Social 30: Authoritarianism Flipped Classroom Unit

This unit will be completed as a flipped classroom. Beginning May 24th you can use class time to work on this but there will be limited formal instruction. In addition to in class time–please access me!!!–you can also email me or book one-on-one support as well. With three hour classes it is imperative you take charge of your time. You should also make time for textbook readings.

In addition to the mini lessons/check-ins booked, please anticipate the following interruptions:

-Film Study

-Google Form quick quizzes

You are responsible for the following items prior to May 31st. Submissions will not be accepted past the deadline as marking will be completed and reported on a tight turnaround.

  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.


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. Please use the handout as well.


This task may be completed in groups.

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? Exemplar: Recipe for Genocide (1)

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.

Not sure what an infographic is? Take a peek here.

 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, cult of personality, banana republic (not the store), great man theory.

*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. Alternatively, you may use the Frayer method — see me for an organizer.

       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 discuss this topic on multiple occasions with the first occurring October 1st.


Write an extended response not to exceed two typed pages on a Canadian ally who some allege is a dictator or trending to authoritarianism.

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 (OMIT 2022)

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.

Social Studies 30

Essay Question

30-1: To what extent has democracy failed in the 21st century?  Is democracy a viable political system in the new millennium?  Fully explain your answer, referring to the article above.

30-2: Will democracy exist past 2119? Outline your reasons why and why not with careful explanation.

       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.

This is the single most weighted assessment for this unit. There are mandatory check-ins on this task May 25th, 27th, and 30th.

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

Dictator Report Card

You may choose Stalin (MM), Hitler (TR), or Mussolini () for this task. Only two students per dictator. (With my approval you can choose off the -1 list)

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

Recommended length: 1200-1500 words.

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.) If you’re not sure of how to cite your sources I humbly suggest asking!!

You must use a minimum of five reliable sources.

List to choose from – this list changes somewhat from year to year based on who I’m tired of reading about. No more than one person may be assigned a given dictator:

  • Baby Doc (Haiti) –
  • Fidel Castro (Cuba) – ET
  • Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov (Turkmenistan) *NEW*
  • Tito (Yugoslavia) –
  • Fulgencio Batista (Cuba) – PP
  • Kim Il-sung (N. Korea) – KW
  • Kim Jong-un (N. Korea) –
  • Putin (Russia) – SS
  • Nicolae Ceausescu (Romania) –
  • Augusto Pinochet (Chile)
  • Hideki Tojo (Japan) *NEW*
  • Suharto (Indonesia) –
  • Daniel Ortega (Nicaragua) *NEW* – 
  • Milosevic (Yugoslavia/Serbia) –
  • Idi Amin (Uganda)*NEW*
  • Mao Zedong (China) – CM


     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

In a typical year I teach a range of courses from elementary to high school. I am our school's Social Studies specialist, teaching high school social, as well as a member of the PE team.

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