Europe 1901-present

While war seems to be a backdrop to events in Europe in this time period the articles collected here explore many of the wider impacts and elements to the war. Medicine and technology are explored alongside dramatic changes in social attitudes. The political events that disrupt and shape Europe of the 20th century are explored though a range of engaging articles that include Russia and the USSR, Fascism and European co-operation.

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  • Year 8 and interpretations of the First World War

    Article

    Dan Smith was concerned that his pupils were drawing on over-simplified generalisations about different periods of the past when they were considering why interpretations change over time. This led him to consider how pupils’ contextual knowledge and chronological fluency might be used more explicitly in order to avoid weak generalisations...

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  • Polychronicon 162: Reinterpreting the May 1968 events in France

    Article

    As Kristin Ross has persuasively argued, by the 1980s interpretations of the French events of May 1968 had shrunk to a narrow set of received ideas around student protest, labelled by Chris Reynolds a ‘doxa’. Media discourse is dominated by a narrow range of former participants labelled ‘memory barons’ –...

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  • The knowledge illusion

    Article

    Focusing on students’ attempts to explain the relative significance of different factors in Hitler’s rise to power, Catherine McCrory explores the vexed question of why students who seem able to express necessary historical knowledge on one occasion cannot effectively reproduce it on another. Drawing on a detailed analysis of what...

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  • WWI and the flu pandemic

    Article

    In our continuing Aspects of War series Hugh Gault reveals that the flu pandemic, which began during the First World War, presented another danger that challenged people’s lives and relationships. Wounded in the neck on the first day of the battle of the Somme, 1 July 1916, Arthur Conan Doyle’s son Kingsley...

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  • Never Such Innocence - WW1 Resource

    Article

    Never Such Innocence is pleased to publish the second edition of its resource pack for primary and secondary school pupils. As well as a timeline and useful information on the different fronts of the First World War, the pack includes pages on the part played by Scotland, the Crown Dependencies,...

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  • Triumphs Show 160: Prezi and propaganda

    Article

    Laura Tilley recognised that her Year 9 students were finding it difficult to work out the intended message of visual propaganda. To help her students make better use of the substantive knowledge they already had, she devised an interactive activity using a presentation software, Prezi. This approach provided students with...

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  • Richard Evans Medlicott lecture: The Origins of the First World War

    Article

    This year the Historical Association's Medlicott medal for services to history went to Professor Sir Richard Evans. Richard Evans is the Regius Professor of History at Cambridge and President of Wolfson College, Cambridge. He has written numerous highly respected and internationally best-selling books. Evans is bests known for his works on...

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  • Remembering the First World War: Using a battlefield tour of the Western Front

    Article

    Remembering the First World War: Using a battlefield tour of the Western Front to help pupils take a more critical approach to what they encounter The first year of the government's First World War Centenary Battlefield Tours Programme is now under way, allowing increasing numbers of students from across Britain...

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  • The Assassination of Arch Duke Franz Ferdinand

    Article

    On Saturday 28th of June it will be 100 years since the Arch Duke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated with his wife Sophie in Sarajevo. As everyone knows or will know after this summer that assassination led to the start of the First World War. The young man who fired the...

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  • On the frontlines of teaching the history of the First World War

    Article

    It is very common for people in politics and the media to make assumptions about what happens in history classrooms. Too often these preconceptions are based on little more than anecdote, examples from the Internet or memories of what someone experienced at school themselves. In this article, Catriona Pennell reports...

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  • Polychronicon 155: Interpreting the Origins of of the First World War

    Article

    As I write this article I have before me my grandfather's Victory Medal from the First World War. It has inscribed on the reverse side, ‘The Great War for Civilisation 1914-1919'. The absolute certainty of such a justification for Britain's entry into the war seems somewhat hollow as we approach...

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  • Helping Year 9 explore the cultural legacies of WW1

    Article

    A world turned molten: helping Year 9 to explore the cultural legacies of the First World War Rachel Foster shows how her own study of cultural history led to a new dimension in her planning. She wanted to show her students not only that historians are interested in many different...

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  • Waking up to complexity

    Article

    Waking up to complexity: using Christopher Clark's The Sleepwalkers to challenge over-determined causal explanations Teaching student to construct causal argument is a staple of history teaching and, in this year, questions about the causes of the First World War are particularly pertinent and once again the public eye. Claire Holliss,...

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  • The Romanov Tercentenary: nostalgia versus history on the eve of the Great War

    Article

    The spring of 2013 was unusually significant for devotees of the Romanov dynasty. Though there was little international recognition of the fact, the season marked the 400th anniversary of the accession of Russia's first Romanov tsar. Historically, the story was a most dramatic one, for Mikhail Fedorovich had not seized...

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  • The Origins of the First World War

    Article

    The First World War broke out suddenly and unexpectedly in midsummer 1914, following the murder of the Archduke Francis Ferdinand of Hapsburg, heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary, at Sarajevo, in Bosnia, on 28 June. Since no war involving the European great powers had occurred since 1871, the possibility of...

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  • Franz Ferdinand

    Article

    The Kapuzinerkirche (Church of the Capuchins) in Vienna's Neue Markt is one of the more curious attractions of the city, housing as it does the Kaisergruft crypt in which the Habsburgs are entombed, or rather in which their bodies are entombed: the hearts are usually kept in the Loreto Chapel...

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  • Polychronicon 153: Re-interpreting Liberation: the end of the Holocaust?

    Article

    In August 1945, Zalman Grinberg, a doctor from Kovno and spokesman for the Liberated Jews in the American Zone of Germany, addressed 1,700 Jewish survivors. ‘What is the logic of destiny to let these individuals remain alive?!' he asked them: We are free now, but we do not know what...

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  • Helping Year 9 debate the purposes of genocide education

    Article

    Connecting the dots: helping Year 9 to debate the purposes of Holocaust and genocide education Why do we teach about the Holocaust and about other genocides? The Holocaust has been a compulsory part of the English National Curriculum since 1991; however, curriculum documents say little about why pupils should learn...

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  • An authentic voice: perspectives on the value of listening to survivors of genocide

    Article

    It is common practice to invite survivors of the Holocaust to speak about their experiences to pupils in schools and colleges. Systematic reflection on the value of working with survivors of the Holocaust and other genocides and on how to make the most of doing so is rarer, however. In...

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  • Helping Year 9 evaluate explanations for the Holocaust

    Article

    ‘It made my brain hurt, but in a good way': helping Year 9 learn to make and to evaluate explanations for the Holocaust Why genocides occur is a perplexing and complex question. Leanne Judson reports a strategy designed to help students think about perpetration and evaluate and propose explanations for...

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