AQA GCSE History: Britain: Power and the people: c1170 to the present day

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AB Britain: Power and the people: c1170 to the present day

This thematic study will enable students to gain an understanding of the development of the relationship between the citizen and the state in Britain over the course of centuries. It considers the causes, scale, nature and consequences of protest to that relationship. By charting the journey from feudalism and serfdom to democracy and the pursuit of equality, it reveals how, in different periods, the state responds to challenges to its authority and their impact. Students are then able to articulate an understanding of the rights and responsibilities of the citizen.

Students will have the opportunity to see how ideas, events or developments in the wider world affected the course of Britain's political development and will promote the idea that nations of authority, challenge and rights did not develop in isolation, but these developments should be seen in terms of how they affected Britain and British people.

Students will study a wide variety of topics spanning war, religion, chance, government, communication, the economy, ideas of equality, democracy and representation, and the role of individuals in promoting or inhibiting change.

Four modules cover the following:

Part one: Challenging authority and feudalism

Themes include:

  • Constraints on kingship: the barons’ dissatisfaction with King John’s rule and its resolution; Magna Carta, its terms and its short and long-term impact.
  • The origins of parliament: issues between King Henry III and his barons; the role of Simon de Montfort; the Provisions of Oxford and the Parliament of 1265 and their short and long-term impact.
  • Medieval revolt and royal authority: the social, economic and political causes of the Peasants’ Revolt; actions by rebels and government; impact of the Peasants' Revolt.

Part two: Challenging royal authority

Themes include:

  • Popular uprisings against the Crown: the social, economic, religious and political causes of the Pilgrimage of Grace; the implications for royal authority; Henry VIII and his government’s reaction and the impact of the uprising.
  • Divine Right and parliamentary authority: the causes of the English Revolution; the New Model Army and the development of political radicalism during the Civil War era; the short and long-term impact of the English Revolution, including the significance of trial and execution of Charles I and Oliver Cromwell and the Commonwealth.
  • Royal authority and the right to representation: the causes of the American Revolution including the relationship between the government and people; impact and significance of the American Revolution.

Part three: Reform and reformers

  • The extension of the franchise: radical protest; the Great Reform Act, causes and impact, including further reform; Chartism, causes, actions and impact.
  • Protest and change: campaigning groups and their methods and impact, including the Anti-Slavery movement; the Anti-Corn Law League; factory reformers; social reformers.
  • Workers movements: the development of trade unionism and its impact, including Grand National Consolidated Trades Union (GNCTU), Tolpuddle Martyrs, New Model Unions and new unionism, including the match girls' and dockers' strikes.

Part four: Equality and rights

Themes include:

  • Women’s rights: the campaign for women’s suffrage, reasons, methods and responses; role of individuals, including the Pankhursts; the reasons for the extension of the franchise and its impact; progress towards equality in the second half of the 20th century.
  • Workers’ rights: the General Strike (1926), actions, reactions and impact; trade union reform in the late 20th century.
  • Minority rights: the development of multi-racial society since the Second World War; discrimination, protest and reform; the Brixton Riots, their impact, including the Scarman Report.

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