Areas to Focus on for Paper 3 – The Americas

Taken from the IB Syllabus – “Regional Options”

4 Slavery in the Americas

conditions of enslavement: adaptation and resistance
the pro-slavery arguments
insurrections and reactions
life of the free African–Americans
pro-abolition arguments

Previous “Slavery” Questions

Why was the slave rebellion on Haiti successful, while slave rebellions elsewhere in the Americas before 1850 failed?

‘The dominant response of blacks to slavery was a complex one: a combination of adaptation and resistance.’ To what extent do you agree with this view? Support your answer with specific examples from one country of the region.

“The wasteful economy of slavery was replaced by the productive economy based on salary.”
With reference to two countries of the region, explain to what extent you agree with this view.

Who opposed slavery in the Americas, and why?

Analyze the main arguments of
(a) those who supported slavery;
(b) those who opposed slavery.

For what reasons and, in what ways, did supporters of slavery in the nineteenth century use legal, religious, and economic arguments in its defense?

5. United States Civil War: causes, course and effects

Political, Economic and Social causes
The course of the war, the role of African–American soldiers, the role of women
The impact of the war on society
Abraham Lincoln and the role of leadership
Political, economic and cultural effects
Reconstruction and the post-Reconstruction South

Previous Civil War Questions

Compare the political, economic and military strengths and weaknesses of the North and South United States at the beginning of the United States Civil War in 1861.

‘The attempts in the Reconstruction period 1865 to 1877 to solve problems caused by the Civil War failed African-Americans.’ To what extent do you agree with this statement?

Why did the South (United States) resort to secession in 1861?

“Slavery was the most important cause of the Civil War in the United States.” To what extent do you agree with this judgment?

Analyze the immediate and longer-term political effects of the United States Civil War in the period 1865 to 1896.

Why did the United States Civil War break out in 1861?

Abraham Lincoln’s leadership was the main reason why the Union won the Civil War. To what extent do you agree with this claim?

Assess the relative strengths of the North and the South at the beginning of the United States Civil War in 1861.

Chapter 10- “The Union in Peril”
Chapter 11 “The Civil War”
Chapter 12 “Reconstruction and Its Effects”

9. United States foreign policy in Latin America, 1898 to 1945
Background of United States policy
The Monroe Doctrine and its redefinitions
Establishment of spheres of influence, Spanish–American War, the big stick, Dollar
Good Neighbor Policy and wartime alliances, Franklin D Roosevelt
Central America, including Panama, Nicaragua and Cuba

Chapter 18 “America Claims an Empire”

Previous “US Foreign Policy in Latin America, 1895 to 1945” questions

For what reasons, and with what results, did the United States intervene in Latin America in the period 1898 to 1932?

To what extent was the United States foreign policy toward Latin America, in the period 1890 to1914, ‘principally guided by economic motives’? Support your views with specific examples.

Evaluate the changes in the United States policy towards Latin America from 1898 to 1941.

With reference to two countries in the region analyze the reasons for, and the effects of, the Good Neighbor Policy of the United States.

Analyze the key developments of United States policy in Latin America in the period 1898 to 1936.

The Spanish-American War of 1898 was a turning point in relations between the
United States and Latin America. To what extent do you agree with this statement?

“The main aim of Franklin Roosevelt’s policy towards Latin America (1933-45) was to improve relations between the two regions.” Assess the validity of this statement.

11 The Great Depression in the Americas
Impact of the First World War in the Americas
Economic growth in the 1920s
Causes of the Depression: United States, Canada, and Latin America
Impact on society: the changing view of government’s role in the economy; effects on Minorities
Nature and efficacy of solutions: Canada: Mackenzie King and RB Bennett; Latin
America: Vargas of Brazil and Concordancia of Argentina; USA: Hoover,
Franklin D Roosevelt and the New Deal
Import Substitution Industrialisation (ISI) in Latin America: causes and effects

Chapter 22 The Great Depression Begins
Chapter 23 The New Deal

Previous “Depression” Questions

16 Political and Economic developments in the United States after the Second World War

developments in the role of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches
presidential leadership: Truman to Bush
efforts at political and social reform
the impact of Vietnam and Watergate
economic trends
the new conservatism

Chapter 27 The Post War Boom
Chapter 32 An Age of Limits
Chapter 33 The Conservative Tide

Previous “Political and Economic Developments” questions

Assess the achievements and limitations of the domestic policies of any two Presidents of the United States of America in the period 1961 to 1988.

Explain the rise of conservative politics in the United States during the 1970s and 1980s.

To what extent, and with what results, had Ronald Reagan, by the end of his presidency, fulfilled his campaign promises in domestic policy?

Assess the achievements and limitations of the domestic policies of one of the following presidents: Lyndon B Johnson (1963–9); Jimmy Carter (1977–81); Ronald Reagan (1981–9).

“Their domestic policies brought significant improvements to the lives of many people in the United States.” To what extent do you agree with this verdict on the domestic policies of either Lyndon B Johnson (1963-68) or Ronald Reagan (1981-88)?

17 United States foreign policy, 1945 to 1995
origins of the Cold War: Truman Doctrine, Marshall Plan, Berlin Blockade and Airlift
NATO and the Korean War
Eisenhower and Dulles
Kennedy: Bay of Pigs, Berlin, Cuban Missile Crisis
Johnson, Nixon and Vietnam
Nixon–Kissinger policies, détente, relations with China
the USA and the Middle East
Reagan, Bush and the end of the Cold War

Chapter 26 Cold War Conflicts
Chapter 28 The New Frontier and the Great Society
Chapter 30 The Vietnam War Years

Previous “US Foreign Policy 1945-1995” Questions

In what ways, and to what extent, did Eisenhower’s foreign policy demonstrate the limits of American power in the 1950s?

Explain why the Cuban Missile Crisis did not cause a war between the United States and the Soviet Union.

Evaluate the aims and successes of Nixon’s and Kissinger’s policy of ‘détente’ with China and the Soviet Union.

Evaluate President Truman’s decision to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima in 1945.

Why had President Nixon ended American involvement in the Vietnam War by 1973?

“The outcome of the Vietnam War was determined not on the battlefield, but on the television screen.” How far do you agree with this judgment?

The Vietnam War had a disastrous effect on the presidencies of both Lyndon B Johnson and Richard Nixon.. To what extent do you agree with this statement?

Compare and contrast the Cold War policies of two of the following US presidents: Harry S. Truman (1945-53); Dwight D Eisenhower (1953-61); Ronald Reagan (1981-89).

Assess the successes and failures of the foreign policies of either Eisenhower (1953-61) or Kennedy (1961-63).

Analyse the aims and achievements of the foreign policies of Harry S Truman (1945–53) and George Bush (1989–93).

18 The USA civil rights movement, 1945 to 1995
The rise and expansion of the civil rights movement: causes, legal issues, tactics, Martin
Luther King Jr, the March on Washington
The changing movement: the Black Panthers, Black Muslims, Black Power and Malcolm X
Native-Americans civil rights movement
Hispanic–American activism the New Feminism
supreme court decisions, key congressional legislation, the response of the executive

Chapter 29 Civil Rights
Chapter 31 An Era of Social Change

Previous “Civil Rights Questions”

Compare the significance of the events at Little Rock, Arkansas in 1957 with those at
Birmingham, Alabama in 1963 in the campaign for civil rights by African-Americans.

Assess the impact of Martin Luther King on the Civil Rights movement.

Account for the development of the Civil Rights movement in the USA during the 1950s. To what extent had the movement achieved its aims by the time of the March on Washington (August 1963)?

In what ways, and for what reasons, did the civil rights movement in the United States make significant progress in the period 1950 to 1964?

Evaluate the impact of Black Power on the civil rights movement in the United States during the second half of the 1960s.

For what reasons, and in what ways, did the Civil Rights movement in the United States become more radical between 1965 and 1968?

What impact did ‘Black Power’ have on the civil rights movement?

19 Political and economic developments in Latin America after the Second World War

revolutions and their causes and effects: political, economic, social and ideological
role of leadership
the Cuban Revolution and Castro’s regime
economic changes
Guatemala, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Chile or a country of the candidate’s choice
military regimes: causes and effects
return to democracy
the role of the Catholic church

Burns, Various Cuba Readings

Previous “Political and Economic developments in LA after the Second World War” questions

Analyse the factors which contributed to the revolutions in one of the following countries: Guatemala, Nicaragua, or Chile.

Why did Cuba become a Marxist-Leninist state closely tied to the Soviet Union by 1961?

Explain why the United States overthrew the Arbenz government in Guatemala in 1954.

Explain why the Cold War provided favorable circumstances for the establishment of
military leaders in any two countries in Latin America.

For what reasons, and with what results for the economy of Cuba, did Castro become ruler of Cuba?

In what ways, and with what results, did the Cold War influence relations between either
Latin America or Canada with the United States in the period 1945 to 1957?

Compare and contrast the causes of two revolutionary movements in Latin America after 1945.

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