At the turn of the 20 th century:

  • • How did imperialism OR nationalism OR industrialization OR militarism OR demographic transformations shape international relations at the turn of the 20 th century?
  • • What factors led to the outbreak of the First World War? (You could analyze one or several of the many causes of the war.)

The Great War:

  • • What were the war aims OR military strategies of the various belligerents in World War I? How did they evolve in the course of the war?
  • • How was the Great War the first truly global conflict?
  • • Examine the role of diplomacy in the Great War. Was it a positive or negative influence in prolonging the war?
  • • How did technology, strategy, and attitudes of (political and military) leaders ensure the persistence of trench warfare?
  • • What role did the United States play in the First World War?

The Peace Settlements:

  • • What factors contributed to the shaping of the Paris Peace Settlement?
  • • Why did the Paris Peace Settlement fail to preserve peace in Europe?
  • • Was the Treaty of Versailles responsible for the outbreak of the Second World War?
  • • To what extent did self-determination resolve conflicts between nation-states?

Emergence of Communism:

  • • What was the impact of the Bolshevik Revolution on international relations during and immediately after the First World War?
  • • How did the foreign policy of the Soviet Union shape international relations in the 1920s and 1930s?

Far East:

  • • What were the causes OR consequences of the Russo-Japanese War?
  • • What were the causes OR consequences of the Boxer Rebellion?
  • • How did the rise of Japanese imperialism shape international relations in the Far East?
  • • What impact did the decline and collapse of the Imperial China have on international relations in East Asia?
  • • Can the Manchurian Incident be considered a turning point in Far Eastern international relations?
  • • What were the main causes of the outbreak of the Sino-Japanese War of 1937?
  • • Examine the reasons behind the Japanese decision to attack Pearl Harbor.

Rise of Fascism:

  • • What were the chief goals of the Italian foreign policy under Benito Mussolini? Were any of them achieved?
  • • What were the foreign policy aims of fascist states?
  • • Why did radical ideologies become popular by the late 1920s and the 1930s?

The Roaring Twenties:

  • • How did the League of Nations perform in the 1920s to ensure peace around the world?
  • • How lasting and quick was the economic recovery of the various powers in the 1920s?
  • • To what extent did Locarno ensure peace in Europe?
  • • Was the United States isolationist in the interwar years?

Middle East, Africa and East Asia in the Interwar Years:

  • • How did the conflicting promises of the Great Powers and the collapse of the Ottoman Empire during World War I shape the post-war settlement in the Middle East?
  • • Compare and contrast British and French policy in the Middle East in the interwar years.
  • • How did the growing importance of oil affect the international relations in the Middle East?
  • • How did the growing struggle for liberation affect the situation in Africa in the interwar years?
  • • How did India’s calls for self-rule in the interwar years affect British imperialism and the broader international order?

World War II:

  • What factors contributed to the outbreak of the Second World War?
  • Why did appeasement fail to preserve peace in the 1930s? Was it a rational and viable policy?
  • What impact did the Great Depression have on international relations?
  • Why was Nazi Germany militarily successful in the first two years of the Second World War?
  • Compare and contrast the American and Soviet contributions to the allied victory in World War II?

Historical figures and their impact on international relations:

With the permission of the instructor, you can write on any historical figure of your interest:

Arthur Balfour; Edward Benes; Leon Blum; Aristide Briand; Neville Chamberlain; Chiang Kai-Shek; Winston Churchill; Georges Clemenceau; Adolf Hitler; John Maynard Keynes; William Lyon Mackenzie; Lenin; David Lloyd George; Mao Tse-Tung; Benito Mussolini; Nicholas II; Joseph Stalin; Woodrow Wilson; Kemal Ataturk; Gustav Stresemann; Emperor Hirohito; etc.

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