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History AS Level at The Wellington Academy

Course description

Unit 1 focuses on Stuart Britain and allows students to study in breadth issues of change, continuity, cause and consequence in this period through the following key questions:

  • How far did the monarchy change?
  • To what extent and why was power more widely shared during this period?
  • Why and with what results were there disputes over religion?
  • How effective was opposition?
  • How important were ideas and ideology?
  • How important was the role of key individuals and groups and how were they affected by developments?

Part One: Absolutism Challenged: Britain, 1603-1649
Monarchs and Parliaments, 1603-1629

  • The Political Nation and the social basis of power: the importance of land ownership; rival forms of wealth including merchants.
  • James I: character and views on monarchy; court and favourites; Charles I: character and views on monarchy; court and favourites.
  • The financial weakness of the Crown and attempts to reform and strengthen royal finance.
  • Religion and religious divisions: challenges to the Church of England from Catholics and Puritans and the development of Arminianism.
  • Relations and disputes with parliaments: parliamentary privileges; finance; religion; foreign affairs.

The state of relations between Crown and Parliament by 1629 and the reaction of the Political Nation; the extent of breakdown between Crown and Parliament and the Political Nation Revolution, 1629-1649

  • Divisions over religion: Arminianism and Laudianism; Puritanism and the emergence of Millenarianism.
  • Political divisions: the Personal Rule and the extent of opposition to it in England, Scotland and Ireland; the Short and Long Parliaments and the leadership of Pym; divisions and the outbreak of Civil War.

The First and Second Civil Wars: England, Scotland, Ireland and the reasons for royalist defeat

  • Social divisions: the emergence of political and religious radicalism in the 1640s; the Levellers and Millenarian groups.
  • Post-war divisions between Army and Parliament and the failure to secure a post-war settlement.
  • Regicide: the basis for regicide and the King's response.

Unit 2 focuses on Democracy and Nazism: Germany, 1918-1945. This option provides for the study in depth of a period of German history during which a newly developed democratic form of government gave way to a dictatorial Nazi regime. It explores political concepts such as 'right' and 'left', nationalism and liberalism as well as ideological concepts such as racialism, anti-Semitism and Social Darwinism. It also encourages reflection on how governments work and the problems of democratic states as well as consideration of what creates and sustains a dictatorship.

Part One: The Weimar Republic, 1918-1933
The Establishment and early years of Weimar, 1918-1924

  • The impact of war and the political crises of October to November 1918; the context for the establishment of the Weimar Constitution; terms, strengths and weaknesses.
  • The Peace Settlement: expectations and reality; terms and problems; attitudes within Germany and abroad.
  • Economic and social issues: post-war legacy and the state of the German economy and society; reparations, inflation and hyperinflation; the invasion of the Ruhr and its economic impact; social welfare and the social impact of hyperinflation.
  • Political instability and extremism; risings on the left and right, including the Kapp Putsch; the political impact of the invasion of the Ruhr; the Munich Putsch; problems of coalition government and the state of the Republic by 1924.

The 'Golden Age' of the Weimar Republics, 1924-1928

  • Economic developments: Stresemann; the Dawes Plan; industry, agriculture and the extent of recovery; the reparations issue and the Young Plan.
  • Social developments: social welfare reforms; the development of Weimar culture; art, architecture, music, theatre, literature and film; living standards and lifestyles.
  • Political developments and the workings of democracy: President Hindenburg; parties ; elections and attitudes to the Republic from the elites and other social groups; the position of the extremists, including the Nazis and Communists; the extent of political stability.
  • Germany's international position; Stresemann's foreign policy aims and achievements including: Locarno; the League of Nations; the Treaty of Berlin; the end of allied occupation and the pursuit of disarmament

The Collapse of Democracy, 1928-1933

  • The economic, social and political impact of the Depression: elections; governments and policies.
  • The appeal of Nazism and Communism; the tactics and fortunes of the extremist parties, including the role of propaganda.
  • Hindenburg, Papen, Schleicher and the 'backstairs intrigue' leading to Hitler’s appointment as chancellor.
  • Political developments: the Reichstag Fire; parties and elections; the Enabling Act and the end of democracy; the state of Germany by March 1933

Entry requirements

5 A*-C at GCSE including English and maths plus subject specific requirements


Each unit is assessed in a 1 hour 30 minutes examination at the end of Year 12.

Unit 1 (worth 50% of AS grade):

  • Two questions (one compulsory).
  • 50 marks.
  • 50% of AS.

Two sections

  • Section A - one compulsory question linked to interpretations (25 marks).
  • Section B - one question from two (25 marks).

Unit 2 (worth 50% of AS grade):

  • Two questions (one compulsory)
  • 50 marks.
  • 50% of AS.

Two sections

  • Section A - one compulsory question linked to primary sources or sources contemporary to the period (25 marks).
  • Section B - one question from two (25 marks).

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact The Wellington Academy directly.

Last updated date: 29 September 2016

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