This subject is a major theme in our course - we will return to it often. The material on this page will be tested on Paper Two, which focuses on world history in the twentieth century.


Origins and development of authoritarian and single-party states


The 20th century produced many authoritarian and single-party states. The origins, ideology, form of government, organization, nature and impact of these regimes should be studied.

Major themes


Origins and nature of authoritarian and single-party states
  • Conditions that produced authoritarian and single-party states
  • Emergence of leaders: aims, ideology, support
  • Totalitarianism: the aim and the extent to which it was achieved

Establishment of authoritarian and single party states
  • Methods: force, legal
  • Form of government, (left-and right-wing) ideology
  • Nature, extent and treatment of opposition

Domestic policies and impact
  • Structure and organization of government and administration
  • Political, economic, social and religious policies
  • Role of education, the arts, the media, propaganda
  • Statues of women, treatment of religious groups and minorities

Material for detailed study

  • Africa:Kenya-Kenyatta;Tanzania-Nyerere
  • Americas: Argentina-Peron;Cuba-Castro
  • Asia and Oceania: China-Mao; Indonesia-Sukarno
  • Europe and the Middle East: Germany-Hitler; USSR-Stalin; Egypt-Nasser
  • School choice*: USSR-Lenin; Italy-Mussolini



*Schools may choose to add their own case studies. These examples will not be specifically named in any questions on paper two. However, students can use these examples on open ended questions.