ICSE Board History Syllabus for Class 12

ICSE Board Syllabus for Class 12 History

Subject = HISTORY

Part I (20 marks) will consist of  compulsory  short answer questions testing fundamental factual knowledge and understanding of the entire syllabus.

Part II (80 marks) will be divided into two sections,Section A and Section B, each consisting of  fivequestions. Each question shall carry 16 marks. Candidates will be required to attempt two questions from each Section and  one question from either Section A or Section B. A total of  five questions will
be attempted from Part II.



1.  The Growth of Radical Nationalism (at the turn of the 20th Century)

(ii) The objectives and programmes of the radical nationalists; contribution of Tilak.
(iii) Impact of Curzon's policies; Partition of Bengal and anti-Partition Movement, leading to the Swadeshi and Boycott Movement.

(iv) Split in the Congress (1907).

General causes of the rise of radical nationalism: each cause should be thoroughly explained. Explain the events, which accelerated its growth: the Viceroyalty of Curzon for example, culminating in the anti-partition movement. This should be studied from two angles – as a movement in its own right, leading to the Swadeshi and Boycott Movement, in some detail and as aggravating the rift between the Moderates and ?ationalists using radical means (very briefly). A very short account of the events at Surat. 

(v)  Revolutionary dispositions.

The growth of revolutionary dispositions should explain what led to this development and concentrate on some well-known

organizations (e.g. Abhinav Bharat, Anushilan Samiti). The Government attempts to woo the Moderates; a brief look at the Act of 1909.

2. Communal Factors in IndianPolitics (1885-1919)

(i) Factors contributing to the rise of communalism.

(ii) The role of Sir Sayyid Ahmad Khan and the Aligarh School. Each of the factors contributing to the rise of communalism should be explained in some depth.Regarding Sayyid Ahmad Khan, both his positive and negative contribution should be emphasized in the context of the British change of policy towards Indian Muslims.

(iii) Events leading up to the foundation of the Muslim League (1906); official attitude towards the League. The following events should be studied in the context that a section of Muslim leaders began to see themselves as a threatened minority: the Hindi-Urdu controversy; the Shimla deputation with the Muslim demands understood fully. The objectives of the League can be taken from its constitution. A brief look at the British encouragement of the League.
(iv) Impact of the First World War on Indian Politics. A brief account of why the Congress decided to support the War effort; why the Congress decided to re-admit the nationalists
using aggressive means. A brief account of the Home Rule League. The revolutionary movement in India and abroad should be just touched upon, e.g. the Ghadar Party’s efforts, mention of Madame Cama, etc. The Congress-League Pact; the Montagu Declaration of 1917, and its promises should be explained.

3. The years of Gandhian Leadership of the National Movement

(i) The launching of the passive resistance movement by Gandhi; background and main features of the movement. A general background of the development of Gandhian ideas of non-violence and satyagraha in South Africa. Brief summaries of the three localised satyagrahas: Champaran, Ahmedabad, and Kaira district.

(ii) Montague-Chelmsford reforms; agitation against Rowlatt Act. Jalianwala Bagh massacre (1919) and Gandhi's first Non-Cooperation Movement (1919-1922). A general account of the 1919 Act with particular reference to dyarchy; the reasons for the Rowlatt Act and its main features in brief – both these should be seen as part of the dual policy followed by the British. A general account of the satyagraha against the Act, leading to the outrage at Jalianwala Bagh and the aftermath of it on Punjab. The background to the launching of the ?on-Cooperation Movement should explain about the origin of the Khilafat Movement, and why Gandhi decided to support it, as well as redress of the Punjab wrongs. There should be a connected chronological account of the progress of the Movement until its suspension after Chauri Chaura.

(iii) Suspension of Non-Cooperation and formation of the Swaraj party - contribution of Swarajists (1922-1927). A very brief account of the differences between the pro-changers and no-changers; a general account of the foundation, electoral success and activities of the Swaraj Party with a quick critical appraisal.

(iv) Simon Commission: its boycott and the demand for Dominion status by 1929; Lahore session and declaration of 'Poorna Swaraj' as the Congress objective. A general chronological sequence should be followed: the reasons for sending the Commission in 1927 as well as its boycott should be briefly explained. A general account of the agitation against the  Commission as well as a very brief account of the ?ehru Report. The Lahore Session should be set against the expiry of the deadline by the Congress; the main points of the Poorna Swaraj Resolution.

(v) The second Civil Disobedience Movement (1930-1934):

main features; the Round Table Conference in London; deliberations and outcome. A general, chronological account; however, some mention must be made of the main features of the Gandhi-Irwin Pact. The 1 st and 2 nd Round Table Conferences can be put very briefly in context. The resumption of the Movement, the Poona Pact (in the context of the Communal Award) should be touched upon. (vi) An appraisal of Gandhi's contribution to the freedom movement. Critical assessment of Gandhi’s role in the Freedom Movement – his methodology (Satyagraha, ?on-violence, mass participation, etc.).

4. The Last Phase (1935-1947)

(i) Important political developments: growth of socialist ideas, trade union activities, Kisan Sabha movement; increasing interest by Congress in world affairs; States Peoples’ struggle. Growth of communalism. Participation of women in the national movement. These developments can be done briefly; the growth of communalism
in the 1930s with the demand for a separate State for Muslims (the idea of Pakistan) should be done in more detail. Women’s awareness and participation in the ?ational Movement to be studied.

(ii) 1935 Act and provincial autonomy: Congress ministries; rift between Congress and the League; split in the Congress; Forward Block; growth of communalism; August offer of 1940; Jinnah's two-nation theory. The 1935 Act can be briefly covered, except for Provincial Autonomy which should be explained in a little more detail. A critical account of the election of 1937 and Congress.ministries. A brief look at the growing rift between the Congress and the Muslim League; the rift which led to the ousting of Subhash Bose should be done briefly. The outbreak of World War II and the resignation of the Congress ministries, the deadlock up to the August offer should be covered briefly.

(iii) National Movement during the Second World War: failure of Cripps Mission; Quit India resolution; arrest of Congress leaders; violent public reaction; Government repression of revolt of 1942; Subhash Chandra Bose and the INA. Reasons for sending the Cripps Mission should be briefly explained along with the general points of his proposals. Reasons for the rejection of his proposals should lead directly to the Quit India Resolution and the reasons behind it. A compact account of the movement, its repression and a brief analysis of its significance is needed. Subhash Bose: his escape and years in Germany should be touched upon; also the background in South East Asia (the IIL/I?A); his revival of the I?A should be emphasized, a brief account of its operations and eventual defeat. A brief look at its significance.

(iv) Post-war struggle (1945-1947): changed attitude of British
Government; the Cabinet Mission Plan proposals; Congress and League reaction; direct action by League; communal riots; Atlee's declaration of 1947; the Mountbatten Plan; partition and independence. Changes in the attitude of the British government after World War II – Wavell Plan and its failure: Cabinet Mission – major provisions. Election to the Constituent Assembly and the results – controversy between Congress and League over the question of grouping – Muslims League’s Direct action and boycott of Constituent Assembly – communal riots. League’s decision to join Interim Government. 1947: Atlee’s Declaration of 20 th February 1947; arrival of Mountbatten – Mountbatten Plan – main features: acceptance of the Plan by major political parties; Indian Independence Act: main features. Reasons why the Congress accepted partition.
5. Post Independence India (1947- 1962)

(i) Problems of partition: causes of dispute with Pakistan. The following problems should be discussed generally. The refugee problem, the transfer of assets and the river waters dispute; origin of the Kashmir problem. The role of Sardar Patel in reorganisation and integration of states with special reference to Junagarh, Hyderabad.

(ii) Foreign policy: Reasons for following the policy of Non- Alignment. Reasons for following a non-aligned policy in the context of the Cold War to be discussed briefly. The Panchsheel and Bandung Conferences should be touched upon; the early years of the ?AM and its main aims. SECTION B ASPECTS OF WORLD HISTORY IN THE 20 TH CENTURY

6. Fascism and Nazism

(i) Post-War discontent and the rise to power of Benito Mussolini. Each of the conditions which gave rise to Fascism should be done in detail. A brief chronological account of the events which brought Mussolini to power from the election of 1921 to the march on Rome in October 1922.

(ii) Main features of Mussolini's domestic policy: introduction and assessment of the Fascist State. Detailed critical appraisal of Mussolini’s policies (particularly his economic policy).

(iii) Germany: problems facing the Weimar Republic. The background to the creation of the Weimar Republic should be briefly covered; the weaknesses of the Weimar Republic should be covered in some detail, particularly the impact of the depression.

(iv) Rise of Hitler to power and factors assisting his rise. A quick summary of Hitler’s background; his rise to power after his release from prison should be covered chronologically, particularly the crucial year 1932, and the backstage deal which helped him come to power, legally. The reasons for his popularity among different groups should be explained.

(v) The Nazi State: from 1933 onwards. After becoming chancellor, a brief account of the election campaign, the Reichstag fire and its impact; outline of the changes made by him in government, the cultural life and education, army (the night of the long knives), the economy, religious life, etc. The escalation of the campaign against the Jews should be done in some detail, till the "Final Solution".

(vi) A brief comparison of the Fascist and Nazi systems. Background to their rise, ideologies and objectives, programmes and policies.

7. The Collapse of International Order in the 1930s

(i) Germany: Rearmament and Foreign Policy from 1933-1939. As an introduction, the main aims of Hitler’s foreign policy should be outlined: each of the events in his foreign policy should be done in detail, along with its significance. His final
miscalculation over Poland should be explained.

(ii) Japan: predominance of aggressive nationalism, militarism in the 1930s; expansion into China; anti-Comintern pact with Germany; formation of the Axis Pact, events leading to the attack on Pearl Harbour. The political, economic and ideological reasons for the rise of militarism and the expansion into China should be explained (emphasis should be laid on the reasons for the attack on Manchuria and a brief account of it). The subsequent development can bedone chronologically, emphasizing the declaration of a “?ew Order in East Asia” and the 1937 invasion of China. The reasons for the alliances with Italy and Germany should be briefly explained, leading to the attack on Pearl Harbour.

(iii) Italy: aggressive nationalism; invasion of Abyssinia; involvement in Spanish Civil War. Mussolini’s alliance with Hitler and its consequences. A very brief account of Mussolini’s aims; the bare outline of his foreign policy until 1935; the reasons for the invasion of Abyssinia should be outlined and the account of the invasion and its significance should be done in more detail. Subsequent developments can be in chronological outline till his involvement in World War II and his downfall.

8. The Second World War 1939 - 1945

(i) Factors leading to the War: aggressive policy of Germany and Japan; Anglo-French appeasement policies. Should be discussed in some detail, showing how these aggressive policies made war more likely and worldwide in scope. Appeasement: why Britain and France chose to follow this policy and how it brought war closer.

(ii) Course of the War: Europe, Africa and Far East. American entry and contribution. Main theatres ofthe War should be done separately in chronological order; the main battles can be done in more detail; El Alamein, Stalingrad, Midway, the ?ormandy landings and the policy of "island hopping" in the Pacific. The US contribution should be done separately for Europe and the Pacific.

(iii)Reasons for the defeat of the Axis Powers. Each of the reasons for the defeat of the Axis should be explained.

9. Tension and Co-operation after the Second World War

(i) Causes of the Cold War. End of wartime unity; Yalta and Potsdam Conference; rift widens - Soviet expansion in Eastern Europe (1945-1947). The main points raised at the two post-War Conferences as well as the major points of differences should be explained. A general account of the Soviet expansion in East Europe until 1947 and the major causes of the Cold War should be done in this context.

(ii) The Cold War and rival Alliances: Truman Doctrine; Marshall Plan; communist coup in Czechoslovakia; Berlin Blockade; NATO; division of Germany; “thaw” in the Cold War- how partial was it? Warsaw Pact (1953-1959); the Vietnam War (1964-75); crisis in east-west relations; detente (1970s). Each of the events referred to above should be done in some detail; the two phases of the Vietnam War, the French and the US involvement after the Tonkin Gulf incident. In the 1960-62 period, the U-2 affair and the Berlin Wall incident should be mentioned; the Cuban Missile crisis should be done in detail – the easing of tension can be done as a result of the crisis. Only the outline of the reasons for détente and how it worked should be done.

(iii) Regional economic co-operation since Second World War: EEC, ASEAN. The reasons for European cooperation after the war; a brief outline of the events leading to the Treaty of Rome. The basic structure of the EEC (including later amendments); the expansion of the EEC in 1973 and in the 1980s. Only the membership and functions of ASEA?.

(iv) The UNO: General Assembly and Security Council; strengths and weaknesses, need for restructuring and extent of success. Changed nature of the U? since the 60s; General Assembly - Uniting for Peace Resolution. Security Council - Peacekeeping role: the following crises should be studied - Korea, Congo. Critical estimate of U? - need to restructure, its major weaknesses and failures.

10. The Middle East

(i) Post War conflict in Palestine after World War I, till the formation of the state of Israel. A brief background of Arab nationalism and Zionism in the late 19 th century. Impact of World War I: the conflicting promises made to the Arabs, the Jews (Balfour Declaration) and the Sykes-Picot Agreement. All these need to be understood clearly. A general outline of events from 1919 to the Arab Revolt of the late 1930s (the increased immigration of Jews under the mandate and the resultant conflict). The impact of World War II and the intensification of the conflict against Britain’s decision to withdraw – the U?O’s plan. Creation of Israel and the War of Liberation (a chronological account should suffice here).

(ii) The Arab-Israeli Wars from 1948 to Camp David Accord. The following conflicts should be studied – (1948-1949), the Suez Crisis (1956), the Six Day War (1967), the Yom Kippur War (1973), Sadat and the Camp David Accord (1979). For each of these events, the causes and results should be done in some detail. Events to be done very briefly.

(iii) The war in Lebanon. A general account of the war.

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