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 ...

The Battle of the Somme

By Monday, July 18, 2016 No tags 0

The 7th July marked the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the Battle of the Somme.  The British launched an attack on the German forces hoping yet again for a break through and an end to the stalemate brought on by trench warfare.  Instead, the battle lasted into November and ultimately there was no victor although the Allies claimed victory due to a 5-mile (8 kilometer) advance.  In this first day the British saw 20,000 soldiers die and another 40,000 were ...

In one week the IB history exams begin

To steal from Lenin, 'What is to be done?'  The burning questions of IB history may include how to get the elusive 7 or how to pass if you haven't opened your textbook in the past year.  Although these are very different scenarios they both involve how to prepare for the IB in this last week. Usually I write about getting a good night's sleep and making sure that you have your lucky pen but today I feel like being more exam specific. Paper 1: Review the content, ...

What is a predicted grade?

At this time of year you may hear your teachers mention predicted grades.  This may make you nervous and you may worry about what this is, but it shouldn't worry you at all. The IB asks your teacher to give a best guess of what your final IB result will be.  This is based on your in-class work, our IA and any type of exam practice that has been done.  This information goes to the International Baccalaureate and is there for ...