Mr. Davis's
United States History Class


Warwick High School | 51 Copeland Lane | Newport News, VA 23601 | (757) 591-4700 | Fax 596-7415

IB U.S. History Assignments Average U.S. History Assignments Honors U.S. History Assignments

20th Century Topics Parent Letter

Welcome to IB History of the Americas II!

September 5, 2006

Dear Parent or Guardian,

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 Americas II 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.

The attached 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 useful information.

Again, I look forward to partnering with you this year.


Mikael Davis
I.B. History of the Americas II Teacher


1.     Patterns of Interaction  

2.   On the Origins of War and the Preservation of Peace by Donald Kagan

3.   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.


 Unit Tests

 Daily Reading Quizzes

 Internal Assessment - Historical Investigation

 All grades will be based on the city wide grading scale.

 All tests, quizzes, in-class essays, and Socratic Seminars have been enumerated in advance on the syllabus schedule.

 All students attending class on the day of testing will be required to take the test.


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.




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