15: Diplomacy in Europe (1919–1945)

This topic covers the inter-war period as states sought to deal with the repercussions of the First World War, to establish peace treaties and to secure the peace of Europe through collective security and the League of Nations. It also examines the foreign policies of France, Britain, Germany, Italy and Russia and the events that led to the outbreak of war in 1939. The final section is on the Second World War and the reasons for Germany's defeat.

This section overlaps with content covered in other topics and which have been examined elsewhere on this website. The specific places where the ATL can be found are given as links below with the relevant syllabus bullet points.

However, we have also done some additional activities for this topic to allow some areas to be covered in more detail; these can be found on the ATL page in this section Diplomacy in Europe, ATL 

In addition specific paper 3 style essay planning for this topic and specific paper 3 essays that have been marked by examiners can also be found in this section.

The bullet points of content for Diplomacy in Europe are given below with links to relevant pages elsewhere on the site which can be used along side the extra ATL in this section.

  • The terms and impact of the First World War Peace Settlements.

  • The League for Nations and search for collective security

  • The foreign policies of Italy and Germany:
  •  The actions of Britain, France and Russia after 1919; collective security and appeasement.

See the pages above on causes of the Second World War and Italian and German expansion as well as the ATL in this section.


  • The course of the Second World War and the reasons for German defeat
  •  The impact of the Second World War on the civilian populations of at least two countries;

In addition to the links above, we have done specific pages for this topic:

5. Diplomacy in Europe: Graded student essays

Here you can find essays that have been written by students and graded by IB examiners.‘Chamberlain was motivated by a fear of communism during the Munich Crisis.’ Discuss.The following essay was...

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