially played a large influence in channeling the direction her and Halliday’s perspective, belittling the perspectives reliability.  Spence continues to affirm the tyrannical characterizations of Chairman Mao through his skillful integration of accuracy integration of accuracy? and emotion in his words, as his conveyance of the mercilessness of Mao Zedong in his encouragements of destruction evokes a sense of empathy for those who suffered and a sense of hatred for the brutal leader so further focusing on morality!. Chang and Halliday’s understanding recognizes Mao Zedong’s awareness of the brutality retained in his policies, yet heeds no attention to the suffering allowing their comprehension of an immoral leader to develop. Thus such an understanding more or less more or less is too colloquial created by heavy in-depth analysis and influenced by a personal influence, such perceptions despite aligning with other historians hold an element of biasness i'm not even sure if biasness is a word? I think it's just referred to as bias., becoming an interpretation which is considerably valid in assessing Chairman Mao’s tyrannical aspects but still carries a level of biasness, weakening the perspective.

Communist leader Mao Zedong has carried numerous different understandings of his character and his legacy over the decades. In the words of Tim Stanley, ‘there was a big gulf between the theoretical Maoism and Maoism in practice (of Mao Zedong)’ Nice!. Whilst most recognize him as the tyrant whose machinations brought death to civilians, some choose to look beyond his social and cultural impacts on the Chinese civilians and understand his policies targeted the economical and political advancement. Chang and Halliday along with Spence all aimed to present the Chinese understanding and perspective of Mao Zedong as a tyrannical leader who held no ethical values. In contrast, Schram and Deshpande look beyond the surface infiltrated by stories of the sufferings and acknowledge Mao Zedong on his ability to achieve political and economical advancement. However, Chairman Mao’s controversial character cannot be with reformer or tyrant, but both. Once considering Mao’s words ‘the struggle to consolidate the socialist system…will take a long historical period’ (Mao, 1957) realization that without such suffering China would not have arrived at its current stage arises. Yet such recognition of Mao Zedong’s character can only be developed once aligned with self valued morals and ethics and when examined at the particular period of time. Understanding of this controversial figure is only clear when one recognizes the unavoidable ramifications of every action. Thus whilst Mao Zedong the tyrant, paid with his people’s lives the cost for China’s ultimate power, Mao Zedong the reformer would not have succeeded in modernizing China if such sacrifice was not made.

Okay!!
Sosoosososososososososo so much better bigsweetpotato2000! This has significantly improved since last time, and is way more historiographical! I love how you are really delving into the limitations of these historians as well, rather than just discussing their interpretations.

My only major comments are:
1) I'd like potentially a bit more of a discussion upon some of the historiographical issues that you raised outside of Mao Zedong, so just, in a general sense, why is the context of the historian important, how is utilising morality as a historiographical tool effective/ineffective, etc. etc. Integrating historiographers that aren't necessarily focusing on Mao throughout (eg. EH Carr). That way you can show that you understand these historiographical theories, and how they apply to different historical issues.

2) Language and expression - I know you said that your word choices were a bit off, so I'm not too concerned, as you seem to be aware of this problem, but I thought I should raise it anyway. There are some sentences that don't really make sense, and that is limiting the effectiveness of your analysis.

But overall, such a massive improvement since last time! I'm super proud of you, this really is shaping up to be an excellent major work. I don't think you are "screwed" at all - this is already great, and you've still got a week to make it even better!

Great work,

Susie
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bigsweetpotato2000

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Re: History Extension Essay Marking Thread
« Reply #25 on: July 20, 2017, 12:24:50 am »
Don't mind if I do! It definitely is very tricky, so don't lose faith if you're finding it hard - it is hard. It's history extension ;)

My comments can be found in bold within the spoiler :)

Spoiler
Throughout the decades of historical examination and analysis on numerous personalities of the past, Communist figure Mao Zedong in particular continues to be a character of two contradictory perspectives. Nice! Numerous debates surrounded the character of a man who either saw beyond the prominent ideals of democracy and capitalism that had risen during the Cold War period hmmm they were around a long time before the Cold War!, yet were counteracted with the slaughtering imagery of a tyrant who supposedly found pride and joy in his maniacal elimination of human lives. The Maoist period during the 20th century was the only time where terror and corruption co-existed with economical advancement, a frightening yet promising combination for the Chinese I like how you have emphasised this juxtaposition. The brutality suffered by the Chinese have led to countless paintings of the Chairman as a ruthless murder, these conclusions drawn from the focus on the price the civilians unwillingly paid with their lives for the nation. However, the ideology that such tyranny serving as sacrifices for the greater good in recent historical analysis is becoming increasingly more accepted, as historians have stepped away from painting the western understanding on the implications on the East I love this as a discussion, but sentence is a bit messy and confusing. Yet despite this debate surrounding the actions and activities which shape one’s understanding of Chairman Mao’s character being an inconclusive argument, historians are able to come together and recognize in the words of Historian Jonathan Spence ‘Mao’s beginnings were commonplace, his education episodic, his talents unexceptional; yet he possessed a relentless energy and a ruthless self confidence that led him to become one of the world’s most powerful rulers.’. Thus historians take into consideration what they perceive held more significance, the overwhelming ambition for a country’s rapid succession or the importance of the lives who uphold the country itself to position themselves into the two sides of this controversy. Why do they perceive certain things to be more significant though? I'm hoping that comes through in your essay. However a MUCH stronger intro already bigsweetpotato :) well done!

The legacy of Mao Zedong is shaped by the interpretation of his achievements and contributions to his country, for these understandings arise when historians’ ethical considerations prioritize what actions were implemented, rather than what the personality reflects A bit confused what you mean here?. Stuart R Schram, an American Mao Scholar states that his views are shaped only by the accomplishments that advanced the contemporary nation, as ‘his virtues and vices, whether public or private, will be touched on only to the extent that they affected what he was able to achieve’ (Schram, 1994), this teleological yisssss  8) understanding recognizing the importance for such modernization to be obtained in China link it back to the actual concept of teleological history as well - Schram's teleological perspective is shaped by his belief in progress, and moving forward. Thus Mao’s recognition of the need for radical reform in China since his early years established his attainment of an  advanced understanding of the requirements for a struggling country to evolve in the 20th century, which allowed Schram to recognize Chairman Mao as a great leader who would be remembered for his efforts to improve China. By approaching Mao Zedong from Schram’s political prioritizing "political prioritizing" sounds weird point of view, one gains understanding that his purpose and goals which were indeed according to________, for the greater good for China, as the nation faced constant suppression from Western superiority they didn't face suppression from Western superiority, more so the West's belief in their superiority!. Schram asserts that Mao’s work provided ‘a very substantial industrial and scientific base’ for the growing nation at the contemporary time, which allows Schram to characterize the Chairman as a modernizing despot alongside Stalin. Despite his methods wrecking wrecking is too colloquial countless lives of the innocent innocent lives, his achievements such as securing their global market for economical exports allow Schram to outweigh such sacrifices. As a political scientist that prioritized the nation’s growth over its people, Schram recognizes that ‘by shaking up the ancient patriarchal, stratified world of China, Mao opened the way for the emergence of new ideas and institutions.’ Thus Schram applauds Mao’s recognition of the beneficial relationships with other countries and escape from being a ‘self-contained kingdom’, as such isolation would never give rise to extreme success; another accomplishment which allows Schram to reinforce Mao Zedong’s image as a reformer. Just a question is Schram a communist/communist sympathiser? Just because marxist ideology focuses on this idea of the collective good, which may be another reason why he presents this sympathetic view of Mao, because he believes he was doing a collective good for society, even if individuals at the time were negatively impacted.Despite the attacks on Mao Zedong’s progressive deterioration of legal human rights of expression and freedoms in the Chinese society during his rule, Schram through his understanding of Mao through Mao’s own texts only recognizes that such acts had potentially reflected the intended truth of Chairman Mao’s goals. He argues that the government’s response to the rebellious acts of rising confrontation through such immoral acts were the only solution to resolve the increasing foreign aggression placed on China at that period of time, ‘a successful modernizing despot’ whats the purpose of this quote?. Thus historian Tim Stanley affirms the necessity of the communist leader’s suppression as ‘Mao’s greatest fear was that his country would succumb to the bureaucratic style of socialism practiced in the Soviet Union’ (Stanley, 2012) highlights Schram’s belief that the Chairman’s priority was his country’s economical and political stance in the global environment. Yet whilst numerous historians turn to the ideology of Chairman Mao being the vigorous force who brought incredible destruction to his country, Schram’s recognition allows clarification of his perspective that Chairman Mao was a idealistic reformer, a thesis formed through his defined prioritization of the political agendas and the success of Mao’s liberating acts implemented in China during the Post War period. Therefore Schram’s viewpoint that Mao’s ‘merits outweighed his faults’ sheds lights on Chairman Mao’s legacy as a skillful reformer, however such a political view and Schram’s fascination with Mao Zedong’s character leads to a sense of biasness I think I said this in the last one - really not a fan of this word, particularly in this context, as it suggests that other sources aren't biased. ALL sources are biased, no matter what their perspective. and a narrow interpretation, hindering the validity of such a perception. SOOOO much better bigsweetpotato1 Like - so much better. There is way more of a focus on historiography here :D Yayayaya

Shared and subjective notions of ethic and morality have often been utilized to shroud interpretations of Mao Zedong, as his potentially positive contributions are clouded by the perceived terror of his regime. Historians such as Jonathan Spence present their subjective view of Chairman Mao as a tyrannical leader who acted without remorse through their interpretations of the primary recounts of suffering from the people. This verification can be denoted in Spence’s understanding that ‘him (attempting) to push in a more radical direction so as to prevent stagnation’ (Spence, 1982) becomes a confirmation of the immoral Maoist acts that brought astonishing death rates during the contemporary period. Furthermore, Spence’s detailed analysis of his extensive range of sources brings to attention his focus on the terrors suffered in 20th century China, highlighting his affirmation of the cruel suppression of the government to those opposing such implemented political agenda. His documentation of 20th century Chinese author Ding Ling showcases his ‘scrupulous attention’ to the ‘solid and sedulous readings’ his work is created upon. The explicit detail of the cruel psychological and physical abuse on intellectuals such as Ding Ling who voiced self opinionated reasoning in Spence’s book clarifies his conviction of Chairman Mao’s tyrannical leadership, as he states that she ‘called on the Fourth National’s people’s congress… to restore some levels of socialist democratic rights’.` Yet a voice that called for equality and justice was met with inhumane ideals that brought ‘struggle sessions’, a horrific suppression of individuals as Spence reinforces the Maoist acts that implemented ‘mental strain and physical abuse’ with the intention of reeducating. Dr Katherine Reist too, agrees with Spence’s careful consolidation of Mao’s power as she identifies ‘‘Mao, removed from much of the turmoil he created, willingly paid that price. The Chinese people are still reckoning the cost.’ (Reist, 2000) finding a certain extent of validity in Spence’s work through his exploration of extensive sources. Whilst the Red Guards continue to label their deeds as courageous acts benefitting the new world, Spence highlights the transition of the common enemy character from the Japanese to each other, reinforcing the perspective of Mao Zedong as a totalitarian who manipulated the nation to his liking for his beliefs. Despite Spence’s acknowledgement of the cultural, social and political ‘uniqueness’ on a balanced viewpoint, Chairman Mao’s achievements continue to be unappreciated great discussion of limitations!as his immoral ethnics undermine the humane right of freedom of speech. Finally, as Spence’s interpretation is validated in the words of Mao Zedong as the policies of the Cultural Revolution were aimed to ‘definitely destroy feudal, bourgeois, petty-bourgeois, liberalist, individualist, nihilist’ (McDougall, 1980), the idea of individualist aligning with the feudal allows correspondence of Chairman Mao with the image of a brutal enforcer and so, further establishes his tyranny. Again, so much better! However, in both paragraphs, I'd like a bit more of a discussion on the actual historians contexts, and how that impacts upon their interpretations. I think a discussion upon the subjectiveness of morality as a concept would be good as well here - is morality a valid argument, if it is inherently not objective? (though personally I don't think any history is objective lol)

However the political agendas of Mao Zedong despite the painted tyrannical ideologies expressed the intellectual understanding of the Chairman in reforming China and also provided the foundation for China’s position as a leading world power. This sentence doesn't really make sense - I don't know what you're arguing here. Professor G P Deshpande presents the Western interpretation of China’s revolutionary movement under the idea of a purge, yet retaliates how only deeper understanding of such beliefs with Mao Zedong’s policies at the contemporary time result in the admittance of historians that such description ‘was not only inadequate by also irrelevant.’ (Deshpande, 1966) Deshpande recognizes the advancing aspects of the Cultural Revolution through a Marxist thinking conception of history, aligning such a movement with the inevitable class struggles outlined in Karl Marx and Friedrich Engel’s economic and political philosophy. Great link to theory! With clarification on the irrelevance of Mao’s character as an influence on neither his plans nor a weapon that yields to Mao’s tyrannical desires, Deshpande develops his thesis that extends beyond the dogmas of the west. Through the correlation between the sixteen points program to China’s situation during that period did Deshpande establish a new accepted understanding that the politburo resolution implemented merely addressed the economical and political issues China faced in the 1960s and 1970s.This modernist understanding led to Deshpande’s appreciation of Mao’s objectives that served as solutions bringing the nation a step closer to ‘Mao’s vision of tomorrow’s China.’ Despite such policies holding ‘an air of militancy, Professor Deshpande ‘argues in favour of the Leninist notion’(Deshpande, NIL)  that a party which is tight and cadre-based could bring about revolutionary leadership, seen in the eventful Cultural Revolution and so ultimately resulting in a fully developed world power.  Such a unique interpretation illustrates China’s attempt to break free of their powerless position in society and take a great leap forward, allowing one to attain a more diverse perception of the Chinese communist leader. Yet Deshpande’s understanding of the optimal motives behind each point was brought to the surface when considering the campaign under the conditions of contemporary context. YES The Maoist vision allowed him to understand how the program held no tactics that were new and original to revolutions but rather brought a driving force to mobilize the Chinese for the new China. Thus, Deshpande’s perception of Mao Zedong holds incredible significance, as Professor Alka Acharya reveals how he successfully provides a vision which contrasted the characterization at the time where commentary and reports were dominated by the influential West, Professor Deshpande’s assessments were able to ‘deconstruct the events in all their complexity’, demonstrating his thorough analysis to seek the most justified deconstruction of Chairman Mao. The validation of Mao’s eradication of the bourgeoisie and ‘the four olds’ arises from Deshpande’s modernist values what are modernist values? Be specific and historian Dun J Li’s statement ‘let the demons and hobgoblins come out of their lairs in order to wipe them out better, and let the seeds sprout to make it more convenient to hoe them’ (Dun J. Li, 1969), bringing to focus that such acts was due to Mao’s realization of tradition being outdated in the new industrialized world. Thus by following up on Schram’s understanding of the necessity for Mao’s refurbishing revolution to create the groundwork for ‘national salvation and renewal’ (Schram, 1994), Deshpande’s perspective hold significant impact on developing the character of Mao Zedong. Such a detailed assessment which aligns with Edward Said’s Orientalism ideals not really orientalism ideals - Said wasn't advocating for Orientalism (in fact the opposite!), it was just his theory, so it would be better to say: "Such a detailed assessment aligns with Edward Said's theory of Orientalism... removes the influence of the Western convictions and highlights Mao Zedong’s contribution by providing a foundation for modern China today. Rather than portraying the Chinese government as manipulative tyrants, Deshpande provides a fresh interpretation of the Chinese, which becomes an acknowledgement of their noble ideals, such including sacrifices made for the greater good. Thus, Deshpande’s perception of Chairman Mao as a reformer tactician becomes a thesis that holds slightly larger relevance than his tyrannical brutality, when analyzing the Communist figure. Are there any limitations to Deshpande's analysis though? Anything to criticise? I feel like you'd been a bit too kind to him ;) But again, fantastic work.

The characterization of Mao Zedong as a ruthless dictator is found upon the interpretation of his beliefs on death bringing power and advancement as inhumane thoughts that lacked moral understanding. Chinese Revolution historians Jung Chang and Jon Halliday affirm the perceptions of a barbaric character who exploited his people for self or political gain in Mao: The Unknown Story. Chang and Halliday reveal their anti-Mao interpretations of this nation leader, their analysis detailing every action that reflected a brutal tyrant who purposely created massacres like the Cultural Revolution to catalyze the formation of his new country. The significant claims of Chairman Mao that led China to its demise has been thoroughly emphasized by Chang and Halliday, including how Communist leader Mao sold their nation’s agriculture supplies through falsified claims that they had ‘unlimited supplies of food’(Chang and Halliday, 2007) when the reality was half the population was suffering starvation. Furthermore, the atrocity of ‘Mao knew that in many places people were reduced to eating compounds of Earth. In some cases, whole villages died as a result, when people’s intestines became blocked’ reinforces their assessments of Mao and serves as insight when understanding this complex 20th century leader. Chung and Halliday’s research extended beyond exploration of numerous archives, they visited sites in China, annotated uncensored and published memoirs and interviewed thousands to provide their detailed thesis great discussion of methodologies!. In addition, Historian Lucian Pye‘s understanding of the Maoist acts being policies of success is ‘not particularly convincing because China today follows very few of the early Mao’s ideologies’ as such ideals go against his own Political Modernization Theory. This perception reinforces Chang and Halliday’s recognition that such actions undertaken by Chairman Mao mainly destroyed the Chinese rather than bring political advancement. However, such 20:20 hindsight 20:20 hindsight it too colloquial - hindsight itself isn't - but the 20:20 part is. belittles his recognition to an extent, which validates Professor Deshpande’s recognition that understanding Mao requires analysis from its context I want you to explore this historiographical implications of this a bit more :). Ten years of intensive research created 800 pages of critique on Chairman Mao’s despicability. Such detail not only provides a clear insight on the brutality but leads us to question the narrow interpretation that shapes Chang and Halliday’s interpretation. Chang and Halliday’s research basis is from an extensive range of sources both published and unpublished, leading to the questioning of its reliability of some. Despite the provided citations, there is no provided information to evaluate sources’ authenticity which often leads to apprehension of their perspective. As Jung Chang was one of the numerous who suffered the consequence of Chairman Mao’s policies in her early years the formidable anger she retains may have potentially played a large influence in channeling the direction her and Halliday’s perspective, belittling the perspectives reliability.  Spence continues to affirm the tyrannical characterizations of Chairman Mao through his skillful integration of accuracy integration of accuracy? and emotion in his words, as his conveyance of the mercilessness of Mao Zedong in his encouragements of destruction evokes a sense of empathy for those who suffered and a sense of hatred for the brutal leader so further focusing on morality!. Chang and Halliday’s understanding recognizes Mao Zedong’s awareness of the brutality retained in his policies, yet heeds no attention to the suffering allowing their comprehension of an immoral leader to develop. Thus such an understanding more or less more or less is too colloquial created by heavy in-depth analysis and influenced by a personal influence, such perceptions despite aligning with other historians hold an element of biasness i'm not even sure if biasness is a word? I think it's just referred to as bias., becoming an interpretation which is considerably valid in assessing Chairman Mao’s tyrannical aspects but still carries a level of biasness, weakening the perspective.

Communist leader Mao Zedong has carried numerous different understandings of his character and his legacy over the decades. In the words of Tim Stanley, ‘there was a big gulf between the theoretical Maoism and Maoism in practice (of Mao Zedong)’ Nice!. Whilst most recognize him as the tyrant whose machinations brought death to civilians, some choose to look beyond his social and cultural impacts on the Chinese civilians and understand his policies targeted the economical and political advancement. Chang and Halliday along with Spence all aimed to present the Chinese understanding and perspective of Mao Zedong as a tyrannical leader who held no ethical values. In contrast, Schram and Deshpande look beyond the surface infiltrated by stories of the sufferings and acknowledge Mao Zedong on his ability to achieve political and economical advancement. However, Chairman Mao’s controversial character cannot be with reformer or tyrant, but both. Once considering Mao’s words ‘the struggle to consolidate the socialist system…will take a long historical period’ (Mao, 1957) realization that without such suffering China would not have arrived at its current stage arises. Yet such recognition of Mao Zedong’s character can only be developed once aligned with self valued morals and ethics and when examined at the particular period of time. Understanding of this controversial figure is only clear when one recognizes the unavoidable ramifications of every action. Thus whilst Mao Zedong the tyrant, paid with his people’s lives the cost for China’s ultimate power, Mao Zedong the reformer would not have succeeded in modernizing China if such sacrifice was not made.

Okay!!
Sosoosososososososososo so much better bigsweetpotato2000! This has significantly improved since last time, and is way more historiographical! I love how you are really delving into the limitations of these historians as well, rather than just discussing their interpretations.

My only major comments are:
1) I'd like potentially a bit more of a discussion upon some of the historiographical issues that you raised outside of Mao Zedong, so just, in a general sense, why is the context of the historian important, how is utilising morality as a historiographical tool effective/ineffective, etc. etc. Integrating historiographers that aren't necessarily focusing on Mao throughout (eg. EH Carr). That way you can show that you understand these historiographical theories, and how they apply to different historical issues.

2) Language and expression - I know you said that your word choices were a bit off, so I'm not too concerned, as you seem to be aware of this problem, but I thought I should raise it anyway. There are some sentences that don't really make sense, and that is limiting the effectiveness of your analysis.

But overall, such a massive improvement since last time! I'm super proud of you, this really is shaping up to be an excellent major work. I don't think you are "screwed" at all - this is already great, and you've still got a week to make it even better!

Great work,

Susie

Oh my goodness you have NO IDEA I was dreading your response - Was so ready to just drop and cry if I got another 'Its horrible' response (Not saying you said that but face it, the first one was a pretty ridiculous draft.)
Okay.
No crying
Okay
THANK YOU SO MUCH SUSIE YOU HAVE NO IDEA MY LIFE LOOKS SO MUCH BRIGHTER

sudodds

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Re: History Extension Essay Marking Thread
« Reply #26 on: July 20, 2017, 12:36:50 am »
Oh my goodness you have NO IDEA I was dreading your response - Was so ready to just drop and cry if I got another 'Its horrible' response (Not saying you said that but face it, the first one was a pretty ridiculous draft.)
Okay.
No crying
Okay
THANK YOU SO MUCH SUSIE YOU HAVE NO IDEA MY LIFE LOOKS SO MUCH BRIGHTER
aha oh my goodness, well I'm very glad I was able to provide some reassurance! Your last response wasn't horrible by the way - 99.99% of major works will look like that tbh, but I knew you (and everyone else on AN!) could go so much further, if you were just given a little push - and I'm so glad that I did because in my opinion this is a much better essay. So good! No crying! Only celebrating, because you're almost DONEEEEEEE :D
FREE HISTORY EXTENSION LECTURE - CLICK HERE FOR INFO!

2016 HSC: Modern History (18th in NSW) | History Extension (2nd place in the HTA Extension History Essay Prize) | Ancient History | Drama | English Advanced | Studies of Religion I | Economics

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Studying a Bachelor of Communications: Media Arts and Production at UTS 😊

Looking for a history tutor? I'm ya girl! Feel free to send me a PM if you're interested!

bigsweetpotato2000

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Re: History Extension Essay Marking Thread
« Reply #27 on: July 20, 2017, 01:01:33 am »
aha oh my goodness, well I'm very glad I was able to provide some reassurance! Your last response wasn't horrible by the way - 99.99% of major works will look like that tbh, but I knew you (and everyone else on AN!) could go so much further, if you were just given a little push - and I'm so glad that I did because in my opinion this is a much better essay. So good! No crying! Only celebrating, because you're almost DONEEEEEEE :D

I honestly can't wait - Such a weight on the shoulders.

And I have forgotten to send in the question to my essay, could you perhaps give some insight if I answered the essay question well for my essay or should I edit it a bit to match my essay more?

Question:

Mao Zedong: Reformer, Tyrant or Both?
The cost for ultimate power.

Thanks Susie!

Bigsweetpotato Farm

sudodds

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Re: History Extension Essay Marking Thread
« Reply #28 on: July 20, 2017, 11:27:57 am »
I honestly can't wait - Such a weight on the shoulders.

And I have forgotten to send in the question to my essay, could you perhaps give some insight if I answered the essay question well for my essay or should I edit it a bit to match my essay more?

Question:

Mao Zedong: Reformer, Tyrant or Both?
The cost for ultimate power.

Thanks Susie!

Bigsweetpotato Farm

Hey! no worries :) I think you answered the question well don't worry!
FREE HISTORY EXTENSION LECTURE - CLICK HERE FOR INFO!

2016 HSC: Modern History (18th in NSW) | History Extension (2nd place in the HTA Extension History Essay Prize) | Ancient History | Drama | English Advanced | Studies of Religion I | Economics

ATAR: 97.80

Studying a Bachelor of Communications: Media Arts and Production at UTS 😊

Looking for a history tutor? I'm ya girl! Feel free to send me a PM if you're interested!

olr1999

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Re: History Extension Essay Marking Thread
« Reply #29 on: July 20, 2017, 05:19:56 pm »
Hey olr1999!
So keen to read through your essay, however you need a few more posts before I can do that! You may have missed it, but due to the increase in forum activity, so we can keep up we had to increase the post spend to 25 posts for an essay mark. You're super close, once you've reached 40 posts you'll qualify - once you've done that, nudge me and I'll get to marking your response ASAP!

Susie

Hey Susie,
I've got 40 posts!
Thank youuuuuuuuuu!