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JC History Tuition Bishan Singapore - What is the role of the United Nations General Assembly - JC History Essay Notes

What is the role of the United Nations General Assembly?

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

Examine the role of the UNGA to understand its contributions to the world.

Role of the UN General Assembly (UNGA)
The General Assembly is the principal deliberative organ of the United Nations. It comprises of the representatives of all member states that admitted the international organization.

#1: Discussions and recommendations on matters affecting international peace and security
In particular, the UNGA is charged with the responsibility to facilitate discussions among member states to address matters pertaining to international peace and security.

The General Assembly may discuss any questions or any matters within the scope of the present Charter or relating to the powers and functions of any organs provided for in the present Charter, and, except as provided in Article 12, may make recommendations to the Members of the United Nations or to the Security Council or to both on any such questions or matters.

Article 10, Chapter IV of the UN Charter

However, it is imperative to acknowledge the advisory role of the UNGA as the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) bears the primary responsibility in the authorization of use of force in dealing with such matters.

The General Assembly may discuss any questions relating to the maintenance of international peace and security brought before it by any Member of the United Nations, or by the Security Council, or by a state which is not a Member of the United Nations in accordance with Article 35, paragraph 2, and, except as provided in Article 12, may make recommendations with regard to any such questions to the state or states concerned or to the Security Council or to both. Any such question on which action is necessary shall be referred to the Security Council by the General Assembly either before or after discussion.

Article 11(2), Chapter IV of the UN Charter

#2: Voting Process and Resolutions
After much deliberation, member states of the UNGA would undertake a voting process to decide whether to adopt a resolution (i.e. a course of action). Each member state is entitled to one vote. A two-thirds majority must be made before the resolution can be passed.

These resolutions can be passed to address matters, such as the admission of new member states to the General Assembly.

Decisions of the General Assembly on important questions shall be made by a two-thirds majority of the members present and voting. These questions shall include: recommendations with respect to the maintenance of international peace and security, the election of the non-permanent members of the Security Council…

Article 18, Chapter IV of the UN Charter

#3: ‘Uniting for Peace’ Resolution
Although there were Charter limitations that inhibited the UNGA’s role, a reform was introduced on 3 November 1950, known as the ‘Uniting for Peace’ (UfP) resolution.

If the Security Council, because of lack of unanimity of the permanent members, fails to exercise its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security in any case where there appears to be a threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression, the General Assembly shall consider the matter immediately with a view to making appropriate recommendations to Members for collective measures, including in the case of a breach of the peace or act of aggression the use of armed force when necessary, to maintain or restore international peace and security.

Resolution 377(V), 3 November 1950

In practice, the UfP resolution was first invoked during the Suez Canal Crisis of 1956. Due to the vetoes by France and the United Kingdom, the resolution empowered the UNGA to act. This lead to the successful formation of the United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF) that supervised the cessation of hostilities in Egypt.

What can we learn from this case study?
Consider the following questions to understand the topic:
– Assess the view that great power politics impeded the role of the United Nations General Assembly during the Cold War [to be discussed in class].

Sign up for our JC History Tuition as we teach you to organise your content for the United Nations topics, which is one of the most comprehensive chapters that JC History students will cover in the A Level History syllabus. Also, you can sign up for related JC tuition classes, such as GP TuitionEconomics TuitionJC Chemistry TuitionJC Math Tuition and China Studies in English Tuition. For Secondary Tuition, we provide Secondary English TuitionSecondary Math tuitionSecondary Chemistry Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. Call 9689 0510 to find out more.

JC History Tuition Singapore - Cuban Missile Crisis Cold War Case Studies - Source Based Case Study Skills

Cuban Missile Crisis – Cartoon Analysis

In this article, we will be analyzing these political cartoons to understand the different visual interpretations of the Cuban Missile Crisis. By examining these visual texts and recognising their contexts, you will be more familiar with the interpretations to answer the source based case study questions effectively. We will be focusing on the second part: A World Divided by the Cold War – Cuban Missile Crisis.

By Estonian and American cartoonist Edmund S. Valtman [31 August 1961]
The cartoon portrays Castro as a towering figure over two petite looking persons representing Cuba and Brazil. Castro persuades Brazil to lead a communist revolution like his. Yet, Brazil looks bewildered as Cuba is in a poor state.
In late August 1961, Cuba was facing food shortages, whereas Brazil was in debt. The cartoon was possibly meant to depict Brazil’s skepticism towards Castro’s revolution.
By British Magazine, Punch [1962]
The cartoon depicts both superpower leaders (Kennedy and Khrushchev) feeling annoyed over their neighbour’s tree branch(es) extended into their own territory.
The intended audiences are possibly the citizens of USA and USSR in depicting superpower involvement, seen in terms of their bases in other countries (e.g. Cuba and Turkey)
By German cartoonist Herbert Kolfhaus [30 September 1962]
Below the cartoon, the caption reads ‘What do you mean, a threat? Surely it’s all right to go fishing, isn’t it?’
The cartoonist depicts an ironic illustration of Moscow’s true motives on Cuba. In Sept 1962, an agreement was signed between Cuba and USSR for the construction of a port in the Bay of Havana, which Castro claimed to be a base for the Soviet fishing fleet in the Atlantic.
By Die Vaderland [1961]
The cartoon depicts a miniature-sized Castro targeting the Soviet missile at a terrified ‘Uncle Sam’ (USA), while Khrushchev looks on from afar in delight.
By Welsh political cartoonist Leslie G. Illingworth – published in British newspaper, The Daily Mail [29 October 1962]
The cartoon illustrates both Kennedy and Khrushchev taking part in an arm wrestling match that neither side was likely to win. They are seated on missiles that could go off anytime.
The cartoonist is trying to depict the unpredictability of the world as the crisis may lead to ‘mutually assured destruction’.
By Hungarian-British cartoonist Victor Weisz (‘Vicky’) – published in London News [24 October 1962]
The cartoon illustrates Kennedy in The White House and Khrushchev in the Kremlin facing each other with nuclear missiles placed outside their buildings. In context, the cartoon depicts Kennedy as being hypocritical as he questioned Khrushchev about the missiles in Cuba, since there were twice as many American missiles as there are than the Russians.
By Estonian and American cartoonist Edmund S. Valtman [30 October 1962]
The cartoon depicts Khrushchev as a dentist extracting Castro’s teeth, which is illustrated as missiles.
During the Cuban Missile Crisis, Kennedy announced that US would impose a ‘naval quarantine’ to prevent the delivery of Soviet missiles to Cuba. Khrushchev eventually backed down and agreed to remove the missiles.

How do I use these sources to ace the Source Based Case Study questions?
First, be familiar with the main perspectives of Cuba, USA and USSR in explaining their involvement in the Cuban Missile Crisis. Refer to the aforementioned article for more information.

Second, examine these cartoons and attempt to answer the following question: How far do these sources support the view that the Cuban Missile Crisis was a superpower conflict?

Third, pay attention to the date of publication and the source origin (i.e. who published it?) to consider the motive. This section will be important when you attempt to derive the provenance of each source.

If you are looking for additional help, why not join our JC History Tuition as we will teach you to organise the content and improve your answering skills. Additionally, we offer other JC tuition programmes, like GP TuitionEconomics TuitionJC Chemistry TuitionJC Math Tuition and China Studies in English Tuition. For Secondary Tuition, we have Secondary English TuitionSecondary Math tuitionSecondary Chemistry Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. Call 9689 0510 to join right away.

JC History Tuition Bishan Singapore - What were the consequences of the Asian Financial Crisis in 1997 - JC History Essay Notes

What were the consequences of the Asian Financial Crisis?

Topic of Study [For H2 History Students]:
Paper 2: Economic Development after Independence
Section B: Essay Writing
Theme II Chapter 2: Asian Financial Crisis

The aftermath of the regional currency crisis
In view of the causes that explain how the Asian Financial Crisis began, it is important to examine its consequences. This includes the government responses that varied between Southeast Asian nations, such as the bail-out loans by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), crisis response packages and stringent financial regulatory measures.

Immediate government responses
After the Asian Financial Crisis happened, governments played a critical role in introducing immediate responses to arrest the situation.

For instance, the Thai government tried to maintain the peg by tapping on its reserves to prevent further currency depreciation, which was caused by speculative attacks. From 1997 to 1998, it was estimated that nearly US$30 billion was spent to maintain the baht.

Unfortunately, their efforts proved futile, such that the abandonment of the fixed exchange rate led to rapid currency depreciation. On 2 July 1997, the baht was allowed to float, resulting in the depreciation of the currency value by 18%. By January 1998, the value had fallen to US$1 to $55 baht.

Given the economic interconnectedness of Southeast Asian markets, the Thai economic crisis spread to other neighbouring economies, which was known as the contagion effect.

Crisis Response Measures
Another important consideration was the introduction of crisis response measures to contain the economic crisis. These measures involved large government spending to stimulate the markets and facilitate recovery.

For example, the Malaysian government formed the National Economic Action Council (NEAC) in 1998 to pursue economic stabilization. One method included the imposition of capital controls to stabilize the ringgit.

Additionally, the national asset management company, known as Pengurusan Danaharta Nasional Berhad, was in responsible for relieving the banking system of its non-performing loans (NPLs) and assets. By 30 September 2005, the Danaharta had resolved all of its NPLs. It was reported to have met its recovery target of RM30.35 billion.

In fact, Danaharta was one of the three-pronged strategy that the Malaysian government introduced to achieve stabilization of the banking system. It also included Danamodal Nasional Berhad and the Corporate Debt Restructuring Committee (CDRC).

Acceptance of IMF Bail-out Loans
Lastly, the IMF also offered to provide bail-out loans to affected Southeast Asian economies. These conditional loans required governments to accept an IMF-imposed set of policies. In particular, the IMF required recipient countries to engage in fiscal austerity (spending cuts) to correct their balance of payment deficits. Yet, these governments were not running budget deficits, thus worsening the economic slowdown.

“I thought this was a mistake. For one thing, unlike the Latin American nations, the East Asian countries were already running budget surpluses. In Thailand, the government was running such large surpluses that it was actually starving the economy of much ­needed investments in education and infrastructure, both essential to economic growth. And the East Asian nations already had tight monetary policies, as well: inflation was low and falling. (In South Korea, for example, inflation stood at a very respectable four percent.) The problem was not imprudent government, as in Latin America; the problem was an imprudent private sector­­ – all those bankers and borrowers, for instance, who’d gambled on the real estate bubble.”

Former World Bank Chief Economist, Joseph Stiglitz, New Republic, 17 April 2000 – Source: https://bit.ly/2GIk2cp

For example, Indonesia accepted the IMF bail-out reluctantly. By the time the third agreement was introduced, the government acceded to IMF’s demands to remove subsidies on essentials, like food, medicine and fertiliser.

This proved to be disastrous, given that the loss of state support raised the cost of living and worsened socio-economic conditions. As a result, the skyrocketing basic commodity prices resulted in a surge in inflation rate. Poverty rate increased from 11% before the crisis to nearly 60% afterwards.

Furthermore, the economic instability had severe socio-political consequences that culminated in the resignation of Suharto.

What can we learn from this case study?
Consider the following question:
– How far do you agree that governments of Southeast Asian economies were responsible for the consequences of the Asian Financial Crisis? [to be discussed in class]

Now that you have learnt the consequences of the Asian Financial Crisis, it is imperative that you apply your knowledge to A Level History essay questions. You can sign up for our JC History Tuition to find out how you can organise your content and form well-analyzed essays to ace the GCE A Level History examination.

Furthermore, we conduct other useful JC tuition classes, like GP TuitionEconomics TuitionJC Chemistry TuitionJC Math Tuition and China Studies in English Tuition. For Secondary Tuition, we offer Secondary English TuitionSecondary Math tuitionSecondary Chemistry Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. Call 9689 0510 to sign up now.

JC History Tuition Bishan Singapore - How was national unity forged in Singapore - JC History Essay Notes

How was national unity forged in Singapore?

For this article, we will be examining the case study of Singapore to understand how national unity was achieved in Singapore. It will be important for students taking the H2 History A Level examinations to be familiar with various case studies found in the region of Southeast Asia so as to form effective comparisons.

Topic of Study [For H2 History Students]:
Paper 2: Search for Political Stability
Section B: Essay Writing
Theme I Chapter 2: Approaches to National Unity

Find out more about the annual celebration of ‘Racial Harmony Day’ in Singapore, which is a critical aspect of national unity.

History of the multicultural Singapore
To understand the approaches to national unity, we must first find out more about the history of Singapore. In particular, during the uncertain time when Singapore merged with Malaysia from 1963 to 1965, there were inter-ethnic tensions that threatened social stability. At the same time, political disagreements between the People’s Action Party (PAP) government in Singapore and the Alliance government in Malaysia (led by the United Malays National Organisation, UMNO) further exacerbated the problem.

As a result, the communal riots (also known as racial riots) broke out from 31 May to 6 June 1964. Historians have commented that the riots were the most severe and prolonged social conflict in post-war Singapore.

Post-1964 Singapore
After Singapore attained independence on 9 August 1965, the PAP government introduced policies that emphasized heavily on ‘multiculturalism’. Learning from the lessons of the 1964 riots, it was imperative for the government to recognise racial diversity and provide state support to protect the interests of the ethnic communities.

Approach #1: Education
One such approach involved the policy of bilingualism, which involved the study of English as the official language and the study of a ‘Mother Tongue’ (based on the ethnic categorization of ‘Chinese, Malay, Indian or Others’ – CMIO). Such an approach would be beneficial as the English language acts as a common tool for inter-ethnic communication. Likewise, the preservation of ethnic-based languages would allow communities to understand their cultural heritage.

Additionally, ever since 1997, 21 July was marked as the “Racial Harmony Day”, which was celebrated by schools annually. The purpose was to remind students on the importance of racial harmony.

Approach #2: Legislation
Another important approach involves the use of legislation for the institutionalization of racial harmony. On 9 November 1990, the “Maintenance of Religious Harmony Act” was passed. Its purpose was to prohibit the politicization of religion for subversive purposes. At the same time, the Presidential Council of Religious Harmony was set up, which was responsible for the execution of this act.

Additionally, the Sedition Act was enforced to prevent the spread of ill will by any individuals or organizations with malicious intent to cause racial and religious divisions in Singapore.

Therefore, these approaches have proven to be effective in ensuring the maintenance of national unity in Singapore, as observed by the absence of serious inter-ethnic tensions and conflicts from independence to 2000.

What can we learn from this article?
Consider the following question:
– How far do you agree that education is the most important approach to forge national unity in Singapore? [to be discussed in class]

Now that you have examined the approaches of the Singapore government in forging national unity, it is important you apply them to JC History essays. Join our JC History Tuition to find out how you can organise your answers and form persuasive arguments effectively. We also provide summary notes and essay outlines for effective revision. Get started to ace your GCE A Level History examinations!

Also, we conduct other related JC tuition programmes, like GP TuitionEconomics TuitionJC Chemistry TuitionJC Math Tuition and China Studies in English Tuition. For Secondary Tuition classes, we offer Secondary English TuitionSecondary Math tuitionSecondary Chemistry Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. Call 9689 0510 to join now!

JC History Tuition Bishan Singapore - What is the ASEAN Way - JC History Essay Notes

What is the ASEAN Way?

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)

What is the ‘ASEAN Way’?
The ASEAN Way is a guiding principle that shapes the approach of member nations in Southeast Asia for conflict management. It emphasises heavily on consultation and consensus-building, which later inspired the introduction of other forms of political co-operation, like the Treaty of Amity and Co-operation (TAC).

As pointed out by the former Secretary-General of ASEAN, Rodolfo Severino, in a public address, the ASEAN Way “has served Southeast Asia well” by “moving its members from animosity to the close co-operative relationship that they enjoy today”.

Origins of the ASEAN Way
Following the formation of the regional organization in 1967, member nations had to learn from past errors as well as on-going disputes. One such incident involved the “Corregidor affair” (1968), which broke out due to the territorial disputes over Sabah. Similarly, the Confrontation (Konfrontasi) of 1963 was a contentious issue that strained diplomatic relations between affected member nations. Therefore, the ASEAN Way was implemented to encourage the use of diplomacy rather than forceful means to resolve conflicts.

Interestingly, the ASEAN Way was inspired by Malay culture, seen in terms of musjawarah (consultation) and muafakat (consensus-building). This practice involves a gradual decision-making process, in which all member states must be consulted before the regional organization can come to a consensus on the possible course of action to undertake.

How does it work?
One of the core principles of ASEAN Way involves the ‘principle of non-interference’. Should one or a few member nations disagree with the proposals put forth during the ASEAN meetings, the organization must postpone the decision-making for future settlement.

The main purpose of this cautious approach is to provide adequate time for considerations and prevent the outbreak and escalation of tensions. Therefore, regional stability can be maintained.

Subsequent impacts on ASEAN’s political framework
Following its inception in the 1960s, ASEAN has evolved over time in response to the changing international climate. The ASEAN Way was implemented in the form of institutionalized forms of co-operation.

One such example is the Zone of Peace, Freedom and Neutrality (ZOPFAN) Declaration (1971). Against the backdrop of the Cold War, these Southeast Asian member nations asserted a firm position to be free from external interference to prevent ideological manipulation.

Another application is observed in the Treaty of Amity and Co-operation (TAC) that emphasises heavily on amicable co-operation among member nations and non-ASEAN countries. The TAC endorses the practice of cautious diplomacy that focuses on the compartmentalization of contentious issues.

The most important case study that can be used to examine the significance of the ASEAN Way is the Third Indochina War (1978-1991) as it arguably provided a timely opportunity to display ASEAN’s solidarity to the rest of the world.

What can we learn from this article?
Consider the following question:
– Assess the success and limitations of the ASEAN Way in managing regional conflicts in Southeast Asia since 1967 [to be discussed in class].

Now that you have examined the fundamental concepts of the ASEAN Way, it is imperative that you explore and attempt source-based case study questions. You can also consider signing up for our JC History Tuition to find out how you can apply your knowledge to answer similar questions that are based on past examination papers.

Also, you can learn more about other JC tuition programmes, such as GP TuitionEconomics TuitionJC Chemistry TuitionJC Math Tuition and China Studies in English Tuition. For Secondary Tuition, we provide Secondary English TuitionSecondary Math tuitionSecondary Chemistry Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. Call 9689 0510 to register now!

JC History Tuition Bishan Singapore - Why was the ASEAN established - JC History Essay Notes

Why was the ASEAN established?

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

What is ASEAN?
On 8 August 1967, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is a regional organization that was established. The foreign ministers of five Southeast Asian countries – Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Philippines and Thailand – signed the historic document, known as the ‘ASEAN Declaration‘ in Bangkok, Thailand.

In the 1980s and 1990s, ASEAN expanded its membership by including other neighbouring countries, like Brunei (1984), Vietnam (1995), Laos and Myanmar (1997) and Cambodia (1999).

The aims and purposes of ASEAN
Within the ASEAN Declaration, it outlined what ASEAN was meant to achieve objectives such as:

  • “To accelerate the economic growth, social progress and cultural development”
  • “To promote regional peace and stability”
  • “To promote active collaboration and mutual assistance on matters of common interest”

In view of these efforts, it is important to consider the challenges that countries in the Southeast Asian region encountered in the 1950s and 1960s to understand the rationale behind its establishment.

Factor #1: Maintenance of regional security
Before ASEAN was formed, there were inter-state tensions that gave rise to conflicts. These conflicts threatened the security of affected countries, including those in the neighbouring zones. For instance, the Konfrontasi (Confrontation) was a controversial foreign policy that affected the political stability of nations, like Singapore and Malaysia. Following the de-escalation of the tumultuous phase, the formation of ASEAN would help to mend the diplomatic ties of the affected countries and encourage Indonesia to adopt a more collaborative position.

Furthermore, following the Suez Crisis, the British announced the withdrawal of its military from the region by 1971. This move raised security concerns for Singapore as its small and vulnerable state could expose the country from any potential external threat. Therefore, the formation of a regional organization (i.e. ASEAN) would arguably compensate for the departure of the external powers.

Factor #2: Assertion of an independent region free from external interference
In view of the Konfrontasi, Southeast Asian nations formed the regional organization to promote accommodation and collaboration between one another. Although some of these member nations held contrasting perspectives towards co-ooperation with external powers, there was a general consensus that ASEAN would become the central focus in promoting intra-ASEAN engagement.

For example, Singapore was supportive of the formation as it would lead to the increased accessibility of the region’s markets. Following the ‘Separation’, Singapore was in dire need of economic support from abroad to facilitate its economic nation-building efforts. In 1967, it was estimated that Southeast Asia had a combined market of more than US$280 million. Hence, intra-ASEAN trade would no doubt be beneficial for member nations.

What can we learn from this article?
Consider the following question:
– Assess the view that security reasons were the most important in explaining the formation of ASEAN in 1967 [to be discussed in class].

Now that you have learnt the reasons that explain the formation of ASEAN, we strongly encourage you to attempt related source-based case study questions to review your knowledge application skills. Alternatively, you can join our JC History Tuition as we provide numerous practice questions and review your answers to ensure that there is progressive learning.

Furthermore, you can find out more about other JC tuition programmes, like GP TuitionEconomics TuitionJC Chemistry TuitionJC Math Tuition and China Studies in English Tuition. For Secondary Tuition, we offer Secondary English TuitionSecondary Math tuitionSecondary Chemistry Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. Call 9689 0510 to sign up now.

JC History Tuition Bishan Singapore - What caused the Asian Financial Crisis in 1997 - JC History Essay Notes

What caused the Asian Financial Crisis in 1997?

Topic of Study [For H2 History Students]:
Paper 2: Economic Development after Independence
Section B: Essay Writing
Theme II Chapter 2: Asian Financial Crisis

What exactly is the ‘East Asian Crisis’?
In July 1997, the markets in East and Southeast Asian were affected by a financial meltdown that began in Thailand. Due to a mix of factors, such as financial speculation and inadequate regulatory measures, the Thai government was forced to float the baht. This caused market pessimism, which led to the outflow of capital. In view of the inter-connected markets within the Southeast Asian region, the economic problems in Thailand began to spread to other neighbouring countries, like Thailand. This was known as a ‘financial contagion‘.

1. Unregulated financial liberalization
One possible factor for the Asian Financial Crisis was the unregulated liberalization. Partially, this was the result of the increased liberalization of the financial sector in the 1980s. As foreign investments were welcomed as major sources of economic growth, there were minimal regulations to stem the flow of capital.

As such, the sustained economic growth boosted market sentiments, thereby creating the optimistic outlook that Southeast Asia was a potential for future growth. Thus, foreign investors funded investment activities in the region. However, financial liberalization exposed several weaknesses.

In Thailand, the Bangkok International Banking Facility (BIBF) enabled banks and finance companies to access short-term credit with low interest rates. The credit was lent to Thai borrowers to finance long-term projects with high interest rates. Therefore, the ease of credit access resulted in the expansion of BIBF loans that amounted to nearly $115 billion baht.

2. The shortcomings of a fixed exchange rate system
The second contributing factor relates to the use of a fixed exchange rate system in some of the SEA economies. A fixed exchange rate system meant that governments could determine the external value of money. Currency stabilization was an ideal consideration as it raises market confidence to promote investment and trading activities.

However, a large pool of foreign reserve was needed in order for governments to intervene in the foreign exchange (i.e. ‘forex’ in short) market and maintain the exchange rate.

Initially, the Thai baht was pegged to the American dollar (USD) at 25 baht : 1 USD. Yet, the inability to maintain the currency value had left the economy vulnerable to speculative attacks that began in November 1996. Thailand’s reserves of US$39 billion declined to US$2 billion by June 1997.

Eventually, the inability to maintain the currency peg led to the eventual floating of the baht on 2 July 1997, thus losing 17% of its value relative to the USD. Consequently, there was a plunge in investor confidence, resulting in the withdrawal of foreign capital from the regional markets.

3. Speculative attacks
The third contributing factor relates to foreign currency speculation. Short-term capital flows created exchange rate instability, which was exacerbated by market pessimism. Therefore, the outflow of capital resulted in currency depreciation.

In Thailand, foreign investors sold their baht, causing a sharp fall in the currency value. By end 1997, the baht lost 80% of its value relative to the USD. There were lingering perceptions that the neighbouring economies were also susceptible to market volatility.

Therefore, this dampened investor confidence, resulting in the subsequent outflow of capital in other economies, like Indonesia. By February 1998, the Indonesian rupiah lost 76% of its value relative to the USD.

How did the financial crisis affect the Southeast Asian economies?
In general, the massive currency devaluation led to a significant economic downturn that hampered the development of many economies in Southeast Asia, including Singapore and Indonesia.

With currency depreciation, some of these economies experienced higher unemployment and inflation rates. For instance, Indonesia was adversely affected by the Thai financial crisis. The unemployment rate in Indonesia surged beyond 6% in 1999. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate was at -15% in 1998. In Malaysia, the GDP growth rate was at -5.8% in the same year.

What can we learn from this case study?
Consider the following question:
– How far do you agree that the Asian Financial Crisis of 1997 was the result of currency speculation? [to be discussed in class]

Now that you have examined the possible contributing factors that gave rise to the Asian Financial Crisis, it is important to apply this knowledge by answering similar practice questions. You can also join our JC History Tuition. We provide additional learning resources, such as summary notes, essay outlines and case study materials.

Additionally, we offer other related JC tuition programmes, like GP TuitionEconomics TuitionJC Chemistry TuitionJC Math Tuition and China Studies in English Tuition. For Secondary Tuition, we offer Secondary English TuitionSecondary Math tuitionSecondary Chemistry Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. Call 9689 0510 to join now!

JC History Tuition Bishan Singapore - How did Myanmar develop its economy - JC History Essay Notes

How did Myanmar develop its economy?

Overall Economic Assessment of Myanmar
After Myanmar attained independence on 4 January 1948, the government pursued economic development, which is strongly guided by nationalistic and socialist influences. In view of the political challenges, there was strong government intervention. Over time, the military took a prominent role in maintaining political stability, while guiding the development of the economy. By the 1980s, Myanmar engaged in economic liberalization, encouraging the inflow of private investment.

Examine how the Chinese ‘Belt Road Initiative’ (BRI) will transform Myanmar’s economy.

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

1948 to 1962: U Nu’s Democratic Governance
Before Myanmar attained independence, the British colonial powers transformed its economy by focusing in agricultural production. By 1930s, nearly two-thirds of the labour force were involved in the agrarian sector. Following World War II, the devastation caused by war left many infrastructure in ruins.

Therefore, the government embarked in the Pyidawtha Plan, which is a eight-year economic plan that set higher targets for growth. The purpose was to rebuild the public infrastructure for economic recovery. Due to the high degree of foreign ownership in the economic sectors, nationalisation became one of the foremost approaches. For instance, the Land Nationalisation Act (1948) was passed to facilitate the consolidation and re-distribution of land for agricultural development.

1962 to 1988: Ne Win’s Burmese Way to Socialism
However, the country was faced with political instability due to internal divisions. Military intervention became necessary to restore stability, thus paving the way for the rise of Ne Win’s leadership. Ne Win’s military government centralised its economic development based on the ideology of ‘Burmese Way to Socialism’, which placed great emphasis on state control across economic sectors.

For example, the Burma Oil Company used to be a joint venture during U Nu’s time. In 1963, this company was nationalised. Likewise, in the banking sector, the government maintained a tight control to ensure that all domestic capital was in the hands of the state. As for the agricultural sector, the Tenancy Law (1965) was passed, which facilitated land redistribution.

1988 to 1997: State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC)
Following the resurgence of democratisation in the 1980s, the government engaged in economic liberalisation. The financial sector benefited from this increased openness, as seen by the Foreign Investment Law (1988). This law allowed foreign companies to invest in local ventures. Furthermore, the Financial Institutions Law (1992) was passed to allow the establishment of private commercial banks.

As a result of economic liberalisation, Myanmar’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increased by 7.3% per year in the period of 1992 to 1997. Additionally, financial openness contributed to greater inflow of foreign direct investment (FDI), which approximated at US$2.8 billion at one point in time.

In summary, the strong government intervention was a common feature in Myanmar throughout the time period since independence to 1997.

What can we learn from this case study?
Consider the following question to understand this country-specific case study:
– Assess the role of the government in shaping the economic development of Myanmar after independence. [to be discussed in class]

Now that you have considered the strategies employed by the government in guiding economic development of Myanmar, it is important to apply this knowledge by writing A Level History essays. Alternatively, you can sign up for our JC History Tuition. We provide summary notes, essay outlines and source-based case study question answers for effective revision.

Furthermore, we conduct other related JC tuition classes, like GP TuitionEconomics TuitionJC Chemistry TuitionJC Math Tuition and China Studies in English Tuition. For Secondary Tuition, we offer Secondary English TuitionSecondary Math tuitionSecondary Chemistry Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. Call 9689 0510 to sign up now!

JC History Tuition Bishan Singapore - What caused the economic miracle in Vietnam - JC History Essay Notes

What caused the economic miracle in Vietnam?

The post-unification Vietnam
After the prolonged military confrontation between the Vietnam and the French/Americans (Indochina Wars), the unified Vietnamese economy was relatively unstable. Due to strong government intervention, swift resource consolidation was achieved. Fast forward to the 21st century, Vietnam is recognised as one of the leading emerging economies.

IMF examines the changing economic development of Vietnam from 1986 onward.

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

1976-1985: Post-unification Vietnam
The Second Five-Year Plan (1976-1980) focused on two major areas – agricultural development and industrialization. For the agriculture sector, the New Management System was established to facilitate large-scale collectivisation. For industry, the government held strong control over many private sectors.

Although there were setbacks to the Second Five-Year Plan, the government persisted, as observed by the Third Five-Year Plan (1981-1985). The latter focused on the policy of decentralisation, in which there was greater private economic participation. For example, peasants in the agriculture sector were allowed to sell their produce in the open market, thereby facilitating the development of a ‘family economy’.

1986-1996: ‘Doi Moi
In 1986, the Doi Moi (renovation) was introduced. In short, it focused economic liberalisation. One of the most significant policies involved the Foreign Investment Law (1987). This law allowed greater foreign ownership and provided greater incentives for export production. In 1990, the Vietnamese government set up four commercial banks.

In the agriculture sector, the government introduced Resolution 10, which involved the de-collectivisation of agriculture. The Land Law and Agricultural Land Use Law were introduced.

As a result, economic liberalisation contributed to the rapid economic growth in Vietnam. From 1992 to 1997, its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rate was 8% per annum. By 1996, Vietnam received foreign direct investment (FDI) that was estimated at US$8.5 billion per year. Furthermore, Vietnam became the third largest exporter in the world.  

What can we learn from this case study?
Consider the following question to understand this country-specific case study:
– How far do you agree that resource consolidation is the most important government strategy in developing the economy of Vietnam after 1975? [to be discussed in class]

Now that you have studied the government strategies that shaped the Vietnamese economy, it is imperative to review your knowledge application by writing essays. You can also sign up for our JC History Tuition. We provide condensed learning materials and essay outlines for references and revision.

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JC History Tuition Bishan Singapore - How did Philippines grow its economy - JC History Essay Notes

How did Philippines grow its economy?

About the Philippine economy
After the attainment of independence, the Philippines became one of the leading Southeast Asian economies that was comparable to neighbouring countries, like Malaysia and Singapore. The 1970s became the turning point due to internal economic mismanagement, thus contributing to political turmoil that ended with a switch to the new administration by the early 1990s.

Find out more about the modern economic development of the Philippines after independence.

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

1946 to 1965: Post-independent Philippines
During the early stages of independence, Philippines was heavily reliant on primary exports, due to its trade links with USA. This can be explained by the pre-indpendence policies, like the Payne Aldrich Tariff Act (1909) that granted US access to some Philippine goods.

One significant approach involved economic indigenization via the establishment of the National Development Company, which facilitated the formation of state agencies to control key sectors of the economy. For example, the Philippine Sugar Institute was formed in 1951.

The second strategy involved agricultural development. Given the heavy reliance on primary exports for growth, the government engaged in major land reforms, as seen by the Rice Share Tenancy Act (1946). The purpose was for resource consolidation and re-distribution.

1965 to 1986: The ‘era of Marcos’
Under the leadership of Ferdinand Marcos, the government continued its extensive state intervention to guide the development of the Philippine economy.

The government undergone transition for import-substitution industrialization (ISI) to export-oriented industrialization (EOI), as exemplified by policies that encouraged the inflow of foreign investment. For example, the Board of Investment was formed. This public entity then implemented the Investment Incentives Act (1967) to facilitate the influx of foreign investment. Additionally, the Export Incentives Act (1970) was introduced to provide incentives for the production of manufactured exports.

Following the imposition of martial law in 1972, the government raised its level of intervention in the economy. There was greater state ownership in various sectors, as seen by organizations like the Philippine Sugar Commission and the Asia Brewery.

Around the 1960s to 1970s, Marcos also capitalized on the Green Revolution to enhance the productivity of agriculture. The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) was set up to allow the development of high-yielding and disease-resistant rice varieties. In addition, the ‘Masagana 99’ (Rice Production Programme) was introduced to grant rice farmers access to fertilizer subsidies and credit. Hence, the farmers benefited from state support, as seen by the achievement of self-sufficiency in rice production by 1972.

1986 to 1997: Post-Marcos Era
Following the economic instability and political unrest that caused the transition to a new administration, the Philippine government sought to resolve these past setbacks urgently.

One such obstacle was the large external debt due to Marco’s extensive borrowing. Austerity measures were introduced to reduce deficits. Also, the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law was passed in 1988 to facilitate land reforms, thereby transferring ownership to farmers.

Besides, there was greater privatization to reduce excessive state ownership, which was recognized as an inefficient approach for economic development. For example, monopolies in industries like telecommunications and power generation were dismantled.

Over time, the post-Marco period was met with greater success due to the restoration of economic stability. Privatization was effective in providing the country with its much-needed revenue for recovery. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate in the 1990s averaged at 3.3%.

What can we learn from this case study?
Consider the following question to understand this country-specific case study:
– To what extent was state involvement beneficial to the economic development of the Philippines after independence? [to be discussed in class]

Now that you have examined the strategies and outcomes of the Philippine economy, we encourage you to attempt essay questions to review your knowledge thoroughly. An alternative approach is to join our JC History Tuition. We provide useful summary notes and essay outlines to enhance your knowledge application skills.

Furthermore, we conduct other related JC tuition classes, like GP TuitionEconomics TuitionJC Chemistry TuitionJC Math Tuition and China Studies in English Tuition. For Secondary Tuitionclasses, we offer Secondary English TuitionSecondary Math tuitionSecondary Chemistry Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. Call 9689 0510 to sign up now and get discounts!