IB History SL & HL Paper 2 Causes and Effects of 20th-century Wars: The Spanish Civil War
Edition: 1
Number of pages: 75
ISBN: 9781910689417OSC Publishing

This revision guide supports exam preparation for IBDP History Paper 2, focusing on the Spanish Civil War to explore Topic 11: Causes and Effects of 20th-century Wars. Structured to mirror the syllabus, it will help you to understand the essential issues and approaches that examiners will be looking for in your essays.

Coverage includes:

  • The failings in the political system and the social divisions that made war possible
  • Political polarisation in the Republic and the growth of disorder and violence
  • The division of Spain and the course of the Civil War
  • The rise of Franco and the establishment of Nationalist Spain
  • Foreign involvement in the conflict
  • The cost and impact of the war, for Spain and beyond


  • Guidance, tips, and advice from an expert revision teacher
  • Recognises differing historical interpretations of core issues
  • Exam-style questions test understanding and recall, with guidance on potential approaches
  • Key Issues boxes explore the questions that are most important to historians and examiners
  • Key Terms boxes offer succinct definitions of essential technical and historical terms
  • Timelines help visualise and contextualise important events
  • Short biographies introduce key figures on all sides of the conflict
Here's what author Joe Gauci says about his book...

The guide’s overall structure mirrors the IB History syllabus for 20th Century Wars, making it easy for students to see how the guide can help them prepare to answer questions on each bullet point of the syllabus, using the Spanish Civil War as a discrete example.

Key Issues boxes are used throughout the text to focus readers on the questions that historians and examiners are interested in exploring for this topic and to help students understand the main points that they can use to address these questions. I have also used Key Terms throughout the guide to ensure that students understand important technical or historical terms relating to the topic.

In a number of places in the guide, I have highlighted differing historical interpretations of key issues. This will help students to develop an understanding of the ‘differing perspectives’ which the IB History Paper 2 and Paper 3 mark schemes refer to as a feature the examiner will expect to see in the higher mark bands.

At the end of the guide, there are two essay questions. By examining these questions, students will be able to test their understanding and recall of that material and, in addition, practise their essay-writing skills. For the first question, I have provided some ideas about how it could be approached and then provided space for students to add examples and further points. In the second example, I have provided a range of possible points and left space for students to write additional ideas and an introduction and conclusion.


Joe Gauci read Modern History at Lincoln College, Oxford and has taught History since 1984. He has taught IB History at Malvern College, UK, since 1995, where he oversees its academic life as Deputy Head. He has experience as an examiner and has been teaching revision to students from around the globe since 1996.