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Historiographical Overview: This information sheet outlines the essential historiographical debate - namely, the Fischer Thesis, which suggested that both World Wars were essentially caused by the same consistent factor - namely, German aggression. The task of students will be to decide how far they agree with this idea.
Research Template: Students are then presented with a research template which has NINE key causes of each World War listed within it. "Divide these causes between the members of the group.Research your allocated factor(s) with relation to your particular war. Produce a one-slide presentation which will summarise your findings for the rest of the class".
Overview of the procedure: This handout explains how the group working on World War One will present their findings first, and that this will be followed by a whole-class exercise linking the factors together and some historiography work (below). The same format is repeated with relation to World War Two.
Introductory video clip: AJP Taylor outlines the "Fischer Controversy"
With both wars now considered separately, we are in a position to judge whether the "Fischer Thesis" (that both wars can primarily be explained through reference to a consistently aggressive German foreign policy) is accurate.
Main Task: Was Hitler's foreign policy traditional, or unprecedented?
In this activity students use extracts from the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, an Interview with Hitler, Mein Kampf and the September Programme to decide where they stand in regard to the Fischer controversy.
Model Essay by RJ Tarr (note: teacher password required)
At this point, students should return to their original research template to complete the final column, which asks them to make some observations about whether the various factors for each war are areas of comparison and contrast. This can then be used as the basis for an essay on the causes of either war, or an essay comparing them both. The model essay provided here was written by the author of this website in timed conditions and could be given to students for extra stimulus after they have finished their own work.
Events (100 years ago today): 1917 - In Nebraska, Father Edward J. Flanagan founds Boys Town as a farm village for wayward boys.
Births (50 years ago today): 1967 - Yuzo Koshiro, Japanese composer and producer
Deaths (200 years ago today): 1817 - Tekle Giyorgis I, Ethiopian emperor (b. 1751)
Deaths (0 years ago today): 2017 - Ed Lee, American politician and attorney, 43rd Mayor of San Francisco (b. 1952)
Commemorations:The International Day Of Heavy Metal
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IB Extended Essay: Marksheet and Guidance
How similar were the Manchurian and Abyssinian Crises?
The Abyssinian Crisis
Roleplay: The Manchurian Crisis | Rolecards
*NEW* Simulation: Can you survive life in the trenches in World War One?
IB Extended Essay Completing the Reflections on Planning and Progress Form
Style Guide: Formatting your Extended Essay
Six Steps for Writing your Extended Essay in IB History
Model Essay: For what reasons, and with what results, did the Civil Rights movement become more radical after 1964?
Civil Rights Movement Student research tasks / presentation instructions
Multimedia lecture : IN WHAT WAYS did the Civil Rights movement become more radical after 1964?
Multimedia lecture : WHY did the Civil Rights movement become more radical after 1964?
IB History Internal Assessments sample studies
Mission: Berlin! (Escape the Room activity on Hitlers consolidation of power)
Student-friendly Sourcework Rubric