Social 30: Authoritarianism Flipped Classroom Unit

This unit will be completed as a flipped classroom. We’ve largely paid it forward in Social 20 and set the groundwork in our other units this year. There will be pockets of time each period starting November 18th you can use to work on this but there will be limited formal instruction. You can email me or book one-on-one support as well.

You are responsible for the following items prior to November 30th:

  1. The Russian Revolution

Connecting with our understanding of economic systems, the Russian Revolution sets the stage for the first attempts at communism. The distinct form of communism introduced by Lenin–War Communism–is a perversion. This system and revolution connects to our economics unit and Cold War Unit. I will do a Q&A session on this topic around November 19th.

Russian Revolution Communisn Complete


The Russian Revolution(21)



30-2: Outline the causes of the Russian Revolution (8). Provide details on each.

30-1: Evaluate the three most important causes of the Russian Revolution. Why were these factors more important than the others?

  2. Techniques of dictatorship

Which method(s) used in political systems is/are the most important to maintain a dictatorship? Some you can consider include censorship, indoctrination, use of secret police, propaganda, fixing elections, purges, charisma, or any other techniques you deem relevant.

Read or watch a selection of web articles about how dictators come to power. You might read this one, or this video (Mussolini and Franco sections), or this one, or any article of your choice.


30-2: Create a recipe for dictatorship. It should follow recipe conventions — so many cups of this, baked this way, etc–and be aesthetically pleasing. Which items are most important to make a dictatorship?

30-1: Create an infographic on the 8 most important methods to maintain a dictatorship. An infographic should define the terms being used, rank them, and be aesthetically pleasing.

 3. Definitions

There are a number of terms that are essential to understanding the various forms of dictatorship.


All students: Define the following terms using Marzano’s method*–junta, oligarchy, monarchy, one party state, benevolent dictatorship, despotism, banana republic (not the store).

*Provide a description, explanation, or example of the new term; construct a picture, symbol or graphic representing the word; discuss the terms with one another.

       4. Is X A Dictator

Modern leaders are often accused of being a dictator. Two leaders that are accused often are Donald Trump and Recep Tayyip Erdogan. We will have a discussion around this topic around November 25th.


SOCIAL 30-2: Some have argued that Donald Trump is engaging in authoritarian rule. Research these claims: is he really? What evidence supports this? Which evidence contradicts this? Is Donald Trump authoritarian?

SOCIAL 30-1: NATO ally Turkey is in flux right now–it is a predominant landing zone for refugees from Syria–but its democracy has also been questioned. Recep Tayyip Erdogan has solidified his power since becoming President (previously, he was Prime Minister) and many have claimed his actions make him a dictator. Research his actions since taking over the presidency–is he a dictator? Why are his allies, such as Canada, willing to overlook these claims? Examine, also, the attempted coup in 2016…was it a true attempt at overthrowing Erdogan, or was it orchestrated by him? Provide evidence.

5. The End of Democracy

Some people believe that democracy is unlikely to survive much longer; they argue the system is destined to fail.

Read: The End of Democracy

Answer: At the end of the reading is a question for each -1 / -2. Answer in a half page to one page response.

       6. The Greatest Dictator

Both 30-1 and 30-2 will be researching dictatorships with an eye towards their resistance of liberalism. Furthermore, these figures often played a part in the Cold War or were in power as a result of the Cold War. Finally, knowing one regime inside and out is helpful with respect to the diploma. There is a mandatory check in on this work November 22nd.

Social 30-2: Your task is to create a report card based on your assigned dictator.

Dictator Report Card

JB – Hitler

DH – Mussolini

DP – Stalin

JR – Hitler

AM – Stalin

JAR – Mussolini

RT – Mussolini

Social 30-1:

Your task is to write a formal research paper on the dictator of your choice (as confirmed with me). The paper should focus on the following elements:

  • How the dictator came to power
  • Description of dictator’s ideology
  • How the dictator holds power
  • Attempts to destabilize/overthrow the dictator (ties with above)
  • Fall of the dictator
  • Status of the regime today

In all cases, you must make DIRECT connections to the principles of liberalism. That is to say, discussions on the various freedoms associated with liberalism. Where appropriate, connections to Hobbes and Machiavelli should be made.

As this is your only research paper, citations MUST BE USED. The approved style for this class is Chicago/Turabian: you may choose to use footnotes or in text parenthetical. (Historians typically use footnotes while political science trends towards the latter: As such, I accept either as long as you’re consistent.)

You should use a minimum of five reliable sources.

List to choose from (one per person):

  • Baby Doc (Haiti) –
  • Fidel Castro (Cuba) –
  • Tito (Yugoslavia) – SS
  • Fulgencio Batista (Cuba)
  • Kim Il-sung (N. Korea) – CD
  • Kim Jong-il (N. Korea) – JeJo
  • Kim Jong-un (N. Korea) – ET
  • Putin (Russia) – AK
  • Nicolae Caeusescu (Romania) – BD
  • Augusto Pinochet (Chile)
  • Pol Pot (Cambodia) – JL
  • Suharto (Indonesia)
  • Milosevic (Yugoslavia/Serbia) – JaJo
  • Robert Mugabe (Zimbabwe) –
  • Mao Zedong –


     7. Machiavelli Reading Assignment – 30-1 Only

Social 30-1 students are required to expand their philosophical repertoire. Read the following excerpt and answer the questions that are attached.

Niccolo Machiavelli Reading Activity

Mr. McIntosh

Teacher - Humanities

My teaching assignment this year includes Social 20, Social 30, Jr. Sports Performance, Sr. Sports Performance, Kindergarten PE, Social 5, Math 2, and Social 9. My coaching assignment this year includes Cross Country (XC) from Grades 1-12, Sr. High Boys Basketball, Sr. High Boys Handball, and Tennis from Grades 9 - 12. In addition, I serve as one of the school representatives to our ATA Local Council and sit on the board of the Boys and Girls Club of Bashaw.

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