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Which topics to study for Paper 2?

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This is incredibly vague, but I was wondering if anyone had any list of the general topics one would need to study to score high. I really have no idea what to study and my teacher smartly says, "everything!" every time I ask her.

Specifically, I would like to look at topics that typically appear on paper 2s, because I know there are different questions under different categories. I'm just so confused/lost because there's no way I'll be able to memorize everything from my teacher's unorganized notes. Thanks!

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According to the syllabus these are the topics you could study. Choose TWO.

I'll study topic 1 and topic 2.

Topic 1: Causes, practices and effects of wars

War was a major feature of the 20th century. In this topic the different types of war should be identified, and

the causes, practices and effects of these conflicts should be studied.

Major themes

Different types and nature of 20th

century warfare

• Civil

• Guerrilla

• Limited war, total war

Origins and causes of wars • Long-term, short-term and immediate causes

• Economic, ideological, political, religious causes

Nature of 20th century wars • Technological developments, tactics and strategies, air, land

and sea

• Home front: economic and social impact (including changes in

the role and status of women)

• Resistance and revolutionary movements

Effects and results of wars • Peace settlements and wars ending without treaties

• Attempts at collective security pre- and post-Second World War

• Political repercussions and territorial changes

• Post-war economic problems

Material for detailed study

• First World War (19148)

• Second World War (193945)

• Africa: Algerian War (195462), Nigerian Civil War (196770)

• Americas: Falklands/Malvinas war (1982), Nicaraguan Revolution (19769)

• Asia and Oceania: Indo-Pakistan wars (19479, 1965, 1971), Chinese Civil War (192737 and 19469)

• Europe and Middle East: Spanish Civil War (19369), Iran–Iraq war (198088), Gulf War (1991)

Topic 2: Democratic states—challenges and


The 20th century witnessed the establishment, survival, destruction and re-emergence of democratic

states. Democratic systems faced threats to their existence from internal and external sources. In some cases

the system coped successfully, in other cases the pressures proved difficult to withstand. The performance

of democratic states in relation to such pressures—economic, political and social—form the basis for this


Major themes

Nature and structure of

democratic (multiparty) states

• Constitutions (written and unwritten)

• Electoral systems, proportional representation, coalition


• Role of political parties: role of an opposition

• Role of pressure (interest/lobby) groups

Economic and social policies • Employment

• Gender

• Health, education

• Social welfare

Political, social and economic


• Political extremism

• Ethnicity, religion, gender

• Movements for the attainment of civil rights

• Inequitable distribution of wealth/resources

Material for detailed study

• Africa: South Africa 19912000, Mandela; Nigeria 19616

• Americas: Argentina 198395, Alfonsin and Menem; Canada 196884, Trudeau; United States 195373,

Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon

• Asia and Oceania: India 194764, Nehru; Japan 194552, post-war reconstruction; Australia 196575

• Europe and Middle East: France 195869, de Gaulle; Great Britain and Northern Ireland 196790;

Weimar Germany 191933

Topic 3: Origins and development of authoritarian

and single-party states

The 20th century produced many authoritarian and single-party states. The origins, ideology, form of

government, organization, nature and impact of these regimes should be studied.

Major themes

Origins and nature of

authoritarian and single-party


• Conditions that produced authoritarian and single-party states

• Emergence of leaders: aims, ideology, support

• Totalitarianism: the aim and the extent to which it was achieved

Establishment of authoritarian

and single party states

• Methods: force, legal

• Form of government, (left- and right-wing) ideology

• Nature, extent and treatment of opposition

Domestic policies and impact • Structure and organization of government and administration

• Political, economic, social and religious policies

• Role of education, the arts, the media, propaganda

• Status of women, treatment of religious groups and minorities

Material for detailed study

• Africa: Kenya—Kenyatta; Tanzania—Nyerere

• Americas: Argentina—Perón; Cuba—Castro

• Asia and Oceania: China—Mao; Indonesia—Sukarno

• Europe and the Middle East: Germany—Hitler; USSR—Stalin; Egypt—Nasser

Topic 4: Nationalist and independence movements

in Africa and Asia and post‑1945 Central and Eastern

European states

An important development of the 20th century, especially in the post-Second World War period, was the

decline of imperial rule and the emergence of new states. This topic covers decolonization in Africa and

Asia. It also covers the break-up of Soviet control in Eastern Europe, as well as the emergence of new states

elsewhere in Europe. Emphasis should be placed on the origins and development of the nationalist and

independence movements, the formation of post-colonial governments/new states, the problems facing

new governments (both internal and external pressures) and attempts to solve them.

Please note that students will not be asked to compare and contrast the nationalist and independence

movements in Africa and Asia with the new states in Europe post‑1945.

Major themes

Origins and rise of nationalist/

independence movements in

Africa and Asia

• Anti-colonialism (opposition to Belgian, British, Dutch, French

and Portuguese colonial rule)

• Nationalism, political ideology, religion

• Impact of the two world wars and the Cold War

• Other factors fostering growth of nationalist and independence


Methods of achieving

independence in Africa and Asia

• Armed struggle

• Non-violent movements, elite and mass movements

• Role and importance of leaders of nationalist/independence


• Political organization

Challenges to Soviet or

centralized control in Central and

Eastern Europe and the Balkans

• Origins and growth of movements challenging Soviet or

centralized control

• Role and importance of leaders, organizations and institutions

• Methods of achieving independence from Soviet or centralized


Formation of, and challenges to,

post-colonial governments/new


• Colonial legacy, neo-colonialism and Cold War

• Conflict with neighbours

• Lack of political experience

• Economic issues

• Social, religious and cultural issues

• Ethnic, racial and separatist movements

Material for detailed study

Nationalist and independence movements in Africa and Asia

• Movements: Africa—Algeria, Angola, Belgian Congo/Zaire, Ghana, Rhodesia/Zimbabwe; Asia—India

and Pakistan, Indochina

• Leaders: Ben Bella (Algeria), Ho Chi Minh (Vietnam), Jinnah (Pakistan), Gandhi (India), Mugabe

(Zimbabwe), Nkrumah (Ghana)

Post-1945 nationalist and independence movements in Central and Eastern Europe

• Movements: Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, Yugoslavia and its dissolution and successor states

• Leaders: Walesa (Poland), Havel (Czechoslovakia)

Topic 5: The Cold War

This topic addresses East–West relations from 1945. It aims to promote an international perspective and

understanding of the origins, course and effects of the Cold War—a conflict that dominated global affairs

from the end of the Second World War to the early 1990s. It includes superpower rivalry and events in all

areas affected by Cold War politics such as spheres of interest, wars (proxy), alliances and interference in

developing countries.

Major themes

Origins of the Cold War • Ideological differences

• Mutual suspicion and fear

• From wartime allies to post-war enemies

Nature of the Cold War • Ideological opposition

• Superpowers and spheres of influence

• Alliances and diplomacy in the Cold War

Development and impact of the

Cold War

• Global spread of the Cold War from its European origins

• Cold War policies of containment, brinkmanship, peaceful

coexistence, détente

• Role of the United Nations and the Non-Aligned Movement

• Role and significance of leaders

• Arms race, proliferation and limitation

• Social, cultural and economic impact

End of the Cold War • Break-up of Soviet Union: internal problems and external


• Breakdown of Soviet control over Central and Eastern Europe

Material for detailed study

• Wartime conferences: Yalta and Potsdam

• US policies and developments in Europe: Truman Doctrine, Marshall Plan, NATO

• Soviet policies, Sovietization of Eastern and Central Europe, COMECON, Warsaw Pact

• Sino–Soviet relations

• US–Chinese relations

• Germany (especially Berlin (194561)), Congo (196064), Afghanistan (197988), Korea, Cuba, Vietnam,

Middle East

• Castro, Gorbachev, Kennedy, Mao, Reagan, Stalin, Truman

Edited by marauder7

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we did 1, 3 and 5 at our school. and basically weimar from topic 2 (even though that isn't always on that section)

its good to look at wwI and wwII and single party state leaders including hitler, stalin, mao (definitely one left and one right wing leader for the case of comparison)

finally the cold war is a great topic to know

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