2015 DSE History Paper 1

*The choice of citing is only for reference. There are other clues in source that are suitable for answers.*


  • - to adopt constitutions


- to define the power of the rulers and the people

* As the question only carries 2 marks, stating the reason and citing relevant clue from source is enough. Adding our own knowledge is not necessary.

  1. - Similarity: Both noted that revolution might cause damage.
    From Source A ‘the power of guns…four hundred million compatriots.’
    From Source B ‘They destroy and construct.’
    - Difference: Kang Youwei thought revolution would bring national disintegration while for Zou Rong, revolution would bring a better life for people.
    From Source A ’Before revolution achieve…attack one another.’
    From Source B ‘They bring a…independence and autonomy.’

    *The keyword in the question is ‘compare’. Merely listing out their opinions respectively does not meet the requirements. We should summarise and state the similarities and differences of their views.
  2. - ‘Revolutions are violent’
    From Source A ‘Blood will be…die like flies’
    From Source B ‘Revolutions…destruction.’
    From our own knowledge, 11 uprisings were needed to overthrow the Qing Dynasty.
    - ‘Revolutions was an effective means of strengthening China’
    From Source A ‘As far as…for a country.’
    From Source B ‘The revolution that…destroy to construct.’
    From own knowledge, after the 1911 Revolution, social and cultural changes began. / there were attempts of monarchical recovery and foreign aggression.

    *In order to give balanced answers, we should state opinions and give example from both sides no matter they agree the statement or not. Then, we should explain why we support or oppose the statement despite there are despite there are valid evidence supporting both side.


  1. - The cartoonist is not pessimistic and thought that only symbolic peace was made.
    From Source C, the Jail Bird, which was the symbol of peace, was locked by the ‘Treaty 1919’ even though she was set free.

    *Be careful not to mistake ‘view’ as ‘attitude’.
  2. - Treaty terms should be dictated to Germany.
    - The economic recovery of Germany should be hindered.
    From Source D ‘German can understand nothing…in negotiation.’ / ‘shortening the interval…technical skill’

    *We should elaborate from the source but not merely copying the reference.
  3. - Criticisms:
    From Source C, Real peace could not be kept after the First World War.
    From Source D, Clemenceau was too harsh towards Germany so the treaty terms were not fair.
    - Were the criticisms fair?
    From own knowledge, the harsh treaty terms sowed the seed of the Second World War. / the aim of the treaty is to prevent another rise of Germany. Britain and France tried to maintain a good relationship with Weimar Germany under the Stresemann.

    *We should first state their criticism and arguments before judging whether they are fair or not. Be careful not to mistake the question as asking whether the decisions made by the peace makers were fair


  1. - Making Japan strong
    - Building with advanced technology
    From Source E ‘Let’s work to exhaustion to revitalise the new Japan.’
    From Source E ’Bringing the happiness of using electric devices to this generation and its people.

    *Be careful that the question ask for dream for Japan but not Matsushita’s dream in general.
  2. - Internal factors:
    From Source E, collective spirit was developed in Japan’s companies.
    From own knowledge, nationalism and bushido helped with the economic development.
    - External factors:
    From own knowledge, the USA aids Japan economically. / there were favourable international circumstances.

    *Beware of the keyword ‘primarily’. We should compare the significance of internal and external factors after listing the historical events. That is, we should evaluate the reason why internal or external factors have larger impact in Japan’s economic development. Also, it is clear that own knowledge weighs heavier in this question so we should elaborate more while giving their own knowledge.


  1. - Existence of two opposing camps
    - Extending influence would annoy one another
    From Source F, the garden is divided in two parts which represent the two opposing camps.
    From Source F, the branches of the trees extends to each others’ garden made the gardener look annoyed and offensive.

    *Many students ignored the source and gave out characteristics based on their own knowledge. This kind of answers will score low marks.
  2. - The USA:
    From Source F, branches from the US were bigger than those from the USSR.
    From Source G, the US was ‘ready to doom all mankind to the catastrophe of war’.
    From own knowledge, the US tried hard to deter the USSR influence e.g. initiating the NATO.
    - The USSR:
    From Source F, Cuba was extended to the sphere of the US.
    From Source G, the USSR accused the capitalist bloc with negative attitude.
    From own knowledge, the USSR extended its influence with forming the Warsaw Pact and supporting communist parties in China and North Korea.

2015 DSE History Paper 2

  1. The question words are ‘trace and explain’. The appropriate approach of this kind of question is to divide the time span into sub-periods then discuss the characteristics of each period. We  may summarise the characteristics of each period and name the periods for a better organisation. Identifying turning points such as the 1967 Riots and the signing of the Sino-British Joint Declaration is also needed.
  2. Comparison is needed to decide whether the historical figure’s impact on China was more positive than negative. In order to give balance answers, we should examine both positive and negative impacts. Then, we can evaluate whether the positive or negative impact is more significant in China’s history. It is not wise to focus only on one or two policies and events. The coverage should be larger to score higher marks.
  3. Apart from accounting for the reasons why militarism rise in Japan in the 1930s, we should also explain why didn’t militarism rise earlier. Therefore, both unfavourable conditions before the 1930s for the rise of militarism and favourable conditions in the 1930s should be covered tin the essay. Besides, we should be careful with the time span so that irrelevant historical event is not included in the essay.
  4. First of all, comparisons can be made in the fields of political, social, economic and technological before and after the war. We should aware that the question is not merely asking for influence and results. So comparison is critical for the answer. Also, we should examine how did the war cause remarkable changes.
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