Personal Statement Ucas Essay

Submitted By Umar_wbu
Words: 666
Pages: 3

To me History is about interpreting arguments to explain why a certain event occured. Vocational subjects like Maths and Science solve problems through equations and formulae, essentially all about following a specific set of rules. A historian solves problems with his own rules, follows his own path and interprets his argument the way he sees fit. Imagine for a minute the consequences if we stopped teaching History. Our ability of a collective memory would be lost; we would have no sense of connection to a place, time or community.
In year 12, I arranged to attend a lecture at a local university on the USSR; as it was an area that particularly interested me. Social realism in the Soviet Union was an attractive subject area for me; as the means of portraying art and literature which is both pragmatic and a narrative doctrine to an ideology which supports the departure from reality and extreme individualism seemed unfitting. The lecture was aimed at giving us a brief overview of the topic, this allowed me to be independent and self motivated in my own learning by doing further research on the topic; there was also an emphasis on different sides to an argument which has helped me to develop my critical analysis . For instance, Intentionalist’s who viewed Stalin's rule as being dictated from the top down with a strong economic strategy, whereas Revisionist’s who suggest that Stalin’s plans were a series of advances and retreats which he had no control over. This in effect has caused massive debate and stimulated a particular controversy. I am fascinated by “If Stalin’s genocide was his own doing or the result of other factors”. I began to question how the psychology of men like Hitler and Stalin is different to that of more liberal leaders; and do they possess a moral responsibility? To fuel my fascination I did some reading around Stalin’s deterioration of mental health from the moment he was appointed the undisputed leader of the USSR. What I found was a direct correlation between his popularity and the rise in his mental instability. It became apparent that as his influence grew; so did the declination to cope with the demands of dictatorship, especially after the suicide of his second wife. My A2 studies have allowed me to reconsider the causes of the outbreak of the First World War as what was my initial thought of it being the fault of German Weltpolitik, I came to realise such conflict of immense proportion could not possibly be blamed on one nation alone. Personally I believe the alliance system at the time which was primarily formed to instil peace