IB History of the 20th Century

Introduction to IB World History of the 20th Century Topics

Students are required to study two topics from the following list. (ISB students study those in bold.)

  • Topic 1: Causes, practices and effects of wars
  • Topic 2: Democratic states—challenges and responses
  • Topic 3: Origins and development of authoritarian and single-party states
  • Topic 4: Nationalist and independence movements in Africa and Asia and post-1945 Central and Eastern European states
  • Topic 5: The Cold War

The topics should be studied through a selection of case studies drawn from different regions. Knowledge of topics beyond 2000 is not required.

The syllabus specifications for every topic include major themes and material for detailed study. Students should study a selection from the material for detailed study using the themes to guide them. It is important to ensure that examples selected for detailed study cover two regions as outlined by the map provided. In the examination that tests this component (SL/HL paper 2) questions will be set on major themes. Named questions will be confined to the material in major themes and detailed study. When answering open-ended questions students can use examples from the list and/or alternative examples.