The official European School history syllabus for year 6 can be found here. This syllabus is comprehensive and little needs to be clarified. In addition to the core topic 'Europe and Europeans from 1914 to 1945', the special topics for this class will be 6.2A 'The USA 1898 to 1945' ; 6.2C 'European colonialism and imperialism from the end of the 19th century to 1945'; and 6.2F 'Russia and the USSR 1917 to 1953'. Testing will be by means of TWO B tests in each semester, normally in October and December; March and June.

First Semester

Introduction: Historical Concepts in the 19th Century

  • What is history? What is historiography?
  • Rise of different perspectives – feminist, Marxist, ecological;
  • Review (in brief) - The Age of Enlightenment; The Defeat of Napoleon; the Vienna Settlement and the Balance of Power; a rash of revolutions: the collapse of the old order; unification of Germany and Italy; the Eastern Question;
  • Key concepts: Liberalism, Nationalism, Realpolitik, Marxism, Colonialism.   

1. Special Topic: Imperialism and Colonisation/Decolonisation

  • Background (Europe in 1815; Turkish Empire; Austria-Hungary; Belgium; the Netherlands; Unification of  Italy and Germany).
  • Spread of imperialism and major events (the scramble for Africa; Egypt and the Sudan; the Fashoda incident; Morocco; the Boer War; Expansion in Asia - India; Hong Kong;
  • Reasons: Economics; Strategy; Nationalism; National Rivalries; Religion; Genetics; Adventure; Prestige.
  • Reactions: Colonies and their nature; Conflicts; Alliances; Entente Cordiale.

2. Europe 1914-1945 – Europe Transformed by the First World War: World War 1

  • Origins: the alliance system; imperialism; militarism; nationalism; the Eastern question;
  • Course and Nature: Schlieffen Plan; Battles: Tannenberg; Marne; Gallipoli; Verdun; Somme; Ypres; French Warfare; Submarine Warfare;
  • Consequences: Wilson’s 14 points; Treaty of Brest Litovsk; the Treaty of Versailles; Social Consequences.

3. Special Topic: Marxism and Russia

  • The Theory and the 1917 Revolutions (The Tsar and his family; Mensheviks; Bolsheviks; how did the Communists take control in 1917). The first socialist state (what was the new socialist state and society like? Why were there phases of  nationalisation, but also liberalisation between 1917 and 1928?);
  • Stalinism 1929-33 and the characteristics of a totalitarian state: consolidation or perversion of the revolution? Was Russia modernised under Stalin’s dictatorship?

Semester Two

4. Europe 1914-1945 - Dictatorship and Democracy

         i. Democracies in Europe

  • Democratic government in time of economic and political crises (e.g. WWI and the Great Depression);
  • Europe (Britain; France; the League of Nations).

              ii. Fascism(s) and Nazism

  • What is Fascism? Ideologies for Mussolini and Hitler (if time e.g. Spain);
  • Taking power and removing opposition: e.g. the Weimar Republic and the rise of National Socialism;
  • Nature of regimes: How was power maintained? Dealing with opponents and minorities; expansionist foreign policies.

5. Special Topic: The USA since 1898

  •  From 1898 to 1945: The Rise of a Superpower. A Fordist model? How did the USA respond to the Great Depression? How and why did the USA become an international power after 1898?
  • The developing international role of the USA after 1898 (intervention in WWI (1917), Wilson’s 14 Points (1918), non-ratification of the Treaty of Versailles (1920);
  • The role of the USA in World War II (see below).

6. Europe 1914-1945: Europe and Europeans in World War II

  • Origins of WWII;
  • Course and nature (Italy in Abyssinia; German ambitions; the Sudetenland; remilitarisation; Anschluss with Austria; Appeasement; Pearl Harbour; Blitzkrieg; the “Phoney War”; Dunkirk; the Blitz; Russia; Allied Campaigns in Africa and the East);
  • The role of the USA in WWII (Why did the USA end its isolationism in 1941? What role did the USA play in allied success? E.g. Victory Program, Bretton Woods (1944), Hiroshima (1945));
  • Occupation: What did it mean to be an occupied country? What were the different forms of occupation?
  • Collaboration and Resistance: What were the different types of collaboration and why? Why did resistance take so many forms?
  • Daily life: How did daily life change across Europe in occupied and non-occupied countries? What was the impact of rationing, bombing, censorship, etc.?
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