Topic 11: Causes and effects of 20th Century wars

World history Topic 11: Causes and effects of 20th Century wars

This topic allows you study a range of 20th Century wars.

The study of each war needs to follow the three areas of 'prescribed content' and the themes identified within each area. However, the choice of case studies is entirely up to you (though you need to ensure that you have chosen wars from different regions). See below for the case studies that we have covered.

The three themes that need to be covered are:

Causes of war: economic, political, ideological, territorial as well as long-term and short-term.

Practices of war: the different types of war, guerilla, civil and wars between states; the role of technology in the outcome of the war; the role of the different theatres of war: land, sea and air, in terms of the outcome, the extent of mobilisation and the impact of foreign powers.

Effects of war: the territorial, economic, social and political impacts of war.

For a full description of the themes and prescribed content for Topic 11 please check here'

An introduction to themes and prescribed content (ATL)

This page introduces students to the topic of wars and the themes and prescribed content that they will need to cover with regard to each war that they study.For each war that you cover, you need to consider:

Case Study: Chinese Civil War

The Chinese Civil War was an attempt by two ideologically opposed forces – the Nationalist Guomindang and the Chinese Communists – to gain central control over China. There are two phases to this...

Case Study: Cuban Civil War (ATL)

The ATL on this page are designed to help students understand the causes, practices and effects of the Cuban Civil War. This works as a case study for both a civil war and a...

Case Study: First World War

The First World War is a cross-regional case study. It is also an example of a war where there is total mobilisation of human and economic resources in some of the belligerent...

Case Study: Second World War

The Second World War is a cross-regional case study. It is also an example of a war where there is total mobilisation of human and economic resources in some of the belligerent states.Due to the large...

Case Study: Spanish Civil War

More than half a million people would die in a war described by Antony Beevor in his book, The Battle for Spain, as ‘Spain’s tragedy’.The Spanish Civil war is an example of a European civil war...

Case Study: Vietnam War (ATL)

The ATL on this page are designed to help students understand the causes, practices and effects of the Vietnam War.Some videos are suggested below; other videos are on the actual...

Causes, practices and effects of wars: Graded student examples

On this page you will find sample essays on this topic, written by students and graded by examiners. We have also suggested activities that can be done with these essays.Essay One

Causes, practices and effects of wars: comparative essay planning

This page gives some suggestions for activities and plans which require students to compare two wars.Refer back to the page Essay writing for Paper Two for hints for students on how to structure comparative...

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