The material on this page will be tested on Paper Two, which focuses on world history in the twentieth century. You may be asked to compare wars from different regions of the world (for us, the Americas, Europe/the Middle East, and Asia)

Causes, practices and effects of wars


War is a major feature of the 20th century. In this topic, we will identify different types of war, and focus on the causes, practices and effects of these conflicts.

Major themes


Different types and nature of 20th century warfare
  • civil war
  • guerrilla war
  • Limited war, total war

Origins and causes of wars
  • Long term, short term and immediate causes
  • Economic, ideological, political, religious causes

Nature of 20th century wars
  • Technological developments, tactics and strategies, air, land and sea
  • Home front: economic and social impact (including changes in the role and status of women)
  • Resistance and revolutionary movements

Effects and results of wars
  • Peace settlements and wars ending without treaties
  • Attempts at collective security pre-and post-Second World War
  • Political repercussions and territorial changes
  • Post-war economic problems

Material for detailed study

  • First World War (1914-1918)
  • Second World War (1939-1945)
  • Chinese Civil War (1927-1937 and 1946-1949)
  • Spanish Civil War (1936-1939)
  • Iran-Iraq war (1980-1988)
  • Gulf War (1991)