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IGNOU MHI 02 Solved Assignment 2022-23

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Submission Date :

  • 31st March 2033 (if enrolled in the July 2033 Session)
  • 30th Sept, 2033 (if enrolled in the January 2033 session).

Attempt any five questions. The assignment is divided into two Sections ‘A’ and ‘B’. You have to attempt at least two questions from each section in about 500 words each. All questions carry equal marks.

Section-A


1. Explain the different ways in which the Renaissance contributed towards the making of a new world.

The Renaissance (UK: /rɪˈnsəns/ rin-AY-sənssUS: /ˈrɛnəsɑːns/ (listen) REN-ə-sahnss) is a period in European history marking the transition from the Middle Ages to modernity and covering the 15th and 16th centuries, characterized by an effort to revive and surpass ideas and achievements of classical antiquity. It occurred after the Crisis of the Late Middle Ages and was associated with great social change. In addition to the standard periodization, proponents of a “long Renaissance” may put its beginning in the 14th century and its end in the 17th century.

The traditional view focuses more on the early modern aspects of the Renaissance and argues that it was a break from the past, but many historians today focus more on its medieval aspects and argue that it was an extension of the Middle Ages.[4][5] However, the beginnings of the period – the early Renaissance of the 15th century and the Italian Proto-Renaissance from around 1250 or 1300 – overlap considerably with the Late Middle Ages, conventionally dated to c. 1250–1500, and the Middle Ages themselves were a long period filled with gradual changes, like the modern age; and as a transitional period between both, the Renaissance has close similarities to both, especially the late and early sub-periods of either.

The intellectual basis of the Renaissance was its version of humanism, derived from the concept of Roman humanitas and the rediscovery of classical Greek philosophy, such as that of Protagoras, who said that “man is the measure of all things”. This new thinking became manifest in art, architecture, politics, science and literature. Early examples were the development of perspective in oil painting and the revived knowledge of how to make concrete. Although the invention of metal movable type sped the dissemination of ideas from the later 15th century, the changes of the Renaissance were not uniform across Europe: the first traces appear in Italy as early as the late 13th century, in particular with the writings of Dante and the paintings of Giotto.

As a cultural movement, the Renaissance encompassed innovative flowering of Latin and vernacular literatures, beginning with the 14th-century resurgence of learning based on classical sources, which contemporaries credited to Petrarch; the development of linear perspective and other techniques of rendering a more natural reality in painting; and gradual but widespread educational reform. In politics, the Renaissance contributed to the development of the customs and conventions of diplomacy, and in science to an increased reliance on observation and inductive reasoning. Although the Renaissance saw revolutions in many intellectual and social scientific pursuits, as well as the introduction of modern banking and the field of accounting,[6] it is perhaps best known for its artistic developments and the contributions of such polymaths as Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo, who inspired the term “Renaissance man”.

The Renaissance began in the Republic of Florence, one of the many states of Italy.[9] Various theories have been proposed to account for its origins and characteristics, focusing on a variety of factors including the social and civic peculiarities of Florence at the time: its political structure, the patronage of its dominant family, the Medici, and the migration of Greek scholars and their texts to Italy following the Fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks.[12][13][14] Other major centers were northern Italian city-states such as Venice, Genoa, Milan, Bologna, and Rome during the Renaissance Papacy. From Italy, the Renaissance spread throughout Europe in Flanders, France, Britain, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Germany, and elsewhere.

The Renaissance has a long and complex historiography, and, in line with general scepticism of discrete periodizations, there has been much debate among historians reacting to the 19th-century glorification of the “Renaissance” and individual cultural heroes as “Renaissance men”, questioning the usefulness of Renaissance as a term and as a historical delineation.[15] Some observers have called into question whether the Renaissance was a cultural “advance” from the Middle Ages, instead seeing it as a period of pessimism and nostalgia for classical antiquity,[16] while social and economic historians, especially of the longue durée, have instead focused on the continuity between the two eras, which are linked, as Panofsky observed, “by a thousand ties”.

The term rinascita (‘rebirth’) first appeared in Giorgio Vasari’s Lives of the Artists (c. 1550), anglicized as the Renaissance in the 1830s. The word has also been extended to other historical and cultural movements, such as the Carolingian Renaissance (8th and 9th centuries), Ottonian Renaissance (10th and 11th century), and the Renaissance of the 12th century.

Overview

The Renaissance was a cultural movement that profoundly affected European intellectual life in the early modern period. Beginning in Italy, and spreading to the rest of Europe by the 16th century, its influence was felt in art, architecture, philosophy, literature, music, science, technology, politics, religion, and other aspects of intellectual inquiry. Renaissance scholars employed the humanist method in study, and searched for realism and human emotion in art.

Renaissance humanists such as Poggio Bracciolini sought out in Europe’s monastic libraries the Latin literary, historical, and oratorical texts of antiquity, while the Fall of Constantinople (1453) generated a wave of émigré Greek scholars bringing precious manuscripts in ancient Greek, many of which had fallen into obscurity in the West. It is in their new focus on literary and historical texts that Renaissance scholars differed so markedly from the medieval scholars of the Renaissance of the 12th century, who had focused on studying Greek and Arabic works of natural sciences, philosophy, and mathematics, rather than on such cultural texts.

Portrait of a Young Woman (c. 1480–85) (Simonetta Vespucci) by Sandro Botticelli

In the revival of neoplatonism Renaissance humanists did not reject Christianity; quite the contrary, many of the greatest works of the Renaissance were devoted to it, and the Church patronized many works of Renaissance art. However, a subtle shift took place in the way that intellectuals approached religion that was reflected in many other areas of cultural life.[22] In addition, many Greek Christian works, including the Greek New Testament, were brought back from Byzantium to Western Europe and engaged Western scholars for the first time since late antiquity. This new engagement with Greek Christian works, and particularly the return to the original Greek of the New Testament promoted by humanists Lorenzo Valla and Erasmus, would help pave the way for the Reformation.

Well after the first artistic return to classicism had been exemplified in the sculpture of Nicola Pisano, Florentine painters led by Masaccio strove to portray the human form realistically, developing techniques to render perspective and light more naturally. Political philosophers, most famously Niccolò Machiavelli, sought to describe political life as it really was, that is to understand it rationally. A critical contribution to Italian Renaissance humanism, Giovanni Pico della Mirandola wrote the famous text De hominis dignitate (Oration on the Dignity of Man, 1486), which consists of a series of theses on philosophy, natural thought, faith, and magic defended against any opponent on the grounds of reason. In addition to studying classical Latin and Greek, Renaissance authors also began increasingly to use vernacular languages; combined with the introduction of the printing press, this would allow many more people access to books, especially the Bible.

In all, the Renaissance could be viewed as an attempt by intellectuals to study and improve the secular and worldly, both through the revival of ideas from antiquity, and through novel approaches to thought. Some scholars, such as Rodney Stark, play down the Renaissance in favor of the earlier innovations of the Italian city-states in the High Middle Ages, which married responsive government, Christianity and the birth of capitalism. This analysis argues that, whereas the great European states (France and Spain) were absolute monarchies, and others were under direct Church control, the independent city-republics of Italy took over the principles of capitalism invented on monastic estates and set off a vast unprecedented Commercial Revolution that preceded and financed the Renaissance.

2. Discuss the development of modern society following industrialization and modernization. 

Modernization, in sociology, the transformation from a traditional, rural, agrarian society to a secular, urban, industrial society.

Modern society is industrial society. To modernize a society is, first of all, to industrialize it. Historically, the rise of modern society has been inextricably linked with the emergence of industrial society. All the features that are associated with modernity can be shown to be related to the set of changes that, some 250 years ago, brought into being the industrial type of society. This suggests that the terms industrialism and industrial society imply far more than the economic and technological components that make up their core. Industrialism is a way of life that encompasses profound economic, social, political, and cultural changes. It is by undergoing the comprehensive transformation of industrialization that societies become modern.

Modernization is a continuous and open-ended process. Historically, the span of time over which it has occurred must be measured in centuries, although there are examples of accelerated modernization. In either case, modernization is not a once-and-for-all-time achievement. There seems to be a dynamic principle built into the very fabric of modern societies that does not allow them to settle, or to achieve equilibrium. Their development is always irregular and uneven. Whatever the level of development, there are always “backward” regions and “peripheral” groups. This is a persistent source of strain and conflict in modern societies. Such a condition is not confined to the internal development of individual states. It can be seen on a global scale, as modernization extends outward from its original Western base to take in the whole world. The existence of unevenly and unequally developed nations introduces a fundamental element of instability into the world system of states.

Modernization seems to have two main phases. Up to a certain point in its course, it carries the institutions and values of society along with it, in what is generally regarded as a progressive, upward movement. Initial resistance to modernization may be sharp and prolonged, but it is generally doomed to failure. Beyond some point, however, modernization begins to breed discontent on an increasing scale. This is due in part to rising expectations provoked by the early successes and dynamism of modern society. Groups tend to make escalating demands on the community, and these demands become increasingly difficult to meet. More seriously, modernization on an intensified level and on a world scale brings new social and material strains that may threaten the very growth and expansion on which modern society is founded. In this second phase, modern societies find themselves faced with an array of new problems whose solutions often seem beyond the competence of the traditional nation-state. At the same time, the world remains dominated by a system of just such sovereign nation-states of unequal strengths and conflicting interests.

Yet challenge and response are the essence of modern society. In considering its nature and development, what stands out initially at least is not so much the difficulties and dangers as the extraordinary success with which modern society has mastered the most profound and far-reaching revolution in human history.

This article discusses the processes of modernization and industrialization from a very general and primarily sociological point of view. It does so also, it should be remembered, from a position within the very processes it describes. The phenomena of industrialization and modernization that are taken to have begun more than two centuries ago and that were not until much later identified as distinct and novel concepts have not yet arrived at any recognizable closure. The end of the story, if there is one, is thus not in sight, and the question of an ultimate judgment on the nature and value of this vast historical movement is unanswerable.

Becoming modern
The revolution of modernity

If one imagines all of human social evolution charted on a 12-hour clock, then the modern industrial epoch represents the last five minutes, no more. For more than half a million years, small bands of what we may agree were human beings roamed the earth as hunters and gatherers. With simple stone tools and a social order based on kinship ties, they successfully preserved the human species against predators and natural calamities.

About 10,000 BCE some of these hunters and gatherers took to cultivating the earth and domesticating animals. It is this process that is somewhat misleadingly called the Neolithic revolution, implying that new stone tools were at the root of this vast change. It is now generally accepted that the new technology was not the principal factor. Nevertheless what took place was undoubtedly a revolution. Mobile bands became settled village communities. The development of the plow raised the productivity of the land a thousandfold, and in response the human population of the planet increased dramatically. More significantly, herding and agriculture for the first time created a surplus of food. This allowed some members of the population to abandon subsistence activities and become artisans, merchants, priests, and bureaucrats. This division of labour took place in a newly concentrated physical environment. In the 4th millennium BCE cities arose, and with them trade, markets, government, laws, and armies.

It is against this very slowly evolutionary background that the revolution that underlay modernity must be seen. It is one of just two quantum jumps that human social evolution has made since the primal hunting and gathering stage of early Homo sapiens. The Neolithic or agricultural revolution produced, paradoxically, urban civilization; the Industrial Revolution lifted humankind onto a new plane of technological development that vastly increased the scope for transforming the material environment. In its speed and scale the change brought about by the Industrial Revolution has had, indeed, a greater impact on human life than the Neolithic revolution. Neolithic civilization remained throughout confined by a sharply limited technical and economic base; industrial civilization knows no such limits. Nevertheless, an understanding of agrarian society is essential to the analysis of industrial society, for it is largely through the contrast with its agrarian past that modern society stands out. The meaning of the modern is to be found as much in what it renounces as in what it aspires to.

The West and the world

Just as some groups of hunters and gatherers gave rise to agrarian society, some agrarian societies gave rise to industrial society. The shift toward modernity took place between the 16th and 18th centuries, and it originated in the countries of northwestern Europe—especially England, the Netherlands, northern France, and northern Germany.

This change could not have been expected. Compared with the Mediterranean, not to mention Arabic and Chinese civilizations, northwestern Europe early in the 16th century was backward, technically and culturally. In the 16th and 17th centuries it was still absorbing the commercial and artistic innovations of the Italian city-states of the Renaissance and making piratical raids, where it could, on the wealthy Spanish empire. It seemed an unlikely candidate for future economic leadership of Europe. Yet it was there that the changes took place that propelled those particular societies into the forefront of world development.

One reason advanced for this is that northwestern Europe was the origin and heartland of the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century. In his great work The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (1904), the German sociologist Max Weber suggested that Roman Catholicism and to an even greater extent such Eastern religions as Hinduism and Buddhism were essentially otherworldly religions. They placed doctrinal emphasis on religious contemplation and the life hereafter. Protestantism, on the other hand, was predominantly a “this-worldly” religion. It broke down the distinction between the church and the world, between the monastery and the marketplace. Every man was a priest; everything he did, at work or at play, he did in the sight of God. Weber sought to show that Protestantism, and especially its Puritan variety, developed a particular type of character that valued frugality and hard work. Protestantism particularly promoted a work ethic. For the Protestant, all work, all occupations, were in a sense a religious vocation. Work was to be pursued with a fitting seriousness and order, in a spirit of rational enterprise that eschewed waste and frivolous adventurism. Such an attitude was admirably suited—though not intentionally—to the development of industrial capitalism. The Protestant nations, therefore, according to Weber, invented modern capitalism and so launched the world on a course that it still follows. Some later historians have disputed Weber’s thesis and have adduced evidence that the early development of capitalism and of industrial organization preceded the rise of Protestantism. In either case, their mutual accommodation remains striking.

The dual revolution

Modern society owes its origin to two great upheavals in the 18th century, one political, the other economic. Both were part of a broader pattern of change that, since the Renaissance and Reformation, had set the West on a different path of development from that of the rest of the world. This pattern included the individualism and, in the end, the secularism, that was the Protestant legacy. It also included the rise of science, as a method and as a practice. Both of these culminated in explosive events toward the end of the 18th century. The first helped provoke political revolutions in America and France. The second, in creating an atmosphere conducive to technological innovation, was one of the chief elements in the emergence of the Industrial Revolution in Great Britain.

That the new democratic legitimation could be, and would be, claimed by constitutional or popular dictatorships such as those of Napoleon III in France and Benito Mussolini in Italy only showed how central the double ideal of democracy and constitutional justification had become. But they were not infinitely malleable. The idea of tacit or implicit popular consent, resorted to by several old-fashioned monarchies and empires, fell before the march of modern democratic theory as developed from the American and French revolutions. In the United Kingdom this was done through a gradual extension of the franchise in the 19th century. In Russia and in eastern and central Europe, violent revolution, defeat in war, and centrifugal nationalist tendencies turned out to be the means by which autocratic intransigence was overcome.

3. Define Democracy. Write a note on the challenges to democracy. 

4. Discuss the debate over transition from Feudalism to Capitalism. 

5. Write short notes on any two of the following in about 250 words each. 
i) Science versus religion
ii) Postmodernism
iii) Adam Smith
iv) The Brazillian Economy.  


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Section-B


6. Define and distinguish between Imperialism and Colonialism. What were the different stages of Colonialism?
7. Analyse the ideological and economic impetus behind the emergence of modern international relations.
8. Write a note on political and cultural legacy of the French Revolution.
9. Discuss the genesis of consumerism. Briefly analyse the rise of the consumer movement.
10. Write short notes on any two of the following in about 250 words each.
i) Forced migration and slavery
ii) The Cold War
iii) Significance of the Russian Revolution
iv) Development of print technology.


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