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JC History Tuition Bishan Singapore - How did Singapore achieve rapid economic growth - JC History Essay Notes

How did Singapore achieve rapid economic growth?

Singapore: An Asian Tiger
Ever since Singapore achieved independence in August 1965, the government embarked on an ambitious goal of transforming the young nation into a bustling, modern country that has become the role model for others. From independence to 1997, Singapore has been recognised as one of the front runners in Southeast Asia. Today, Singapore is known for many things, including financial and tourism activities.

Examine the reasons for Singapore’s economic success.

Topic of Study [For H2 History Students]:
Paper 2: Economic Development after Independence
Section B: Essay Writing
Theme II Chapter 1: Paths to Economic Development

1959 to 1965: Merger & Separation – Singapore’s path to independence
Before Singapore began its rapid economic transformation, the British colonial rule played a crucial role in providing the infrastructure and systems to commence this phenomenal change. In particular, the British capitalized in the strategic location of Singapore in the Southeast Asia to develop it for entrepôt trade.

Additionally, migrants from other parts of Asia began to set foot in the ‘Little Red Dot’, thereby providing labour for manufacturing and services. However, the devastation of the World War Two can be observed, such as the destruction of public infrastructure.

On 5 October 1960, Albert Winsemius was invited by the United Nations Development Programme team to review the country’s ability to carry out industrialisation. Winsemius concluded in the report that high-tech industrialiastion was indeed important, as well as the promotion of foreign investment. As such, the government developed the Jurong Industrial Estate, marking the first step towards industrialization.

1965 to 1985: An outward-oriented approach
Following the sudden declaration of Separation, Singapore had to contend with its own small market, which lacked natural resources that other neighbouring countries possessed. Furthermore, the British declared its intent to withdraw by 1971, which meant that Singapore would have lost a major source of employment and economic growth.

In contrast to other Southeast Asian economies, Singapore began its export-oriented industrialisation (EOI) strategies much earlier. The purpose of EOI was to address the above-mentioned challenges, such as the reliance on trade and foreign investment to propel growth. For example, policy incentives were introduced, like the Economic Expansion Incentives Act (1967) that lowered taxation for specific industries.

Additionally, the government tapped on its only available resource – labour – to enhance its international competitiveness. Vocational training institutes were established to equip its citizens with the skills and knowledge to support the multinational corporations (MNCs). On 1 April 1979, the Vocational and Industrial Training Board (VITB) was formed to facilitate the training of workers in the ‘commercial, industrial and service sectors’.

The government’s efforts had paid off, as seen by the rapid economic growth and falling unemployment rates. EOI and the attraction of foreign investment have led to the influx of foreign companies, which contributed to job creation and higher industrial output.

1985 to 1997: Adaptation to changing economic conditions
However, there were setbacks that limited the extent of Singapore’s economic success. Notably, the Crisis Decades in the 1970s, led to an economic recession in 1985. By opening up the nation to trade, it became vulnerable to external shocks.

Nevertheless, effective adaptation has ensured that the Singapore economy remained resilient in the face of such challenges. For example, Singapore focused on a productivity-driven growth through the’wage shock therapy‘ from 1979 to 1981. The 1985 recession prompted the government to reduce Central Provident Fund (CPF) contribution rates to keep cost of production low. This response was critical as it helped to maintain employment at low and stable levels.

Finally, economic restructuring was carried out, in response to the Strategic Economy Plan (1991) by the Economic Planning Committee. Its purpose was to maintain the country’s international competitiveness through economic diversification. Therefore, heavy investment was made to develop the financial and tourism sectors.

Concluding remarks
In summary, the Singapore government’s consistent policymaking and responses to economic challenges have played a major role in realising the aims set by the ‘founding fathers’ of the young nation. As of 2017, Singapore’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is estimated at US$329.91 billion, demonstrating their successful efforts.

What can we learn from this case study?
Consider the following questions to understand this country-specific case study:
– How far do you agree that the promotion of foreign investment was the most important factor in explaining the economic transformation of Singapore after independence? [to be discussed in class]

In view of the Singapore case study, it is imperative that you apply your knowledge to practice questions. Sign up for the JC History Tuition and learn how to organise your answers and provide well-analysed arguments to ace the GCE A Level History examinations.

Additionally, you can join other JC tuition classes, like GP Tuition, Economics Tuition, JC Chemistry Tuition, JC Math Tuition and China Studies in English Tuition to be ready for the GCE A Level examinations. For Secondary Tuition classes, we offer Secondary English Tuition, Secondary Math tuition, Secondary Chemistry Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. Call 9689 0510 to register now!

JC History Tuition Bishan Bedok Singapore - What caused the Sino-Soviet Split - JC History Essay Writing Skills Notes

What caused the Sino-Soviet Split

What led to the Sino-Soviet split?
As part of the Cold War conflict, the two Great Powers (China and Russia) that share ideological similarities (i.e. Communism), political clashes had resulted in the deterioration of bilateral relations. From 1950 to 1979, the persistent sense of mutual distrust and antagonism have caused the outbreak of tensions that occasionally took the form of close military confrontation.

Find out more about the motivations of Mao Zedong and Khrushchev to understand the changing Sino-Soviet relations

Topic of Study [For H1 History Students]:
Section B: Essay Writing
Theme II: Cold War in Asia [1945-1991] – Superpower relations with China (1950-1979): Sino-Soviet relations

In the following part, we will examine the major events that contributed to the deterioration in Sino-Soviet relations from 1950 to 1979. It is important to consider the roles of China and Soviet Union, especially the political leaders.

1. [Stalin & Mao] Sino-Soviet Treaty of Friendship of 1950
Following the Communist Party of China’s (CCP) victory during the Chinese Civil War, Stalin extended his invitation to CCP Chairman, Mao Zedong, resulting in the signing of the Treaty of Friendship on 14 Feb 1950.

For the People’s Republic of China (PRC), the Treaty offered both economic and security benefits. Soviet aid of $300 million in loans was handed out to China. Additionally, Russia offered security support for China. For Russia, the Treaty was beneficial as Stalin would gain from a new trading partner.

However, the Treaty had sowed the seeds of the Sino-Soviet split. Mao took offense at the unequal bilateral relations with Russia. For example, the above-mentioned Soviet loans had to be repaid with additional interest.

2. [Khrushchev & Mao] Khrushchev’s ‘Peaceful Coexistence’
In 1956, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev introduced a new Soviet foreign policy at the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of Soviet Union (CPSU) – Peaceful coexistence.

Khrushchev believed that continued aggression against the Western nations, especially USA, would eventually result in a nuclear war (i.e. Mutually Assured Destruction). Therefore, he proposed that the Soviet Union should coexist than antagonise Western, capitalist nations.

However, Mao criticized Khrushchev’s peaceful coexistence, labeling it as a ‘revisionist’ form of Marxism. In contrast, Mao advocated a firm belief that Marxism-Leninism would clash with Western ideology (capitalism and democracy), resulting in an inevitable conflict. Hence, ideological differences between the two leaders led to the widening Sino-Soviet split.

3. [Khrushchev & Mao] Mao’s Great Leap Forward
From 1958 to 1962, Mao implemented a large-scale economic and social campaign known as the Great Leap Forward. It was based on a traditional Marxist-Leninist method that focused on the mass mobilization of citizens for rapid industrialization.

However, the Great Leap Forward turned out to be a disaster. The inefficient model caused the estimated death tool of 56 million. Additionally, Khrushchev disagreed with Mao’s approach and withdrew Soviet support, thereby halting China’s nuclear programme.

4. [Khrushchev & Mao] Exchange of verbal aggression
In Jun 1960, the Romanian Communist Party Congress was held. During the meeting, both Khrushchev and Mao engaged in a ‘war of words’, in which they criticized one another publicly.

For example, Khrushchev accused Mao of being ‘a nationalist, an adventurist and a deviationist’. Similarly, Mao labelled Khrushchev as a ‘patriarchal, arbitrary and tyrannical’ Marxist revisionist.

5. [Khrushchev & Mao] Cuban Missile Crisis & Sino-Indian War of 1962
During the October Crisis, Mao accused Khrushchev of being cowardly towards USA, following the latter’s agreement to dismantle the missile bases in Cuba. Again, Khrushchev insisted that his foreign policy of peaceful coexistence was critical to avert a nuclear disaster. Yet, Mao argued that the Soviet Union had failed to support the communist revolution and lost its credibility as the leader.

Similarly, in Oct 1962, a border dispute between China and India resulted in a military confrontation. However, contrary to Mao’s expectations, Soviet Union did not provide security support to China. Hence, the Sino-Indian War had confirmed suspicions of a Sino-Soviet split.

6. [Brezhnev & Mao] Sino-Soviet border conflict
The period from Mar to Sep 1969 was arguably the peak of the Sino-Soviet split. In Mar 1969, the Soviet Union invaded China and occupied the disputed area – Damansky (Zhenbao) Island. The border conflict nearly led to the outbreak of another world war. The incident was a significant turning point in Cold War history as Mao sought rapprochement with the USA to avoid a two-way confrontation with the superpowers.

What can we learn from this case study?
Consider the following questions to understand the case study:
– How far do you agree that ideological differences were the main cause of the Sino-Soviet split from 1950 to 1970? [to be discussed in class]

Besides the consideration of the above-mentioned factors that affected the superpower relations with China, you can sign up for our JC History Tuition to develop effective critical thinking and essay writing skills.

Additionally, you can join other JC tuition classes, such as GP Tuition, Economics Tuition, JC Chemistry Tuition, JC Math Tuition and China Studies in English Tuition. For Secondary Tuition classes, we offer Secondary English Tuition, Secondary Math tuition, Secondary Chemistry Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. Call 9689 0510 to learn more about our tuition programmes.

JC History Tuition Notes Bukit Timah Bishan Bedok Singapore - What happened during the Rwandan Genocide - United Nations

What happened during the Rwandan Genocide?

What happened in Rwanda?
In April 1994, a civil war broke out in Rwanda (located in Central and East Africa), in which the Hutus engaged in the mass slaughter of the Tutsis. Within a span of 100 days, the number of Rwandans killed was estimated to be at 800,000. In general, the United Nations operation in Rwanda was perceived to be a failure as it could not prevent the genocide from taking place.

Topic of Study [For 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

In the next part below, we will examine the key roles to understand the developments in Rwanda as well as the role of the United Nations.

1. [Belgium] A brewing conflict in Rwanda
In the past, Rwanda was under Belgian colonial rule. The Belgians granted the Tutsi aristocratic minority power, which in turn positioned the Hutu majority as a seemingly-lower social class. As such, the growing class division led to rising ethnic tensions between the two groups.

In 1961, Belgium granted the Rwandan colony independence, followed by the outbreak of ethnic violence between the Hutus and Tutsis. The Hutus gained political power, as seen by the ascension of the Hutu president, Juvénal Habyarimana (1973-1994). On the other hand, the exiled Tutsis formed the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) to demand political concessions from the Habyarimana administration, particularly the ‘second-class’ status.

Contrary to the Tutsis’ expectations, the Hutus perceived them as serious threats to social and political stability. Thus, the Rwandan Civil War began. On 2 Oct 1990, the RPF engaged in a war against the government. Although both parties were willing to hold a ceasefire, as seen by the signing of the Arusha Accords in Aug 1993, the peace was short-lived.

2. [United Nations] Humanitarian Responses
In Jun 1993, the UN deployed the UN Observer Mission Uganda-Rwanda (UNOMUR), which cooperated with the Organization of African Unity (OAU). The UNOMUR’s aim was the oversee the implementation of the 1993 Arusha Accords.

More importantly, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 872 on 5 Oct 1993. The UN Assistance Mission Rwanda (UNAMIR) was deployed. The UNAMIR’s mandate included the monitoring of the Arusha Accords, demobilization of aggressors, overseeing elections and the providing humanitarian aid to the displaced refugees in Rwanda.

Unfortunately, the UN was hampered by the lack of troops (partially due to the Somalia incident). Notably, the UN took five months to organise its troops and form the authorised strength.

3. [Hutu Government] The Genocide begins
In 1994, the Habyarimana government ignored the UN’s efforts and conducted the mass slaughter of Tutsis. The Hutus stood by the justification that the killings were to prevent the enslavement of the Hutu people as the Tutsi aristocrats may resurface if left unchecked.

To make matters worse, the Hutus blamed the Tutsis for the death of Habyarimana on 7 Apr 1994. Although an interim government was formed, it failed to stem the tide of the massacre. Additionally, the RPF (Tutsis) continued to challenge the government, worsening the refugee problem.

4. [United Nations] Last ditch attempts
In view of this complex conflict, the UNAMIR was unable to facilitate a ceasefire. Growing frustrated by the lack of progress and the threatened UN troops, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 912, which diminished the size of the UNAMIR from 2548 to 270.

Finally, the UN Security Council tried to salvage the situation by passing Resolution 929, which led to the start of ‘Operation Turquoise’. It was a multinational operation led by France to provide humanitarian protection for the refugees in Rwanda. Again, the UN was too slow in its response.

What was the outcome?
By Oct 1994, nearly 1 million people were killed. Also, 2 million people were displaced from their homes. Eventually, the killings ceased only when the RPF took over Rwanda and formed a new government.

What can we learn from this case study?
Consider the following questions to understand the case study better:
– What are the obstacles that hindered the UNAMIR?
– How far do you agree that the lack of political will was the main reason for the failure of the UN operations in Rwanda? [to be discussed in class]

After you have learnt the post-Cold War UN case studies, we would like to share with you more about our JC tuition programmes that you can join, such as the GP Tuition, Economics Tuition, JC Chemistry Tuition, JC Math Tuition and China Studies in English Tuition. For Secondary Tuition classes, we offer Secondary English Tuition, Secondary Math tuition, Secondary Chemistry Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. We teach you how to approach these subjects in exam-friendly methods, such that you will develop the critical thinking and problem-solving skills to ace the GCE A Level examinations.

JC History Tuition Notes Bukit Timah Bishan Bedok Singapore - How did the Somali civil war start - United Nations

How did the Somali civil war start?

What happened in Somalia?
In the 1980s, a civil war broke out in Somalia, which is located close to the ‘Horn of Africa’ (next to Ethiopia and Kenya). The internal conflict arose due to the resistance against the dictator – Jaalle Mohamed Siad Barre. In 1991, armed opposition overthrew the Barre government, leaving behind a power vacuum, such that political infighting ensued. Generally, even with the intervention of the United Nations, Somalia was embroiled in a longstanding conflict. Following the Battle of Mogadishu in 1993, the UN lost its confidence and withdrew in 1995.

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

In the next section, we will learn more about the respective roles that can explain the developments of the Somali civil war, particularly the involvement of the United Nations.

1. [Somalia] A vague semblance of order
Following the collapse of the Barre government, Somalia entered a state of anarchy as multiple military factions began to engage in violent confrontations. The Somali National Movement (SNM) occupied the northern parts (later known as Somaliland), whereas the United Somali Congress (USC) controlled both the capital of Mogadishu and the southern regions.

However, as the capital represented the seat of power, armed factions led by the USC leaders, Mohamed Farah Aidid and Ali Mahdi Mohamed, fought aggressively. Then, Ali Mahdi Mohammed was recognised as the President of Somalia, even though his political influence was limited to the capital. In 1992, a ceasefire was called between the two leaders.

2. [United Nations] Humanitarian responses
In view of the humanitarian crisis in Somalia, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) passed Resolution 733 (23 Jan 1992) and Resolution 746 (17 Mar 1992). The purpose of these Resolutions was to assist Somalia in the restoration of peace through the provision of humanitarian support. To facilitate this process, the United Nations Operation in Somalia I (UNOSOM I) was formed. Unfortunately, the severity of internal political instability due to the military infighting between warlords hampered the UNOSOM I’s humanitarian relief efforts.

To address this setback, the UNSC passed Resolution 794 (3 Dec 1992) to authorise the deployment of the United Task Force (UNITAF). The UNITAF’s role was to facilitate the creation of a stable and secure environment for ‘humanitarian relief operations’. Notably, the UNITAF was granted SC authorization to use force and ensure that there was minimal obstruction by the local warlords in Somalia. In 1993, the UNOSOM II was deployed to sustain the provision of humanitarian support.

3. [USA] A fatal error: The Battle of Mogadishu
In Aug 1993, the US deployed a Joint Special Operations force, known as the Task Force Ranger, with the aim of capture two of General Mohammed Farah Aidid’s lieutenants. It was part of Operation ‘Gothic Serpent’, which had the main aim of seizing Farah Aidid in the capital Mogadishu.

In Oct 1993, the operation met a major setback as two US ‘Black Hawk’ helicopters were shot down by the local aggressors. All the survivors except one (Michael Durant) were killed by the Somalis at the crash site.

The failed operation had greater political implications on both the US and UN. US President Bill Clinton changed the foreign policy stance and withdrew US forces from Somalia. Similarly, other UN member states followed suit, such as Italy, Belgium, Sweden and France.

What was the outcome?
In conclusion, the UNSC issued Resolution 954 (4 Nov 1994) and called on the UN to withdraw all its forces from Somalia. Eventually, all the UN soldiers left the ‘failed state’ on 3 Mar 1995.

What can we learn from this case study?
Consider the following questions to understand the case study better:
– Was the UN successful in providing humanitarian aid in this conflict?
– What were the determining factors to evaluate the successes and limitations of the UN operations in Somalia? [to be discussed in class]

Now that you have examined the UN’s role in the post-Cold War period, we would like to introduce other JC tuition classes that you can sign up, namely the GP Tuition, Economics Tuition, JC Chemistry Tuition, JC Math Tuition and China Studies in English Tuition. For Secondary Tuition classes, we offer Secondary English Tuition, Secondary Math tuition, Secondary Chemistry Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. These lessons will be useful in providing you with the resources and practices to be ready for the rigours of the GCE A Level examinations.

JC History Tuition Notes Bukit Timah Bishan Bedok Singapore - What happened in the South Lebanon conflict - United Nations

What happened in the South Lebanon conflict?

What happened in South Lebanon?
This conflict is part of a protracted Arab-Israeli conflict, which we have examined in two earlier articles, namely the Palestinian War (1948) and the Suez Canal Crisis (1956). Following the Six-Day War (1967) and the Yom-Kippur War (1973), the Palestinian conflict began in South Lebanon (1978 and 1982). In general, it is an Israeli-Lebanese conflict that broke out due to the Israeli invasion of Lebanon. Eventually, after a series of failed attempts, the Palestinian forces withdrew from Lebanon in 1989 and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) left in 2000.

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 

In the following section, we will find out what happened in South Lebanon and understand the roles of the involved parties, namely, Palestinians, Lebanon, Israel and the United Nations.

1. [Palestinians] Flight of the refugees
Ever since the creation of Israel in 1948, the Arab-Israeli conflict resulted in the mass exodus of Palestinians. Many Palestinians fled to Lebanon, which was recognised as one of the more wealthy nations as compared to the Arab countries. By mid-1970s, nearly one-fifth of the population in South Lebanon (including Beirut) comprised of Palestinians.

The problem began with the existence of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO), which was formed in 1964 to achieve the ‘liberation of Palestine) via violent and armed means, particularly directed towards the Israelis. In this case, the refugees based in South Lebanon sided with the PLO.

On 11 Mar 1978, the Coastal Road massacre took place, in which the PLO faction (Fatah) hijacked a bus and killed 38 Israeli civilians. The PLO had planned to use the hostages to demand the release of Palestinian prisoners.

2. [Israel] Swift military retaliation
In response to the terrorist attack, Israel began ‘Operation Litani’ three days later. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) conducted the invasion of South Lebanon via the Litani River. Within a week, Israel forces occupied the southern part. As the operation involved land, air and naval bombardment, many Lebanese and Palestinian refugees were displaced. Subsequently, the Lebanese Government requested help from the United Nations.

3. [United Nations] Futile attempts to call for ceasefire and conflict resolution
Then, the Security Council passed Resolution 425 and Resolution 426, which demanded the withdrawal of Israeli troops from Lebanon. To enforce this mandate, the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) was established.

However, non-cooperation by the IDF and PLO proved problematic for the UN. For instance, the PLO argued that the Resolution was not applicable due to its lack of specification in requesting the withdrawal of the PLO. Although Israel eventually handed over their position to the South Lebanon Army (SLA) in Jun 1978, the SLA attacked the UNIFL headquarters. Similarly, the Palestinian factions attacked the UNIFIL, thus hindering the area of operations.

On 6 Jun 1982, Israel invaded Lebanon again. This time, it was known as the ‘Operation Peace for Galilee’. The main aim of the Operation was to force the departure of the PLO from South Lebanon. As the IDF expelled the PLO, the SLA (led by Saad Haddad) restricted the movement of the UNIFIL. Unfortunately, the UN thus limited to humanitarian assistance, rather than peacekeeping.

4. [USA] Alternative solutions
As conflict resolution appeared unlikely, other countries sought alternative methods. In Aug 1982, the US led the creation of a ‘Multinational Force’ (MNF) in Lebanon that also involved France, UK and Italy to oversee the withdrawal of PLO forces from Lebanon.

However, the MNF was unable to prevent the outbreak of hostilities. In fact, the MNF was also attacked, as seen by the bombing at the Beirut barracks in Oct 1983 that caused the deaths of nearly 300 peacekeepers. Frustrated by the failures, the MNF withdrew as well.

What was the outcome?
In conclusion, the UN operation in South Lebanon was a failure due to the non-compliance of local military factions (IDF, SLA and PLO). The Lebanese Civil War later ended in 1990, in which Syria occupied Lebanon. Both Palestinians and the Israelis withdrew from Lebanon in 1989 and 2000 respectively.

What can we learn from this case study?
Consider the following questions to understand the case study better:
– Which were more significant obstacles to the UN: Local parties or operational constraints?  
– How far do you agree that inaction of the Security Council was the main reason for the failures of the peacekeeping operation in the Lebanon conflict? [to be discussed in class]

After examining the Lebanon conflict, we would like to suggest other related JC tuition classes that you can consider, such as the Economics Tuition and GP Tuition, which are undoubtedly helpful in your preparation for the GCE A Level examinations. For Secondary Tuition classes, we offer Secondary English Tuition, Secondary Math tuition, Secondary Chemistry Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. We teach you to think critically, discuss expressively, and write persuasively.

JC History Tuition Notes Bukit Timah Bishan Bedok Singapore - Why did the Iran Hostage Crisis take place - United Nations ICJ

Why did the Iran Hostage Crisis happen?

On 29 Nov 1979, the US submitted a case to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) due to the sudden hostage incident in Iran, which affected its embassy personnel. The US held the premise that the Iran hostage incident was a clear violation of international law. Eventually, the ICJ’s ruling was only accepted by Iran after a series of unilateral enforcement actions undertaken by the US. It was a controversial incident that lasted for 444 days that was eventually resolved, but gave rise to other problems, such as the outbreak of the Iran-Iraq War (Sep 1980 – Aug 1988) as well as the deterioration of bilateral relations between the US and Iran.

Topic of Study [For 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 – International Court of Justice: ensuring adherence to international law; arbitration and advisory opinion

In the next section, we will find out what happened during the Iran Hostage Crisis and the role of ICJ in resolving this tense conflict. This case study is essential in helping students to understand the supporting role of USA in ensuring the adherence to the international law.

1. [Iran] The hostage incident
On 4 Nov 1979, a group of radical Iranian college students took over the US Embassy complex in Tehran and held its occupants hostage. These students were part of the “Muslim Student Followers of the Imam’s Line”, which supported the Iranian Revolution.

Generally, the Iranian Revolution began with the mass public demonstrations against the last Shah of Iran – Mohammaed Reza Pahlavi. Under the leadership of Ayatollah Khomeini, the Revolution overthrew the American-backed monarchy. The ‘hostage incident’ was part of Iran’s protest against US and to demand the return of the deposed Shah Pahlavi.

2. [ICJ] The United Nations’ response
In response, the US submitted the case to the ICJ. On 24 May 1980, ICJ concluded that Iran had violated international law. Then, the ICJ requested the Iranian Government to ensure the immediate release of the hostages and make reparations to the US. However, Iran ignored the Court’s ruling, reflecting the absence of enforcement.

3. [USA] American response: Escape, sanctions and negotiations
Although the ICJ failed to make progress, the US attempted to resolve the crisis through other means. One such method was a joint covert rescue that was carried out by the Canadian government and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). 6 American diplomats who evaded capture on 4 Nov were successful in leaving Iran by air flight.

The second approach was more aggressive in nature as the US imposed economic sanctions on Iran, freezing $12 billion of assets and banning Iranian oil imports.

The third approach involved negotiations between the two governments from 1980 to 1981.

4. Outcome: Conflict resolution
In short, the Algiers Declaration (or ‘Algiers Accords’) was signed between US and Iran on 19 Jan 1981, in which involved the unfreezing of $7.9 million Iranian assets in exchange for the immediate release of the hostages. To facilitate the release based on the mutually-agreed terms, the Algiers Declaration formed the Iran-United States Claims Tribunal.

The Iran Hostage Crisis ended on 20 Jan 1981, signalling a significant decline in the diplomatic relations between Iran and US. Several months back, in Sep 1980, Iraq invaded Iran, marking the start of the Iran-Iraq War.

What can we learn from this case study?
Use the following questions to assess your understanding of this case:
– Did the ICJ play a critical role in the management of this conflict?
– How far do you agree that the lack of enforcement was the primary reason for the limited effectiveness of the ICJ in ensuring adherence to the international law?

Now that you have examined this ICJ case study, you can apply your knowledge to answer UN-related essay questions in preparation for the GCE A Level History examinations. Also, you can consider joining the Economics Tuition and GP Tuition, which are useful in building up your thinking and writing techniques. For Secondary Tuition classes, we offer Secondary English Tuition, Secondary Math tuition, Secondary Chemistry Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition.

JC History Tuition Notes Bukit Timah Bishan Bedok Singapore - What caused the Congo Crisis - United Nations

What was the Congo Crisis?

What was the Congo Crisis?

The Congo Crisis (5 Jul 1960 – 25 Nov 1965) was considered a proxy war in the Cold War era that lasted till 1991. Generally, it was an internal conflict between the Republic of the Congo (supported by USA and the UN) and secessionist states of Katanga and South Kasai (backed by the Soviet Union and Belgium). With the support of the United Nations, the Republic of the Congo succeeded in preventing the secession of Katanga and South Kasai. However, any semblance of political stability in Congo was absent as Coloniel Joseph-Désiré Mobutu took over and established a dictatorship that lasted until 1997.

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 

In the following section, we will identify the challenges to understand the implications on the political effectiveness of the United Nations (UN) peacekeeping operations.

1. [Belgium, South Kasai and Katanga] The prelude to a crisis
Following the declaration of Congo’s independence from the Belgium colonials on 30 Jun 1960, many internal problems began to surface.

On 5 Jul 1960, a mutiny broke out, involving the army of the newly-independent Congo and the Belgians. In response, the Belgian government deployed military personnel into Congo to defend its fleeing citizens. Additionally, Katanga (led by Moïse Tshombe) and South Kasai undertook secessionist efforts with the support from the Belgians.

The Congolese government, which was led by Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba, objected to foreign intervention, given its newly-earned sovereign rights. As such, he requested aid from the UN. Although the UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld deployed UN peacekeepers (United Nations Force in the Congo – ONUC), he stated clearly that these troops would not be used to support Lumumba’s political agenda of preventing the secession as the UN was hamstrung by the neutrality principle.

2. [Soviet Union] Cold War expansion
The outraged Lumumba then turned to the Soviet Union, which sent its military advisors to Congo. However, the incompetence of the Lumumba government in handling the internal problems as well as the reliance on a new external power had caused an internal political disunity.

As a political deadlock between Prime Minister Lumumba and President Joseph Kasavubu was evident, Colonel Mobutu led the Congolese army and launched a coup d’état. Mobutu formed the new government and quickly removed the Soviet advisors.

Eventually, the deposed Lumumba was captured and executed in 1961. Khrushchev of the Soviet Union blamed the UN for the death of Lumumba and demanded the resignation of the UN Secretary-General as well as the replacement of the position with a troika – a three-man executive that held the power of veto. Dag Hammarskjöld responded diplomatically, earning a standing ovation from many delegates in the UN General Assembly.

However, while Hammarskjöld was on board an aircraft to oversee the ceasefire negotiations with Tshombe of Katanga, he died in a plane crash on 18 Sep 1961. Abruptly, U Thant was thrust into position as the new UN Secretary-General.

3. [United Nations] Knee-deep military intervention
In contrast to Hammarskjöld’s cautious diplomatic attempts, U Thant undertook a different approach that increased the UN involvement in the conflict between the Congolese government and the secessionists.

On 24 Nov 1961, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 169, which concluded that external intervention was necessary for conflict resolution to be achieved. U Thant was authorized to employ any necessary measures to end the secession in Katanga. Clearly, the notion of neutral peacekeeping was thrown out of the window.

The UN took on a new approach of ‘peace enforcement’, as illustrated by Operation Grandslam (Dec 1962 – Jan 1963), which involved a direct military offensive against the secessionists in Katanga. Their efforts had finally paid off, but at great cost. The UN had succeeded in fulfilling its mandate.

What was the outcome?
After the Katanga secession came to an end, the Congolese government sought to restore social and political stability. However, the peace was short-lived due to the Simba and Kwilu rebellions in 1964. This time, Colonel Mobutu stepped in and ruled Congo, which was then renamed as ‘Zaire’ in 1971.

What can we learn from this case study?
Consider the following questions to understand the case study better:
– What were the obstacles that hindered UN peacekeeping efforts during the Congo Crisis? 
– Comparing the actions of Dag Hammarskjöld and U Thant, what were the defining qualities of a UN Secretary-General that would determine the effectiveness of the UN in the Congo Crisis? [to be discussed in class]

Apart from this case study discussion, we also provide other complementary A Level programmes, like Economics Tuition and GP Tuition, that are instrumental in developing reflective thinking skills. Furthermore, our exam-driven approach that focuses on knowledge application through consistent and regular class practices will bring you closer to the ‘A’ at the GCE A Level examinations. For Secondary Tuition classes, we offer Secondary English Tuition, Secondary Math tuition, Secondary Chemistry Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition.

JC History Tuition Notes Bukit Timah Bishan Bedok Singapore - What caused the 1948 Arab Israeli War - United Nations

What caused the 1948 Arab-Israeli war?

What is the Arab-Israeli conflict?

On 14 May 1948, Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, declared the independence of Israel, which then led to the outbreak of war. Following the termination of the British Mandate, armies belonging to five Arab nations (Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Egypt) formed a military coalition and invaded Israel. Eventually, Israel achieved victory against the Arab forces.

From the Israel’s perspective, the conflict was known as the ‘War of Independence’. In contrast, the displaced Palestinians described the incident as the ‘Nakba‘, also known as ‘Catastrophe’, given the expulsion of more than 50% of the Palestinian Arabs from their homes.

Topic of Study [For 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 

In the following section, we will examine what are the factors that could have led to the start of this conflict as well as the involvement of the newly-formed United Nations. We will be discussing this topic from the four key roles: United Kingdom, Israel, Arab nations and the United Nations

1. [United Kingdom] Balfour Declaration: Seeds of Disaster
The first contributing factor relates to the United Kingdom’s proposed plans for the British Jewish community in creating a ‘home’ in Palestine. On 2 Nov 1917, British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour signed the Balfour Declaration, which stated that:

His Majesty’s government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours 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.

In short, the Balfour Declaration meant that the Jews were given the promise that a ‘national home’ would be established in the Palestine area, while ensuring the rights of the affected people were protected.

Following the end of World War I, the League of Nations oversaw the creation of Mandatory Palestine, in which the British was granted the right of rule.

However, the British support for the creation of a Jewish home had set the grounds for conflict, as seen by the series of Arab attacks in 1920, 1929 and 1936.

2. [Israel] Zionism: A National Movement
The second consideration for the outbreak of the Arab-Israeli War in 1948 can be traced to the 19th century, in which the founder of the Modern Zionist movement, Theodor Herzl, shared his vision of an independent Jewish state in the 20th century.

Zionism then became the leading national movement that guided the Jewish people to establish a ‘national home’ in Palestine, which they described as the biblical ‘Land of Israel’. As such, the Jewish community pursued the aim of ’emancipation and self-determination’, which were building blocks of statehood.

However, this zealous movement was met with resistance by the Arab nations. In response to the creation of an independent Israel, the five (above-mentioned) Arab countries were guided by their shared religious belief and waged a war.

3. [Arab Nations] Arab Nationalism: A United Front
The third factor involves Arab nationalism, which emerged due to the shared cultural-religions and historical background. The Arab nations held a common perception that the Western powers were more inclined to support Israel, as evidenced by the Balfour Declaration of 1917.

As such, the declaration of Israel’s independence in 1948 served as a pretext for the Arab coalition to fight against a ‘common enemy’ and challenge the Western powers.

4. [United Nations] Partition Plan: Resolution Attempts
Before the 1948 Arab-Israeli conflict began, the United Nations put forward a proposal, known as the Partition Plan for Palestine on 29 Nov 1947. The United Nations General Assembly passed Resolution 181 (II), which was an urgent attempt to resolve the conflict between Zionism and Palestinian nationalism.

The Plan involved the territorial division of Palestine into three areas, namely a Jewish state, Arab state and the ‘City of Jerusalem’ (corpus separatum). Given the shared religious significance of Jerusalem for both the Jewish and Arab people, the third area was to be ‘under a special international regime and shall be administered by the United Nations’.

However, the Partition Plan was rejected by the Arab governments as they claimed the arrangement violated the principles of ‘self-determination’, which was enshrined in the UN Charter. Subsequently, a civil war broke out between the Jews and Arabs in Palestine, lasting approximately five months until Ben-Gurion declared Israel’s independence in 1948.

What was the outcome?
After the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, Israel repelled the Arab coalition forces successfully and occupied about 60% of the area that was supposedly allocated to Palestine Arabs as stated in the UN Partition Plan. Also, the conflict led to the massive exodus of Palestinian Arabs from the area that was subsequently recognized as ‘Israel’. From then on, the Arab-Israeli relations were strained, as the following decades saw the outbreak of similar conflicts, such as the Suez Canal crisis and the Six-Day War.

What can we learn from this case study?
Consider the following questions to understand the incident better:
– Were political arrangements, such as the Partition Plan, doomed to fail?  
– How did the 1948 Arab-Israeli conflict affect the political effectiveness of the United Nations in the latter’s conduct of peacekeeping missions till 1991? [to be discussed in class]

On a separate note, we conduct other relevant A Level Tuition programmes, such Economics Tuition and GP Tuition that provide you the conducive environment for the development of critical thinking skills to write persuasively and in a concise manner. Hence, the attainment of ‘A’ is within your grasp at the GCE A Level examinations. For Secondary Tuition classes, we offer Secondary English Tuition, Secondary Math tuition, Secondary Chemistry Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition.

JC History Tuition Bishan Bedok Tampines Singapore - How did Taiwan become a successful export economy - JC History Essay Skills

How did Taiwan become a successful export economy?

How did Taiwan become an economic power in Asia? 
In continuation of the previous article pertaining to the contributing factors that led to the economic transformation of South Korea, we will now examine how Taiwan, also known as the ‘accidental nation’, achieved its economic success from the 1960s to the 1990s. Taiwan also undergone a process of rapid industrialisation, shifting its focus from domestic production to export-driven production that propelled the nation to its developed status.

Topic of Study [For H2 History Students]: 
Paper 1: Understanding the Global Economy (1945-2000)
Section B: Essay Writing
Theme II Chapter 3: Rise of Asian Tigers from 1970s to 1990s [South Korea and Taiwan] 

In the following section, we will focus on four major roles that led to the economic miracle in Taiwan. Take note that these points are to be evaluated based on role and factor comparison, so as to improve your comprehension of these contributing roles to the economic development of Taiwan. For example, you should analyse the varying degrees of importance for government and private businesses in affecting the economic transformation of Taiwan.

1. Role of the Government
a. Target Setting and Planning
Taiwan began its planning phase with the establishment of the Council for United States Aid (CUSA) in 1948, which was later reformed as the Council for Economic Planning and Development (CEPD). The CEPD played the role as a government agency to draft plans and set targets for the economic development of Taiwan. As a planning body, the CEPD decided on the allocation of state resources for the growth of industries, such as the distribution of development funds.

b. Policy Implementation
From the 1950s to 1960s, Taiwan’s economic policies were centred on the the implementation of the ‘import-substitution industrialisation’ (ISI) strategy, which focused on the protection of infant industries. For instance, the government introduced import restrictions on consumer goods to protect local firms from external competition. As a result, the agricultural sector flourished, contributing to the growth of the Taiwanese economy.

However, the economic contribution of the agricultural sector was low in value. As such, the Taiwanese government shifted its focus to ‘export-oriented industrialisation’ (EOI), which emphasised on the production of exports in capital-intensive industries. The government oversaw this development by passing laws that reinforced export-based production, such as the Provisions for Export Zone in 1965. Consequently, the EOI strategy was met with great success, as evidenced by the domination of numerous exporting goods in the international markets by the 1980s. For example, Taiwan was known for its exports of motherboards and computer terminals as it occupied more than three-quarters of the global exports.

2. Role of the Private Businesses [i.e. SMEs]
On the other hand, not only the public sector contributed to the economic transformation of Taiwan, but also the private counterpart, particularly the small and medium enterprises (SMEs). In contrast to South Korea, which is known for its few and massive chaebols that dominated the entire economy, Taiwan’s economic growth was driven by the existence of many SMEs. These SMEs played a crucial role in pursuing the goals set by the government, as observed by the large-scale production of exports. In the 1960s and 1970s, SMEs accompanied the government’s focus on EOI by producing standardised light-industry products. These goods were produced and sold at the international markets.

Over time, SMEs dominated the Taiwanese export production, accounting for nearly two-thirds of the entire country’s exports. Given that Taiwan’s economic developed hinged on export gains, this implied that SMEs became the key driver of the economy.

3. Role of Culture
Although Taiwan had a stark difference in the role of private businesses as compared to South Korea, the cultural factor remained similar, in the sense that favourable cultural influences could explain the remarkable economic performance of Taiwan from the 1960s to 1990s. Taiwan was also shaped by Confucianism, which is a philosophy that encouraged diligence, frugality and respect for authority.

One of the notable consequences of such cultural traits is the emergence of SMEs. In this case, the Taiwanese people were entrepreneurial. Their willingness to innovate and battle against the odds was critical in supporting this significant development. As a result, many business owners possessed the business acumen to deal with economic uncertainties.

Furthermore, the relevance of frugality to economic development can be explained by the high savings rate, which means that many firms have sources of financing to conduct investment activities that propel economic growth even more. Therefore, cultural values were important in helping us to understand the vigour that drives these firms.

4. International Developments [i.e. Role of USA]
The economic development of Taiwan was also supported by the role of USA, which increased its presence in Asia as a response to the perceived ideological threat of Communism. This response was carried out in the form of advancing economic progress by providing financial aid and other forms of support. For example, Taiwan was given exclusive access to American market and the privilege to impose trade protection temporarily. As such, USA occupied nearly two-fifths of Taiwan’s exports. From 1960s to 1970s, USA became Taiwan’s major export market, accounting for a large proportion of its economic growth.

Points to Ponder
Now that you have looked into the four major roles that affected the economic transformation of Taiwan, do consider the following ideas to reinforce your study of this topic for essay writing:
– How did the role of SMEs contribute to the economic miracle of Taiwan? 
– In comparison between South Korea’s chaebols with Taiwan’s SMEs, analyse their approaches in supporting the economic development of these two Asian Tigers. [to be discussed in class]

Are you ready to sit for the A Level History examination? If you are experiencing difficulties in organising your materials and completing your essays on time, fret no more! In addition to these regular articles that are published on this site, we also offer JC History Tuition programmes for JC1 and JC2 students to support their revision efforts. Examine topics in International History and Southeast Asian History together in class with fellow students and our JC History Tutor Justin Ng. We teach you to analyse historical issues carefully, form arguments logically and express ideas systematically

On top of our JC History Tuition classes, we also provide other complementary tuition programmes, like Economics Tuition and GP Tuition that will improve your knowledge comprehension through active and meaningful class discussions. Learn how to use what you have read in past and recent news articles to the answering of essay questions. Our exam-oriented teaching approach is effective in honing your thinking and writing abilities, thereby bringing you closer to the much-desired A

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JC History Tuition Bishan Bedok Tampines Singapore - How did South Korea become a developed nation - JC History Essay Skills

How did South Korea become a developed nation?

What are the Four Asian Tigers? 
To understand how South Korea become a developed nation, we must start off the discussion with the understanding of the ‘Four Asian Tigers‘. The ‘Four Asian Tigers’ refer to the fast-developing nations of South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore. These four Asian economies were identified as remarkable case studies, given their high levels of sustained economic growth from 1960s to 1990s. Due to their extensive focus on export-oriented industrialisation, these countries have caught up with developed countries and competed at the international markets

Topic of Study [For H2 History Students]: 
Paper 1: Understanding the Global Economy (1945-2000)
Section B: Essay Writing
Theme II Chapter 3: Rise of Asian Tigers from 1970s to 1990s [South Korea and Taiwan] 

In the following section, we will examine the contributing factors that can explain the economic transformation of South Korea.

1. Role of the Government
a. Target Setting and Planning
At the stage of economic development, the South Korean government undergone a process of central planning that involved target setting and resource management. Central planning was essential in the prioritisation of promising industries to nurture and expand, especially the family-owned chaebols. Institutionalisation of planning procedures took the form of the Economic Planning Board (EPB was established in 1961), which took the lead in formulating Five-Year Plans (FYP), which were important in charting the direction on a progressive basis. The EPB was accredited for the successful policy shift from import-substitution industrialisation (ISI) to export-oriented industrialisation, which propelled the South Korean economy significantly.

b. Policy Implementation
The strategies employed by the South Korean government have evolved over time. At the initial stage, the South Korean economy was built upon the foundations of domestic production. This strategy is known as ‘import-substitution industrialisation‘, which refers to the use of artificial trade barriers to insulate the domestic economy from foreign competition. The main purpose of ISI was to nurture local firms, such that they will develop and expand to become the key driver of the South Korean economy. In this case study, the government imposed trade protection to develop labour-intensive sectors that produce textile, agriculture and light consumer goods.

However, the South Korean government realised the economic gains of ISI were not sustainable as the above-mentioned goods yielded low-value economic growth. Hence, they turned their gaze towards foreign markets. This approach involved ‘export-oriented industrialisation‘. In contrast to ISI, EOI involved the production of exports (i.e. domestically-produced goods to be sold in the international markets) to promote economic development. In order for exports to be competitive, the South Korean government provided financial support to exporting firms, such as tariff exemptions on the import of raw materials for export production. Given that the foreign markets were much larger than the domestic market of South Korea, it was evident that the country enjoyed tremendous success, which was indicated by the increase in per capita income from $100 from 1963 to $6614 in 1990.

2. Role of the Private Businesses [i.e. Chaebols]
In addition to the notable contributions by the South Korean government, the economic transformation was made possible through the efforts of the private enterprises. In this case, the chaebols played a crucial role in the economic development of this Asian Tiger. Chaebols are family-dominated conglomerates that serve as the key pillars of support for the development of the South Korean economy. These major business corporations (e.g. Samsung and Hyundai) were formed in the 1960s under the auspices of the government, which provided extensive financial support and exclusion from stiff foreign competition. As such, these companies expanded and dominated the economy.

It was an economic success as the chaebols could compete in international markets against multinational corporations (MNCs) as they possessed large capital to innovate and improve the quality of exports. By 1980s, these major companies were self-sustaining and no longer needed government support to function. In return, these companies acted as the lifeline of the South Korean economy. For instance, Samsung occupied nearly one-fifth of South Korea’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), implying that a single chaebol could support nearly 20% of the entire nation’s economy.

However, the remarkable achievements of these chaebols were blemished by structural flaws that began to appear over time. The over-bearing influence of these major companies was observed in the monopolisation of markets, which crowded out small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The nearly-absent competition cultivated a culture of complacency, which resulted in the deterioration of product quality. Furthermore, the family-oriented structure of chaebols encouraged the top management to appoint family members, which translated to the growing inefficiencies of these corporations. As such, it was imperative for the government to intervene and address the dominance of chaebols.

3. Role of Culture
The ‘Miracle on the Han River’ can also be explained by the inherent characteristics of the South Koreans, particularly the cultural traits shaped by Confucianism. Similar to the Japanese, many look up to the South Koreans for their work ethics, as they are described as industrious and reliable. In economic terms, many firms benefited in terms of higher labour productivity levels, which contributed to increase in economic growth rates.

Additionally, the frugal mindsets of South Koreans were beneficially for economic developments as savings rate was high. This meant that many firms could take loans from banks to finance their investment activities, thus promoting economic growth.

4. International Developments
South Korea’s economic development can also be explained by the tremendous economic support provided by USA during the Cold War period. During and after the Korean War (1950 to 1953), USA supported Korea’s industrialisation policy as part of its strategy to stem the tide of Communism in Asia. For example, USA provided post-war financial aid to South Korea, in which the financial resources were important for public infrastructure projects, like road-building and airport construction. From 1950 to 1980, the estimates of American aid to South Korea amounted to nearly US$6 billion. Due to the efforts of the USAID (United States Agency for International Development), South Korea’s exports increased from US$4 million to over $150 billion in 1980. Therefore, it can be observed that USA played a significant role in the development of the Korean economy.

Points to Ponder
Now that you have covered the four major factors that could explain the economic transformation of South Korea, consider the following pointers to integrate your knowledge for essay writing application:
– Which role was more important in the economic transformation of South Korea: Government or Private Enterprises [explain why]
– “The role of USA was most crucial in achieving the economic miracle of South Korea.” Assess the validity of this statement. [to be discussed in class]

We can value-add your learning experience of this A Level subject. You can join our JC History Tuition as we provide concise study materials and practice questions for your revision. We complement your study at school by covering the key chapters in preparation for your upcoming school assessments. Furthermore, we are focused on the aim of preparing you for the rigours of the A Level History examination at the end of this journey. Therefore, these lessons emphasise on knowledge application through the cultivation of analytical and writing skills for essay and SBQ.

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