IB History of Asia and Oceania


This option, which extends from circa 1770 to the end of the 20th century (2000), incorporates four geographical and cultural zones: East Asia; the mainland and maritime countries of Southeast Asia; India and the South Asian subcontinent; Oceania.

This is an extensive area with diverse cultural traditions and historical influences affecting it over a long period of time. Major developments include the establishment of European colonial empires in many countries in these zones; the development of European and American trade and its dominance in the region; the emergence of nationalist movements and the subsequent desire for independence from the imperialist powers and the achievement of self-government.

In some cases armed struggle was the only means to achieve self-government, while in others the transition was a peaceful process. The combination of external Western economic pressure and internal political and social developments led to countries such as China and Japan developing along very different lines in the 20th century. The impact of the First and Second World Wars was significant on all the countries in the region. The Cold War polarized nations but, once it ended, the technological revolution, mass culture, sport and globalization emerged as powerful forces that shaped the political, economic, social and cultural nature of all countries in the region.

Within the sections there will be, where appropriate, a case study approach in which students will have the opportunity to study their own or another national history of the region.

Only people and events named in the guide will be named in the examination questions.

Three sections must be selected for in-depth study.