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Write a short note on Salvador Allende.

Salvador Allende was the founder leader of the Socialist Party of Chile. He led the Popular Unity coalition party to victory in the presidential election in the year 1970. He was then elected President of Chile. After his election, Allende passed many reforms for the betterment of the poor people of his country.

Salvador Allende reformed the educational system and ensured that free milk was provided for all the children. He also redistributed land to the landless farmers.

As President he did not allow foreign companies to take away natural resources like copper, from the country.

There was a lot of opposition for Salvador Allende’s policies from the rich landlords, the Church and other political parties.


What was the out come of the Military Coup of 1973 ,in Chile ?

A coup is the sudden overthrow of a government illegally, it may or may not be violent in nature’.

There was a Military coup in Chile, in the year 1973. The military coup took place under General Augusto Pinochet. Salvador Allende’s government, that was elected by people, was overthrown by the military, through conspiracy and violence. On the 11th of September, 1973, the military took over the seaport. The Defence Minister was arrested by the military.

Then the military surrounded the President’s house and started bombing it. President Allende died in the military attack. General Pinochet became the President of the country and ruled it for the next 17 years. Supporters of Allende were tortured and put to death.


How was democracy restored after the coup, in Chile?

General Augusto Pinochet, the military ruler of Chile, decided to hold a referendum in 1988. The General was very confident that he would win the referendum, and that the people would want him to continue in power.

But the people of Chile wanted a democratic rule. General Pinochet lost the referendum, thus losing his political and military powers. The brutal and cruel dictatorship came to an end.

Michelle Bachelet, a medical doctor and a moderate socialist, was elected the President of Chile, in the free Presidential elections, which was held in January 2006. Democracy was restored in Chile.


What was the situation in Poland in the 1980s?

In the 1980s Poland was ruled by the Polish United Workers’ Party. This was a Communist party. The government of the Soviet Union controlled the government in Poland. In a Communist Country people could not choose their leader or speak freely against their leader. People were put in prison for opposing the government. Independent Trade Unions were not allowed in Poland

On 14 August 1980, the workers of Lenin Shipyard, in Gdansk, went on a strike. This shipyard belonged to the Government and strikes were illegal. The strike started because a women crane operator was dismissed from service in an unjust manner. Soon Lech Walesa, joined the strike.

Lech Walesa was an electrician in the shipyard. He was dismissed from service, many years ago, because he had demanded higher wages.

The strike began to spread across the whole city. The workers started raising greater demands.

They wanted the right to form independent trade unions.

They wanted the release of political prisoners.

They wanted an end to censorship of the press.


Describe a Communist State.

A Communist state is a state governed by a communist party without allowing other parties to compete for power. The state controls all the big property and industry .


What was the out come of the strike in Poland ?

Under the guidance of Lech Walesa, the strike became a great movement. Soon the Communist government relented and signed a 21-point agreement with Lech Walesa.

The main features of the 21- point Agreement were as follows:-

• The Government recognized the workers’ right to form independent trade unions

• The government also granted trade Unions the right to strike

• A new trade union called Solidarity was formed for the first time.

• Solidarity swept across Poland and had about one crore members.


What was the plight of the Solidarity Trade union in Poland?

Solidarity Trade Union brought to light the widespread corruption and mismanagement in the government. The Polish government was not happy with this. In the year 1981, the government imposed martial law in the country.

Thousands of Solidarity members were jailed. Freedom to organise, protest and express opinions was once again taken away from the people.


What were the similarity between the two Governments in Chile and Poland?

The Government in Chile under General Augusto Pinochet and the Government in Poland under the Polish United Workers’ Party, were both non- democratic governments. There were many similarities between these two governments.

The similarities were:-

• The people could not choose or change their rulers.

• There was freedom of expression.

• People could not form political associations.

• People were not permitted to organize protests or initiate political action.


What is ‘universal adult franchise’

The right to vote, granted universally to all adults, whether they are men or women, rich or poor, white or black is called ‘universal adult franchise’. It is also known as ‘universal suffrage’.

India gained ‘universal adult franchise’ in the year 1950.


Trace the expansion of Democracy across the globe.

The journey of modern democracy started two centuries ago. During the 19th century , democracy was overthrown and restored several times, in France. The French Revolution that took place in 1789 inspired many struggles for democracy all over Europe.

In Britain, though the progress towards democracy was very slow, it started much before the French Revolution. Series of political events reduced the power of the monarchy and the feudal lords in the nineteenth centuries.

In United States the British colonies in North America declared themselves independent in 1776. In the next few years these colonies came together to form the United States of America. They adopted a democratic constitution in 1787.

By the beginning of the twentieth century many countries had governments elected by the people, and had political freedom in some measure.


Describe the end of Colonialism.

Many countries in Asia and Africa were colonies under the control of European nations. People in these countries wanted independence.

India was one of the few colonies where people led a nationalist struggle of non- violence, to liberate the country from the colonial rule. India achieved its independence in 1947. From a subject country India has emerged into a democratic country. India continues to be a democracy.

By the end of the Second World war many of the countries became independent. Ghana was one of the first few countries which became independent. It gained independence in the year 1957. It inspired other African countries to struggle for freedom.


Trace the Political developments in Myanmar.

Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, gained freedom from Colonial rule in 1948 and became a democracy.

The following are the political developments that took place in Myanmar since 1948:-

• A military coup over threw the democratic government in the year 1962.

• In 1990, elections were held for the first time after almost 30 years.

• The National League for Democracy, which was led by Aung San Suu Kyi , won the election.

• The military leaders of Myanmar did not accept the results of the election.

• San Suu Kyi was put under house arrest.

• Political activists were jailed for minor offences.

• People were oppressed and not given any freedom of expression.

• Lakhs of people in Myanmar were driven away from their homes by the military-ruled government.

• The people in Myanmar are still struggling for a democratic government in their country.


Write a short note on the United Nations and its General Assembly.

The United Nations is a global association of nations of the world. It promotes cooperation in international law, security, economic development and social equity. The UN Secretary General is the head of the UN.

The UN General Assembly has 192 member countries. Each country has one vote in the UN General Assembly. The General Assembly meets regularly. The President of the Assembly is elected from among the representatives of the member countries. General Assembly is like the parliament where discussions take place and decisions are made. The General Assembly does not have the power to interfere in a conflict between different countries.


How does the International Monetary Fund function?

International Monetary Fund can be considered as one of the biggest moneylenders for the world. It provides loan to countries for their developmental projects.

The IMF has 173 member states. All these states do not have equal voting rights. The vote of each country is weighed by how much money it has contributed to the IMF.

Almost half of the voting power in the IMF is in the hands of the G7 nations. The G7 nations are, the US, Japan, France, UK, Saudi Arabia, China and Russia. The remaining 166 countries have very little say in the decisions the IMF takes.


What is a referendum ?

A Referendum is ‘a direct vote in which the people are asked to either accept or reject a particular proposal. This may be adoption of a new constitution, a law or a specific governmental policy.’

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