Welcome to IB History of the Americas II!
Dear Parent or
I would like to
take this opportunity to introduce myself and to open a line of communication
with you. I will be your child's International Baccalaureate History of the
teacher during this academic year. I anticipate
a very exciting year of
instruction and analysis in preparation for
Paper I, Paper II, and Paper III
of the I.B. exam, as well as the successful completion of their Internal
Assessment. This past year, 93% of my diploma candidates passed the
History of the Americas exam. I expect an even greater success rate from
this year's graduating class.
The curriculum for History of the Americas II - 20th Century Topics is divided
into three marking periods in which we focus in-depth on one of three topics.
During the first marking period we will review European History from AD 1300 -
1870 to include the Renaissance, the Reformation, the Age of Exploration, the
Enlightenment, The Age of Napoleon, the Congress of Vienna, the Rise of
Socialism, and the Unifications of Germany and Italy.
During the second marking period we will examine the History of War through a
comparative study of World War I, World War II, and the origins of the Cold War.
Students will write the infamous "War Paper" in which they compare the social,
political, intellectual, cultural, and economic causes of war; examine the
execution of war, to include major battles, strategies, and guerilla warfare
tactics; and analyze the long term military, political, economic, and societal
ramifications of war, to include its impact on women and minorities.
The third marking period will
consist of an analysis of the causes and effects of the Cold War between the
United States and the Soviet Union. We will discuss a number of themes such as
the division of the world between two competing political and economic
ideologies. Students will compare the Cold War in Europe and Asia and analyze
the development of nuclear weapons and their impact on the escalation of the
Cold War. Utilizing Socratic Seminars, we will debate the impact of the failed
Bay of Pigs invasion on the development of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Students
will also compare the Korean and Vietnam Wars as instruments of America’s policy
of containment. Finally, we will explore the evolution of America’s foreign
policy during the period, from containment to massive retaliation, to mutual
assured destruction, and finally détente. We’ll wrap up with discussions of Pope
John Paul II, Ronald Reagan, and Mikhail Gorbechev, and the role each man played
in the decisive conclusion of Cold War tensions.
syllabus explains my expectations and our activities for the next three weeks.
Under separate cover, I will provide you with important information regarding
the Internal Assessment. If you have any questions, you may contact me at the
school, 591-4700, ext 2402. My e-mail address is
and I maintain a Web site at
, which contains class notes, homework assignments, projects, as well as other
Again, I look
forward to partnering with you this year.
I.B. History of the Americas II Teacher
On the Origins of War and the
Preservation of Peace by Donald Kagan
We Now Know – Rethinking Cold War History
by John Lewis Gaddis
Outside reading assignments
In May 2008, students will take the I.B.
History of the Americas exam as well as the I.B. European History exam. As such,
reading, writing, and critical-thinking skills are integral parts of this
course. In particular, students will be responsible for all assigned reading
materials that accompany the syllabus schedule. Class lectures and additional
information will supplement the assigned text. Students will be given Daily
Reading Quizzes and it is their responsibility to complete all assigned reading
regardless of absences, field trips, or other school activities.
Daily Reading Quizzes
Internal Assessment - Historical Investigation
grades will be based on the city wide grading scale.
tests, quizzes, in-class essays, and Socratic Seminars have been enumerated in advance on the syllabus schedule.
students attending class on the day of testing will be required to take
Students are encouraged to work extensively on
their Extended Essay as well as to make revisions to their Internal Assessments,
per Ms. Rich and Mr. Valliant's recommendations. As such, no other summer
assignments have been given.
Students who fail to complete their Internal Assessment by the November deadline
will be dropped from the I.B. Diploma Programme.