Unit One – Twentieth Century History (1918-1939)

World War One is regarded by many as marking the beginning of twentieth century history since it represented such a complete departure from the past and heralded changes that were to have an impact for decades to come. The post-war treaties ushered in a period where the world was to a large degree, reshaped with new borders, movements, ideologies and power structures.

These changes affected developments in Europe the USA, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Economic instability caused by the Great Depression also contributed to the development of political movements. Despite ideals about future peace reflected in the establishment of the League of Nations, the world was again overtaken by war in 1939.

Unit Two – Twentieth Century History (1945-2000)

The establishment of the United Nations in 1945 was intended to take an internationalist approach to avoiding warfare, resolving political tensions and addressing threats to human life and safety. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted in 1948 was the first global expression of human rights. Despite internationalist moves, the second half of the twentieth century was dominated by the competing ideologies of democracy and communism, setting the backdrop for the Cold War.

The period also saw challenges and changes to the established order in many countries. The continuation of moves towards decolonisation led to independence movements in former colonies in Africa the Middle East, Asia and the Pacific. New countries were created and independence was achieved through both military and diplomatic means. Old conflicts also continued and terrorism became increasingly global. The second half of the twentieth century also saw the rise of social movements that challenged existing values and tradition such as civil rights movement, feminism and environmental movements.

Unit Three & Four – Revolutions

Revolutions destroy regimes and societies, and have a profound impact on the country in which they occur as well as important international repercussions. In both units, students closely examine the role of key figures such as George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Tsar Nicholas II, Lenin and Rasputin. Also studied are key events such as the Boston Massacre, the War of Independence, Bloody Sunday, World War I, Civil War, and the February and October Revolutions.

In Unit 3 and 4 Revolutions, students investigate the significant historical causes and consequences of the American Revolution and the Russian Revolution.
Revolutions represent great ruptures in time and are a major turning point which brings about the collapse and destruction of an existing political order resulting in a pervasive change to society.
In these units, students develop an understanding of the complexity and multiplicity of causes and consequences in the revolutionary narrative. They will construct an argument about the past using primary sources as evidence and evaluate the extent to which the revolution brought change to the lives of people.
Students will also analyse the the long-term causes and short-term triggers of the American and Russian Revolutions. They will evaluate how revolutionary outbreaks are caused by the interplay of significant events, ideas, individuals and popular movements and assess how these were directly or indirectly influenced by the social, political, economic and cultural conditions. Students will then analyse the consequences of the revolutions and evaluate the extent to which they brought change to society.

The two revolutions under study are:

  • The American Revolution
  • The Russian Revolution