Britain & Ireland 1745-1901

The relationship between Britain and Ireland is explored here across a number of articles. Particular themes assessing and exploring social reform on matters such as housing, industrial change and emerging civil rights are included here. Key individuals from the world of politics, science and women’s rights are also examined in detail.

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  • Navigating the ‘imperial history wars’

    Article

    Concerned by the growing tendency of politicians and press to revive the moral balance-sheet approach to British imperial history and by some evidence of its resurgence in schools, Alex Benger set about devising a framework which would keep pupils’ analysis rigorously historical, rather than moral and politicised. In this article,...

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  • What Have Historians Been Arguing About... expanding the reach of the American Revolution

    Article

    The Founding Fathers of the United States of America are never far from current political and cultural discussions. Whether prompted by the phenomenal success of Hamilton: the musical (2015), or the shocking scenes of riotous attack on the US Capitol in January 2021, the revolutionary intentions and legacy of such...

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  • Decolonise, don’t diversify: enabling a paradigm shift in the KS3 history curriculum

    Article

    In this article, Dan Lyndon-Cohen makes the case that history departments should move from diversifying the curriculum to decolonising it. After reflecting on some examples of how he made the content of his lessons more representative, he explores how the influence of writers such as Michel-Rolph Trouillot and Emma Dabiri...

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  • Diversifying the curriculum: one department’s holistic approach

    Article

    In this article, Theo Woods shares the experience of one history department as they embarked on a substantial process of curriculum review and development. The department sought to address concerns that the range of history taught in their school, across the full seven years of students’ secondary experience, was too ‘traditional,...

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  • Putting black into the Union Jack: weaving Black history into the Year 7 to 9 curriculum

    Article

    Making a passionate case for teaching Black British history in the secondary school curriculum, Hannah shares here the personal journey she has travelled in planning for Black British history in her curriculum. She cites her inspirations and offers striking examples to illustrate her rationale and approach to teaching this history....

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  • What Have Historians Been Arguing About... the impact of the British Empire on Britain?

    Article

    The murder of George Floyd during the summer of 2020 and the ongoing ‘culture war’ in Britain over the legacy of the British Empire have reignited interest in imperial history. This focuses, in particular, on the question of the empire’s impact on Britain itself: on how the act of conquering...

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  • Teaching Gypsy, Roma and Traveller history

    Article

    Gypsy, Roma and Traveller people are the largest minority ethnic group in some communities (and therefore in some schools) in the UK. Yet the past of Gypsy, Roma, Traveller people may rarely be part of history lessons. The result is that pupils of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller heritage may not...

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  • Film: Attic Inscriptions

    Article

    Public Museums, National Trust Properties and private homes across the UK contain thousands of antiquities deriving from the ancient Greek world. Many of these were obtained by those who ventured upon the Grand Tour, a cultural expedition to Europe undertaken by wealthy young men in the eighteenth and ninteteenth centuries. In...

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  • Census 2021: using the census in the history classroom

    Article

    As we approach the next census in March 2021, we are reminded of what a rich historical source the census is. For historians, using the census can shine a light on particular people and places – a snapshot in time. Big stories can be told through a sharp local lens...

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  • Why does anyone do anything? Attempts to improve agentive explanations with Year 12

    Article

    In this article Sophie Harley-McKeown identifies and addresses her Year 12 students’ blind spot over agentive explanation. Noticing that the examination board to which she teaches uses ‘motivations’ rather than ‘aims’ prompted her to consider whether her students really knew what that meant. Finding that her students’ causal explanations tended...

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  • What Have Historians Been Arguing About... migration and empire

    Article

    In autumn 2019, Kara Walker’s monumental sculpture, Fons Americanus, went on display in the Tate Modern, offering a poignant, troubling challenge to national commemoration. Walker depicts not the lingering vestiges of imperial glory, but sharks, tears, and haunted memories. She brings history into conversation with its contemporary legacies and engages...

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  • Past Time Toolkit: new learning resource about Victorian Prisons

    20th April 2020

    Past Time Toolkit: A Learning Resource about Victorian Prisons is aimed at teachers of GCSE History students and is also of interest to anyone exploring the Victorians, prison history, isolation, or food history.  The resource is particularly useful to those working with the Edexel GCSE History course’s Crime and Punishment...

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  • Unravelling the complexity of the causes of British abolition with Year 8

    Article

    Elizabeth Marsay wanted to ensure that her students were not hindered in their causal explanations of the abolition of slavery by being exposed to overly categorical, simplistic, and monocausal narratives in the classroom. By drawing on both English and Canadian theorisation about causation, Marsay outlines how her introduction of competing...

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  • Women and Gender in the French Wars

    Podcast

    In this podcast Dr Louise Carter critically examines the role of women in Britain during the French Revolution. During these wars, women were typically called on for army cooking, laundry, nursing and spying, and as such were considered part of the war machine. While women in the French wars accounted for...

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  • Teaching Year 8 pupils to take seriously the ideas of ordinary people from the past

    Article

    Jacob Olivey wanted Year 8 to know that ordinary people in the nineteenth century constructed their own identities. In this reflection on how his practice developed in his training year, Olivey illustrates the importance of using historical scholarship in choosing foundational knowledge to teach. He shows how he used that...

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  • Triumphs Show 176: Using material culture as a means to generate an enquiry on the British Empire

    Article

    Triumphs Show is a regular feature which offers a quick way for teachers to celebrate their successes and share inspirational ideas with one another. While the ideas are always explained in sufficient depth for others to be able to take them forward in their own practice, the simple format allows...

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  • Using an anthology of substantial sources at GCSE

    Article

    Struck by his GCSE students’ bewildered expressions when studying source extracts, Liam McDonnell decided to adopt a new approach to source analysis. Inspired by the work of other history teachers, McDonnell decided to use an anthology of substantial sources when studying nineteenth-century Whitechapel in London. By revisiting the sources at...

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  • Polychronicon 174: Votes for Women

    Article

    The beginnings of the nationally organised campaign for women’s suffrage began with suffragists’ orchestration of the petition to Parliament in favour of female suffrage in 1866. The petition contained almost 1,500 names from across the country and was presented to parliament by the Liberal MP John Stuart Mill; it was...

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  • Peterloo: HA interview with Mike Leigh and Jacqueline Riding

    Article

    The film Peterloo dramatises the people and events that led to the infamous ‘Peterloo’ massacre in August 1819. Respected film-maker Mike Leigh created the film using historical records and sources from the period, as he and historical adviser Jacqueline Riding explained to the HA in a recent interview, which you can watch below.  

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  • Age of Revolutions Resources

    Information

    The Age of Revolutions is a period in history between c.1775-1848. Over the course of these years, society underwent a series of revolutions in almost all theatres of life: political, war, social and cultural, and economic and technological. Revolutionary ideas and revolutionary actions swept across the world, and historians still discuss and...

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