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AS and A Level: British History: Monarchy & Politics

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  1. Gladstone's Government. Unpopular foreign policies, popular domestic policies. How far do you agree with this statement about Gladstones ministry and why?

    Although the act was an example of a truly Liberal measure, it can be argued that it failed to have any immediate effect. Many aristocratic Whigs, radical Irish and working class also opposed the act, although it did prove popular with the middle classes. On becoming Prime Minister in 1868, Gladstone told Britain "My mission is to pacify Ireland". His first attempt at this was the 1869 Church Disestablishment Act, which proposed the disestablishment of the Church of Ireland and reduction of church property to �10 million.

    • Word count: 1137
  2. How far was England a Protestant nation on the death of Henry VIII in 1547?

    Therefore, right before Henry's death, the nation was moderately Catholic and moderately Protestant. However, Henry was willing to tolerate reformist ideas, even making sure they would last after his death, through Edward. In addition, Cromwell's injunctions of 1536 and 1538 were also moves towards Protestantism. The 1536 set placed emphasis on reform via education. The clergy were ordered by Cromwell to teach the 'Pater Noster' (Our Father), the Articles of Faith and the Ten Commandments to congregations and young people.

    • Word count: 1113
  3. Wolseys foreign Policy

    He invaded England although he was married to Henry's sister, Margaret. The Earl of Surrey assisted the queen and marched north. They defeated the Scots at the Battle of Flodden on 9th, September 1513 and King James VI of Scotland was killed. Since this war was fought and won by Catherine Of Aragon, it is unfortunately not given much importance. These two battles were very successful and Henry VIII had gained prestige from this. He had shown that he was capable of organizing a large army and therefore proving himself as the King in the traditional matter.

    • Word count: 1148
  4. Public pressure was one of several factors which helped to bring about the 2nd reform act, other factors including changing attitude to reform by politicians and political parties, and party political manoeuvres.

    During the winter of 1858-59 he launched a series of great speeches that made reform more public than it had been in a long time. The public pressure that influenced the passing of the 2nd reform act manifested itself into two main bodies, the Reform Union and the Reform League. During the 1850s association of skilled workers and artisans, known as Model Unions, began to spread, their leaders wanted to show that these workers were responsible people, and wanted to achieve reform by legal means.

    • Word count: 1252
  5. What led to the reform of 1867?

    Perhaps the most important factors were the social and economic reasons. One instance was the American Civil War 1861-65. The war was over the slave trade; the Tories were divided between support for the slave trade (in the south, who owned most of the slaves) and the Tories for the abolishment of the slave trade (northern states). This was very important because abolishing slavery had a huge effect on the British cotton industry, as it was imported from America, so when the Northern states blocked their ports (caused by the war), British supplies of cotton were interrupted and therefore people would lose their jobs due to the decline in the industry.

    • Word count: 1035
  6. The Slave Trade

    This triangular trade was a three point voyage in which Britain gained prosperity and wealth in return. The triangular slave trade supplied the Atlantic colonies with African people, which then were forced to work on the specific plantations. Slaves were transported across the Atlantic; they were bought and sold, and ended up working on plantations growing the crops that the Europeans craved.1 The empire believed that it was all about their dominance in trade and it was known as being 'Americanised'2. Being 'Americanised', meant that Britain being increasingly centred on the America's therefore meant being increasingly centred on slavery.

    • Word count: 1458
  7. Trading companies - The British Empire

    Slave labour was seen as the best form of labour in those days and their demand was very high. It turned out that this type of trade was highly profitable and the RAC transported a great deal of these slaves around. The RAC didn't think it was suitable to settle in Africa so forts were built all down the west coastline where they used that as their trading ports. The RAC became a monopoly and its profits and fortunes rose immensly from the other goods (like sugar) they imported too. It wasn't until twenty six years later, which the RAC realised they had come to the end of their trading ideas.

    • Word count: 1373
  8. How successful was the Labour Government from 1945- 1951?

    Previous schemes such as National Insurance provided very limited cover and basic medical care, doctors bills became a heavy burden on families and led to many parents neglecting their own health. The NHS provided a relief from the burden of the financial debt, this lead to a significant increase in the percentage of people seeking medical aid each year. Immunisation programmes protected infants from disease such as polio and measles, this lead a vast drop in infant mortality rate, children were now protected from diseases that had wiped out generations before them.

    • Word count: 1585
  9. How important were the policies of the National Government in bringing about economic recovery in Britain in 1931 to 1939?

    Prices had already been in decline before due to a lack of consumer demand. However, if it hadn't been for the lowered rates it may have taken several more months or years before there was growth in consumerism, which would revitalise industry. A further policy put in place by the National Government was leaving the Gold Standard. The Government had originally gone back to the Gold Standard in 1925 after the First World War, as it had been used during a period of prosperity in Britain so it was seen as a successful method to relieve economic problems within Britain.

    • Word count: 1367
  10. Explain why the Beveridge Report was so popular with the general public in 1942?

    Evacuees in the Second World War had shown the problems in the urban areas of Britain. Children from big industrial towns and cities suffered from ill health due to the high levels of pollutants and lack of medical provisions. For some children it was the first time they saw trees and wild animals, being brought up in the busy urban areas they never got to escape the towns on holidays. Not only did the evacuees show the high levels of ill health amongst urban areas it also highlighted the high levels of poor education.

    • Word count: 1738
  11. How far did Henry VIII achieve his aims 1509 - 1514?

    From the start of his reign in 1509 up until 1514, Henry had succeeded in gaining glory in battle with France, but not fully to the extent he wanted. Henry VIII sought similar victory to that of his forefather, Henry V, who had great victory in defeating France almost one hundred years previously. Henry VIII's attempts were also overall victorious as he secured an alliance with Spain, the Holy Roman Empire and the Pope forming 'The Holy League' against France.

    • Word count: 1901
  12. Did Edward the Confessor make an offer?

    According to a Norman source by William of Jumieg�s, "Edward... according to the dispensation of God, without an heir, sent Robert, Archbishop of Canterbury, to the duke as heir to the kingdom which God had entrusted to him." This could be evidence of an offer from Edward to William; a source that could confirm this is the Peterborough version (E) of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle which also states that, 'King Edward appointed Robert.., Archbishop of Canterbury; and in the same spring he went to Rome for his pallium.' Although there is no direct evidence of an offer, it is highly likely that Edward sent Robert, Archbishop of Canterbury with a message for William which most probably contained an offer.

    • Word count: 1184
  13. The British wartime coalition

    This coalition proved durable and effective, both in military strategy and in domestic affairs. Many of its key personalities established their political reputations during the war and then went on to have great influence in post-war Britain. Britain was a long way from any thoughts of victory celebrations in May 1940, as the nation faced the treat of invasion and seemed to stand alone in its fight against Nazism. Two interconnected crises were looming. The first was military - following the disastrous failure of the Norway Campaign and the rapid advances of German forced through France.

    • Word count: 1551
  14. An honourable soldier and statesman. Assess this view of Cromwell in his dealings with enemies of the Commonwealth.

    Furthermore, Cromwell may have wanted to use Drogheda as an example to other Irish towns, "to prevent the effusion of blood in the future", which suggests that he was honourable in that he tried to use as little force as possible. These victories meant that Cromwell had prevented an invasion of England by the Irish and a massacre of Irish Protestants, thus implying that Cromwell was honourable in defending the Republic. However, his military victories were not as great as previously thought when closely scrutinised.

    • Word count: 1017
  15. Assess the reasons why Charles Is Personal Rule (1629-1640) became widely unpopular in England

    During the eleven years Charles also used new forms of taxation, e.g. ship money, which further angered the gentry. The gentry felt that Charles had violated the unwritten contract between the Crown and Parliament. The financial policies also scared the gentry in another way: if the king was becoming financially independent, he wouldn't need another parliament since the king only required parliament for money. Similarly, the religious policies adopted by Charles also caused anger. However, whereas the financial policies mainly affected the gentry, the religious policies touched upon everybody since religion was at the heart of everyone's life in the 17th century.

    • Word count: 1480
  16. Labour and the Five Giants

    Historians say this is the single greatest achievement in the story of welfare state. The coalition government had produced a white paper on it, Therefore Labour can not be given all the credit. Another issue was the fact that Britain was in depression and that the unemployed, elderly and families with a large number of children remained in poverty. To deal with this four pieces of legislation were passed. These were Family Allowances Act 1945, Industrial Injuries Act 1946, National Insurance Act 1946 and the National Assistance Act 1948.

    • Word count: 1026
  17. How far was religion a motivating factor for rebels in Tudor England?

    The description used by the pilgrims for the title of their campaign reflects a religious journey which perhaps suggests their aims being spiritual and in name of religion. The rebels also swore an oath which meant they were undertaking the campaign in the name of Christ and the fact that it took place just after the closure of the smaller monasteries reveals religious intentions as churches and monasteries had a huge importance in peoples lives as they gave spiritual guidance, education for the poor and related to the needs of the 'commoners'. therefore this made people uncertain for their futures.

    • Word count: 1206
  18. Do you agree with the view that Britain's involvement in the Crimean war was a total waste of time and life?

    However, Source A was written by a Lieutenant, which means he didn't have personal experience of being a soldier in the war and could also mean he was biased, as he may not have wanted to criticise other men in high positions in the army. For example, when he admits to the problems of "food", he explains that there were many supplies that couldn't reach the soldiers due to "no labourers, no tools to repair the track," instead of blaming aristocracy imcompetence.

    • Word count: 1619
  19. It was the militant suffragette campaign, more then any other factor that led to the achievement of female suffrage in 1918. How valid is this view?

    The suffragette movement was born in 1903 when Emmeline Pankhurst decided to break away from the suffragist movement. She had become frustrated with the peaceful methods of the suffragists and felt it was getting them nowhere. She and her daughters Sylvia and Christobel formed the WSPU (Women's Social and Political Union). The WSPU later became known as the suffragettes. Some historians believe that the suffragette movement was the biggest factor in winning votes for women because they brought the issue into the public eye. Their militant actions meant the press wanted to report on the issue more. The suffragettes would heckle MPs, break shops' windows and chain themselves to railings to get across their point.

    • Word count: 1038
  20. Cromwells contribution was greater off the battlefield than on it. How far do you agree with this view of Cromwells role in the First Civil War?

    Nevertheless, Cromwell's prominence was enhanced significantly since he was the only parliamentary general to have any success in 1643. His other military successes in 1643 include establishing the northern frontier of the Eastern Association at the River Nene. The victory at Crowland Abbey entrenched parliamentary control in East Anglia, indicating that Cromwell was clearly successful in preventing Royalist forces from taking over Lincolnshire. Again, this had provided the Parliament Scout with propaganda. This propaganda gave Cromwell an increased military reputation, which helped him in the political arena during the latter years of the First Civil War.

    • Word count: 1437
  21. Discuss the view that Cromwells part in the search for settlement with the King after the first civil war showed a lack of consistency.

    Parliament's settlement proposal, the Newcastle Propositions, reflects the conservative views of Presbyterians. This meant that, if he remained with parliament, Cromwell couldn't achieve his aim of religious toleration in the Newcastle Propositions. Furthermore, it should be noted that the New Model Army had turned radical since the end of the First Civil War, and thus Cromwell's return to it can be seen as an attempt to maintain unity among the king's opponents, which would have made it easier to settle with the king.

    • Word count: 1311
  22. Do you agree with the view that the threat of popular violence was primarily responsible for the partition of India in July 1947?

    Therefore partition was inevitable and the only was Britain could leave India before the situation got any worse. As Indians campaigned for self-rule and were granted more and more power in running their own country, Hindus and Muslims drifted further and further apart. This was primarily due to the failure of the 2 communities "to agree on how and to whom power was to be transferred" (Source 3). This can be seen in the Cabinet Missions proposals of 1946, which tried to maintain a united India. Originally both Congress and the League accepted the proposals, which said that there would be an All-India-Union that would be governed by an executive and legislature.

    • Word count: 1205
  23. How effectively did Pitt deal with the external threats of the French Revolution?

    Although there were a couple of failed invasions, such as Pembrokeshire in 1797 and Ireland in 1796, the fact that they did not succeed surely must show that Pitt dealt with the threat effectively. However, the problem with this argument is how much these failed invasions were down to Pitt. The Irish invasion didn't succeed because of bad weather and the indecisiveness of French commanders, not Pitt's military skill, likewise the Pembrokeshire attempted invasion failed because the French mistook local civilians for soldiers and surrendered, not because of Pitt.

    • Word count: 1111
  24. Evaluate the causes of the 1905 Revolution (A - Level)

    Arguably the most important factor which led to the 1905 revolution was down to Russia's incompetent government. The main reasons for the incompetence of the government was that it always had the same views as the Tsar as the appointed governors were appointed by the Tsar and dismissed by him as he pleased. This made the government not original so the country could not benefit from it. Also political parties were banned so the government had little incentive to work to their potential as there is no competition. This relatively useless government made Russia unproductive and inefficient as there was little reform from their government.

    • Word count: 1081
  25. Successful at home but a failure abroad Assess the validity of this view of Gladstones First Ministry. (45)

    The reforms he passed were vast on number and addressed important social and political issues of this period. In 1869 Parliament passed the Municipal Franchise Act. This legislation extended the vote to women rate-payers in local elections. This act also enabled women to serve as Poor Law Guardians. Within Historical context, this measure involved the first stirrings of a women's rights movement and female emancipation. Forster's Education Act (1970) set the framework for schooling of all children aged between 5 and 12 in England and Wales.

    • Word count: 1581

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