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History: KS4


We study AQA GCSE History. The four units which are examined at the end of Y1 are:

Conflict and tension in Asia 1950-1975

Conflict in Korea

  • The causes of the Korean War: nationalism in Korea; US relations with China; the division of Korea; Kim Il Sung and Syngman Rhee; reasons why the North invaded the South in June 1950; US and the UN responses; USSR's absence from the UN.
  • The development of the Korean War: the UN campaign in South and North Korea; Inchon landings and recapture of South Korea; UN forces advance into North Korea; reaction of China and intervention of Chinese troops October 1950; the sacking of MacArthur.
  • The end of the Korean War: military stalemate around the 38th Parallel; peace talks and the armistice; impact of the Korean War for Korea, the UN and Sino-American relations.

Escalation of conflict in Vietnam

  • The end of French colonial rule: Dien Bien Phu and its consequences; Geneva Agreement, 1954; civil war in South Vietnam; opposition to Diem; the Vietcong – aims, support, leadership and guerrilla tactics and Ho Chi Minh.
  • The US involvement: the Domino Theory; intervention under Eisenhower and Kennedy; Strategic Hamlets programme.
  • Johnson’s War: the Gulf of Tonkin; the US response to Vietcong tactics; the mass bombing campaign; demands for peace and growing student protests in the USA; My Lai and its public impact; Search and Destroy tactics and impact; the Tet Offensive and its consequences for the war.

The ending of conflict in Vietnam

  • Nixon’s War: Vietnamisation; chemical warfare; bombing campaign of 1970–1972; relations with China; widening of the war into Laos and Cambodia.
  • Opposition to war: Kent State University; the importance of the media and TV in influencing public opinion; the context of the Watergate affair.
  • The end of the war: the Paris Peace talks; the role of Kissinger; the US withdrawal; fall of Saigon; the price of conflict; problems of Vietnam in 1975.

Elizabethan England c1568-1603

Elizabeth's court and Parliament

  •  Elizabeth I and her court: background and character of Elizabeth I; court life, including patronage; key ministers.
  • The difficulties of a female ruler: relations with Parliament; the problem of marriage and the succession; the strength of Elizabeth’s authority at the end of her reign, including Essex’s rebellion in 1601.

Life in Elizabethan times

  • A ‘Golden Age’: living standards and fashions; growing prosperity and the rise of the gentry; the Elizabethan theatre and its achievements; attitudes to the theatre.
  • The poor: reasons for the increase in poverty; attitudes and responses to poverty; the reasons for government action and the seriousness of the problem.
  •  English sailors: Hawkins and Drake; circumnavigation 1577–1580, voyages and trade; the role of Raleigh.

The historic environment of Elizabethan England e.g. what can we learn from a study of Hardwick Hall about the Elizabethan period?

  •  Background of Hardwick Hall and its creator; typical features of Elizabethan manor houses in relation to Hardwick Hall.

Troubles at home and abroad

  • Religious matters: the question of religion, English Catholicism and Protestantism; the Northern Rebellion; Elizabeth's excommunication; the missionaries; Catholic plots and the threat to the Elizabethan settlement; the nature and ideas of the Puritans and Puritanism; Elizabeth and her government's responses and policies towards religious matters.
  • Mary Queen of Scots: background; Elizabeth and Parliament’s treatment of Mary; the challenge posed by Mary; plots; execution and its impact.
  • Conflict with Spain: reasons; events; naval warfare, including tactics and technology; the defeat of the Spanish Armada.

Britain: Health and the People c.1000 to the present day

Factors: war, superstition and religion, chance, government, communication, science and technology, the role of the individual in encouraging or inhibiting change.

Medicine stands still

  • Medieval medicine: approaches including natural, supernatural, ideas of Hippocratic and Galenic methods and treatments; the medieval doctor; training, beliefs about cause of illness.
  • Medical progress: the contribution of Christianity to medical progress and treatment; hospitals; the nature and importance of Islamic medicine and surgery; surgery in medieval times, ideas and techniques.
  • Public health in the Middle Ages: towns and monasteries; the Black Death in Britain, beliefs about its causes, treatment and prevention.

The beginnings of change

  • The impact of the Renaissance on Britain: challenge to medical authority in anatomy, physiology and surgery; the work of Vesalius, Paré, William Harvey; opposition to change.
  • Dealing with disease: traditional and new methods of treatments; quackery; methods of treating disease; plague; the growth of hospitals; changes to the training and status of surgeons and physicians; the work of John Hunter.
  • Prevention of disease: inoculation; Edward Jenner, vaccination and opposition to change.

A revolution in medicine

  • The development of Germ Theory and its impact on the treatment of disease in Britain: the importance of Pasteur, Robert Koch and microbe hunting; Pasteur and vaccination; Paul Ehrlich and magic bullets; everyday medical treatments and remedies.
  • A revolution in surgery: anaesthetics, including Simpson and chloroform; antiseptics, including Lister and carbolic acid; surgical procedures; aseptic surgery.
  • mprovements in public health: public health problems in industrial Britain; cholera epidemics; the role of public health reformers; local and national government involvement in public health improvement, including the 1848 and 1875 Public Health Acts.

Modern medicine

  • Modern treatment of disease: the development of the pharmaceutical industry; penicillin, its discovery by Fleming, its development; new diseases and treatments, antibiotic resistance; alternative treatments.
  • The impact of war and technology on surgery: plastic surgery; blood transfusions; X-rays; transplant surgery; modern surgical methods, including lasers, radiation therapy and keyhole surgery.
  • Modern public health: the importance of Booth, Rowntree, and the Boer War; the Liberal social reforms; the impact of two world wars on public health, poverty and housing; the Beveridge Report and the Welfare State; creation and development of the National Health Service; costs, choices and the issues of healthcare in the 21st century.

Germany 1890-1945: Democracy and Dictatorship

Germany and the growth of democracy

  • Kaiser Wilhelm and the difficulties of ruling Germany: the growth of parliamentary government; the influence of Prussian militarism; industrialisation; social reform and the growth of socialism; the domestic importance of the Navy Laws.
  •  Impact of the First World War: war weariness, economic problems; defeat; the end of the monarchy; post-war problems including reparations, the occupation of the Ruhr and hyperinflation.
  • Weimar democracy: political change and unrest, 1919–1923, including Spartacists, Kapp Putsch and the Munich Putsch; the extent of recovery during the Stresemann era (1924–1929): economic developments including the new currency, Dawes Plan and the Young Plan; the impact of international agreements on recovery; Weimar culture.

Germany and the Depression

  • The impact of the Depression: growth in support for the Nazis and other extremist parties (1928–1932), including the role of the SA; Hitler’s appeal.
  •  The failure of Weimar democracy: election results; the role of Papen and Hindenburg and Hitler’s appointment as Chancellor.
  •  The establishment of Hitler’s dictatorship: the Reichstag Fire; the Enabling Act; elimination of political opposition; trade unions; Rohm and the Night of the Long Knives; Hitler becomes Führer.

The experiences of Germans under the Nazis

  • Economic changes: benefits and drawbacks; employment; public works programmes; rearmament; self-sufficiency; the impact of war on the economy and the German people, including bombing, rationing, labour shortages, refugees.
  • Social policy and practice: reasons for policies, practices and their impact on women, young people and youth groups; education; control of churches and religion; Aryan ideas, racial policy and persecution; the Final Solution.
  • Control: Goebbels, the use of propaganda and censorship; Nazi culture; repression and the police state and the roles of Himmler, the SS and Gestapo; opposition and resistance, including White Rose group, Swing Youth, Edelweiss Pirates and July 1944 bomb plot.

More details are available on the AQA website: http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/history/gcse/history-8145

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