History for the International Baccalaureate Diploma

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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 ContentEdit

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.

Route 1Edit

William II of Normandy was to begin the hundred years of war between England and France with his victory at the Battle of Hastings.

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 SubjectsEdit

The Origins and Rise of Islam c500–661

The Kingdom of Sicily 1130–1302

History of Europe and the Islamic World — TopicsEdit

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)Edit

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 2Edit

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

20th Century World History — Prescribed SubjectsEdit

Peacemaking, Peacekeeping—International Relations 1918–36

The Arab–Israeli Conflict 1945–79

Communism in Crisis 1976–89

20th Century World History — TopicsEdit

Causes, Practices, and Effects of Wars

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)Edit

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


Useful LinksEdit


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