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IAS Foundation 2023-24, Batch Starts: 27th July

History Optional Paper-II Section B by Rashid Yasin

  • Category
  • Test Date
    2022-06-17 07:00:00
  • Evaluated


  • Attempt both questions
  • The test carries 30 marks.
  • Write Each answer in 150 words.
  • Any page left blank in the answer-book must be crossed out clearly.
  • Evaluated Copy will be re-uploaded on the same thread after 2 days of uploading the copy.
  • Discussion of the question and one to one answer improvement session of evaluated copies will be conducted through Google Meet with concerned faculty. You will be informed via mail or SMS for the discussion.

Question #1. Many of the ideas contained in the American Constitution were built on the ideas of enlightenment thinkers. Comment.

Question #2. Do you agree with the statement that the league's achievement was only partial? Give reasons in support of your answer.

(Examiner will pay special attention to the candidate's grasp of his/her material, its relevance to the subject chosen, and to his/ her ability to think constructively and to present his/her ideas concisely, logically and effectively).

Model Answer

Question #1. Many of the ideas contained in the American Constitution were built on the ideas of enlightenment thinkers. Comment.

Colonial leaders used Enlightenment ideas to justify independence. The colonists had asked for the same political rights as the people in Britain, they said, but the King had stubbornly refused. Therefore, the colonists were justified in rebelling against a tyrant who had broken the social contract.

In July 1776, the Second Continental Congress issued the Declaration of Independence. This document, written by political leader Thomas Jefferson, was firmly based on the ideas of John Locke and the Enlightenment. The Declaration reflected these ideas in its eloquent argument for natural rights. 'We hold these truths to be self-evident; states the beginning of the Declaration, 'that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.' Since Locke had asserted that people had the right to rebel against an unjust ruler, the Declaration of Independence included a long list of George III's abuses. The document ended by declaring the colonies' separation from Britain.


                  Enlightenment ideas

                  US Constitution

1. John Locke: A government’s power comes from the consent of the people

Preamble begins ’We the people of United states’ to establish legitimacy

  • Creates representative government
  • Limits government powers.

2. Montesquieu: Separation of powers

  • Federal system
  • Powers divided among three branches
  • System of checks and balances.

3. Rousseau: Direct Democracy

Public election of President and Congress

4. Voltaire: Free speech, religious tolerance

The Bill of Rights provides for freedom of speech and religion.

5. Beccaria: Accused have rights, no torture

The Bill of Rights protects rights of accused and prohibits cruel and unusual punishment.

Question #2. Do you agree with the statement that the league's achievement was only partial? Give reasons in support of your answer.

The league settled many disputes among the nations. It successfully settled the quarrel between Sweden and Finland over the Aaland Islands. The vexed question of Upper Silesia in dispute between Germany and Poland came in for the consideration of the league council. It appointed a special commission which demarcated the boundary between the Germany and Polish zones. On 3 occasions the league successfully intervened in the disturbed Balkan era. In 1921, it protected Albania against the aggression of Yugoslavia. In 1925 , it successfully intervened to protect Greece in the threatened outbreak of war between Bulgaria and Greece and thereby averted what looked like a serious crisis. Another interesting dispute settled by the League was the boundary dispute between Iraq and Turkey. After a lengthy investigation by a League Commission, an award was made in 1926, which was accepted by the parties.

Turkey, however, was not satisfied with the decision. She became suspicious of the League and for a time drew closer to the Soviet Union. One serious defect of the League was that it had no effective machinery to enforce its decision and so it failed to maintain peace when quarrels involved the big powers. It could not restrain Hitler. It failed to stop Italy's aggression in Abyssinia and Japan in Manchuria. 

The League indeed failed in its main purpose in the political sphere. It could not secure disarmament, nor could it prevent wars and aggressions. But in the less spectacular fields of social and humanitarian work, it accomplished much. It concerned itself through its agencies with the suppression of traffic in women, children, and opium and with the struggle against slavery and forced labour. Much was done to promote educational and intellectual cooperation, to facilitate international transit and communication, and to coordinate the activities of various health and scientific organisations throughout the world.

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