IB History of the Americas

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IB History of the Americas


Gaspee Affair.jpg IB History of the Americas is generally taken by students who have already taken a year of U.S. History prior to the IB Diploma programme. It encompasses North American and South American study for both SL and HL Candidates. Both SL and HL students are required to complete one Historical Investigation to be turned in to the IBO before they take their test. HL Candidates delve further into History by looking at one Single-Party State, usually chosen by the instructor. Flag of Brazil.svg

Comprehensive Course Syllabus

Chapter 1: The Colonial Period

  • political and economic relationship with the colonial powers: Britain, France, Spain, Portugal, The Netherlands
  • social and economic organization of the immigrant population
  • role of religion in the New World
  • treatment of indigenous peoples
  • the origins of slavery

Chapter 2: Movements of Independence

  • causes—political, economic, social, intellectual, religious—and conflicts leading to war
  • role of outside powers
  • roles of the social classes
  • role of leadership: Washington, Jefferson, Bolívar, San Martín
  • the Declaration of Independence
  • independence of Brazil
  • Haitian Revolution and the Republic: Toussaint L’Ouverture

Chapter 3: Evolution of New Governments and Confederation

  • United States Constitution: Articles of Confederation, philosophical underpinnings, major compromises
  • emergence of political parties in USA to 1830
  • role of the executive and the emergence and rule of Caudillos
  • regionalism and definitions of authority
  • rebellions of 1837: the Durham Report and responsible government in Canada
  • Confederation Period in Canada
  • British North America Act 1867: compromises and unresolved issues, sectionalism, and effects

Chapter 4: Slavery in the Americas

  • conditions of enslavement: adaptation and resistance
  • the pro-slavery arguments
  • insurrections and reactions
  • life of the free African–Americans
  • pro-abolition arguments

Chapter 5: United States Civil War: Causes, Course and Effects

  • political, economic and social causes
  • the course of the war, the role of African–American soldiers, the role of women
  • the impact of the war on society
  • Abraham Lincoln and the role of leadership
  • political, economic and cultural effects
  • Reconstruction and the post-Reconstruction South

Chapter 6: Economic and Social Developments in the Americas from the mid-19th Century to 1919

  • economic modernization: policies, characteristics and effects
  • neocolonialism and dependency
  • industrial developments and their impact on the Americas
  • territorial expansion and evolution of the railroads
  • labour and agrarian movements
  • external and internal population movements: immigrants and indigenous peoples, economic and social effects
  • women and reform

Chapter 7: Political Developments in the Americas from the mid-19th Century to 1919

  • evolution of political institutions and ideological currents and movements
  • progressives
  • foreign and trade relations: Britain and France
  • domestic policies
  • involvement in the First World War
  • African–Americans: Booker T Washington and WEB Dubois
  • role of leadership: Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, John A MacDonald, or a Latin American leader of the candidate’s choice

Chapter 8: Cultural and Intellectual Developments in the Americas from the mid-19th Century to the First World War

  • liberalism, nationalism, positivism, romanticism, social Darwinism
  • the arts, music and literature
  • reform and increase of education
  • technological and scientific developments

Chapter 9: United States Foreign Policy in Latin America, 1898 to 1945

  • background of United States policy
  • the Monroe Doctrine and its redefinitions
  • establishment of spheres of influence, Spanish–American War, the big stick, dollar diplomacy
  • Good Neighbor Policy and wartime alliances, Franklin D Roosevelt
  • Central America, including Panama, Nicaragua and Cuba

Chapter 10: The Mexican Revolution, 1910 to 1940

  • causes and course of the revolution
  • aims and roles of the leaders, including Zapata and Pancho Villa
  • the Constitution of 1917
  • effects: immediate and long term; political, social, economic and cultural
  • role of the USA

Chapter 11: The Great Depression in the Americas

  • impact of the First World War in the Americas
  • economic growth in the 1920s
  • causes of the Depression: United States, Canada, and Latin America
  • impact on society: the changing view of government’s role in the economy; effects on minorities
  • nature and efficacy of solutions: Canada: Mackenzie King and RB Bennett; Latin America: Vargas of Brazil and Concordancia of Argentina; USA: Hoover, Franklin D Roosevelt and the New Deal
  • Import Substitution Industrialisation (ISI) in Latin America: causes and effects

Chapter 12: Canadian Politics in the First Half of the 20th Century

  • French–Canadian nationalism
  • impact of the world wars: conscription, nationalism, sovereignty
  • regionalism and minorities
  • relations with the United States and Britain
  • the Commonwealth of Nations

Chapter 13: Latin American Politics in the First Half of the 20th Century

  • evolution of nationalism, indigenism, and populism
  • role of the military
  • leaders, single-party states and populism: Vargas, Perón
  • nature and effectiveness of dissent

Chapter 14: The Second World War and the Americas

  • hemispheric cooperation or neutrality
  • the role of countries of the region: diplomatic and military
  • the impact of the war on countries of the region
  • the home front: the role of women, impact on minorities
  • treatment of Japanese–Americans and Japanese–Canadians
  • the Americas and the Holocaust
  • the beginning of the atomic age

Chapter 15: Latin American Foreign policy, 1945 to 1995; Canadian Foreign policy, 1945 to 1995

  • relations between the United States and Latin America: influence of ideologies and policies
  • relations between the United States and Canada: ideologies and policies
  • the impact of the Cold War in Latin America
  • the impact of the Cold War in Canada
  • foreign relations

Chapter 16: Political and Economic Developments in the United States After the Second World War

  • developments in the role of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches
  • presidential leadership: Truman to Bush
  • efforts at political and social reform
  • the impact of Vietnam and Watergate
  • economic trends
  • the new conservatism

Chapter 17: United States Foreign Policy, 1945 to 1995

  • origins of the Cold War: Truman Doctrine, Marshall Plan, Berlin Blockade and Airlift
  • NATO and the Korean War
  • Eisenhower and Dulles
  • Kennedy: Bay of Pigs, Berlin, Cuban Missile Crisis
  • Johnson, Nixon and Vietnam
  • Nixon–Kissinger policies, détente, relations with China
  • the USA and the Middle East
  • Reagan, Bush and the end of the Cold War

Chapter 18: The USA Civil Rights Movement, 1945 to 1995

  • the rise and expansion of the civil rights movement: causes, legal issues, tactics, Martin Luther King Jr, the March on Washington
  • the changing movement: the Black Panthers, Black Muslims, Black Power and Malcolm X
  • Native-Americans civil rights movement
  • Hispanic–American activism
  • the New Feminism
  • supreme court decisions, key congressional legislation, the response of the executive branch

Chapter 19: Political and Economic developments in Latin America After the Second World War

  • revolutions and their causes and effects: political, economic, social and ideological
  • role of leadership
  • the Cuban Revolution and Castro’s regime
  • economic changes
  • Guatemala, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Chile or a country of the candidate’s choice
  • military regimes: causes and effects
  • return to democracy
  • the role of the Catholic church

Chapter 20: Political and Economic Developments in Canada after the Second World War

  • the role of the government
  • domestic policies
  • resources and obstacles
  • urbanization, industrialization and sectionalism
  • changing trade patterns, the role of foreign investment and transnationals, place in the world economy
  • population growth, social legislation, education

Chapter 21: Changing Societies in the Americas in the 20th Century

  • rise to consciousness: native peoples, Québecois, minorities (ethnic, religious)
  • legal and constitutional remedies and effects
  • changing roles and conditions of women in different regions of the Americas
  • cultural developments: intellectual currents, literature, art, music
  • technology, communications, science and industry, impact on public and private life

Chapter 22: Hemispheric Relations, 1945 to 1995

  • international alliances and organizations, including the Organization of American States (OAS)
  • international development strategies: public and private
  • efforts at regional trade and commodity agreements, Pacto Andino, NAFTA, Mercosur
  • sources of tension, interventionism


Appendix 1: Bibliography


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