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Feudalism I INTRODUCTION Feudalism, contractual system of political and military relationships existing among members of the nobility in Western Europe during the High Middle Ages.

Feudalism I INTRODUCTION Feudalism, contractual system of political and military relationships existing among members of the nobility in Western Europe during the High Middle Ages. (It had nothing to do with blood feuds; the two words came to be spelled alike in the 17th century, but have no etymological relationship.) Feudalism was characterized by the granting...

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Holocaust I INTRODUCTION Holocaust, the almost complete destruction of Jews in Europe by Nazi Germany and its collaborators during World War II (1939-1945).

Holocaust I INTRODUCTION Holocaust, the almost complete destruction of Jews in Europe by Nazi Germany and its collaborators during World War II (1939-1945). The leadership of Germany's Nazi Party ordered the extermination of 5.6 million to 5.9 million Jews (see National Socialism). Jews often refer to the Holocaust as Shoah (from the Hebrew word for "catastrophe"...

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Battle of Waterloo.

Battle of Waterloo. I INTRODUCTION Battle of Waterloo, final and decisive action of the Napoleonic Wars, that effectively ended French domination of the European continent and brought about drastic changes in the political boundaries and the power balance of Europe. Fought on June 18, 1815, near Waterloo, in what is now Belgium, the battle ranks as...

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Cold War.

Cold War. I INTRODUCTION Cold War, term used to describe the post-World War II struggle between the United States and its allies and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) and its allies. During the Cold War period, which lasted from the mid-1940s until the end of the 1980s, international politics were heavily shaped by the...

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D-Day Invasion.

D-Day Invasion. I INTRODUCTION D-Day Invasion or Invasion of Normandy, the 1944 Allied assault on Nazi-occupied northern Europe that assembled the largest force in the history of amphibious warfare and represented a major turning point in World War II (1939-1945). The Allied forces consisted of 20 U.S. divisions, 14 British divisions, 3 Canadian divisions, a French...

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French and Indian War.

French and Indian War. I INTRODUCTION French and Indian War (1754-1763), the last of four North American wars waged from 1689 to 1763 between the British and the French. In these struggles, each country fought for control of the continent with the assistance of Native American and colonial allies. The French and Indian War differed from...

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French Revolution.

French Revolution. I INTRODUCTION French Revolution, major transformation of the society and political system of France, lasting from 1789 to 1799. During the course of the Revolution, France was temporarily transformed from an absolute monarchy, where the king monopolized power, to a republic of theoretically free and equal citizens. The effects of the French Revolution were...

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Hundred Years' War.

Hundred Years' War. I INTRODUCTION Hundred Years' War, armed conflict between France and England during the years from 1337 to 1453. The Hundred Years' War was a series of short conflicts, broken intermittently by a number of truces and peace treaties. It resulted from disputes between the ruling families of the two countries, the French Capetians...

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Korean War.

Korean War. I INTRODUCTION Korean War, civil and military struggle that was fought on the Korea Peninsula and that reached its height between 1950 and 1953. The Korean War originated in the division of Korea into South Korea and North Korea after World War II (1939-1945). Efforts to reunify the peninsula after the war failed, and...

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Mexican War.

Mexican War. I INTRODUCTION Mexican War, conflict between the United States and Mexico, lasting from 1846 to 1848. The war resulted in a decisive U.S. victory and forced Mexico to relinquish all claims to approximately half its national territory. Mexico had already lost control of much of its northeastern territory as a result of the Texas...

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Persian Gulf War.

Persian Gulf War. I INTRODUCTION Persian Gulf War, conflict beginning in August 1990, when Iraqi forces invaded and occupied Kuwait. The conflict culminated in fighting in January and February 1991 between Iraq and an international coalition of forces led by the United States. By the end of the war, the coalition had driven the Iraqis from...

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Spanish-American War.

Spanish-American War. I INTRODUCTION Spanish-American War, brief war that the United States waged against Spain in 1898. Actual hostilities in the war lasted less than four months, from April 25 to August 12, 1898. Most of the fighting occurred in or near the Spanish colonial possessions of Cuba and the Philippines, nearly halfway around the world...

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Tet Offensive.

Tet Offensive. Tet Offensive, military campaign of the Vietnam War (1959-1975), in which almost every major city and province in South Vietnam was attacked by the Communist forces of the National Liberation Front (NLF), with support from the North Vietnamese Peoples' Army of Vietnam (PAVN). Although the Communist forces failed to hold the cities, the Tet Offensive helped...

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Trojan War.

Trojan War. Trojan War, in Greek legend, famous war waged by the Greeks against the city of Troy. The tradition is believed to reflect a real war between the Greeks of the late Mycenaean period and the inhabitants of the Troad, or Troas, in Anatolia, part of present-day Turkey. Modern archaeological excavations have shown that Troy was destroyed...

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Vietnam War.

Vietnam War. I INTRODUCTION Vietnam War, also known as the Second Indochina War, military struggle fought in Vietnam from 1959 to 1975, involving the North Vietnamese and the National Liberation Front (NLF) in conflict with United States forces and the South Vietnamese army. From 1946 until 1954, the Vietnamese had struggled for their independence from France...

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War of 1812 - History.

War of 1812 - History. I INTRODUCTION War of 1812, conflict between the United States and Britain that began in 1812 and lasted until early 1815. President James Madison requested a declaration of war to protect American ships on the high seas and to stop the British from impressing or seizing U.S. sailors. U.S. ships were...

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Wars of Yugoslav Succession.

Wars of Yugoslav Succession. I INTRODUCTION Wars of Yugoslav Succession, armed conflicts within the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY) during the 1990s. The SFRY was a federation that consisted of six republics--Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia (see Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia), Montenegro, Serbia, and Slovenia--and multiple nationalities. It broke apart in 1991 and...

9 pages - 1,80 ¤

Abolitionist Movement.

Abolitionist Movement. I INTRODUCTION Abolitionist Movement, reform movement during the 18th and 19th centuries. Often called the antislavery movement, it sought to end the enslavement of Africans and people of African descent in Europe, the Americas, and Africa itself (see Slavery in Africa). It also aimed to end the Atlantic slave trade carried out in the...

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Ancient Greece.

Ancient Greece. I INTRODUCTION Ancient Greece, civilization that thrived around the Mediterranean Sea from the 3rd millennium to the 1st century BC, known for advances in philosophy, architecture, drama, government, and science. The term "ancient Greece" refers to both where Greeks lived and how they lived long ago. Geographically, it indicates the heartland...

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Atlantic Slave Trade.

Atlantic Slave Trade. I INTRODUCTION Atlantic Slave Trade, the forced transportation of at least 10 million enslaved Africans from their homelands in Africa to destinations in Europe and the Americas during the 15th through 19th centuries. European and North American slave traders transported most of these slaves to areas in tropical and subtropical America, where the

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Benito Mussolini.

Benito Mussolini. I INTRODUCTION Benito Mussolini (1883-1945), founder of Fascism and prime minister and dictator of Italy (1922-1943). Known as Il Duce (Italian for "the leader"), Mussolini centralized political power in Italy and bound the nation to him with his charisma. His vast personal power, strong-arm methods, and extreme nationalism made him a model for leaders...

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Black Death.

Black Death. I INTRODUCTION Black Death, outbreak of bubonic plague that struck Europe and the Mediterranean area from 1347 through 1351. It was the first of a cycle of European plague epidemics that continued until the early 18th century. The last major outbreak of plague in Europe was in Marseilles in 1722. These plagues had been...

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Colonialism and Colonies.

Colonialism and Colonies. I INTRODUCTION Colonialism and Colonies, one country's domination of another country or people--usually achieved through aggressive, often military, actions--and the territory acquired in this manner. The terms colonialism and imperialism are sometimes used interchangeably, but scholars usually distinguish between the two, reserving colonialism for instances where one country assumes political control over another...

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Communism. I INTRODUCTION Communism, a theory and system of social and political organization that was a major force in world politics for much of the 20th century. As a political movement, communism sought to overthrow capitalism through a workers' revolution and establish a system in which property is owned by the community as a whole rather...

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Crusades. I INTRODUCTION Crusades, series of wars by Western European Christians to recapture the Holy Land from the Muslims (see Palestine). The Crusades were first undertaken in 1096 and ended in the late 13th century. The term Crusade was originally applied solely to European efforts to retake from the Muslims the city of Jerusalem, which was...

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