Tag Archives: IB History Course

HL History Topics for 2014-2015

I am pleased to announce the results of the vote for the topics we will study in the HL class this coming academic year. Topic 5 received 14 votes, topic 3 received 13 votes, and topic 9 received 9 votes. In the vote for the alternate topic, topic 6 received 6 votes. Therefore, next year’s curriculum will be as follows:

I. United States Civil War: causes, course and effects 1840-77 (1st-2nd nine weeks)
II. Emergence of the Americas in Global Affairs 1880-1929 (2nd nine weeks)
III. Political developments in the Americas after the Second World War 1945-79 (3rd nine weeks)
IV. The Mexican Revolution (3rd-4th nine weeks)

I am really looking forward to teaching these topics, and I think we will see a great deal of good reading and a high level of discussion next year.


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Filed under IB Contemporary History, IB History of the Americas

IB Contemporary History Discussion for Friday

You can find the articles for Friday’s discussion under “International Perspectives” on the BBC’s World War One website here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/worldwars/wwone/

Choose any two articles in this section, and fill out an OPVL worksheet for each.  These will be due Friday.  I will hand out the OPVL sheets in class tomorrow.

Discussion leaders will of course read all of the articles, and you will also be responsible for relevant readings in the Gilbert text.

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Filed under IB Contemporary History

Updates to Course Website

I have uploaded rubrics to the webpages for all of my courses.  The first homework assignment is now uploaded to the IB Twentieth Century and History of the Americas pages.

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Filed under IB History Course, IB History of the Americas

Class Website Links

AP and IB History students,

Some students have been having trouble getting to the course website in order to complete the Course Rules and Procedures assignment.  The URL for the course web site is https://sites.google.com/site/mrharringtonsclassroom/.  The Rules and Procedures document is available on the page titled “Classroom Rules and Procedures.”  The website can also be accessed through the Rickards High School Social Studies page: http://www.rickards.leon.k12.fl.us/html/social_studies.html.


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Filed under AP United States History, IB History Course, IB History of the Americas

Guns of August Test and Reading Discussion

Dear Juniors and Seniors,

The reading test on The Guns of August will be administered to all IB history classes on Thursday, 23 August.  The test will consist of your choice of six identification short essays (IDs) and one essay question.  You will be able to choose six out of ten IDs, and one out of two essay questions.  All test items will be based upon the guided reading questions provided on the class blog.

There will be a brief review at the beginning of class tomorrow.  I will distribute sample IDs, and we will discuss major themes of the book.  Study thoughtfully what you have read this summer, as this will be the first serious assessment for the IB history courses.

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Filed under IB History Course, IB History of the Americas

Guns of August, Chapter 21-Afterword

Barbara Tuchman wraps up her narrative prior to the “Miracle of the Marne.”  She takes the story from the origins of General von Kluck’s ill-timed turn in the face of the French army through General Gallieni’s brilliant organization of the defense of Paris.  Be thinking about Tuchman’s overall thesis, and why she finds the first two months of the First World War, as the fighting was only beginning, to be the most crucial in explaining the course and outcome of the conflict.

Chapter 21

How much discretion did German commanders have to make their own decisions in the field?  What impact did this doctrine have on the German approach to Paris?

What impact did new aviation technology have upon the course of the war on the Western Front in 1914?

Chapter 22

What were the long term effects of Joffre’s relief of seemingly ineffective generals?

How were the French able to coordinate a defense of Paris?


How does Tuchman explain the “Miracle of the Marne?”

How did the failure of the war plans of both sides effect the course of the First World War?

Why does Barbara Tuchman say that the battles of August 1914 laid a “trap from which there was, and has been, no exit?”  Is she implying that the First World War is still with us?  If so, how might this be true.

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Filed under IB History Course, IB History of the Americas

Guns of August, Chapters 19-20

This section covers the retreat of Allied forces toward Paris, and the civil-military debate over the feasibility of defending the French capital.  Be careful not to get bogged down in the Roman numerals of army corps and generals’ names.  Look instead at overall themes, such as civil versus military command of France’s armed forces, and the purely strategic versus cultural and political concerns wrapped up in the question of defending Paris.    As the French and British fall back, note the further deviations the Germans make from the original Schlieffen Plan.    At the same time, pay attention to the roles played by two very important French commanders, General Joseph-Simon Gallieni and General Joseph Joffre.

Chapter 19

What challenges did General Gallieni face when tasked with the defense of Paris?

What were Sir John French’s strategic priorities at this stage of the fighting?  How did these affect the BEF’s cooperation with its French allies?

Chapter 20

What was General Gallieni’s plan to defend Paris?  How did he implement it?

What were General Joffre’s strengths in leading the French Army during the retreat from the German offensive?

What debate existed, and among whom, over the decision to defend Paris?

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Filed under IB History Course, IB History of the Americas