Class Introduction:
History HL/SL Americas 3-4 -- This class is either the second year of a two-year course for higher level students or a riveting year of modern history for standard level students. Designed to promote in students a lasting appreciation and interest for the countries in the Western Hemisphere, the first year of the higher level course (junior year) is a comparative study of the histories of United States and Latin America, particularly focusing on colonization and settlement, independence movements, constitutional development, issues involving slavery, civil wars, and responses to industrialization, and the plight of the indigenous of the Americas. The second year (my class) of the higher level or the one year standard level course will revolve around three selections of twentieth-century topics prescribed by the IBO (i.e. the rise and rule of single-party states; the causes, practices and effects of war; and the Cold War) and a separate prescribed subject (the Cold War from 1960 to 1979). As it is the aim of the IB, the History of the Americas course will inevitably, through the process of historical inquiry and relentless interpretation, mold students into historians, developing individuals (whether they pursue history on a collegiate level or not) with a penchant toward critical thinking about present historical events. This means that students will be challenged to examine primary documents encompassing multiple (international) perspectives and will be encouraged to analyze and criticize traditional and newly established interpretations of historical events.


Course of Study and Respective Topics
Mexican Revolution (causes and effects of war)
Cuban Revolution (rise and rule of single-party state; causes and effects of war)
Rise of Juan Peron (rise and rule of single-party state)
WWI (causes, practices, and effects of war)
WWII (causes, practices, and effects of war)
Comparison of Hitler and Stalin (rise and rule of single-party states)
Cold War


Prescribed Subject: The Cold War: Communism in Crisis 1976 - 1989 (Paper One)
China after Mao and the rise of Deng Xiaoping
China after Deng Xiaoping
The Brezhnev era
The Gorbachev era and the fall of the Soviet Union

20th Century Topics

Topic 1: Causes, practices and effects of war (Paper Two and Three)
-Types of wars: limited, total, revolutionary
-Long-term and short term causes, failure of diplomacy
-Economic, ideological, political
Examples of detailed study: Mexican Revolution, Cuban Revolution, WWI, WWII, Vietnam, Afghanistan 1979

Topic 3: The rise and rule of single-party states (Paper Two)
-Origins of single-party states
-Emergence of leader: aims, ideology, support
-Methods of establishment and forms of single-party states
-Political, economic, and social policies of single-party states
Examples of detailed study: Juan Peron, Fidel Castro, Adolf Hitler, Josef Stalin

Topic 5: The Cold War (Paper One, Two and Three)
-Origins of East-West rivalry with focus on US and USSR
-Ideological opposition and spheres of interest
-Cold War Europe, containment, brinkmanship, peaceful coexistence and related wars
-Sino-Soviet Relations
Examples of detailed study: Wartime conferences, Germany, Truman Doctrine, Marshall Plan, NATO, Warsaw Pact, Korea, Cuba, Vietnam, d├ętente, Afghanistan 1979, Collapse of the Soviet Union