GCSE History AQA B 10 Markers

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Below is an example 10 marker from a previous past paper, and if anyone could spare the time I would greatly appreciate anyone checking over it and offering any constructive feedback on it. The mark scheme is below the question for anyone wondering

Which of the following crises had more significant consequences for the League of Nations?

• the Manchurian Crisis 1931–1933
• the Abyssinian Crisis 1935–1936?

The Manchurian Crisis began in 1931 and was complete by 1933. Japan had suffered greatly due to the Depression, and unemployment caused a lack of trade, so they looked to expand. They used the excuse of a Chinese attack on a railroad to invade and claim Manchuria. Although China appealed to the League, and the League sent the Lytton Commission to investigate, it took over a year, and by then, the invasion was complete and Manchuria became Manchukuo. Similarly, the League asked for Japan to return the land, but they merely left the League and kept the territory. The Manchurian Crisis showed that the League lacked ‘teeth’, since they did not impose any sanctions, despite the ability to. This may be because they feared pushing Japan close to Germany, because the League had no army, or because France and Britain had territories in the Far East and wanted to prevent further Japanese expansion. Essentially, this was the first major issue the League had come across, and its failure to act forcefully led to other issues such as the Abyssinian Crisis led by Mussolini and later, German expansion.

The Abyssinian Crisis occurred between 1935 to 1936. Mussolini had ruled Italy since 1922 and wanted to increase Italy’s prestige. Abyssinia was one of the few countries in Africa not under European control, and the humiliating defeat of Italy at the Battle of Adowa in 1896 also fuelled Italian revenge. Once again, the victimised country, appealed to the League (through Haile Selassie). This time, the League imposed economic sanctions, but this did not include oil. This meant that Italy could still trade oil, and trade with non-League members, such as the USA. However the League did not want to push Mussolini closer to Hitler and Germany. The Hoare-Leval pact was set up by France and Britain and wanted to offer Mussolini 2/3 of Abyssinia, but this was leaked to the public. The secret pact essentially undermined the League completely, and exposed how weak the League was. The League could no longer be taken seriously, and the League was not willing to use force or use its peacekeeping role to prevent aggression. It was the true end of the League, however one could suggest the loss of the Rhineland and the lack of preventing Hitler’s German expansion could be the ultimate failure.

The Manchurian Crisis had the move devastating consequences on the League of Nations because it was the first major incident that the League had to act in. Their failure to impose any sanctions and allowance of letting Japan simply leave and keep Manchuria later encouraged Italian aggression, aka the Abyssinian Crisis, and eventually German expansion. If Japan and been harshly punished perhaps Italy wouldn’t have invaded Abyssinia in 1935, and the League wouldn’t have collapsed. On the other hand, perhaps if the League had an army to defend Manchuria, the attack would’ve been prevented, and once again, Italian aggression would have never happened. The Manchurian Crisis was the beginning of the end and began the downhill slope of the League.

Mark Scheme

Level 1

Simple descriptive comment and/or gives one reason

eg Japan was able to take Manchuria in spite of opposition from the League of Nations.
Mussolini took Abyssinia in spite of sanctions.
They led to Japan and Italy leaving the League, which weakened it.

Must cover both bullet points for top of level.

The answer demonstrates simple understanding of the rules of spelling, punctuation and grammar. It is generally coherent but basic in development.

Develops one bullet

This starts with description at the bottom of the level, then explanation and obtains top of level for assessment and focus on the question.

Marks; 1-2

Level 2

Which of the following crises had more significant consequences for the League of Nations:
The Manchurian Crisis 1931-33The Abyssinian Crisis 1935-36
For example, explanations could cover why the League of Nations was unable or unwilling to act: the Lytton Commission; no army, no sanctions etc.
Assesses the effect of this on the failure of the League of Nations: the League failed its first test against a major power and this encouraged others, eg Mussolini.

Explains the failure of attempts to solve the Abyssinian Crisis: sanctions and why they were limited; the Hoare Laval Pact etc.
Assesses the importance of this on the failure of the League of Nations: was it the end of the League? Hitler and the Rhineland; appeasement etc.

Covers both with some development or explanation

This will involve description or explanation of both with no analysis or assessment and little focus on the question.

One developed explanation or two explanations of one bullet point plus standard explanation of other bullet point for top of level.

The answer demonstrates developed understanding of the rules of spelling, punctuation and grammar. It is reasonably well organised and presented in a clear and effective manner.

Marks; 3-5

Level 3

A selective and structured account covering both bullet points, though one may be in greater depth, focused on the question or establishing some argument

eg assesses the part played by Abyssinia in the failure of the League of Nations and explains the effect of Manchuria.

NB An answer which explains both and supports the explanations with good 6-8 depth and command of knowledge can be placed at the bottom of level 3.

The answer demonstrates developed understanding of the rules of spelling, punctuation and grammar. It is well organised with an appropriate form and style of writing. Some specialist vocabulary is used.

Balanced, well-argued answer linking both parts, focused on the question

eg assesses both in depth and reaches a reasoned judgement.

Marks; 6-8

Level 4
The answer demonstrates highly developed/complex understanding of the rules of spelling, punctuation and grammar. It is well structured, with an appropriate form and style of writing. Specialist vocabulary is used effectively.

Marks; 9-10

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