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 ...

Changes to the World History Topics and Paper 2

At face value, the changes to the World History Topics leave us with the ability to keep things very similar in our curriculum, or modify them wildly if we so prefer.  I am guess that very few of you are going to do the latter, but this is not meant to be dismissive: if you have the prep time, and your school has the resources, there are a lot of interesting ways in which the curriculum can be shifted. The main ...

Khrushchev: the Berlin Crisis and beyond

After watching a video on the Berlin Wall one of my students commented that the Americans didn't need any more propaganda than the wall to show the difference between communism and democracy. In a recent post I remarked that August was the 50th anniversary of the erection of the Berlin Wall, but the wall was only part of the story. In fact, Berlin remained a center of tension in the Cold war, and a number of historians on both sides of ...

What he said versus what they did

This is relevant to the IB History 20th century topic 5: Cold War and the HL: Americas, Topic 10: Cold War and the Americas, 1945-1981.     In August 1961, US President John F. Kennedy introduced the ambitious Alliance for Progress program, a ten year plan to help promote economic development and social advancement in Latin America.  The reasons for this were simple: to contain communism and promote democracy (aka nation-building). After Kennedy's assassination in November 1953, new Preisdent Lydon B. Johnson addressed  tththe representatives of the countries that subscribed to the Alliance ...

I was a Communist for the FBI

McCarthyism is part of the HL: Americas option - Topic 10: Cold War and the Americas, 1945-1981 and can also be included under 20th century Topic 5: The Cold War. Over the most recent winter holiday, the 1951 film, I was a Communist for the FBI, resurfaced numerous times on television.  This film has approached cult-like status among those either entranced by the style or incredulous about the subject matter: that the United States – and especially organized labor in the ...