Topic 08: Independence Movements

Topic 8 focuses on the emergence of new states in the 19th and 20th Centuries.

You will need to cover at least two Independence movements from different regions though it is recommended that you study three to allow students to have a choice when answering comparative questions. (Note that the focus is on independence movements seeking independence from foreign powers.)

With each independence movement you must cover the prescribed content for each of the three themes below.

The three themes for this topic are:

Origins and rise of independence movements, up to the point of independence; factors that led to the rise of the independence movements

Methods used and reasons for success: Tactics used and the role of leaders in the success of the independence movements

Challenges faced in the first 10 years, and responses to the challenges: political, economic and social challenges and how effectively they were dealt with

The full details of these themes can be found on page 31 of the 2020 IB History Guide

1. Case Study: India

India's fight for independence from British rule started in the mid 19th Century and ended in 1947 when the Indian Independence Bill came into force.


2. Case study: Ghana

Ghana was the first African country south of the Sahara to achieve independence from colonial rule. It was thus a watershed movement in twentieth century Africa.

3. Case Study: Vietnam

Vietnam's independence movement developed in resistance to French colonial rule but ended up fighting against not only the French but also the Japanese during the Second World War and then the US from 1954.

Comparative essay planning for Independence Movements

This page gives some suggestions for activities and plans which require students to use two case studies and/or to compare and contrast two case studies

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