History for the International Baccalaureate Diploma

< IB‎ | Group 3

History is more than the study of the past. It is the process of recording, reconstructing and interpreting the past through the investigation of a variety of sources. It is a discipline that gives people an understanding of themselves and others in relation to the world, both past and present.

Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
History is an account, mostly false, of events, mostly unimportant, which are brought about by rulers, mostly knaves, and soldiers, mostly fools.
A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history.

Course Content


Whichever route is selected the course provides both structure and flexibility, fostering an understanding of major historical events in a global context. It requires students to make comparisons between similar and dissimilar solutions to common human situations, whether they be political, economic or social. It invites comparisons between, but not judgments of, different cultures, political systems and national traditions.

William II of Normandy was to begin the hundred years of war between England and France with his victory at the Battle of Hastings.
Was Winston Churchill right in saying that World War II was primarily caused by the ambitions and policies of Adolf Hitler?

Route 1 explores the main developments in the history of Europe and the Islamic world (from 500 to 1570).

History of Europe and the Islamic world — Prescribed Subjects


  The Origins and Rise of Islam c500–661

  The Kingdom of Sicily 1130–1302

History of Europe and the Islamic World — Topics


  Dynasties and Rulers

  Society and Economy

  Wars and Warfare

  Intellectual, Cultural, and Artistic Developments

  Religion and the State

Higher Level Options (3 of the following)


  Christianity c500-1300

  The Fatimids 909-1171

  Monarchies in England and France 1066-1223

  The Crusades 1095-1291

  The Mongols 1200-1405

  Muslim, Christian and Jewish Interactions in Spain, 711-1492

  Emperors and Kings 1150-1300

  Late Medieval Political Crises 1300-1485

  14th Century Famine, Pestilence and Social Change

  The Ottomans 1281-1566

  Renaissance Government and Society in Italy 1300-1500

  New Horizons: Exploration 1400-1550

Route 2 encompasses the main developments in the 20th century world history.

20th Century World History — Prescribed Subjects


  Peacemaking, Peacekeeping—International Relations 1918–36

  The Arab–Israeli Conflict 1945–79

  Communism in Crisis 1976–89

20th Century World History — Topics


  Causes, Practices, and Effects of Wars

  Causes and Effects of World War One (2020 Specification);

  Causes and Effects of the Spanish Civil War (2020 Specification);

  Democratic states—Challenges and Responses

  Origins and Development of Authoritarian and Single-Party States

  Nationalist and Independence Movements in Africa and Asia, and post-1945 Central and Eastern European states

  The Cold War

Higher Level Options (1 of the following)


  Aspects of History of Africa

  Aspects of History of the Americas

  Aspects of History of Asia and Oceania

  Aspects of History of Europe and the Middle East




For those interested in contributing towards this book, Route 1 is very much unexplored and it is recommended. Sections under Route 2 are planned.