A2 Unit 4 Student Handbook

Progression from AS to A2
The issue of progression in History is formidably complex. A mass of research exists to demonstrate that progression is anything but linear. Nor, unlike many other subjects — particularly the sciences — can it plausibly be contended that certain ‘lower-level’ skills have to be mastered before ‘more-demanding’ skills can be demonstrated. Indeed, some would argue that the very use of the phrases ‘lowerlevel skills’ and ‘more-demanding skills’ is conceptually illiterate in a subject like History. It is, however, true that the more historical knowledge students accumulate, and the more opportunity they have to practise a range of skills, the more wellgrounded and convincing their overall judgements tend to be. History is a subject in which the ability to make appropriate links and connections between issues, events, individuals and even periods grows with confidence, maturity and greater knowledge. Assumptions concerning progression in this specification are, therefore, offered tentatively and with the recognition that not everything candidates are faced with in the A2 section of their GCE course will necessarily be ‘harder’ than everything they tackled in the AS section.

Key Step Up
The need to give candidates more opportunity to produce extended forms of historical writing. This is met largely, though not exclusively, in Unit 4 either in the form of a full essay or a personal investigation — the ‘Individual Assignment’ — the outcome of which is expressed in extended prose. Essays and extended prose offer the opportunity to develop and sustain an argument and thus represent the most effective means of demonstrating a range of historical skills, often in interaction. The examiners do see a conceptual distinction between the forms of ‘extended writing’ required in AS and the essay at A2. Essays also present an appropriate link with higher education for those going on to read History at that level.

6524G A Great Power Challenged at Home and Abroad: The USA in the Second Half of the Twentieth Century i Containing Communism? The USA in Asia, 1950–73 1• The Korean War, 1950–3 0• The implications of French retreat from South East Asia for political stability and the conflict between capitalism and communism 2• The Vietnam War: increased US participation, from military advisors to military engagement 3• Reaction to the Vietnam War among different political and social groups within the USA; its implications for the war and its outcome.
i Containing Communism? The USA in Asia, 1950–73 The main focus of this option is on the United States’ reaction to ideological and political developments in Asia which the US considered threatening to its position. The phrase ‘the Korean War’ in the specification encompasses not only the reasons for, and nature and costs of, US involvement but also controversies within the US arising out of the war. These include the sacking of MacArthur, the extension of the war to China, and debates about the possible use of nuclear weapons. Questions will not be set directly on France’s role in Indo-China to 1954 although knowledge and understanding of US involvement and assistance to France and the significance of France’s withdrawal for the USA and the balance of power in South-East Asia is required. The phrase ‘Reaction to the Vietnam War’ relates to controversy within the US about the conduct and course of the war during the 1960s and early 1970s. Comparative questions on the wars in Korea and Vietnam will not be set. Questions will not be set which require knowledge or understanding of the outcome of the war after 1973. It should be noted that three of the four bullet points relate to SouthEast Asia. The term ‘South East Asia’ refers to what was until 1954 French Indo-China — that is, essentially Vietnam but also Laos and Cambodia. It does not refer to Korea which is not in South East Asia. There is no guarantee that Korea and the Korean war will be visited on every examination paper.

Reading List
Ambrose S — Rise to Globalism: American Foreign Policy since 1938 (Penguin, 1993) Bragg C — Vietnam, Korea and US Foreign Policy, 1945–75 (Heinemann, Advanced

History, 2006) Edwards O — The USA and the Cold War, Second Edition (Hodder Murray, Access to History, 2002) Farmer A and Sanders V — An Introduction to American History, 1860–1990 (Hodder Murray, 2002) Hall M — The Vietnam War (Longman, Seminar Studies, 2000) Lee S M — The Korean War (Pearson Education, 2001) Logevall P — The Origins of the Vietnam War (Pearson Education, 2001) Murphy D — JFK and LBJ (Collins Education, Flagship Historymakers, 2004) Murphy D, Cooper K and Waldron M — United States, 1776–1992 (Collins Educational, Flagship History, 2001) Ruane K — War and Revolution in Vietnam, 1930–1975 (University College London Press, 1998) Sanders V — The USA and Vietnam, 1945–1975, Second Edition (Hodder Murray, Access to History, 2002) 6524G - Paper 4G Mark Scheme A Great Power Challenged at Home and Abroad: the USA in the Second Half of the Twentieth Century Option I – Containing Communism? The USA in Asia, 1950-73 1 ‘ The United States never made a conscious decision to intervene in Vietnam in the years 1954-65; rather it was sucked into an on going conflict.’ How far do you agree with judgement? (60) Indicative content This invites consideration of the evolving US military entanglement in Vietnam. Candidates may address as background the extensive financial support to the French but the essay’s chronological parameters should be respected although an excellent start might be made by drawing attention to Eisenhower’s refusal of decisive support to the French at Dien Bien Phu. Candidates are likely to address the indirect but substantial involvement after the Geneva Settlement in support of the Diem regime under Eisenhower, the escalating help under Kennedy and finally the extensive military deployment under Johnson. At Level 3 and above this will be analysed in terms of the proposition on offer for debate with some attempt made to define terminology ie ‘sucked into’ and ‘a conscious decision’ but these may be treated simply at level 3. the latter phrase is likely to be analysed in terms of the significant increases in commitment, in which case such developments as MAAG’s taking over the training of the South Vietnamese army in 1956 or Kennedy’s dispatch of special forces in 1961 and most likely Johnson’s escalation after the Tonkin resolution could all be cited as the result of ‘conscious decisions’. 2 ‘In the years 1968-73 it was the limited commitment of military resources to the Vietnam conflict that accounts for the lack of success of the USA.’ How far do you agree with this judgement? (60) Indicative content

This question invites candidates to consider through a causal analysis the reasons why the United States ultimately failed in Vietnam. There will be some consideration of the course of the war but it is hoped that this will be focused on the period 1968-73 rather than a very generalised survey of 1964-68. There is likely to be a real analysis of the Tet Offensive of 1968 and its impact but also of the escalating air war in the 1970s. At level 3 and above the military outcome will be judged against the commitment of military resources, the limited (or otherwise) nature of which will be assessed. This stated factor will be set against other issues such as domestic pressure on the administration, escalating costs and its effects on the dollar’s stability, changing diplomatic circumstances etc. At the highest levels there should be an informed debate on the decision taken after Tet to refuse Westmoreland’s request for the call up of an additional 206,000 men and to interpret Tet as a defeat instead of the military victory it was (58,000 out of 84,000 Viet Cong destroyed). Candidates should debate whether this was a missed opportunity by the North and Viet Cong given a respite by the decision to begin withdrawing troops-down to 140,000 by the end of 1971. On the other side, the scale of US commitment of resources was vast: half a million men by 1968, 58,000 killed in the conflict and 300,000 wounded by 1973.The tonnage of bombs dropped by the USAAF exceeded that dropped by all sides in the Second World War.
6524 GCE History Summer 2007 23

Grade descriptions
The following grade descriptions indicate the level of attainment characteristic of the given grades A, C and E at Advanced GCE. They give a general indication of the required learning outcomes at the specified grade. The descriptions should be interpreted in relation to the content outlined in the specification; they are not designed to define that content. The grade awarded will depend in practice upon the extent to which the student has met the assessment objectives overall. Shortcomings in some aspects of the examination may be balanced by better performances in others.

Grade A
Students recall, select and deploy relevant, detailed and comprehensive knowledge drawn from the study of the specification content. They respond critically to the main issues, presenting the discussion in a thorough and analytical style. Accurate and comprehensive understanding of key terms and concepts is demonstrated in the explanations and conclusions drawn and placed in their historical context. Students demonstrate clear understanding of the complexities of the process of change, its causes and consequences, drawing comparisons, making links and reaching considered and reasoned conclusions. Students demonstrate awareness of a range of differing perspectives on the past, making connections, comparisons and contrasts and placing them in context. Students extract, evaluate and synthesise information, ideas and attitudes from a range of source material, placing them in context and integrating them effectively into coherent arguments and explanations. Students demonstrate clear understanding of how historical events, topics and personalities have been interpreted, making well-supported and balanced judgements about these interpretations which are communicated with clarity and precision.

Grade C
Students recall, select and organise relevant and detailed knowledge drawn from their study of the specification content to respond effectively to the main issues. Their response is presented in a largely analytical form. Understanding of key terms and concepts is well developed and used to support explanations and conclusions, placed in their historical context. Students demonstrate clear awareness of causes and consequences in relation to the process of change, making some links and drawing conclusions. Students demonstrate knowledge and clear understanding of a range of differing perspectives on the past, and make connections between them. Students evaluate and synthesise information and ideas from a range of source material, placing them in context in order to construct clear explanations and substantiated arguments. Students demonstrate understanding of how historical events, topics and individuals have been interpreted, making reasoned judgements about these interpretations which are communicated effectively.

Grade E
Students recall and select relevant information from the themes, topics and periods studied to provide a largely relevant but unfocused response to the main issues, which may be in narrative or discursive form. Key terms and concepts are used and applied with some accuracy. Students demonstrate understanding of historical change, for instance by showing awareness of causes and consequences relating to specific developments. Students demonstrate awareness of a variety of factors which contribute to an understanding of the past and make some connections between them. Students extract information from a range of source material and use it to construct an explanation. Students demonstrate awareness that historical events, topics and individuals have been interpreted in different ways and can offer conclusions which may be underdeveloped or largely unsubstantiated.

Unit 4 (examination alternative)
Unit 4 requires students to answer one essay question out of the four which will be set on each of the seven unit options (two on section i and two on section ii). The unit targets AO1 alone — both AO1a (the ability to recall, select and deploy historical knowledge and understanding of history in a clear and effective manner) and AO1b (the ability to present historical explanations showing understanding of history in a clear and effective manner). The maximum raw mark available for Unit 4 questions as a whole is 60 marks. This is the part of the specification which in assessment terms will be most familiar to centres. Unit 4 content is assessed by means of ‘traditional’ essay questions of the kind that appeared in pre-2002 A level examinations set by all the awarding bodies. Unit 4 questions will be ‘traditional’ essays in that they will consist of a single question stem and will not be ‘structured’ by being divided explicitly into two distinct parts as is the case with Unit 2 questions. Some Unit 4 questions, however, may call for two distinct pieces of explanation rather than one. Broadly speaking, Unit 4 essay questions present candidates with one of two kinds of challenge. Some of the questions call for an analysis of the causes, or perhaps the causes and consequences, of an historical event or episode. Other questions require candidates to make and to justify an historical judgement about, for example, the significance of a key event or individual.

Causal questions
Causal questions may appear in a variety of forms. • Single-focus causal questions — for example ‘Why did relations between England and Spain deteriorate so sharply in the years 1578–1585?’ Such questions can be described as ‘one-part’ simply in the sense that there is one event, episode or issue to be explained. These will not normally be set for Unit 4, but are a feature of questioning at AS level. • Double-focus causal questions — for example ‘Why was Peel, as leader of the Conservative Party, admired by some of his followers but distrusted by others?’. Questions of this kind call for two distinct sets of causes or reasons to be given; in this instance, one set relates to admiration and the other set relates to distrust. With questions of this type it goes without saying that it is very important to strike an appropriate balance between the two parts of the question. Preoccupation with one part and neglect of the other will result in a significantly unbalanced answer. • ‘Indirect’ causal questions — for example ‘‘Charles II’s restoration to the English throne owed more to good luck on behalf of him and his advisers than it did to their good judgement.’ How far do you agree with this view?’ Or ‘‘The abolition of the Corn Laws owed nothing to the efforts of the Anti-Corn Law League.’ How far do you agree with this judgement?’ Questions of this kind might be called ‘indirect’ causal questions not, of course, because the examiners have any intention to mislead but simply because they present a less obviously causal trigger than questions which begin ‘Why...?’ or ‘Account for...’. Typically the ‘indirect’ causal question offers a claim about causes which candidates are invited to assess not only by examining the cause which features in the question but with reference also to other causes of which they have knowledge. This type of question might be seen as a little more challenging than one-part or two-part causal questions because it explicitly calls for comment on the relative importance of causes. In practice, however, the best answers to the more straightforwardly phrased type of causal question offer comment on the relative

importance of causes and are rewarded for doing so. Answers to questions focusing on causation are not infrequently undermined by a narrative approach in which events are described sequentially or chronologically and relevant causes are identified only implicitly. Candidates ought not to be left in any doubt that a narrative response to Unit 4 questions, and indeed to causal questions in other units, whether AS or A2, will not score highly, however great the weight of information they contain. Developing a candidate’s appreciation of the difference between narrative and causal analysis is something that can take time but consideration of two brief pieces of historical writing — the former narrative and the latter analytical — of a key event in English history might be a useful starting point: The battle continued from early morning until dusk. The Norman attacks were beaten off as steadily as the French attacks at Waterloo. At one moment the Normans retreated in some confusion and were only rallied by Duke William's prompt intervention. This retreat proved the undoing of the English army. A number of the English broke ranks and pursued the Normans who, when they had recovered, turned and cut them down. Later in the day, we are told, the Normans repeated the manoeuvre. By such means, the English shield-wall was gradually whittled away. As dusk was falling King Harold himself was killed. (C N L Brooke, From Alfred to Henry III, 1961) The Normans alone possessed cavalry. Skilful use of mounted knights seems to have been a very important element in William's victory. The Normans also possessed a predominance, perhaps a decisive predominance, of archers. It is now agreed that Harold was probably mistaken in hastening south after Stamford Bridge, and certainly mistaken in engaging in a pitched battle so soon with tired troops, indeed with, to all appearance, only a part of his army. It is further agreed that Harold met in William a commander abler than himself both in judgement of immediate tactical situations and in general strategic grasp. (H Loyn, The Norman Conquest, 1965)

Judgement questions
Typical stems for questions which call for candidates to make and to justify an historical judgement about, for example, the significance of a key event or individual include: • How far do you agree that ...? • How important ...? • Examine the validity of the claim that ... • To what extent ...? (perhaps the most common of all). Like causal questions, questions requiring candidates to make and to justify an historical judgement appear in a variety of forms. • One-part ‘judgement’ questions — for example ‘‘Mussolini’s domestic policies achieved nothing of value for Italy in the period 1924–1939.’ How far do you agree with this view?’ And ‘How far do you agree that Khrushchev’s reforms in the USSR left the essential features of Stalinism intact?’ Questions of this type require a single judgement to be offered and justified or supported. Two-part ‘judgement’ questions — for example ‘Had the economic and social problems of Italy become any less severe by 1939 as a result of the leadership of Mussolini?’ Or ‘How successful was Khrushchev in modernising the Soviet economy and liberalising its society?’ Questions of this type require two distinct judgements to be offered and justified or supported. One profitable approach

may be to divide the essay into two distinct sections after an introductory paragraph indicating, or specifying, what is to be done. In both the Khrushchev and Mussolini questions quoted above, this would involve a section on the economy and a section on society. Some highly able candidates, of course, are able to cross-refer between the two issues in an integrated and coherent way and may produce a more interesting piece of writing in consequence. For most, however, a less ambitious strategy which nevertheless does full justice to the question asked will pay higher dividends. Note that the judgements asked for can be judgements about consequences. For example ‘How great a transformation did Calvin and Calvinism produce in Geneva in the years 1536–55?’ Or ‘How far were the changes in Anglo-German relations in the years 1888–1912 determined by the build up of the German navy in these years?’ It is the case, too, that on occasion mixed causal and judgement questions are set — for example ‘Why, and with what degree of success, were the Portuguese able to establish themselves in Brazil?’ Or ‘Why, and how profoundly, did divisions appear in the New Model Army during 1647?’ In answering questions of this type, candidates might be well advised to divide their answers into two clear parts, one offering causal analysis, the other offering and supporting a judgement. Candidates would do well to reflect on appropriate strategies for answering questions calling for an historical judgement to be made and supported. Misconceived or flawed approaches sometimes encountered include: • failing to offer a judgement at all and instead relying excessively on narrative or description • arguing implicitly in support of a judgement without making that judgement explicit • identifying two or more possible judgements but failing to make a reasoned choice between them in favour of any one of them (‘on the one hand … but on the other hand …’) • articulating a brief judgement only at the end of an essay (‘so it can be seen that …’) without establishing clear links between the main body of the essay and the concluding judgement. One fruitful strategy might be for candidates to offer a basic judgment in their opening paragraph in the form of a proposition to be developed in the main body of the answer. Alternatively, they may wish to summarise briefly different lines of argument on the proposition in their introduction before proceeding in the main body of the answer to show, by their selection of evidence and the points they wish to stress, where their own judgement lies. Candidates wishing ‘to keep their powder dry’ will eschew both of these strategies and concentrate in their opening paragraph on demonstrating to the examiner first that the thrust of the question has been fully understood and second that a plausible and reasoned line of argument will follow. Candidates might usefully be reminded, too, that examiners do not harbour pre-set ideas about ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ judgements. The question gives a candidate the opportunity to pursue a consistent line of reasoning, supported by evidence. The essay will be judged on the quality of reasoning and the accuracy and appropriateness of the supporting evidence. An answer offering an idiosyncratic judgement which is supported by plausible reasoning and some concrete evidence will receive sympathetic treatment; writing consisting of unfounded and unsupported assertion will not. Readers may find references in Unit 4 mark schemes to answers at Level 5 which may show knowledge of recent historical research or of relevant historical debates about

the topic in question. It should be stressed that such references are not required to achieve that level. Nor will historiographical reference automatically ‘promote’ an answer to a high level. Candidates may choose to deploy their knowledge of specific interpretations as part of the evidence used to sustain or develop their own arguments. However, historiographical references may well be found lower (sometimes much lower) down the levels hierarchy. Some topics are likely to be taught using a historiographical approach whereas others are not. Similarly, some centres deliberately teach students to include reference to named historians, or to quote from them. It is stressed that, for this unit, this strategy is neutral in assessment terms. Historiographical reference and quotation from historians may serve to strengthen an already strong answer. They cannot in themselves make less strong answers strong. Again, examiners should be guided by the generic essay mark scheme. Reference to recent work in the material below is intended to suggest the kind of approach which highly able and well-prepared candidates might choose to take to an analytical question. It is illustrative rather than prescriptive. The time available to candidates attempting Unit 4 essay questions (1 hour ) is still longer than it was in pre-2002 Advanced level papers, where forty five minutes was the norm. It is therefore appropriate to say something about how it is expected, or hoped, that candidates will make use of the time available to them. Firstly, while it is not really possible to be categorical about the number of words candidates should write in response to a Unit 4 essay question — some will inevitably express themselves with greater economy and precision than others — it is anticipated that the majority of answers will fall within the 1000–1200 word range. Secondly, although examiners expect that essay answers under this revised specification will be less extensive in the light of the reduced time allowance, centres should note that the examiners’ expectations will be influenced by the fact that the specified content of Unit 4 questions remains relatively limited in range. Thus, they are entitled to ask for considerable precision and an appropriate level of detail in answers. Thirdly, and more positively, the principal intention in allowing a generous amount of time to answer a single essay question is to enable candidates to reflect fully on the precise demands of the questions set and to plan their answer accordingly. It is recommended that candidates devote 10 minutes of the time they have available to planning their answer. The early years of the examination have indicated that a number of candidates now offer much more developed plans, revealing that the implications of the questions to be answered have been properly considered. Examiners do not mark plans but they are aware when answers show the benefits of proper planning. Thus, the extra time can be put to good use. Candidates also have time to choose their words with care and, at the end of the process, to check their work for syntactical and spelling errors. Centres will note that the generic levels of response mark scheme for Unit 4 makes specific reference to quality of written communication. NB: The two Unit 4 questions will between them focus on at least two of the four bullet points which describe the content of the different options. Questions may range across or straddle three, or even all four, of the individual bullet points.

A note on historical skills and concepts
The following summary may be helpful to teachers in planning for the development of students’ skills and concepts. These are reflected in the qualities sought in the

examination mark schemes and coursework level descriptions. Causation — students should learn how to: • analyse what happened in order to identify and define causal factors • explain causal factors and demonstrate that they combined to create a particular outcome • analyse and explain the interaction of factors as a process of causation, showing the role and contribution of each factor • make and explain judgements as to the relative importance of different factors in the causal process • evaluate and refine their judgements as an overall conclusion. Change and development — students should learn how to: • analyse an historical narrative in order to identify the significance of particular events, eg as a turning point or part of a trend • construct an account of change and development by linking and explaining events chosen for their developmental significance • show how the pace and direction of change can vary, giving events varying significance within different contexts and accounts • show how conflicting trends and changes can exist together • synthesise varying and conflicting developments into an overall explanation of change. Historical investigation, handling sources — students should learn how to: • read and comprehend complex sources in order to select information for a particular enquiry • analyse and interpret complex sources in order to extract evidence that goes beyond the information stated • evaluate evidence according to the nature of its source and the circumstances in which sources were produced • evaluate and interpret evidence by cross-referencing to other sources and/or contextual knowledge • synthesise evidence from a range of sources and interpret it in the light of contextual knowledge to draw conclusions and test hypotheses. Historical investigation, conducting enquiries — students should learn how to: • select and organise information required to respond to a given question • select and organise information as evidence for supporting and challenging a given hypothesis or interpretation • test (support or challenge) a given hypothesis or interpretation in order to refine it, improve it or to generate questions for further investigation • adjudicate between hypotheses (or historians’ interpretations) in the light of testing against evidence • resolve conflicts and synthesise interpretations in order to create, present and sustain overall conclusions.

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