Syllabus Overview

The aims of the IB History course are as follows:

  • To develop an understanding of, and continuing interest in, the past
  • To encourage students to engage with different perspectives and to appreciate the complex nature of historical concepts, issues, events and developments
  • To promote international-mindedness through the study of history from more than one region of the world
  • To develop an understanding of history as a discipline and to develop historical consciousness including a sense of chronology and context, and an understanding of different historical perspectives
  • To develop key historical skills, including engaging effectively and critically with sources
  • To increase students’ understanding of themselves and of contemporary society by encouraging reflection on the past.

And the broader aims of this subject are:

  • To encourage the systematic and critical study of: human experience and behaviour; physical, economic and social environments; the history and development of social and cultural institutions
  • To develop the capacity to identify, to analyse critically and to evaluate theories, concepts and arguments about individuals and societies
  • To collect, describe and analyse data used in studies of society, to test hypotheses and interpret complex data and source material
  • To appreciate the way in which learning is relevant to both their own culture and the culture of other societies
  • To develop an awareness that human attitudes and opinions are widely diverse and that a study of society requires an appreciation of diversity
  • To enable the student to recognise that the content and methodologies of the subjects in the Humanities, and History specifically, are contestable and that their study requires the toleration of uncertainty.

The key concepts through which we view much of our course are: Change, Continuity, Significance, Causation, Consequence and Perspective.

Source, IB History Guide

Curriculum Overview, IB History at Wesley

An overview of the material which we will be covering in Year 11 & 12 IB History:

In brief, the topics we study are:

  • Paper 1: Prescribed subject 3: The move to global war
  • Paper 2: World history topic 10: Authoritarian states (20th century)
  • Paper 2: World history topic 11: Causes and effects of 20th century wars
  • Paper 3 HL option 4: History of Europe
    • 12: Imperial Russia, revolution and the establishment of the Soviet Union (1855—1924)
    • 14: European states in the inter-war years (1918—1939)
    • 15: Versailles to Berlin: Diplomacy in Europe (1919—1945)

The information below is taken from the IB History Guide, by the International Baccalaureate Organisation:

Paper 1: Prescribed subject 3: The move to global war

This prescribed subject focuses on military expansion from 1931–1941. Two case studies are prescribed, from different regions of the world, and both of these case studies must be studied. The first case study explores Japanese expansionism from 1931–1941, and the second case study explores German and Italian expansionism from 1933–1939. The focus of this prescribed subject is on the causes of expansion, key events, and international responses to that expansion. Discussion of domestic and ideological issues should therefore be considered in terms of the extent to which they contributed to this expansion, for example, economic issues, such as the long-term impact of the Great Depression, should be assessed in terms of their role in shaping more aggressive foreign policy.

Case study 1: Japanese expansion in East Asia (1931–1941)

Causes of expansion

  1. The impact of Japanese nationalism and militarism on foreign policy
  2. Japanese domestic issues: political and economic issues, and their impact on foreign relations
  3. Political instability in China

Events

  1. Japanese invasion of Manchuria and northern China (1931)
  2. Sino-Japanese War (1937–1941)
  3. The Three Power/Tripartite Pact; the outbreak of war; Pearl Harbor (1941)

Responses

  1. League of Nations and the Lytton report
  2. Political developments within China—the Second United Front
  3. International response, including US initiatives and increasing tensions between the US and Japan

Case study 2: German and Italian expansion (1933–1939)

Causes of expansion

  1. Impact of fascism and Nazism on the foreign policies of Italy and Germany
  2. Impact of domestic economic issues on the foreign policies of Italy and Germany
  3. Changing diplomatic alignments in Europe; the end of collective security; appeasement

Events

  1. German challenges to the post-war settlements (1933–1938)
  2. Italian expansion: Abyssinia (1935–1936); Albania; entry into the Second World War
  3. German expansion (1938–1939; Pact of Steel, Nazi–Soviet Pact and the outbreak of war

Responses

  1. International response to German aggression (1933–1938)
  2. International response to Italian aggression (1935–1936)
  3. International response to German and Italian aggression in 1939


Paper 2: World history topic 10: Authoritarian states (20th century)

This topic focuses on exploring the conditions that facilitated the rise of authoritarian states in the 20th century, as well as the methods used by parties and leaders to take and maintain power. The topic explores the emergence, consolidation and maintenance of power, including the impact of the leaders’ policies, both domestic and foreign, upon the maintenance of power. Examination questions for this topic will expect students to make reference to specific authoritarian states in their responses, and some examination questions will require discussion of states from more than one region of the world. In order for students to be able to make meaningful comparisons across all aspects of the prescribed content, it is recommended that a minimum of three authoritarian states should be studied.

Prescribed content

Emergence of authoritarian states

  1. Conditions in which authoritarian states emerged: economic factors; social division; impact of war; weakness of political system
  2. Methods used to establish authoritarian states: persuasion and coercion; the role of leaders; ideology; the use of force; propaganda

Consolidation and maintenance of power

  1. Use of legal methods; use of force; charismatic leadership; dissemination of propaganda
  2. Nature, extent and treatment of opposition
  3. The impact of the success and/or failure of foreign policy on the maintenance of power

Aims and results of policies

  1. Aims and impact of domestic economic, political, cultural and social policies
  2. The impact of policies on women and minorities
  3. Authoritarian control and the extent to which it was achieved

Suggested examples

Please note that the examples provided here are suggestions only. Teachers are free to use examples from this list or any other appropriate examples, depending on the particular needs and interests of the teacher and students.

Africa and the Middle East: Tanzania—Nyerere; Egypt—Nasser; Iraq—Saddam Hussein; Kenya—Kenyatta; Uganda—Amin

The Americas: Argentina—Perón; Cuba—Castro; Chile—Pinochet; Haiti—Duvalier; Nicaragua—Somoza

Asia and Oceania: China—Mao; Indonesia—Sukarno; Pakistan—Zia ul Haq; Cambodia—Pol Pot

Europe: Germany—Hitler; USSR—Stalin; Italy—Mussolini; Spain—Franco; Poland—Pilsudski


Paper 2: World history topic 11: Causes and effects of 20th century wars

This topic focuses on the causes, practice and effects of war in the 20th century. The topic explores the causes of wars, as well as the way in which warfare was conducted, including types of war, the use of technology, and the impact these factors had upon the outcome. Examination questions for this topic will require students to make reference to specific 20th-century wars in their responses, and some examination questions will require discussion of wars from more than one region of the world. Please note that the suggested examples for this topic include “cross-regional” wars such as the First and Second World Wars. In examination questions that ask students to discuss examples of wars from different regions, students may use these wars in a regional context (for example, the Second World War in the Pacific) but may not then use the same war in a different region (for example, the Second World War in Europe) in the same response.


Prescribed content

Causes of war

  1. Economic, ideological, political, territorial and other causes
  2. Long- and short-term causes

Practices of war and their impact on the outcome

  1. Types of war: civil wars; wars between states; guerrilla wars
  2. Technological developments; theatres of war—air, land and sea
  3. The extent of the mobilization of human and economic resources
  4. The influence and/or involvement of foreign powers

Effects of war

  1. The successes and failures of peacemaking
  2. Territorial changes
  3. Political repercussions
  4. Economic, social and demographic impact; changes in the role and status of women


Suggested examples

Please note that the examples provided here are suggestions only. Teachers are free to use examples from this list or any other appropriate examples, depending on the particular needs and interests of the teacher and students.

Africa and the Middle East: Algerian War (1954–1962); Nigerian Civil War (1967–1970); Iran–Iraq War (1980–1988); North Yemen Civil War (1962–1970); First and Second Gulf Wars (1990–1991 and 2003–2011)

The Americas: Chaco War (1932–1935); Falklands/Malvinas War (1982); Mexican Revolution (1910–1920); Contra War (1981–1990)

Asia and Oceania: Chinese Civil War (1927–1937 and/or 1946–1949); Vietnam (1946–1954 and/or 1964–1975); Indo-Pakistan Wars (1947–1949 and/or 1965 and/or 1971)

Europe: Spanish Civil War (1936–1939); the Balkan Wars (1990s); Russian Civil War (1917–1922); Irish War of Independence (1919–1921)

Cross-regional wars: First World War (1914–1918); Second World War (1937–1945); Russo-Japanese War (1904–1905)


HL option 4: History of Europe

Three sections must be selected for study. Only people and events named in the guide will be named in examination questions.


12: Imperial Russia, revolution and the establishment of the Soviet Union (1855—1924)

This section deals with modernization and conservatism in tsarist Russia and the eventual collapse of the tsarist autocracy, as well as the revolutions of 1917, the Civil War and the rule of Lenin. There is a focus on the concepts of change and continuity, with examination and consideration of the social, economic and political factors that brought about change.

  1. Alexander II (1855-1881): the extent of reform
  2. Policies of Alexander III (1881-1894) and Nicholas II (1894-1917): economic modernization, tsarist repression and the growth of opposition
  3. Causes of the 1905 Revolution (including social and economic conditions and the significance of the Russo-Japanese War); consequences of the 1905 Revolution (including Stolypin and the Dumas)
  4. The impact of the First World War and the final crisis of autocracy in February/March 1917
  5. 1917 Revolutions: February/March Revolution; provisional government and dual power (Soviets); October/November Revolution; Bolshevik Revolution; Lenin and Trotsky
  6. Lenin’s Russia/Soviet Union; consolidation of new Soviet state; Civil War; War Communism; New Economic Policy (NEP); terror and coercion; foreign relations


14: European states in the inter-war years (1918—1939)

This section deals with domestic developments in certain key European states in the period between the two world wars. It requires the study of four European countries: Germany, Italy, Spain and any one other country. The section considers the impact of the end of the First World War , then examines the economic, social and cultural changes in each country during the 1920s and 1930s.

  1. Weimar Germany: constitutional, political, economic/financial and social issues (1918–1933); initial challenges (1918–1923); “Golden Era” under Stresemann (1924–1929); the crisis years and the rise of Hitler (1929–1933)
  2. Hitler’s Germany (1933–1939): consolidation of power; Hitler’s pre-war domestic policies, including economic, social and political policies; nature of the Nazi state; the extent of resistance to the Nazis
  3. Italy (1918–1939): rise of Mussolini; consolidation of power; Mussolini’s pre-war domestic policies, including economic, social and political policies; nature of the fascist state
  4. Spain (1918–1939): political, social and economic conditions in Spain; the Primo de Rivera regime; polarization and political parties under the Second Republic; Azaña and Gil Robles; causes of the Civil War; foreign involvement; reasons for nationalist victory under Franco
  5. Case study of domestic political, economic and social developments in one European country (other than Germany, Italy or Spain) in the inter-war years.


15: Versailles to Berlin: Diplomacy in Europe (1919—1945)

This section addresses international relations in Europe from 1919 to 1945 with initial emphasis on the Paris Peace Settlement: its goals, impact and the problems relating to its enforcement. The section covers attempts to promote collective security and international cooperation through the League of Nations and multilateral agreements (outside the League mechanism), arms reduction and the pursuit of foreign policy goals without resort to violence. This section also addresses the individual foreign policies of Italy, Germany, France, Britain and Russia/Soviet Union, looking at the aims, issues and success of each one. It concludes with a study of the Second World War, looking particularly at the impact of the war and the reasons for German defeat and Allied victory.

  1. Peace settlements (1919–1923): Versailles; Neuilly; Trianon; St Germain; and Sèvres/Lausanne: aims, issues and responses
  2. The League of Nations and Europe: successes and failures; the search for collective security; developments in the successor states of central and eastern Europe
  3. Italian and German foreign policies (1919–1941): aims, issues and extent of success
  4. Collective security and appeasement (1919–1941): aims, issues and extent of success; role of British, French and Russian/Soviet foreign policies (1919–1941); Chamberlain and the Munich Crisis
  5. Causes of the Second World War and the development of European conflict (1939–1941); the wartime alliance (1941–1945); reasons for Axis defeat in 1945 and for Allied victory; role of economic, strategic and other factors
  6. Impact of the Second World War on civilian populations in any two countries between 1939–1945
Wesley Course Overview IB History syllabus (2017 study design)

Word version of info above.