New IB History Study Guides Available!

History Paper 2: Authoritarian States: Germany 1918-1945 and History Paper 2: Authoritarian States: Russia 1917-1953 have been added to OSC's IB Study Guide Series and are available to order now! These guides are written by experienced IB History teacher and OSC Subject Advisor, Joe Gauci. Find out more below.     History Paper 2: Authoritarian States: Germany 1918-1945 uses emergence and rule of Nazi Germany as a discrete example. History Paper 2: Authoritarian States: Russia 1917-1953 focuses on Soviet Russia under Lenin and Stalin.       These ...

The February 1917 Revolution

The February revolution took place from 23 February to 3 March according to the Julian calendar, or 8-16 March according to the Gregorian, or current calendar, in Russia.  Either way, the centennial of this revolution is upon us. This was a spontaneous rising that marked a convergence of factors. Since the revolution took place there have been numerous theories as to what was the most important cause but most can agree on a list of causes: War weariness Poor conditions on ...

Conditions in Russia in January 1917

Weather is really important in history but it isn't always easy to make historical arguments based on the weather.  I mean, winter in Russia can be an exception; after all, it defeated more armies than the ******** (you fill it in, I'm not risking accusations of cultural insensitivity). As January draws to a close it is worth it to consider the conditions in Russia a century ago.  Interestingly, many who study this time period make note of the weather: in Petrograd and ...

December 30: the death of Rasputin and the beginning of the Russian Revolution

December 30th is the centennial of the death of Rasputin.  This is the story that you are most likely to remember from Russian history; years from now  you will be able to recount to your friends the death scene in minute detail, and you will be able to provide all of the salacious details regarding his life and hold over the female members of the aristocracy, but will you remember anything about the historical significance of this man?  And, if ...

History Paper 1 SL/HL: the move to Global War

This blog was written by Joe Gauci, an experienced IB teacher and author of a range of OSC History guides. This revision guide aims to provide you with a clear description of the course content for the IBDP History syllabus Paper 1, covering all the required topics within the prescribed subject: the Move to Global War. Success on History Paper 1 requires a combination of mastery of a range of techniques in answering the source-based questions and a secure understanding of the ...

Introduction to History Paper 2 SL/HL: the Cold War

This blog was written by Sam Olofsson, an experienced IB teacher and author of History: Route 2 - The Cold War. I have had the pleasure of teaching IB history for over 20 years, mainly at Malmö Borgarskola in Sweden but also on revision courses in England and in the United States. It is my hope that this guide will give students the best possible help when preparing for exams. My main aim is to encourage students to practise structuring essays. Each section ...

Bulgaria enters the war, October 1915

Nearly 102 years ago, the Bulgarians entered the Great War on the side of the Central Powers.  While it began the 20th century as a client state of Russia it had become increasingly alienated from its patron.  As a member of the Balkan League it found itself in an unlikely alliance of Balkan countries.  The desire to, well, balkanize, the Ottoman Empire was a shared goal but the countries had very little else in common, and all wanted to expand ...

Mess – o – potamia (homage to Jon Stewart) in World War I

World War I took place on may different fronts, but the focus tends to be on the Western front and a few key battles here and there.   This post will focus on the Mesopotamian campaigns. As you read through this, consider the following question: How did the Mesopotamian campaign affect the course and outcome of the First World War? This is a very long post, and to do the subject justice would be even longer, so I have tried to ...

Japanese military participation in World War I

Most IBDP students have a clear understanding of Japanese participation in the peace talks after World War I.  Margaret Macmillan's Paris 1919 very effectively illustrates Japanese goals of racial equality and great power status, and many historians look at World War I as a means of further subjugating the Chinese but little time or effort tends to be given to Japan's actual military participation in World War I.   Consider the following questions: What interests did Japan have that led to ...

First World War centennial – Africa

While most of us spend time on the role of colonialism, and the 19th century Scramble for Africa as a cause of the war, we rarely spend much time on the continent after the outbreak of war.  There is some mention of North Africa vis-à-vis the Ottoman Empire but there is little consideration of the Sub-Saharan region. The Germans maintained colonial empires on both coasts but they tended to be poorly defended.  When war broke out the Allies took advantage of ...