History is the study of the past. This syllabus offers the opportunity to study world history from the  nineteenth century to the beginning of the twenty-first century. Learners will explore history from a diversity  of perspectives, including social, economical, cultural and political. Cambridge IGCSE History encourages  learners to raise questions and to develop and deploy historical skills, knowledge and understanding in order  to provide historical explanations.

Learners studying Cambridge IGCSE History are given the opportunity to:

• develop an interest in and enthusiasm for learning about and understanding the past

• explore historical concepts such as cause and consequence, change and continuity, and similarity and  differenceIntroduction

• appreciate historical evidence and how to use it

• gain a greater understanding of international issues and inter-relationships

• learn how to present clear, logical arguments.

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 the victors not get everything they wanted?

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

• Could the treaties be justified at the time?

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?

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?

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 the more to blame for starting the Cold War: the USA or the USSR?

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 Korea, 1950–53

• America and events in Cuba, 1959–62

• American involvement in Vietnam.

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


• How far was Gorbachev personally responsible for the collapse of Soviet control over Eastern Europe.


7 Why did events in the Gulf matter, c.1970–2000?

Focus Points

• Why was Saddam Hussein able to come to power in Iraq?

• What was the nature of Saddam Hussein's rule in Iraq?

• Why was there a revolution in Iran in 1979?

• What were the causes and consequences of the Iran-Iraq War, 1980–88?

  • Why did the First Gulf War take place?

Why did the Tsarist regime collapse in 1917?

Focus Points

• How well did the Tsarist regime deal with the difficulties of ruling Russia up to 1914?

• How did the Tsar survive the 1905 Revolution?

• How far was the Tsar weakened by the First World War?

• Why was the revolution of March 1917 successful?

2 How did the Bolsheviks gain power, and how did they consolidate their


Focus Points

• How effectively did the Provisional Government rule Russia in 1917?

• Why were the Bolsheviks able to seize power in November 1917?

• Why did the Bolsheviks win the Civil War?

• How far was the New Economic Policy a success?

3 How did Stalin gain and hold on to power?

Focus Points

• Why did Stalin, and not Trotsky, emerge as Lenin's successor?

• Why did Stalin launch the Purges?

• What methods did Stalin use to control the Soviet Union?

• How complete was Stalin's control over the Soviet Union by 1941?

4 What was the impact of Stalin's economic policies?

Focus Points

• Why did Stalin introduce the Five-Year Plans?

• Why did Stalin introduce collectivisation?

• How successful were Stalin's economic changes?

• How were the Soviet people affected by these changes?



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Key Stage 4 - History