The International School of Toulouse

History  IGCSE



Core Content


The 20th century,

International Relations since 1919



Depth Study


Germany, 1918-45

From Option A: 19th century, Development of Modern Nation States, 1848-1914


6 What caused the First World War?


Focus Points


Did the Alliance System make war more or less likely?

How far did colonial problems create tensions between the Great Powers?

Why were the problems in the Balkans so difficult for the Great Powers to solve?

How did the assassination of Franz Ferdinand lead to war?


Specified Content


The origins of the First World War, 1890-1914: the Alliance System, colonial rivalries, developments in the Balkans, the crisis of June-July 1914 and the outbreak of war.


1 Were the Peace Treaties of 1919-23 fair?


Focus Points:


What were the motives and aims of the Big Three at Versailles?

Why did all of the victors not get everything they wanted?

What was the immediate impact of the peace treaty on Germany up to 1923?

Could the treaties be justified at the time?


Specified Content


The peace treaties of 1919-23 (Versailles, St. Germain, Trianon, Neuilly, Sevres and Lausanne); the roles of individuals such as Wilson, Clemenceau and Lloyd George in the peacemaking process; the impact of the treaties on the defeated countries;contemporary opinions about the treaties.


2 To what extent was the League of Nations a success?


Focus Points:


How successful was the League in the 1920s?

How far did weaknesses in the League's organisation make failure inevitable?

How far did the Depression make the work of the League more difficult?

How successful was the League in the 1930s?


Specified Content


The League of Nations; strengths and weaknesses in its structure and organisation; successes and failures in peacekeeping during the 1920s; the impact of the World Depression on the work of the League after 1929; the failures of the League during the 1930s, including Manchuria and Abyssinia.


3 Why had international peace collapsed by 1939?


Focus Points:


What were the long-term consequences of the peace treaties of 1919-23?

What were the consequences of the failures of the League in the 1930s?

How far was Hitler's foreign policy to blame for the outbreak of war in 1939?

Was the policy of appeasement justified?

How important was the Nazi-Soviet Pact?

Why did Britain and France declare war on Germany in September 1939?


Specified Content


The collapse of international order in the 1930s; the increasing militarism of Germany, Italy and Japan; Hitler's foreign policy to 1939; the Saar, remilitarization of the Rhineland, Austria, Czechoslovakia and Poland; appeasement and the outbreak of war in



4 Who was to blame for the Cold War?


Focus Points:


Why did the USA-USSR alliance begin to break down in 1945?

How had the USSR gained control of Eastern Europe by 1948?

How did the USA react to Soviet expansionism?

What were the consequences of the Berlin Blockade?

Who was more to blame for the start of the Cold War, the USA or the USSR?


Specified Content


The origins of the Cold War; the 1945 summit conferences and the breakdown of the USA-USSR alliance in 1945-6; Soviet expansionism in Eastern Europe to 1948, and American reactions to it; occupation of Germany and the Berlin Blockade.


5 How effectively did the USA contain the spread of Communism?


Focus Points:


This Key Question will be explored through case studies of the following:

America and events in Cuba, 1959-62

American involvement in Vietnam.


Specified Content


Events of the Cold War: case studies of American reactions to the Cuban revolution, including the Missile Crisis and its aftermath, and American involvement in the Vietnam War.


6 How secure was the USSR's control over Eastern Europe, 1948-c.1989?


Focus Points:


Why was there opposition to Soviet control in Hungary in 1956 and Czechoslovakia in 1968, and how did the USSR react to this opposition?

How similar were events in Hungary in 1956 and in Czechoslovakia in 1968?

Why was the Berlin Wall built in 1961?

What was the significance of 'Solidarity' in Poland for the decline of Soviet influence in Eastern Europe?

How far was Gorbachev responsible for the collapse of Soviet control over Eastern Europe?


Specified Content


Soviet power in Eastern Europe; resistance to Soviet power in Hungary, 1956, and Czechoslovakia, 1968; the Berlin Wall;' Solidarity' in Poland; Gorbachev and the collapse of the Soviet Empire.


1 Was the Weimar Republic doomed from the start?


Focus Points:


How did Germany emerge from defeat in the 1st World War?

What was the impact of the Treaty of Versailles on the Republic?

To what extent did the Republic recover after 1923?

What were the achievements of the Weimar period?


2 Why was Hitler able to dominate Germany by 1934?


Focus Points:


What did the Nazi Party stand for in the1920s?

Why did the Nazis have little success before 1930?

Why was Hitler able to become Chancellor by 1933?

How did Hitler consolidate his power in 1933-4?


3(a) The Nazi regime: how effectively did the Nazis control Germany, 1933-45?


Focus Points:


How much opposition was there to the Nazi regime?

How effectively did the Nazis deal with their political opponents?

How did the Nazis use culture and the mass media to control the people?

Why did the Nazis persecute many groups in German society?

Was Nazi Germany a totalitarian state?


3(b) The Nazi regime: what was it like to live in Nazi Germany?


Focus Points:


How did young people react to the Nazi regime?

How successful were Nazi policies towards women and the family?

Did most people in Germany benefit from Nazi rule?

How did the coming of war change life in Germany?


Specified Content


The Revolution of 1918 and the establishment of the Republic. The Versailles settlement and German reactions to it. The Weimar constitution, main political divisions, role of the army. Political disorder, 1919-23; economic crises and hyper-inflation; the occupation of the Ruhr, 1923. The Stresemann era. Cultural achievements of the Weimar period.


The early years of the Nazi Party; Nazi ideas and methods; the Munich Putsch; the roles of Hitler and other Nazi leaders. The impact of the Depression on Germany; political, economic and social crisis of 1930-33; reasons for Nazis' rise to power; Hitler takes power, the Reichstag Fire and the election of 1933.


Nazi rule in Germany; the Enabling Act; the night of the Long Knives; the death of Hindenburg; removal of opposition; methods of control and repression; use of culture and the mass media. Economic policy including rearmament. Different experiences of Nazi rule; women and young people; anti-semitism, persecution of minorities. Opposition to Nazi rule.


Impact of the Second World War on Germany; conversion to war economy; the Final Solution.