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MODERN HIS 12 - Russia and the Soviet Union 1917-1941: Assessments

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Yr 12 Modern History Assessment Task 2 Notification 


  • MH12-2 proposes arguments about the varying causes and effects of events and developments 
  • MH12-3 evaluates the role of historical features, individuals, groups and ideas in shaping the past 
  • MH12-4 analyses the different perspectives of individuals and groups in their historical context
  • MH12-5 assesses the significance of historical features, people, ideas, movements, events and developments of the modern world 
  • MH12-8 plans and conducts historical investigations and presents reasoned conclusions, using relevant evidence from a range of sources 
  • MH12-9 communicates historical understanding, using historical knowledge, concepts and terms, in appropriate and well-structured forms 

You will conduct a research component on the Soviet Foreign Policy section of the syllabus outline for this topic. You must include historiography in your essay. You will complete your research and then write a response to an unseen essay question on this research in Assess Week. In your research you must include: 

1. The nature of Soviet Foreign Policy 1917-1941 
  • The desperate years 1917-1921 
  • 1920s: Normalising Relations 
  • Soviet-German Relations 1920s 
  • 1922 Treaty of Rapallo 
  • Soviet Foreign policy 1930s 
  • Nazi Soviet Non-Aggression Pact August 1939 

2. The role of ideology in Soviet foreign policy 1917-1941 

  • Ideology or National State

ATAR Notes: ATAR Notes provides free HSC resources for a variety of subjects offered to year twelve. An account is required to access resources.

Section II: National Studies-Russia and the Soviet Union 1917-1941 

As you start to revise for an examination, it is always important to start with what the syllabus says is the focus of the topic. In the case of the National Studies, the syllabus states that the content focus is: 

  • Students investigate key features, individuals, groups, events and developments that shaped the history of a selected nation.
  • Students are to investigate ONE country during a specific period of the 20th century. 

The Historical concepts and skills content is to be integrated as appropriate. 

It is important that you understand who the significant individuals are in your national study, and what makes them significant for that nation. It is always important to remember that individuals don't just appear in history. They are the product of influences and a historical environment, they affect others, and they create a legacy. These factors must all be considered when investigating individuals in Modern History. Similarly, developments occur for a reason. Consider the vital historical concepts of cause and effect and continuity and change, and think about how they can help you understand the significance of the developments for the nation. 

External Engines


Revelations from the Russian Archive 
(Library of Congress)

(Open Access resources)

Alpha History 
(Updated August 2019)
Guided History 
(History research guides by Boston University students)
Russia's Great War & Revolution
(Historically sound, if slightly outdated; updated May 2014)
Soviet History Archive
(Primary sources; unknown when last updated)