JC History Tuition Singapore - What is the Instrument of Accession - Indo-Pakistani Conflict Notes

What is the Instrument of Accession?

Historical context: India divided and the British departure
In 1946, Britain declared that it would grant India independence. The Governor-General Lord Louis Mountbatten declared that this important phase would commence on 15 August 1947. However, views on the ground were divided on the matter.

Leaders of the Indian National Congress Party, Jawaharlal Nehru and Mahatma Gandhi, called for a single federal dominion of independent India. They believed that a united India was vital to bring people from all faiths together.

In contrast, the Muslim League leader Muhammad Ali Jinnah insisted that the Partition was necessary to form an independent Pakistan that governs the Muslims rather than to remain subordinate to the Hindu majority of India.

As such, the British civil servant Sir Cyril Radcliffe was tasked by Mountbatten to draw up the borders between India and Pakistan.

An illustration of the Partition of India [Sources: Nigel Dalziel, The Penguin Historical Atlas of the British Empire, Penguin Books, 2006; George s Duby, Atlas historique mondial, Larousse, 2003].

In less than ten weeks, a British layers, Cyril Radcliffe, who had never set foot on Indian soil, presided over the partition of British India’s two largest multicultural provinces, Punjab and Bengal.

After first rushing Radcliffe to finish drawing the new maps in desperate haste, Mountbatten embargoed them as soon as Radcliffe finished, refusing to allow even his own British governors of Punjab and Bengal to see where the new lines would be drawn, such that no troops could be stationed at key danger points along these incendiary provincial borders, no warnings could be posted for desperate people who, overnight, found themselves living in ‘enemy’ countries rather than among relatives and friends.

An excerpt taken from “India and Pakistan: Continued Conflict or Cooperation?” by Stanley Wolpert.

As a result of the Partition, many Hindus and Muslims were subjected to violent attacks from opposing sides. An estimated of up to 20 million people were displaced as a result of the Partition.

Enter Maharaja Hari Singh: Jammu and Kashmir
On 26 October 1947, Maharaja Hari Singh, then ruler of the State of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), signed the Instrument of Accession (IoA) with India. Initially, Hari Singh wanted Kashmir to remain independent, but changed his mind when attacked by tribesmen from Pakistan during the Poonch uprising.

J&K was founded by Maharaja Gulab Singh in 1846. It was strategically located within the border provinces of Gilgit-Baltistan and Ladakh, thus explaining it being a hotly contested territory.

The circumstances, as they developed owing to the raids of tribesmen, were such that immediate action was uncalled for. The invasion of tribesmen was possible only because of Pakistani support. Mahajan commented: “The tribesmen were subjects of Pakistan. This was an unprovoked act of aggression. The Maharaja had done nothing to invite it. […] Unless accession took place and supported by the National Conference, Nehru was unwilling to send Indian army.

An excerpt from “Jammu and Kashmir: The Cold War and The West” by D. N. Panigrahi.

On that same day, Mountbatten accepted the accession of J&K.

Join our JC History Tuition to learn more about the Indo-Pakistani conflict under the theme of Conflict and Cooperation. The H2 and H1 History Tuition feature online discussion and writing practices to enhance your knowledge application skills. Get useful study notes and clarify your doubts on the subject with the tutor. You can also follow our Telegram Channel to get useful updates.

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JC History Tuition Singapore - What is the United Nations Partition Plan - Arab-Israeli Conflict Notes

What is the United Nations Partition Plan?

Learn more about the day when Palestine was partitioned as part of the United Nations Plan [Video by the Associated Press].

Historical Context: The end of the British mandate of Palestine
Between 1922 and 1947, Great Britain assumed control of the Palestinian territory, as part of its mandate authorised by the League of Nations. As mentioned in the Balfour Declaration, the British government expressed support for the creation of a ‘national home for the Jewish people’ even though it did not specify the territorial delineation of Palestine.

As Jewish immigration from Europe took place between 1922 and 1947, the Arab-Jewish tensions (see Arab revolts of 1936-39) grew and escalated by the onset of the Second World War. Even the British was not spared of the escalating violence, pressuring the government to seek an viable solution for the two groups.

In the years between the 1929 Wailing Wall riots, which had shaken the Zionist leadership’s complacent faith in eventual Arab acceptance of the Zionist enterprise, and the outbreak of the Arab Revolt, informal negotiations took place between Ben-Gurion and Musa Alami. […]

Ben-Gurion seemed to come to a more sober understanding of the Arab position: “There is a conflict, a great conflict. There is a fundamental conflict. We and they want the same thing: We both want Palestine. And that is the fundamental conflict.”

An excerpt taken from “The Palestinian People: A History” by Baruch Kimmerling and Joel S. Migdal.

Enter the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP): The Partition Plan
In April 1947, Britain referred the ‘Palestine matter’ to the United Nations – an inter-governmental organisation that took over the mantle of the defunct-League of Nations. In May 1947, the UNSCOP examined the matter. This committee consisted of eleven members: The Netherlands, Peru, Sweden, Uruguay, Yugoslavia, Canada, Australia, Czechoslovakia, Guatemala, India and Iran.

In summary, the UNSCOP concluded that the British Mandate should be terminate and that Palestine should be partitioned into two independent states.

The Partition Plan was as follows:

  1. The proposed Jewish state: Land around Tel Aviv and Haifa, Negev, Jezreel and the Hule Valleys. The Jewish state was to be comprised of about 5,500 square miles and the population was to be 538,000 Jews and 397,000 Arabs.
  2. The proposed Arab state: Gaza strip, Nablus, Galilee, Hebron and Beersheba. The Arab states was to be compromised of 4,500 square miles and the population was to be 804,000 Arabs and 10,000 Jews.
  3. The Jerusalem city was to be administered as an international zone.

On 29 November 1947, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) obtained a two-thirds majority, adopting Resolution 181. Both the United States and the Soviet Union supported the Partition Plan, whereas Britain abstained.

It is important to note that the Palestinian Arabs and Jews were divided on the Partition Plan, which may have explained why tensions persisted even after 1948.

The question of the Palestinian position regarding the UN partition plan which was adopted on the 29 November 1947 is not as clear and sharp as it is customary to portray it in most of the historical sources dealing with the issue. In the Palestinian camp there was a variety of views which were not expressed in the ultimate position, which crystallized and was perceived by the international community as an absolute rejection of the partition resolution.

The Palestinian people was forced to pay an unbearable price for their acquiescence of the decision of a short-sighted leadership. The terrible tragedy which befell them demolished their hopes to realize their national ambitions and to live in a state where they would enjoy sovereignty and independence like all other nations.

An excerpt taken from “The Two-State Solution: The UN Partition Resolution of Mandatory Palestine – Analysis and Sources” by Ruth Gavison.
A map to illustrate the United Nations Partition Plan of 1947 [Source: The United Nations Department of Public Information].

Join our JC History Tuition to learn more about Conflict and Cooperation. The H2 and H1 History Tuition feature online discussion and writing practices to enhance your knowledge application skills. Get useful study notes and clarify your doubts on the subject with the tutor. You can also follow our Telegram Channel to get useful updates.

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JC History Tuition Singapore - What is the Balfour Declaration - Arab-Israeli Conflict Notes

What is the Balfour Declaration?

Learn more about the Balfour Declaration to understand its impact on the Arab-Israeli conflict in the 20th Century [Video by The Economist]

Historical Context
During World War One, Britain and France clashed with Germany on the Western Front. In December 1917, British Prime Minister David Lloyd George publicly supported Zionism. The Russian Jew Chaim Weizmann was one of those that led this movement.

The British government’s decision to declare its support of Zionism was partly driven by hopes of garnering Jewish support for the Allied Powers amidst the war.

On 27 November 1914, tentatively reviewing British war aims, [C. P. Scott] raised the question of Palestine and Zionism, but found that the subject was not new to Lloyd George, who told him that he had had a ‘heart to heart’ talk with Herbert Samuel, that he sympathised with the aspirations of a small nation and was interested in a ‘partly Jewish buffer state’. Scott continued diligently to press the Zionists’ case and at the end of January 1917 he urged the British Government to issue a definite statement in favour of making Palestine a national home for the Jews.

An excerpt taken from “The Question of Palestine British-Jewish-Arab Relations, 1914-1918” by Isaiah Friedman.

The Declaration: A letter to Rothschild
On 2 November 1917, British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour wrote a letter to Lionel Walter Rothschild, a friend of Weizmann. The letter stated that the British government was in favour of the ‘establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people’. Rothschild represented the British Jewish community.

His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.

An excerpt taken from the Balfour Declaration written by Arthur James Balfour to Lord Rothschild, 2 November 1917.

After the Declaration was made, the League of Nations declared that Palestine would fall under the British Mandate on 24 July 1922. This ‘mandate’ system was meant to give the League authority to administer non-self-governing territories, so as to advance the well-being of the population within.

While the British Mandate allowed both the Jewish and Arab communities to manage their own affairs, the British was unable to maintain regional stability.

But the Balfour Declaration, far from being dropped, became embedded – even augmented – in British policy to Palestine. This continuing British commitment was made in the face of all-but overwhelming evidence and argument that a British-backed Zionist project for a Jewish national home would lead to inter-communal antagonism and, in time, a territory that would be ungovernable. Arab opposition was rekindled after the war and, as Jewish immigration resumed, soon manifested itself in demonstrations, petitions and outbreaks of violence.

An excerpt taken from “Legacy of Empire Britain, Zionism and the Creation of Israel” by Gardner Thompson.

Join our JC History Tuition to learn more about Conflict and Cooperation. The H2 and H1 History Tuition feature online discussion and writing practices to enhance your knowledge application skills. Get useful study notes and clarify your doubts on the subject with the tutor. You can also follow our Telegram Channel to get useful updates.

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JC History Tuition Online - Revised A Level History Syllabus

The revised A Level H2 History syllabus (9174)

H2 History (9174)

The Scheme of Assessment remains the same, featuring two papers, with a duration of three hours each. For each paper, candidates have to complete a compulsory source based case study (SBCS) and two essay questions.

Paper 1: The Changing International Order (1945-2000)

  • Section A: Source Based Case Study – Theme I
  • Section B: Essays – Themes II and III

Paper 1 Theme I: The Development of the Cold War (1945-1991)
This SBCS theme covers a heavily-studied topic, the Cold War. Candidates will explore the origins of the Cold War in the post-WWII phase, followed by the Globalisation of the Cold War and finally the End of the Cold War. It is imperative to draw references to recurring concepts, such as ideological rivalry between the superpowers that defined their motivations in proxy conflicts.

Note: Pretty much the same as before. There’s no drastic change to the syllabus content for this theme.

Paper 1 Theme II: The Development of the Global Economy (1945-2000)
For this essay theme, candidates have to select one out of two given questions in the examination to answer. This theme focuses on the economic perspective of the world in the 20th century. For instance, there will be coverage of the reasons for the ‘Golden Age of Capitalism’ between 1945 and 1971, followed by the causes and consequences of the Crisis Decades (such as the twin oil shocks of the 1970s). Another sub-section of this theme features country case study assessment of two East Asian economies, namely Japan and China.

Note: The ‘Growth and Challenges in the Global Economy’ remains unchanged if we compare it with the old syllabus (phased out by 2024). As for ‘Transformation of East Asian Economies (Japan and China)’, this sub-section will replace the ‘Rise of Asian Tiger economies’ that featured South Korea and Taiwan.

Paper 1 Theme III: Conflict and Cooperation (1945-2000)
For this essay theme, candidates are required to select one of the two given questions in the examination to answer. This theme examines the reasons for conflicts in the 20th century and also efforts to forge international cooperation. This theme unpacks the nature of conflicts in two parts: Inter-state conflicts and Intra-state conflicts. For inter-state conflicts, candidates will learn more about the Indo-Pakistani Conflict and Arab-Israeli Conflict. For intra-state conflicts, candidates will study the Congo Crisis and Bosnian War.

  • Causes, Development and Management of Inter-state Conflicts
  • Causes, Development and Management of Intra-state Conflicts

Note: This theme undergoes an extensive overhaul in which the past Theme III featured the ‘United Nations’ from an organisational approach, covering specific principal organs and their functions, as well as peacekeeping in a macro-perspective. It appears that the number of case studies has been reduced to four to provide a more in-depth coverage of the subject matter.


Paper 2: Developments in Southeast Asia (Independence-2000)

  • Section A: Source Based Case Study – Theme III
  • Section B: Essays – Themes I and II

Paper 2 Theme I: Forming Nation-States
For this essay theme, candidates have to select one out of the two questions in the examination to answer. Candidates will learn more about two pillars of nation-building: efforts to achieve political stability and create national unity. Candidates are required to relate featured concepts to a variety of country case studies, as explicitly stated by the SEAB [Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar (Burma), Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam].

Note: Content in this theme largely remains unchanged if compared with the phased out syllabus (by 2024). It is imperative to keep in mind how the Cold War developments (see Paper 1 Theme I) could impact Southeast Asia for a more in-depth analysis.

Paper 2 Theme II: Economic Change After Independence
For this essay theme, candidates have to choose one out of two essay questions in the examination to answer. They will learn more about the government efforts to pursue at least one of the three major aims: economic growth, equity and nationalism. Also, there will be a coverage of strategies employed to facilitate growth of specific sectors, such as agriculture, industry and finance and services. In addition, candidates are required to examine the outcomes of economic challenge, particularly to find out if the government efforts led to more beneficial or detrimental impacts on Southeast Asian economies.

Note: A key change to this Theme II is the omission of the ‘Asian Financial Crisis’ sub-topic that was featured in the phased out syllabus.

Paper 2 Theme III: Regional Conflicts and Cooperation
For this SBCS theme, candidates must attempt two parts of the compulsory question – parts (a) and (b) during the examination. The six sources (A-F) will be based on topic(s) taken from this theme. Theme III covers the causes and consequences of inter-state tensions, narrowing down to five case studies that impacted bilateral and regional relations in Southeast Asia. Furthermore, candidates are to study the regional association ASEAN and how it was formed to promote regional cooperation.

Note: A noteworthy update to this Theme III is the specification of case studies featured in the ‘Inter-state Tensions and Cooperation’ sub-topic. Previously, the possible case studies tested were more than what’s stated, such as the Sipadan-Ligitan dispute, Pedra-Branca dispute and Chaim Herzog controversy. It appears that the ‘ASEAN’ section still features similar content from the phased out syllabus.

For more information on the H2 History (9174) syllabus, please refer to the SEAB document.


If you are in search of a suitable JC History Tuition program, you are in the right place! Our classes are organised and conducted in ways to ensure that you have the content knowledge and answering skills to handle the rigours of the GCE A Level History examination.

You will receive study notes, participate in thought-provoking class discussions and attempt writing practices with tutor guidance to review your application skills. You can also follow our Telegram Channel to get useful updates.

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JC History Tuition Online - What was the Bretton Woods gold standard system

What was the Bretton Woods gold standard system?

Topic of Study [For H2 History Students]: 
Paper 1: The Development of the Global Economy (1945-2000)
Section B: Essay Writing
Theme II Chapter 1: Factors for the growth of the global economy (1945-1971)

Historical Context: The end of the Gold Standard
In 1913, the Federal Reserve introduced the Gold Standard. A law was passed, requiring the Federal Reserve to hold gold equal to forty percent of the value of the currency it issued. At the same time, it had to convert these dollars into gold at a fixed price of $20.67 per ounce of pure gold. Back then, the Federal Reserve held more gold to back the issued currency. This was known as ‘free gold’.

The quantity of ‘free gold’ could be influenced by the prevailing interest rates. For instance, higher interest rate encouraged Americans to deposit in banks, facilitating movement of gold from households to the Federal Reserve.

However, the Great Depression of the 1930s saw substantial outflow of gold from the Federal Reserve. Both individuals and business owners preferred to hold gold instead of currency. This economic crisis even influenced foreign investors to reduce their demand for USD as well. Over time, the quantity of ‘free gold’ fell, making it difficult for the Federal Reserve to honour its commitment to convert currency to gold. As a result, the Roosevelt administration suspended the Gold Standard on 20 April 1933.

The reaction of the global currency markets was instantaneous. In one day the dollar lost 10 percent of its value relative to the pound sterling, and 8 percent relative to the French franc. […] Commodity markets also reacted with force, reflecting the sentiment among market participants and the general public that getting off gold, and implementing some (or all) of the policies in the Thomas Amendment, would help raise prices and bring deflation to an end.

An excerpt taken from “American Default: The Untold Story of FDR, the Supreme Court, and the Battle over Gold” by Sebastian Edwards.

Bretton Woods Conference: System Renewed
During the Bretton Woods Conference in July 1944, the USA contemplated on replacing the Gold Standard with a new international monetary system to achieve economic stability. In particular, a system that fixed the US dollar (USD) to gold at the parity of USD$35 per ounce. All other foreign currencies had fixed, but adjustable, exchange rates to the USD.

Historically, countries sought credibly to commit not to change the value of their currencies by pegging them to a particular amount of precious metals – either gold or silver or a combination of the two. As the volume of global trade increased in the late nineteenth century, more and more countries joined the club of advanced nations that fixed their currencies to a given quantity of gold. When they did so, they effectively promised to maintain reserve of gold (or of currencies like the British pound that were considered as good as gold) and allow holders of their currencies to redeem bills at will at the fixed exchange rate.

An excerpt taken from “The Bretton Woods Agreements: Together with Scholarly Commentaries and Essential Historical Documents” by Naomi Lamoreaux and Ian Shapiro.

In 1958, the Bretton Woods System was functional. Countries used USD as the international currency for economic activities. The USA honoured its commitment to ensure gold convertibility. However, this commitment was later put to the test when the USA experienced twin deficits.

What can we learn from this article?
Consider the following question:
– How far do you agree that the Golden Age of Capitalism was mainly the result of the Bretton Woods System?

Join our JC History Tuition to learn more about the Global Economy. The H2 and H1 History Tuition feature online discussion and writing practices to enhance your knowledge application skills. Get useful study notes and clarify your doubts on the subject with the tutor. You can also follow our Telegram Channel to get useful updates.

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JC History Tuition Online - Sabah Dispute Revisited

Sabah Dispute: Revisited

Topic of Study [For H2 History Students]:
Paper 2: Regional Conflicts and Co-operation
Source Based Case Study
Theme III Chapter 1: Inter-state tensions and co-operation: Causes of inter-state tensions: territorial disputes

Historical Context
The Sabah dispute arose because of competing claims between the Philippines and Malaya.

For the Philippines, its formal claim was based upon a 1878 Lease signed between the Sultan of Sulu, Sultan Jamal Al Alam, and Baron de Overbeck and Alfred Dent of the North Borneo Company. An annual payment of 5000 dollars was to be made to the heirs of the Sultan.

For Malaya, its claim was based on the legal transfer of power from the British to the Malayan authorities, which later oversaw the creation of the Malaysian Federation that included Sabah.

In June 1962, the Philippine President Macapagal made his first official claim to Sabah to the British government. While tensions surfaced, attempts were made to address the dispute – the Manila Accord.

The Manila Accord
On 31 July 1963, the Manila Accord was formed, involving three parties: The Philippines, Indonesia and Malaya. From the Macapagal’s perspective, the Accord was seen as his personal attempt to mediate the dispute involving the Tunku’s announcement to form the Federation of Malaysia. The Federation was contested by both Sukarno and Macapagal due to varying reasons.

Based on the Accord, the Philippines asserted its right to claim Sabah (formerly known as North Borneo), insisting the this matter should be referred to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for a peaceful settlement. Yet, the British and Malaya did not agree to this proposal.

A mission for naught?
As stated in the Accord, a United Nations mission would be conducted under the auspices of the Secretary-General or his representative to ascertain if a majority of the people in North Borneo wanted to be part of the Malaysian Federation. While Secretary-General U Thant led the mission to fulfil this agreement, the Tunku announced on 29 August 1963 that the Federation of Malaysia would be formed on 16 September (later known as ‘Malaysia Day’).

Enraged by this perceived breach of faith, the Indonesian President Sukarno launched the ‘Crush Malaysia’ (Ganyang Malaysia) campaign on 25 September 1963, marking the start of the Indonesian Confrontation (Konfrontasi). Although the mission report did recognise that a majority of the people in North Borneo agreed to join the Federation, Sukarno and Macapagal rejected the findings.

A short-lived pause: End of the Konfrontasi and the birth of ASEAN
After the 30 September incident (Gestapu) that marked the end of the abortive coup by the Communist Party of Indonesia (PKI), Suharto assumed control in March 1966. Five months later, Suharto signed a peace treaty with Kuala Lumpur, ending the Confrontation.

In that same year, Malaysia and the Philippines signed a joint communique (3 June 1966) to reaffirm mutual commitment to the Manila Accord for the peaceful settlement of the Philippine claim of Sabah.

In August 1967, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) was formed. The claimants, the Philippines and Malaysia, were founding members of the regional association. Both parties made efforts to forge cooperation, as seen by their common agreement to fight smuggling and border crossing.

Despite several high-level talks and third-party interventions, Malaysia was not recognized by the Philippines. Ambassadors were withdrawn from each other’s capitals, and diplomatic relations were suspended. […]

President Marcos recognized the new Federation of Malaysia in June 1966, and both sides agreed in a Joint Communique to “the need to sit together” for clarifying the claim and for discussing the means of a settlement. ASEAN was created the following year, but the Sabah problem did not disappear. The importance of Sabah to the Philippines was obviously more than a mere legal claim.

An excerpt taken from “Impediments to Regionalism in Southeast Asia: Bilateral Constraints Among Asean Member States” by Hans H. Indorf.

However, bilateral relations were once again strained by a controversial incident, also known as the ‘Corregidor Affair’.

The Jabidah Massacre and the Sabah Bill
In March 1968, the Philippine authorities approved of a secret training camp on Corregidor Island. The government’s purpose was to train recruits to infiltrate Sabah and bring about a secession of Sabah from the Malaysian Federation. When these recruits refused to cooperate, they were killed by the military. A lone survivor, Jibin Arula, made known to public what had happened. It was expected of Malaysia to express outrage at this incident, viewing the operation as a gross violation of national sovereignty.

Under Oplan Merdeka, the Philippines trained a special commando unit named Jabidah that would create chaos in Sabah. The purpose of the havoc was to force the Philippine government to take full control of Sabah, otherwise, the residents therein would decide by themselves to secede from the same territory. […] According to Jibin Arula, a survivor who lived to tell the tale, there was a “mutiny in the camp in which fourteen trainees were shot dead and seventeen were missing”.

An excerpt taken from “Neighborliness: Redefining Communities at the Frontier of Dialogue in the Southern Philippines” by Fr. Erdman Beluan Pandero.

Three months after the controversial incident, diplomatic relations were suspended once more even though both parties continued to attend ASEAN-level meetings.

Marcos stood his ground as seen by the issuance of the Sabah Bill (Baseline Law) on 18 September 1968, which highlighted the claim of Sabah as part of Philippine sovereign territory. This was known as the Republic Act 5446.

What can we learn from this article?
Consider the following question:
– How far do you agree that Malaysia was more responsible than the Philippines for the Sabah dispute?

Join our JC History Tuition to learn more about Inter-state Tensions. The H2 and H1 History Tuition feature online discussion and writing practices to enhance your knowledge application skills. Get useful study notes and clarify your doubts on the subject with the tutor. You can also follow our Telegram Channel to get useful updates.

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JC History Tuition Online - What did the UN do to help Somalia - UN Notes 2

What did the UN do to help Somalia?

Topic of Study [For H1/H2 History Students]:
Paper 1: Safeguarding International Peace and Security 
Section B: Essay Writing
Theme III Chapter 2: Political Effectiveness of the UN in maintaining international peace and security

Historical Context: The rise and fall of Siad Barre
After a ten-year transition period under a United Nations (UN) Trusteeship in the 1950s, Somalia gained independence. From 1960 to 1969, Somalia was led by multi-party system. In 1969, Major General Mohamed Siad Barre became President after a bloodless coup.

Under the Cold War context, Somalia had received Soviet military and financial aid. Yet, the Soviet Union disapproved Barre’s decision to launch an invasion of Ethiopia in July 1977, which was known as the Ogaden War. The war concluded with Somali defeat in March 1978 as well as the termination of Soviet aid.

The Ogaden War had a profound effect on international relations in the Horn of Africa. Russia and Cuba withdrew from the long-standing military and naval bases they had helped build in Somalia, and relocated to what was then the Red Sea coastline of Ethiopia (now Eritrea). As a result, Siad Barre switched allegiance to the West, making his first visit to the USA in 1982 […].

An excerpt taken from “Somaliland: with Addis Ababa & Eastern Ethiopia” by Philip Briggs.

In addition, the Barre government had to contend with clan-based rebellions that lasted throughout the 1980s. By then, more Somalis became disillusioned with a military dictatorship under Barre. The rebellions began with a failed coup attempt in April 1978, which were carried out by disgruntled army officers led by Colonel Mohamed Osman Irro.

By late 1990, the United Somali Congress (USC) launched an offensive on the capital Mogadishu, thus forcing Barre to flee in January 1991.

Enter the United Nations: UNOSOM
After Barre’s self-imposed exile, a civil war broke out between two factions: one that backed the Interim President Ali Mahdi Mohamed and another that supported General Mohamed Farah Aidid. In hopes of brokering peace between the factions, the Secretary-General Javier Pérez de Cuéllar dispatched a UN envoy, James Jonah.

More importantly, many Somali civilians’ lives were undermined by the civil war, thus necessitating humanitarian intervention. By November 1991, about 300,000 people died. Many suffered from malnutrition and other related diseases. Also, a million Somalis fled their homes, giving rise to a refugee crisis.

On 3 March 1992, leaders of both competing factions (Mahdi and Aidid) signed a ceasefire agreement (“Agreement on the Implementation of a Ceasefire”), which granted consent for the UN to deploy military observers to oversee the process.

On 24 April 1992, the UN Security Council (UNSC) adopted Resolution 751, which authorised the deployment of the United Nations Operation in Somalia (UNOSOM). UNOSOM was tasked to distribute food supplies to the Somali civilians with the help of other non-governmental organisations (NGOs), such as the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). However, its relief efforts were hampered by the absence of security, which gave rise to looting by armed gangs.

However, humanitarian aid was preyed upon by a mixture of the warring factions and unaffiliated bandits. The militia leaders used food to pay their fighters and buy weapons that allowed them to extend their control and subsequently their access to wealth. […] Khalil Dale, a British Red Cross worker, recalled:

I’ve been to Afghanistan, two or three times. I’ve been to Sudan, I’ve been to a lot of war zones and famine camps and cholera camps. But I’ve never seen anything like Somalia was at that time. And it was certainly the most frightening place for me, it was the most insecure, unpredictable. You just didn’t know what was going to happen next.

An excerpt taken from “Soldiers and Civil Power: Supporting or Substituting Civil Authorities in Modern Peace Operations” by Thijs Brocades Zaalberg.

General Aidid held dominant control of strategic locations where most of the food aid had arrived from abroad, namely the port and airfield. The problem was so serious that the ICRC had to employ nearly 20,000 armed guards to protect their personnel from looters.

Help is on the way: United Task Force
Frustrated by the lack of progress, the Bush administration supported the UNSC’s resolution to authorise an American-led force to establish a “secure environment for humanitarian relief operations in Somalia”. On 9 December 1992, Operation Restore Hope was conducted by the US government under the United Task Force (UNITAF).

Out of the 38,000 troops deployed, 24,000 were American, reflecting the commitment of the US government to support the UN’s humanitarian intervention in Somalia. Between December 1992 and May 1993, the UNITAF secured nine humanitarian relief sectors, thus enabling the resumption of humanitarian aid to the Somali civilians.

Providing security relief operations was obviously a success. By late December and early January there was consensus worldwide that the US-led intervention enabled the relief organization to deliver much-needed supplies much more effectively. As a result, many thousands of lives were saved. […]

According to the official US Army After Action Report of the Somalia mission, the Bush administration recognized that lasting peace in Somalia could only be achieved by disarming the warlords, reconciliation and assisting in the restoration of law and order and societal infrastructure.

An excerpt taken from “Soldiers and Civil Power: Supporting or Substituting Civil Authorities in Modern Peace Operations” by Thijs Brocades Zaalberg.

What can we learn from this article?
Consider the following question:
– How far do you agree that the failures of the United Nations mission in Somalia were expected?

Join our JC History Tuition to learn more about the United Nations. The H2 and H1 History Tuition feature online discussion and writing practices to enhance your knowledge application skills. Get useful study notes and clarify your doubts on the subject with the tutor. You can also follow our Telegram Channel to get useful updates.

We have other JC tuition classes, such as JC Math Tuition and JC Chemistry Tuition. For Secondary Tuition, we provide Secondary English Tuition, Secondary Math tuition, Secondary Chemistry Tuition, Social Studies Tuition, Geography, History Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. For Primary Tuition, we have Primary English, Math and Science Tuition. Call 9658 5789 to find out more.

JC History Tuition Online - How did ASEAN promote economic growth in the 1970s 3

How did ASEAN promote economic growth in the 1970s?

Topic of Study [For H2 History Students]:
Paper 2: Regional Conflicts and Co-operation
Source Based Case Study
Theme III Chapter 2: ASEAN Growth and Development of ASEAN: Promoting regional economic cooperation

How it all began: ASEAN Declaration
On 8 August 1967, five Southeast Asian nations signed the ASEAN Declaration in Bangkok to officiate the creation of a regional association. Within the Declaration, three out of seven objectives related to economic development.

For instance, the fifth objective states that member nations were to “collaborate more effectively for the greater utilization of their agriculture and industries, the expansion of their trade, including the study of the problems of international commodity trade”.

In the late 1960s, most member states of ASEAN were largely reliant on primary products. Malaysia was a key exporter of tin, natural rubber and palm oil. Thailand specialised in the production of tapioca and rice. Yet, regional economic cooperation was not at the top of the priority list, since the main export markets for the above products were outside ASEAN. This could be the result of differing stages of economic development among the ASEAN-5.

The ASEAN economies exhibit a mixture of the characteristics of the economies of the ‘North’ and the ‘South’. There is, on the one hand, the highly industrialised, affluent and small economy of Singapore, while on the other large, less affluent and rather dualistic economies of Indonesia, Philippines and Thailand. Then there is Malaysia which is medium-size, natural resource rich and relatively affluent; […]

Singapore, with its policy of virtually free trade, is already well-integrated with the rest of the world, while Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand – all seeking to industrialise themselves – have high tariff and other trade barriers. Malaysia’s industrialisation strategy is also based on restricted trade, but the degree of such restrictions is lower. Given this mixture of structural characteristics, policies of trade liberalisation cannot be successful without greater co-ordination of industrial strategies of the member countries.

An excerpt taken from “ASEAN Into the 1990s” by Alison Broinowski.

Oil Shocks and The Bali Summit
The first oil crisis of 1973 had adversely affected oil-importing nations, such as Thailand and the Philippines. In addition, price fluctuations in the world markets made the attainment of economic growth unsustainable. ASEAN members began to contemplate on the need for a regional market to sustain industrialisation.

As such, Indonesian ministers (such as Widjojo Nitisastro) under Suharto’s leadership invited ASEAN leaders to attend a gathering in Jakarta in November 1975. This ‘Meeting of ASEAN Economic and Planning Ministers’ set the stage for the first ASEAN Summit in Bali in February 1976.

From the economic standpoint, the Bali Summit concluded with the signing of the ASEAN Concord. In consideration of the challenges posed by external shocks, the Concord sought to address the risk of supply shortages for food and energy.

One key initiative was the ASEAN Industrial Projects (AIPs) that required each member state to lead a joint venture with other members. The AIPs sought to address the lack of complementariness between ASEAN economies, thus facilitating economic integration. It was estimated that each project required an investment of up to US$300 million.

However, not all member states expressed enthusiasm towards the projects.

According to Widjojo Nitisastro, Indonesia had resisted all notions of trade liberalization and regional economic integration. Indonesia, he said, was more concerned with food, as well as energy, security and with the establishment of large-scale industrial projects. Widjojo believed that, if a country felt that trade liberalization was good for it, it would open up trade unilaterally anyway.

An excerpt taken from “Southeast Asia in Search of an ASEAN Community: Insights from the Former ASEAN Secretary-general” by Rodolfo Severino.

Musings of an ASEAN Free Trade Area
Yet, the attempts to promote regional economic cooperation in the 1960s and 1970s were arguably disappointing, given that intra-ASEAN trade levels remained low. In the case of the AIPs, only two out of five projects were implemented, namely the urea projects under Malaysia and Indonesia. The rest were eventually withdrawn.

During the 13th ASEAN Economic Ministers meeting in May 1982, the Philippine President Marcos raised the notion of a free trade regime involving ASEAN members, which was later established a decade later.

Six years have now passed since we inaugurated in Bali, Indonesia a broad and ambitious program for regional cooperation in our part of Asia, which dramatically transformed the character of our association of Southeast Asian nations and has since riveted the attention of our peoples and governments on the tasks of making regional community possible and real in our part of the world.

[…] If free trade is a goal which commends itself to the other ASEAN member-governments, then we should lose no time in so resolving that it is. Establishing a free trade regime is an enormous undertaking, requiring a great deal of preparation and lead time. If we resolve today to establish it, perhaps we should need all of the next ten years to stage it.

An excerpt taken from the “Address of President Marcos at the 13th Meeting of the ASEAN Economic Ministers“, 20 May 1982.

What can we learn from this article?
Consider the following question:
– Assess the view that ASEAN was effective in promoting regional economic cooperation in the 1970s and 1980s.

Join our JC History Tuition to learn more about ASEAN. The H2 and H1 History Tuition feature online discussion and writing practices to enhance your knowledge application skills. Get useful study notes and clarify your doubts on the subject with the tutor. You can also follow our Telegram Channel to get useful updates.

We have other JC tuition classes, such as JC Math Tuition and JC Chemistry Tuition. For Secondary Tuition, we provide Secondary English Tuition, Secondary Math tuition, Secondary Chemistry Tuition, Social Studies Tuition, Geography, History Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. For Primary Tuition, we have Primary English, Math and Science Tuition. Call 9658 5789 to find out more.

JC History Tuition Online - When did Myanmar join ASEAN

When did Myanmar join ASEAN?

Topic of Study [For H2 History Students]:
Paper 2: Regional Conflicts and Co-operation
Source Based Case Study
Theme III Chapter 2: ASEAN (Growth and Development of ASEAN: Building regional peace and security – relations between ASEAN and external powers)

Historical context
During the 29th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting (AMM) in July 1996, Myanmar was granted an observer status. In August 1996, Myanmar applied for full membership. On 23 July 1997, Myanmar was formally accepted as a member of the ASEAN regional organisation.

ASEAN being put to the test: Western objections
However, the admission of Myanmar into ASEAN was not welcomed by some external powers, especially those in the western parts of the world, such as the European Union (EU) members and the United States.

In preparatory negotiations for the annual ASEAN-EU Joint Co-operation Council meeting in Bangkok, scheduled for November 1997, the EU insisted that Myanmar’s attendance be downgraded to “passive presence”, a condition that was unacceptable to ASEAN. The impasse led to the postponement of the meeting and a chilling relationship between the two groupings. Throughout 1998 and 1999, Europe maintained such policies towards Myanmar because of a “lack of progress to break the [domestic] political stalemate, the harassment of pro-democracy activists and the poor human rights record in Myanmar”.

An excerpt taken from “ASEAN Enlargement Impacts and Implications” by Carolyn L. Gates and Mya Than.

As a result of Myanmar’s domestic crisis, Myanmar was prohibited from attending an ASEAN-EU Foreign Ministers Meeting (AEMM) in Berlin on 30 March 1999. Myanmar’s non-attendance resulted in the cancellation of the AEMM, reflecting a strain in EU-ASEAN relations in the late 1990s.

The genesis of Myanmar’s entry to ASEAN
When the regional association was established in August 1967, Myanmar did not identify itself with ASEAN, given its political stance as one of the founding members of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).

There are two key factors that could possibly explain Myanmar’s interest to join the association in the post-Cold War era: Its reversal of an isolationist policy and interest in regional economic cooperation.

From the domestic standpoint, the military government had been pre-occupied with ethnic insurgencies for decades, expending substantial resources to contain unrest. By the 1990s, the government managed to sign peace treaties to (temporarily) cease intra-state violence. Hence, it could now turn its attention to regional developments, including engagement with ASEAN.

As for the international dimension, the government was cognisant of the Western criticisms towards its domestic controversies, such as the use of force against activists and opposition groups. International isolationism was akin to a tightening noose around its neck. As such, the government desired cooperation with ASEAN to end this political ostracism.

Myanmar’s critics have argued that the reasons behind Myanmar’s decision were both political and economic. Politically, it was boycotted by the Western bloc led by the United States and the EU, the country needed international recognition and this led to the decision to join ASEAN. The economic reason was that the country needed development assistance and economic cooperation with groups of countries which were sympathetic to Myanmar and ASEAN was ready to accept it as a member, since the country was facing economic sanctions imposed by the West.

An excerpt taken from “Myanmar in ASEAN: Regional Co-operation Experience“. by Mya Than.

A family united?
Although there were reservations expressed by Thailand and the Philippines over Myanmar’s poor human rights record, Malaysia rallied behind Myanmar.

During a keynote address by then-Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, on 24 July 1997, he asserted that the inclusion of both Myanmar and Laos should be hailed as a great achievement in bringing the association closer to the goal of realising the ‘ASEAN-10’ vision.

ASEAN’s accomplishments are even more remarkable considering that not so long ago there were wars and conflicts in the region and within many of the ASEAN countries. It was predicted that if North Vietnam achieved victory, then, like dominoes one by one the other countries in the region would fall to Communism and chaos. We were told then, as we are told now, that we needed foreign protection against predatory neighbours such as a victorious Vietnam and the other powerful Eastern countries.

An excerpt taken from “Keynote Address By The Honourable Dato’ Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed The Prime Minister of Malaysia“, 24 July 1997.

What can we learn from this article?
Consider the following question:
– How far do you agree that ASEAN’s membership expansion in the 1990s has strengthened the organisation?

Join our JC History Tuition to learn more about ASEAN. The H2 and H1 History Tuition feature online discussion and writing practices to enhance your knowledge application skills. Get useful study notes and clarify your doubts on the subject with the tutor. You can also follow our Telegram Channel to get useful updates.

We have other JC tuition classes, such as JC Math Tuition and JC Chemistry Tuition. For Secondary Tuition, we provide Secondary English Tuition, Secondary Math tuition, Secondary Chemistry Tuition, Social Studies Tuition, Geography, History Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. For Primary Tuition, we have Primary English, Math and Science Tuition. Call 9658 5789 to find out more.

JC History Tuition Online - What changes did Poland go through in 1989

What changes did Poland go through in 1989?

Topic of Study [For H2 and H1 History Students]: 
Paper 1: Understanding the Cold War (1945-1991)
Section A: Source-based Case Study
Theme I Chapter 3: End of Bipolarity [Popular movements in the West and the Eastern bloc to end the Cold War]

Historical context
In response to worsening economic problems in the late 1980s, the Polish people participated in strikes. In September 1988, Polish Solidarity leader Lech Walesa and the Minister of Internal Affairs Czesław Kiszczak (the right-hand man of General Jaruzelski) held a secret meeting to discuss the political situation of Poland. This was a stark contrast to the Polish government’s response to the strikes in 1980-1981, in which martial law was declared.

By the end of the meeting, both parties agreed to hold talks (known as the ‘Round Table’), which began on 6 February 1989. Two months later, the ‘Round Table Agreement’ was signed, reflecting successful efforts for political reforms in a Communist-controlled Poland.

By February 1989, President Wojciech Jaruzelski agreed to open ’round-table negotiations’ with Solidarity in an attempt to introduce democratic elements into Polish politics. An agreement signed in April 1989 legalized Solidarity and stipulated new election rulesNon-communist parties were now allowed to compete for 35 per cent of the seats in the Polish Diet, yet the formula ensured that Jaruzelski would retain the power of decision.

An excerpt taken from “Transatlantic Relations Since 1945: An Introduction” by Jussi Hanhimaki, Barbara Zanchetta and Benedikt Schoenborn.

The Round Table Agreement and its consequences on the Cold War
In the Agreement, there were several noteworthy points, such as the legalisation of independent trade unions (which included the popular Solidarity) and the creation of Senate. More importantly, an election was to be held on 4 June 1989.

Of course, the Polish Round Table talks set into motion the chain of extraordinary events of 1989 in Europe. As a result of the talks the first completely free election in one house, the Senate, occurred in Eastern Europe in forty years. Because of the unexpectedly overwhelming triumph of Solidarity in the elections in June 1989, in August the first non-Communist prime minister in Eastern Europe in forty years came to office after the Communists were unable to form a government when some of their former satellite Peasant Party allies defected. […]

A Soviet intervention in Poland would have meant the death of Gorbachev’s détente with the West, with deleterious consequences for his perestroika project. Gorbachev thus faced a stark choice he had not expected or desired: intervene in Poland or let a non-Communist government come to power.

An excerpt taken from “Problems of Democratic Transition and Consolidation: Southern Europe, South America, and Post-Communist Europe” by Juan J. J. Linz.

By the end of the first free parliamentary election in Poland since 1928, the Solidarity emerged victorious. On 24 August 1989, Tadeusz Mazowiecki became the first non-Communist prime minister in the Eastern Bloc. Thus began the disintegration of the Soviet bloc in Eastern Europe.

What can we learn from this article?
Consider the following question:
– Assess the view that the fall of Soviet Communism in Eastern Europe was mainly the result of popular movements in 1989?

Join our JC History Tuition to learn more about the End of the Cold War. The H2 and H1 History Tuition feature online discussion and writing practices to enhance your knowledge application skills. Get useful study notes and clarify your doubts on the subject with the tutor. You can also follow our Telegram Channel to get useful updates.

We have other JC tuition classes, such as JC Math Tuition and JC Chemistry Tuition. For Secondary Tuition, we provide Secondary English Tuition, Secondary Math tuition, Secondary Chemistry Tuition, Social Studies Tuition, Geography, History Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. For Primary Tuition, we have Primary English, Math and Science Tuition. Call 9658 5789 to find out more.