Course Overview

Course Overview

Conflict and Tension: 1918-1939

The following is taken from the Exam Board Specification - this tells you everything you need to know for the exam.

If you want the TL;DR, scroll down.

This wider world depth study enables students to understand the complex and diverse interests of different individuals and states including the Great Powers. It looks at concepts such as national self-determination, ideas of internationalism and the challenges of revising the peace settlement. It focuses on the causes of the Second World War and seeks to show how and why conflict occurred and why it proved difficult to resolve the issues which caused it. This study also considers the role of key individuals and groups in shaping change, as well as how they were affected by and influenced international relations.

__Part one: Peacemaking __

  1. The armistice: aims of the peacemakers; Wilson and the Fourteen Points; Clemenceau and Lloyd George; the extent to which they achieved their aims.
  2. __The Versailles Settlement: __Diktat; territorial changes; military restrictions; war guilt and reparations.
  3. __Impact of the treaty and wider settlement: __reactions of the Allies; German objections; strengths and weaknesses of the settlement, including the problems faced by new states.

__Part two: The League of Nations and international peace __

  1. The League of Nations: its formation and convenant; organisation; membership and how it changed; the powers of the League; the work of the League’s agencies; the contribution of the League to peace in the 1920s, including the successes and failures of the League, such as the Aaland Islands, Upper Silesia, Vilna, Corfu and Bulgaria.
  2. Diplomacy outside the League: Locarno treaties and the Kellogg-Briand Pact.
  3. The collapse of the League: the effects of the Depression; the Manchurian and Abyssinian crises and their consequences; the failure of the League to avert war in 1939.

__Part three: The origins and outbreak of the Second World War __

  1. The development of tension: Hitler’s aims and Allied reactions; the Dollfuss Affair; the Saar; German rearmament, including conscription; the Stresa Front; Anglo-German Naval Agreement.
  2. Escalation of tension: remilitarisation of the Rhineland; Mussolini, the Axis and the Anti-Comintern Pact; Anschluss; reasons for and against the policy of appeasement; the Sudeten Crisis and Munich; the ending of appeasement.
  3. The outbreak of war: __the occupation of Czechoslovakia; the role of the USSR and the Nazi-Soviet Pact; the invasion of Poland and outbreak of war, September __1939; responsibility for the outbreak of war, including that of key individuals: Hitler, Stalin and Chamberlain.

In Summary: The Content

This exam is essentially all about how the Second World War started. More specifically, it is about how Europe went from making Peace in 1918 to making war in 1939.

You will absolutely need to know the following cornerstone events of the period:

  1. The Treaty of Versailles
  2. The Great Depression
  3. Manchuria and Abyssinia
  4. Anschluss
  5. The Annexation of Czechslokia and Munich Conference
  6. The outbreak of the Second World War