AQA A2-Level History: HIS3N - Aspects of International Relations, 1945-2004

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ivybridge
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Hi, everybody.

So - the examination for AQA A2 History is on Friday 10th June at 9:00am.

I'm studying unit HIS3N - Aspects of International Relations from 1945-2004 - and wanted to open up a thread about this year's paper.

Although I am going on to study History at degree level, I could not hate this unit more. However, I have to do it and so do you! You should all remember that this unit is a conceptual unit. It's about the concepts, the relationships, and the politics. It's about the subtext and what you can interpret from various events, you merely use knowledge of the events to validate your arguments.

In this thread, I'm going to make bullet points around each topic that comes up in the exam and relevant knowledge/dates/facts. Please be aware that you follow and accept these pieces of advice and notes at your own risk. They are not extensive and it is up to you to check what you are following. Just so as you know, I have checked anything I'm not 100% sure about but still, you should be responsible for your own education.

1945 - End of World War II

The Grand Alliance collapses for the following key reasons:
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  • The Soviet Union and the West had lost a common enemy (Hitler);
  • The Americans avoided what they had agreed at Potsdam about the Soviets entering the war with Japan, by dropping the Atomic Bomb on Nagasaki and Hiroshima (1945);
  • The dropping of the Atomic Bomb also presented the United States of America as an awesome force that did not hold back - this threatened the Soviet Union, who also had a desire to lead and be the dominant world superpower;
  • Historical Factor - the Americans had attempted to crush, with Britain, the revolution in Russia. Stalin was a part of this revolution in 1917 and after the War had ended, focus returned to the underlying conflicts between the two ideologically opposing systems;
  • Ideological Factor - ideology was at the route of most problems and either sides actions can be viewed as aggressively expansionist or defensive:
- The USSR saw the formation of NATO (1949) as aggressively
defensive; why does the USA need to defend
itself if no war is to take place, especially by
collective means of security? The Soviets felt threatened.

- The Truman Doctrine and Marshall Aid (1948) were
seen as an act of monetary manipulation
and expansionism by the Soviets. The USA was
spreading its regime into Europe in order to
"contain" the Communist threat and this was achieved by
stopping the appeal to Communism which often came
through being impoverished. Such funds were also
used in order to strengthen countries to a point where they could
fight off [communist] threats.

- In keeping with the Soviet security anxiety, the USSR
refused to leave the liberated states, creating a buffer zone around
Soviet-Russian territory. This was largely due to the fact that
Germany had used the Polish Corridor to attack
Russian territory twice in Stalin's living memory. Stalin's inability
to follow what was agreed at Yalta (July, 1945), ignoring the Declaration
on Liberated Europe (1945), led to the West viewing
the Soviets as untrustworthy and aggressively expansionist.
The Soviet Union established its last satellite state loyal to Moscow in
Czechoslovakia (1948). This coup was
violent and forceful, only confirming what the West
already thought about the Soviet regime.
  • Although the Capitalist and Communist regimes had existed for a long time before the Second World War, the Nazi Regime brought the West and the USSR together at a meeting point in central Europe. This laid the foundations for conflict as a previously isolationist America could now experience the Soviet regime first hand on the continent.


I will add to this daily.
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ellawhite4686
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hey! im also doing this exam, how are you planning to do historiography?- general schools of thought or specific historians?
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ivybridge
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(Original post by ellawhite4686)
hey! im also doing this exam, how are you planning to do historiography?- general schools of thought or specific historians?
To be honest, my teacher said not to focus on that. By discussing and debating a range of takes on things, you're doing that. He said it requires light touches here and there - "the post-revisionist view that *blah*..."
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