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November: New resources, new books and Armistice Day

Wednesday 3 November 2021

Site update

We have added a lot more content and ATL on Spain to Paper 3, Europe region, Topic 14, Europe in the Inter-war years:

And we have now added a marked exemplar for Paper 3, Americas region, Topic 10:

In the pipe-line...

Topic 12: The Ottoman Empire (1800-1923) for Paper 3, Africa and the Middle East - coming soon!


We have discussed Armistice Day several times in these blogs, and the opportunity that this gives for History IB students to play a role in explaining to the rest of your school the significance of this event.

I’ve used Siegfried Sassoon’s poem Aftermath at several Remembrance Assemblies; students can read it out - or this version by Jeremy Irons is very moving.

(This excerpt comes from Episode 7 of 'The Great War, 1914 to 1918' which deals with the impact the war, including responses to the horror of the war. The link and ATL for this video can be found here: 3. First World War: Effects (ATL)

The BBC site also has Assembly resources that can be used:

Armistice Day Resources (BBC)

A collection of content to use with Primary and Secondary pupils to mark Armistice Day.

 In addition, 2021 marks the 100th Anniversary  of the association of the Poppy with remembering those who have died in the war. This article gives the interesting history of the use of the poppy as a symbol of remembrance.

The History Press | The poppy as a symbol of remembrance (

The poppy is the symbol of remembrance for the millions of soldiers who lost their lives in conflict but its history is not as clear cut as is always assumed.

History in the news

The conflict between mainland China and Taiwan is very much in the news at the moment providing opportunities to re-visit with students the history of the conflict.

What's behind the China-Taiwan divide? (BBC News)

China sees Taiwan as a breakaway province, but many Taiwanese people want a separate nation.

This article from Council for Foreign Relations gives an excellent overview of the current state of relations:

Why China-Taiwan Relations Are So Tense (Council on Foreign Relations)

Differences over Taiwan’s status have fueled rising tensions between the island and the mainland. Conflict over Taiwan also has the potential to be a flash point in U.S.-China relations.

New books

Perfect timing for our next topic to be published on the site (see above):


The Ottomans by Marc David Baer | Waterstones (

A timely refutation of the prevailing western narrative of the Ottoman Empire, Marc David Baer’s engaging and original new history explores the rich diversity, cultural legacy, ruthless ambition and bloodthirsty rule of a world-changing dynasty from its roots to its demise.

For those of you covering PS2 for Paper 1, Conquistadores: A New History, by Fernando Cervantes, which was published in 2020, is now out in paper back. This book sets out to re-frame the story of the conquistadores and the atrocities that took place:

But while Conquistadores unflinchingly narrates the excesses of Cortés and others, including Francisco Pizarro, who conquered Peru, Cervantes argues for a “badly needed re-evaluation [that] should also allow us to see through the persistent condemnations of the legacy of the conquistadors as directly responsible for the ills that afflict modern Latin America” (Financial Times)

Conquistadores — greed, gold and guilt in a revisiting of colonialism (

Fernando Cervantes’ book details the cruel and complicated story of the Spanish conquest of the Americas




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