Correction to the history subject 2013 Sciences Po Paris

The first of the exam questions to choose from for the history composition was :

An example of a world economy: the British world economy.

For this subject, many outlines are possible.

It concerns the new high school program, and proposes to study the economy of the United Kingdom as a reflection of a world economy, i.e. exemplary on a global scale.

You could treat it as follows:

I. The United Kingdom sets in motion the Industrial Revolution
A. UK industry ahead of the world
B. A country with a large financial sector
C. The United Kingdom’s Foreign Trade
II. The United Kingdom: Master of the World in the 19th century
A. British Hegemony in the World
B. The Commonwealth
III. Oppositions to the power of the United Kingdom
A. The Great Depression and the weakness of the British economy
B. Competition from European and American countries


The other question concerned the Algerian War, one year after the fiftieth anniversary of the Evian Agreement.

The Algerian War

For this subject, the delimitation was more restricted. Both the chronological boundaries: 1954–1962, and the geographical boundaries:
Algeria-France. Again, several outlines were possible, like this one:

I. The outbreak of the Algerian War (1954–1955)
A. The particular territorial status of Algeria
B. Economic and social inequalities divide Algeria
C. The exaltation of Algerian nationalism provokes the first clashes
II. France mired in the Algerian War (1954–1958)
A. The rise of violence in Algeria
B. Battles as theaters of repression in Algeria
C. Algeria’s outlines for self-determination
III. The end of the Algerian war (1958–1962)
A. de Gaulle’s action to end the conflict
B. Towards the Evian agreements
C. The results of the war in Algeria

Sujet Sciences Po Paris 2013 histoire

→ You can also look at the answer keys for the Sciences Po 2013 competitive exams and the answer keys for Sciences Po Bordeaux 2013

→Subjects and correction to the history and geography French baccalauréat 2013

8 thoughts on “Correction to the history subject 2013 Sciences Po Paris

  1. @Mathieu: Hello, as you say, it is very difficult to know how the rating will be oriented. It does not matter the score anyway, what matters is the other people’s score, and you seem to have done quite well! Keep us posted on your results Mathieu and good evening.

  2. @Ismael B.: Hello Ismael, and thank you for your contribution. Regarding the essay, you may have made a risky choice in wanting to be original, but it may also be what will set you apart from the others. The ideas and knowledge are there, it all depends on the writing. What can comfort you is that for the study of the document, you seem to have perfectly grasped the method and the interest of the document. As much to reframe with the context as for the limits of the document. Congratulations again for this contest, and good waiting for the results (wait until 03:37 in the night, you must be really impatient;))

  3. Hello, I wanted to share with you the content of my copy in that I tried, through the question of the Algerian War, to opt for a more “original” vision. As soon as I finish this message, the sooner I’ll go to sleep (2 h 50 ^^) that’s why I’m not going to detail everything. Before starting, the catchphrase chosen is necessarily topical a few weeks before our President’s trip to Algiers and his recognition of the pain caused by the French army in 1954-1962 without however going into the field of the mea culpa, in officially apologizing to Algeria for the damage caused. I wanted to focus on the demonstration of the inescapable nature of the Independence of the Algerian War through two main axes (my plan) which are the double national tear (the idea of triple war) calling into question the ends of resistance in the aftermath of the Second World War (and, de facto, national unity) as well as the detachment of France towards the principles then promulgated on an international scale (UN, DDHC, DUDH…). In this first part, I develop the idea mentioned above by recalling the particular relationship of France towards Algeria with reference to the 1881 citizenship code, on the one hand, and transcribe the progress of the conflict (to from 1954 therefore) until arriving at Independence in 1962 when the mission of Gle de Gaulle by President Coty has just ended. The transition raises the idea that France has tarnished its image on the international scene. So comes the second part raising the double paradox of this period of our History: France, country of human rights (1789) has largely contributed to the elevation and the concretization of the United Nations Organization (cf. “ Right of peoples to self-determination” of the UN) as well as to the writing of the UDHR. In this, it must be recognized that what was then worn was, at one time or another, to be adopted by France itself despite its particular attachment to Algeria. There is therefore tension here in that France, in fact, accumulates sprains to defended republican principles. Finally, the second facet of this paradoxical situation: France is emerging from a period of occupation of more than four years, which the Algerian nationalist leaders did not fail to recall in order to justify their claim for independence the next day. of the Brazzaville conference. Symbolic was the demonstration on May 8, 1945 in Sétif which was followed by a heavy repression on the part of the metropolis. ==== DOCUMENT STUDY ==== The date — August 13, 1961 — relates to the night of 12 to 13 of the same month, date of the construction of the Berlin Wall by the Soviet leader. The author of this speech: the member countries of the Warsaw Pact. Context recalled: Conflict of a new kind, of an ideological, cultural, economic order, opposing the two great winners of the Second World War: the Cold War (1945 — 1991). Interests of this document: One recognizes there a “traditional culture of war” with the propaganda aiming to demonize the opponent. (The conflict is certainly of a new kind, but it nevertheless emerges that characteristics common to the two previous conflicts, which the 20th century has just gone through, are perceptible). Moreover, it is all the communication of war and its recruitment of the population which makes this document useful historically speaking. Limits: The certain partiality of the document is, I think, to be noted. The description given of the western bloc is necessarily erroneous. Remember that the Soviet bloc is facing certain economic difficulties where its opponent emerges strengthened (for the USA) from the Second World War (2/3 of world gold stocks, Bretton Woods agreements ensuring the supremacy of the dollar.. .) and that in this the proposal for the status of a “free” city of Berlin is not “disinterested”. A method like any other of gaining time which can be taken by the USA as a Soviet strategy aiming to overtake them or – at the very least – to “recover”. Moreover, the mentioned “peaceful” character of the Soviet bloc is reminiscent of the harsh repression suffered by people trying to cross the wall (recall of the 500 shots, 5000 successful attempts). Finally, a reminder of the reasons that motivated the construction of the wall: the massive exodus from the GDR to the FRG due to a fascinating western land, the chosen land of liberalism, democracy, the consumer society and its synonymous waste of good living. Here is my shortened version so ^^ in order to get some opinions. Thanking you for your attention to these writings, Ismael B.

  4. Thanks for the detailed answer! I surely launched a little too quickly without having thought too much about the study of documents and the title. By having remained in concepts (in particular on the deception of the declaration), as I always do in this exercise since the first one, I managed not to be off topic. Much of the knowledge that has passed it has focused on aspects that are useless to understanding the Cold War by being in the descriptive or even the narrative. Staying too much on the text or discussing things unrelated to the title are the two mistakes I’ve heard the most. I hope to have avoided them as much as possible and that my composition will compensate for the points I lost on the study of documents. Difficult to know what is the notation of the competition (especially new formula) compared to that which we have in high school or in its prepa. My history and prepa teacher told me that my limitation was risky if the corrector did not understand it (the nuance between decline begins and real end) and that the study of docs could pass. Usually the admissibility bar is minus 11 and the admission bar is more than 12, it changes every year so it’s hard to know if they will keep the same and how the writings will be graded (what average to have for a A? A B) We’ll see, I don’t think I screwed up as many have said after the 3 tests, but everything will be decided by comparing the copies with each other, then the exam mark and the file mark. All this remains a little vague even if we know that most of the best students have been taken on file and that there are at least 1000 or 1500 places left for the oral. You must hope ! (And prepare the common contest…) Thank you again and good evening 🙂

  5. @Mathieu: Thank you Mathieu for sharing your plan, which looks really good copy. You opted for the Sciences Po outline in 2-2-2, it is a good position if it is assumed as you do. By reading your plan, the risk could have been to take advantage of it to give elements on the British power which would not concern the economy. The exam question was indeed typically economy: “An example of a world economy: the British world economy.” However your titles are reassuring, and everything seems perfect. Regarding the commentary, the difficulty was the length of the text and the title of the question: “its interest and its limits for understanding the Cold War”. As you say, your problem may have been the provision of knowledge. Indeed you seem to have understood the text well, only in principle the document commentary here requires: 1 external knowledge for 1 element of the text. Always start from the text, and enlighten it with new knowledge provided. In our opinion, it was above all a question of showing “the limits” for the understanding of the Cold War. Not only the limits of the text (what the statement does not say), but also how the text does not help to understand the Cold War, and even prevents understanding it: the games of deception, the hypocrisy of the statement. This was a new exercise, so it is unclear if it will be truly discriminating for the competition or if it will be viewed with leniency. Overall you seem to have grasped the interest of the document and the question, well done. Few candidates will have succeeded in this. Because you have to remember: the most important thing is not to have made an excellent comment, it is to have made a better comment than the others. It is a competition, and you have to stand out, which you seem to have achieved. Hoping that you will have good results, do not hesitate to keep us informed, The Academics in Politics team.

  6. Hello, Concerning the question on the British world-economy, I opted for an outline (chrono-thematic) in two parts which seemed to me to show the evolution well without making an unbalanced plan. The difficulty of the question lay in the boundaries, and I chose to leave it rather vague: from the second half of the 19th century (since that is where the program begins, but the ascent begins before) until 1945 when it is the end of one world-economy and the beginning of a new one. With nuances inside the parts, and in particular at the end where the inter-war period is a phase of hesitation where there is both a rise of emerging countries and the weakening of an Empire. I think by being fairly broad and nuanced throughout, with fine transitions between each paragraph, I was able to stand out. With of course on the side of the form a perfect balance (outline 2/2/2) and paragraphs of identical size, accompanied by neat calligraphy and quality French (I hope so :-)) what my composition looked like, all on just over 5 pages: I-The establishment of a hegemonic Empire and a world-economy in the 19th century A-A major economic and financial power a. Free trade and the pound-sterling promote the dynamics of trade b. The 1st maritime power organized around the port of London (1st in the world) controls the seas and trade B-A world commercial and industrial Empire a. Territorial conquests that are organized into colonies from Africa to Asia b. Exchanges within the Empire (imports/exports from/to the colonies) favored by industrial power (explanation of the 1st Industrial Revolution) II- Despite a certain peak phase, the Empire does not arrive to maintain its leadership and sees its role contested from the first decade of the 20th century A- The apogee in the first years of the 20th century is limited in time a.At the beginning of the 20th century the United Kingdom remains the hegemon in center of globalization and international exchanges (economic, commercial, financial) and resisted the first Great Depression thanks to its colonial Empire bThe British Empire missed the 2nd Industrial Revolution arrival of new players (Germany and United States) who competed with it seriously in exchanges B- The inter-war period: limits then end of a world-economy a. The Great Depression: revealing the shift of the economy (and finance) to the United States, which is also the creditor of the British Empire following the First World War b. The decline of the Colonial Empire is in favor of the creation of the Commonwealth, which decreases in the share of trade while remaining first. Short passage where I explain the impact of post-1945 decolonization: Without colonies the center of the economy is definitely no longer the British Empire. I summarize all this in the conclusion and I explain that 1945 is the last date which marks the absolute end of the British world-economy for the benefit of the Americans who, having won 2 wars, succeeded in the industrial revolution and founded a new economic order. world, take over from their former colonizer. Do you have any idea what to write in the document study? There I had less control of the question and I may have stayed too much on the document. In the contributions I showed how Soviet diplomacy criticized the Western bloc on the German front (and why) and justified defensive measures because of NATO warmongering. In the limits I explained that the same military practices were present in the Eastern bloc (a secret war) because the Warsaw Pact is a counterweight to NATO, and finally I showed that it was a escalation in the conflict, with the Berlin airlift in particular (but also the nuclear deterrent on the eve of Cuba) The title was really not clear. Understanding the Cold War cuts across many exam questions and the work of synthesis risks eliminating many people. I did not stay glued to the text but I could surely have better identified the major concepts, even if they were present, with some dates and explanations of the context (GDR/FRG sharing, peaceful coexistence, etc.) Thank you very much for this site, there are some really very useful articles 🙂 (and sorry for the long message!)

  7. @Mia: Hello Mia, your plan – obviously you chose the Algerian war – has two strong points: – It is built in three balanced parts. – It has a form of originality in that it approaches the Algerian war from a new point of view – good reference for the “nameless war”, a well-regarded approach to the 3 wars in one. Your outline has the advantage of making the “conflict of memories” aspect appear more clearly than the one we propose. However, it also presents the risk that corresponds to it: going beyond the question. Especially for your part “Marked Franco-Algerian relations”. It all depends on what you write there. In general, your outline finally looks a lot like the one we proposed – chronological thematic – (I. Origin II. Development of the war III. Consequences), and it seems quite relevant. Hoping that you did well in your tests, The Academics in Politics team.

  8. Hello, I passed the contest last weekend but I did not make this plan. I told myself that the period was too short for a chronological plan, so I made a thematic plan: I- causes of the triggering A-old claims B- based on eco & social II- a nameless war with particular characteristics A- maintaining order which justifies the use of all means B- 3 war in one (the apparent one, French for & against, FLN against OAS) III- A conflict that permanently marks A- Uncertain balance sheet & Conflict of memories B- Tainted Franco-Algerian relations Does this seem like a good outline to you? Thanks for your response and for your help!

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