IB History of the Americas – 12th Grade – SYLLABUS
Ken Spiegelman, B.A., J.D., Ph.D. (candidate) – Instructor
305-532-4515 xt. 2702
COURSE DESCRIPTION: This is the 2d year of the IB History of the Americas HL Course. The first year,
taken in the 11th grade, is AP US History. The 12th grade year is the IB History of the Americas HL course.
This course will focus on the History of the Americas (U.S., Canada and Central and South America as
well as the Caribbean). In addition, the Paper #1 topic (Arab-Israeli conflict from 1945-1979) will be
addressed as well as the two Paper #2 topics that have been selected (Conflicts of the 20th century and
the Cold War). The Paper #3 topics that will be addressed are (1) the U.S. Civil War, (2) the Mexican
Revolution, and (3) World War II.
COURSE MATERIALS Cannon, et al., 20th Century World History – Course Companion
Keen, et al., A History of Latin America
IB History of the Americas Workbook
Penguin History of Canada
Additional reading material will be provided. Students will be expected to provide their own
copies of the following:
Collins, et al., O, Jerusalem
Walker, Martin, The Cold War: A History
Steinbeck, John, Once There was a War (Penguin Classics edition)
Weisel, Elie, Dawn
Hansen, The Civil War: A History
1. You are seniors and are expected to act as adults
2. NO CHEATING! NO PLAGIARISM! There are NO EXCUSES and I have a ZERO TOLERANCE policy.
The school’s academic integrity policy applies. You will also be referred to administration and to
the Scholars/IB coordinator for the consideration of additional consequences. A second offense
in any class will cause you to fail the course for the year. Any cheating or plagiarism, even a first
offense, on an IB assessment (for example, an IB test, IA or EE) will cause immediate failure of
the course and removal from the IB program. In addition, any episode of cheating will cause me
to contact any schools for which I may have written you a reference. I will withdraw the
reference and explain why to the school. This also applies to any scholarships to which I may
have written a reference on your behalf.
3. DEADLINES ARE DEADLINES!!!! Do not turn in work late! All homework/outside work is due at
the beginning of your class … not at 220 PM after your frantically completed it in another class.
If it is not in the blue homework bin at the start of class, it is a “Z”.
4. Keep a notebook. If I check for your notebook and you do not have it, you will get a failing grade
5. NO FOOD OR DRINK other than water in my room! NO CHEWING GUM EVER! First violation is a
warning. Thereafter, you will suffer a conduct grade drop for each episode.
6. No electronic devices! If I see or hear them, I take them and turn them in to the office! If you
use them during a test or quiz or class assignment, I assume you are cheating and rule 2 applies.
If I see or hear a phone during a test, quiz, or class assignment I will assume you are cheating.
7. Be polite.
8. You may NOT, under any circumstances, email work to me WITHOUT MY PRIOR PERMISSION!
If I give you that permission, your work must be in the body of the email, not in an attachment.
I will NEVER open an attachment from a student.
9. MANAGEBAC – I will post messages, deadlines and assignments on Managebac. You MUST keep
up with it. It is your responsibility
10. Handwriting – If I cannot read your handwriting, the work goes back to you and you have 15
minutes to rewrite legibly.
11. WRITE IN BLUE OR BLACK PEN ONLY!!!!!! Pencils are for math class and scantrons. I WILL NOT
READ ANY ESSAY WRITTEN IN PENCIL!
12. PLEASE NOTE MY CLASS HOURS. If you want to meet with me, come during my available times.
13. My desk and computer are completely off limits. The smartboard is not a toy.
I am available all weekdays from 7 – 7:20 AM as well as most days from 2:20 to 2:35 PM. I am
available by appointment during my planning period. I will meet with you during lunch with a
The Rough Draft of your Internal Assessment (“IA”) is worth 4 grades. It is due on October 17,
2011. Your final draft of the IA will be due on January 6, 2012, NO
Neither the rough draft nor the final draft will be accepted late.
What you will turn in with your final draft:
1. Everything will be given to me in an 8.5 x 14” brown manila envelope. Your
name, Student ID, my name and your email address and phone number will be written on the
manila envelope in the top right hand corner.
Inside the envelope will be:
2. 2 copies of the IA
3. Your original outline, annotated outline with my grades and notes
4. Your index cards from your research
5. A small external zip drive with your paper on it in Word format – nothing else
should be on the zip drive. No password on the drive.
6. Your IA rough draft with my grade and notes.
Failure to turn in your IA on time will result in lowering of your annual grade one full letter
grade. PLEASE ALSO REMEMBER THE IA IS AN ABSOLUTE REQUIREMENT FOR THE IB DIPLOMA!!!!
QUIZZES: You will get 1 week notice of all non-pop quizzes (by definition, pop quizzes are
TESTS: You will get 2 weeks’ notice of all tests
FIRST SEMESTER – TOPICS
1. The American Civil War and Reconstruction – Causes and Effects 1840-1877
(special focus on: Cotton economy, slavery, abolition and resistance, Origins of the War,
sectionalism and crises, Union v. Confederacy, Major leaders such as Grant and Lee, Sherman and
Jackson, Lincoln and Davis, Major Battles such as Antietam and Gettysburg, foreign influence,
Reconstruction, African Americans, Jim Crow laws, Black Codes).* This list is not meant to be exhaustive.
NOTE: THIS TOPIC IS ONLY FOR PAPER 3 AND SHOULD NOT EVER BE USED ON PAPER 2!!!!
2. The Mexican Revolution 1910-1940
Special focus on the Causes of the revolution, the Porfiriato regime, Carranza, Madero, Villa,
Zapata, the Constitution of 1917, the post-revolutionary state, Obregon, Calles and the Maximato,
Cardenas, foreign powers, arts, education, music (Siqueros, Rivera,Orozco), Vasconcelo’s educational
reforms, literature. *Again, this list is not meant to be exhaustive. (this topic could be part of paper 2
3. Other Conflicts of the 20th Century
Special Focus on World War II and the Americas (1933-1945) – with an emphasis on hemispheric
reactions to the events in Europe, diplomacy, FDR’s good neighbor policy, role of countries of the
Western Hemisphere, social impact on African Americans, Native Americans, women and minorities,
conscription, Japanese Americans and Japanese Canadians, the Holocaust, Technology and the coming
of the atomic age, economic impacts. (This topic will be part of both paper 2 and 3)
Other conflicts to be examined:
First World War (1914-1918)
Algerian War (1954-62)
Nigerian Civil War (1967-1970)
Falklands/Malvinas War (1982)
Indo-Pakistan Wars (1947-1949, 1965, 1971)
Spanish Civil War (1936-1939)
Chinese Civil War (1927-37 & 1946-1949)
Nicaraguan Revolution (1976-1979)
1991 Gulf War
SECOND SEMESTER – TOPICS
1. COLD WAR
Special focus on:
Wartime Conferences – Yalta and Potsdam
US Policies in Europe – Truman Doctrine, Marshall Plan, NATO
Soviet policies and Sovietization, COMECON, Warsaw Pact
Germany – Berlin (1945-61)
Korea, Cuba, Vietnam, Middle East
Major Leaders including Castro, Gorbachev, Nixon, Kennedy, Mao, Stalin, Reagan and Truman
2. Arab-Israeli Conflict 1945-1979
Special Focus on:
End of the British Mandate
UNSCOP partition and civil war
Establishment of Israel and the Arab response and the 1948-1949 War
Palestinian Diaspora of 1947 and onwards
Economic development of Israel
1956 Suez Crisis – including role of Britain, USA, France, USSR, Israel and the UN
Arabism and Zionism
1967 Six Day War
1973 Yom Kippur/October War
The role of the USA, USSR, and UN
Camp David Accords
In the time remaining, we will prepare for the IB Test – of course, we will be preparing all year!
FINAL EXAM PROJECT
For your final you will have a project. You will pick a song from the Beatles (one of my favorite bands).
Using the music you will do a video slideshow/presentation based on one of the topics we went over
this year. For example, you could run a slideshow about the Mexican Revolution to the song
“Revolution”. (Now, you cannot use that one…)
These must be on a CD and must be playable on a school computer so I suggest you check it before you
bring it in for review. It should include your name and the class name. This will be your subjective
There will be an objective test on the Arab-Israeli Conflict, only.
By signing below the student and parent agree to all of the class rules/policies set out in the IB History of
the Americas 12th Grade Syllabus. This acknowledgment will be kept on file by the teacher.
Student Signature and Printed Name
Parent Signature and Printed Name