Massachusetts World History II

Image from The Story of the Greatest Nations,

a World History textbook (1900)



Topic 1:  Absolute Power, Political Revolutions, and the Growth of Nation States, c. 1700 - 1900



1. Describe the growing consolidation of political power in Europe from 1500 to 1800 as manifested in the rise of nation states ruled by monarchs.






2. Explain the reasons for the Glorious Revolution in England and why England was the main exception to the growth of absolutism in royal power in Europe.



3. Analyze the various political, social, intellectual, and economic causes of the French Revolution, such as the effects of the Enlightenment, the rising influence of the middle class, the growing struggles of the French monarchy, and the incompetence and corruption of the monarchy and government officials.



4. Summarize the main events of the French Revolution and analyze whether the revolution achieved its goals.



5. Compare the goals and outcomes of the French and American Revolutions and analyze the short-term and long-term impact of the French Revolution on world history.






6. Analyze the causes and methods of the unification of both Italy and Germany and the effect that such unification had on the balance of power in 19th century Europe.



7. Identify the major political, social, and economic developments of Central and South America in the 19th century and analyze how those developments were similar to or different from those in Europe during the same time period.







Topic 2:  The Agricultural and Industrial Revolutions and Social and Political Reactions in Europe


1. Analyze the economic, political, and technological factors that led to the Agricultural and Industrial Revolutions.



2. Evaluate the economic and social impact of the Agricultural and Industrial Revolutions, including population growth and migration of workers from rural areas to new industrial cities, the emergence of a large middle class, the growing inequity in wealth distribution, the environmental impact of industrialization, and the harsh working and living conditions within cities.




The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selnick and the Emergence of Early Cinema 



3. Analyze how the Industrial Revolution gave rise to new political and economic philosophies such as socialism and communism, including the ideas and influence of Robert Owen and Karl Marx.



4. Explain the impact of economic and political reform movements such as labor unions on creating political reforms during the 19th century.




5. Explain how industrialization spread from Great Britain to continental Europe and the United States and how industrial development affected the political balance of power.


Magic Lantern Slide by William Henry Jackson (1894)



Topic 3:  The Global Effects of 19th Century Imperialism



1. Locate on a map key locations outside of Europe controlled by the European countries in the 19th century




2. Describe the causes of 19th century European global imperialism.



3. Analyze the impact of Western imperialism in Asia, Africa and Latin America























4. Analyze the cultural impact of colonial encounters and trade on people in Western nations.






Topic 4:  The Great Wars, 1914-1945



1. Analyze the factors that led to the outbreak of World War I, including the emergence of Germany as a great power; the rise of nationalism and weakening of multinational empires; industrial and colonial competition; militarism; and the complex alliance systems of Europe.




2. Evaluate the ways in which World War I was a total war and its impact on the warring countries and beyond.


3. Analyze the various political, social and economic consequences of World War I.





All Quiet on the Western Front



4. Evaluate the negotiation of the Treaty of Versailles and how the treaty did or did not address the various issues caused by World War I.



5. Analyze the various developments of early 20th century Russian history and the developments of the Russian Revolution within the context of World War I, the growing political and social unrest under Nicholas II, the emergence of the Bolshevik movement, the political revolutions of 1917, and the Russian Civil War.




6. Analyze later developments in Russian history, including the creation of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) in 1922, the New Economic Plan (NEP) and the creation of a Soviet economy, artistic and cultural experimentation, the death of Lenin and the cult of his personality, and the power struggle that resulted in Stalin's leadership.



One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn



7. Identify the various causes and consequences of the global economic collapse of the 1930s and evaluate how governments responded to the effects of the Great Depression.





8. Identify the characteristics of fascism and totalitarianism as exhibited in the rise of the authoritarian regimes in Italy, Germany, and the Soviet Union during the 1920s and 1930s.


1984 and Animal Farm by George Orwell



9. Evaluate the economic, social, and political conditions that allowed the rise of Hitler, Mussolini, and Stalin in their respective countries and how each dictator repressed dissent and persecuted minorities.




10. Analyze the aggression of Germany, Italy and Japan in the 1930s and early 1940s and the lack of response by the League of Nations and Western democracies.




11. Analyze the effects of one of the key battles of World War II on the outcome of the war and the countries involved.







12.  Identify the goals, leadership, strategies, and post-war plans of the Allied leaders (i.e., Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Joseph Stalin) and how wartime diplomacy affected the outcome of the war and the emergence of the Cold War.





13. Describe the Holocaust, including its roots in the long tradition of Christian anti-Semitism, 19th century ideas about race and nation, and Nazi dehumanization and planned extermination of the Jews and persecution of LGBT and Gypsy/Roma people.




14. Analyze the decision of the United States to drop atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in order to bring the war with Japan to a swift conclusion and its impact on relations with the Soviet Union.






15. Evaluate the political, economic and social consequences of World War II globally





Topic 5:  The Cold War Era, 1945-1991



1. Identify the differences in worldview between the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) and analyze how tensions between the USSR and the West led to the division of Europe.






2. Analyze the impact of transnational organizations and alliances such as the United Nations (UN), the European Economic Community (EEC), the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the Warsaw Pact, and the non-alignment movement on the developments of the Cold War.




3. Evaluate the importance of key military and political developments on the outcome of the Cold War.





4. Analyze the major developments in Chinese history during the second half of the 20th century, including the Chinese Civil War and the triumph of the Communist Revolution in China, the rise of Mao Tse-Tung and political, social, and economic upheavals under his leadership, such as the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution, the Tiananmen Square student protests in Beijing in 1989 and economic reform under the leadership of Deng Xiaoping.



Quotations from Chairman Mao 


5. Analyze the development of nationalist movements in Africa, Asia, Central and South America, and the Middle East, and evaluate how these movements and their leaders (e.g., Fidel Castro in Cuba, Patrice Lumumba in Congo, Ho Chi MInh in Vietnam, Gamel Abdul Nasser in Egypt, Jawaharlal Nehru in India and Juan Peron in Argentina) brought about decolonization and independence for nations in the second half of the 20th century.













6. Explain the reasons for the official South African government policy of apartheid (legalized racial segregation) between 1948 and 1991, and analyze how opposition by the African National Congress, including resistance leader Nelson Mandela, and international organizations such as the United Nations, contributed to the downfall of apartheid.





7. Explain the background for the establishment of the modern state of Israel in 1948, and the subsequent military and political conflicts between Israel and the Arab world.



8. Analyze the causes for the decline and collapse of the Soviet Union and the communist regimes of Eastern Europe, including the impact on people's lives of the weakness of the Soviet economy, the toll of the unending military conflict in Afghanistan, and the resistance to communism in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.



9. Evaluate of the consequences of the Soviet Union's breakup in Russia on the development of market economics, political and social instability, the danger of the spread of nuclear technology and other technologies of mass destruction to rogue states and terrorist organizations, and analyze how these consequences led to the consolidation of political power in the hands of an oligarchy during the first and second decades of the 21st century.




10. Analyze the contributing factors to and the effects of the global surge in economic productivity, the rise in living standards in Western Europe and Japan, such as the long postwar peace between democratic nations, the role of migrant workers in rebuilding postwar nations, and the policies of international economic organizations.




11. Evaluate how scientific developments of the 20th century altered understanding of the natural world, changed the lives of the general populace, and led to further scientific research.













12. Analyze how various social and intellectual movements of the second half of the 20th century changed traditional assumptions about race, ethnicity, class, gender, the environment, and religion.



Topic 6:  The Era of Globalization, 1991- Present



1. Analyze reasons for globalization-an international network of economic systems-and explain its consequences for workers in highly developed and less developed countries.





2. Analyze the major forces in the Middle East since 1980, including the rise of Islamic fundamentalism, how fundamentalism affects women and girls, the political challenges of the oil-rich Persian Gulf states, the Iranian Revolution of 1978-1979 and the Iran-Iraq War, the origins of the Persian Gulf War and the post-war actions of Saddam Hussein, the Iraq War, the Arab Spring, the growth of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS.





3. Explain the role of populist political movements, their strength in European political parties in the early 21st century and their role in the 2016 vote that led to the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union ("Brexit").


4. Analyze the rise in political and economic power of China and its increasingly critical role in global affairs.



5. Evaluate the impact of international efforts to address global issues.





Topic 7:  The Politics of Difference among People:  Conflicts, Genocide, and Terrorism



1. Distinguish between the concepts of genocide and mass atrocity and analyze the causes and consequences of genocide and mass atrocity in the modern world.



The Red Pencil by Andrea Davis Pinkney  


2. Analyze the conditions that have given rise to international terrorism including the rise of the global terror network Al-Qaeda, the Taliban, separatist movements such as ETA (Basque Separatist Movement in Spain), and ISIS, and evaluate responses by governments and societies to international terrorist activity.