Monday, June 23, 2014

Russia 1917 - 1924 Task

See table below. You’ll complete this in class today.
You could work in groups of three, take three topics each. I recommend you take the topics you are least comfortable with.

Russia 1917 - 1924
  1. Measures taken by the Bolsheviks upon assuming power (p. 116-119 Lynch, 
  2. Reaction and Revolution: Russia, 1894-1924 Access to History - Michael Lynch) 
  3. The Bolshevik dissolution of the Constituent Assembly (p. 120-122 Lynch) 
  4. The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk 1918 (p. 122-125 Lynch) 
  5. The Russian Civil War 1918-1920 (p. 125-134 Lynch) 
  6. The Foreign Interventions 1918-1920 (p. 134-139 Lynch) 
  7. The Red Terror and the extension of Bolshevik control over society (p. 139-143 Lynch) 
  8. War Communism 1918-1921 (p. 143-147) 
  9. The Kronstadt Rising 1921 (p. 147-151) 
  10. The New Economic Policy (NEP) (p. 151-155) 

Places to find quotes, interpretation and historiography:

Can also do it in Excel or in a Google Doc, up to you, whatever works best.
Create a diagram in which you add information about the 9 events above in each of the 7 areas below.

  1. Category of crisis: social, economic, political or military? 
  2. Crisis/difficulty. Cause of difficulty or crisis. Detail and dates needed. 
  3. Response of Lenin and the Bolsheviks? How? Why? Details and dates needed 
  4. Individuals involved? 
  5. Compromise of revolutionary ideals? Which? How? Why? 
  6. Change or continuity from the old regime? Explain. 
  7. Historians’ views/debates. Quotes needed. 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Russian Revolution in Paintings, Ivan Vladimirov

Ivan Vladimirov was a Russian painter who specialised in battle painting and documented many Russian military scenes through out this turbulent time in Russian history. He painted scenes in the Russo-Turkish war of 1877, the Russo Japanese war of 1905, the 1912 Balkan war, the First World War and then the Russian Revolution and its Civil War aftermath. Vladimirov spoke English, spent time in London and Paris, and by the time the Russian Civil war broke out in 1918, he was 50 years old.
Vladimirov had come to despise the Bolsheviks but he followed the party line by "creating heroic pictures, he secretly recorded the excesses and atrocities committed by Leon Trotsky's Red Army and the regime" (source). For decades, many of his anti-Soviet paintings were kept locked away. Others began to emerge in the West, including 10 Water colours that were sold in New York in 1953, six years after the artist's death.

"It is rare to find an artist creating images that on the one hand reflect a particular ideology while at the same time surreptitiously condemning that ideology through discreet pictures intended to show the truth behind the lies."(source)

Follow VanWeringh's board Russian Revolution in paintings on Pinterest.

Friday, May 2, 2014

1905 Revolution - Orlando Figes

Homework for Monday:
Read Figes Chapter.
Write a paragraph to summarise Figes, review and explain his take on the 1905 revolution, include quotes. 
You will share your answer with the class.

This is quite a long text, but it reads very well.
I have used Diigo to make online annotations. You can see them here:

My combined highlights here, this is also done via Diigo. At the very least, read the highlights.

Figes, O. (1997). A people's tragedy. 1st ed. London: Pimlico.
Page 168 - 192

* * * It was at this moment that Russia went to war with Japan. Plehve is often said to have planned this as 'a little victorious war to stem the revolution'. But its origins were more complex — and its consequences just the opposite. Russia's economic penetration of the Far East, made possible by the construction of the Trans-Siberian Railway during the 1890s, was bound to bring her into conflict with Japan, which had ambitions in Korea and Manchuria. But a war could have been avoided if Russia's foreign policy had been in competent hands. Instead it was left to a narrow court cabal, led by Alexander Bezobrazov, a well-connected speculator with lumber interests in Korea, and this group of lobbyists persuaded the Tsar to reject the Japanese offer of a compromise, thus making war unavoidable. That Nicholas had decided to take a personal interest in the matter only made things worse; unfortunately foreign policy was the one area of government where the Tsar felt competent to lead from the front. Because he had toured the Far East in his youth, he even believed himself to be something of an expert on the region. General Kuropatkin, the Minister of War, believed that Nicholas wanted to extend his Empire across the whole of Asia, conquering not only Manchuria and Korea but also Tibet, Afghanistan and Persia. Most of his ministers encouraged such ambitions. It was a way of flattering the Tsar — who after all had very few talents. Nicholas's cousin, the Kaiser Wilhelm, also played along with his imperial fantasies, since he wished to divert Russia from the Balkans. On one occasion he had cabled the Tsar from his yacht: 'The Admiral of the Atlantic greets the Admiral of the Pacific.'19

Friday, February 7, 2014

International Relationships

Hi people,

Well done on your first week of Year 12. It was so much fun to start calling you “Year 12s”. I bet you’ve been waiting for that since Year 7?

Homework for Monday:

Use the mindmap framework (attached), or create your own framework / mindmap which shows the relationships between major events between 1918 and 1936.

This task is not about large amounts of information, it is about relationships and connections.

Some key aspects / themes in this time period are:
  • League of Nations, effect of absence of major powers
  • Successes and failures in collective security
  • Economic growth and Great Depression
  • Success and failures of disarmament
  • Growth of isms: Nationalism, Fascism, Communism
You can use the handout (Chapter 3), the timeline on Google Drive (Paper 1 Interbellum) and the War and Peace textbook. You can do it online, you can collaborate, you can do it on paper with what I’ve given you or make your own.

This is due on Monday, period 3.

Stay cool in the 40C.

Ms. V

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

History IA for the holidays

Just a bit more detail about what you have to do over the holidays for the IA:
You need to pick a topic and formulate a (draft?) research question.

All the information you need is here: (bookmark it)

The sections on the site you should focus on are:

All the key advice is on the site, but I’ll just reiterate in this email:

  • A good IA relies more than anything else on a good starting point: a well-defined, narrow question with some element of a debate.
  • Your key information should come from reputable books and peer reviewed academic articles.
  • Work backwards: If you only have a broad topic like "Appeasement", "Nazi Olympics", “Tsarist Russia” or "The Spanish Civil War", you can narrow it down by first looking at what sources/books are available to you. Locate a really good primary (or secondary) source(s) and build up your research question from there.
  • Get cheap books from (second hand, online, free shipping) or just try your local library. There are lots of books online in the Wesley Electronic book library ( and of course there’s the trusty Google Drive with all its books. 

Due date for the History IA is the start of Term 3. Does that sound like a long time from now? I hope you said NO because you will blink three times and it will be Term 2, and all of a sudden you have 3 IAs, 500 essays, 39 orals and your EE due, all while trying to organise your notes and study for your trial exams.

So please, take these holidays to get your books and your topic all sorted.
Send me your draft questions whenever you want.

In Term 1 we will devote lessons to the writing of the IA, but don’t rely on those lessons too much; they are only there to give you guidance, help and feedback.

I hope you have a fabulous break, despite of all the work your teachers have no doubt heaped upon you.
Ms. VW

Friday, November 8, 2013

Paper 1 practice + Revision Domestic Policies

Today we practiced Paper 1 Question 1A. On Monday and Tuesday we will practice the other questions (1b (easy, message), 2 (Comp & Contrast), 3 (OPVL) and 4 (mini essay). On Thursday you will do a trial paper 1 in class.

You should prepare for this by reading and taking notes from the “Paper 1 Skills” booklet you have received today.  The booklet can be found online in the “Paper 1 Interbellum” folder, entitled “Paper 1 SKILLZ.pdf”

Attached is the Revision guide for the exam.
Please note that as part of your revision, you NEED to use the information put together by your fellow students including:
1.                  opposition
2.                  women
3.                  religion
4.                  culture
5.                  education
The draft booklet can be found online (Germany folder, Hitler rise and rule folder: “Domestic Policies Nazi Germany”) It is an editable Google Doc so you will all be able to add to it or make changes where needed.

See you Monday,

Ms. V 

Friday, November 1, 2013

A weak or strong dictator?

Task 1
On Thursday, have your group work all done. Send it to me on Wednesday or early Thursday so I can put it together. Instructions here:

Task 2
Your second homework is connected to the power point. Go through all the slides, including the ones we didn’t get around to in class.

Your first task is:
Finish these dot points:

  • The Hitler-centred view, the view argued soon after the war by historians like … (+ Add 2 dot points explaining this view and / or paraphrasing of historians’ quotes) i.e. Hitler the absolute centre of the regime, Hitler responsible for all decisions.
  • The intentionalist view, argued in the 1960s and 1970s by historians like …..  (+ Add 2 dot points explaining this view and / or paraphrasing of historians’ quotes) 
  • The structuralist view, argued in the 1960s and 1970s by historians like (+ Add 2 dot points explaining this view and / or paraphrasing of historians’ quotes) 
  • The 'working towards the Fuhrer' view, argued by historians like (+ Add 2 dot points explaining this view and / or paraphrasing of historians’ quotes) 
  • Find some quotes here: or find some more elsewhere and add them to the document. 

Then go to your textbook and find the Chapter “The political structure of the third Reich”, go to the end and find “The Key Debate”. (I can’t give you page numbers because I have an old edition). Forgetting your book at school is not an excuse, here is the Google Book online.

1. Skip: “Nazism, a tool of capitalism”
2. Read and take notes for “Nazi Germany: a model of totalitarianism”  Answer this question: Was Nazi Germany a totalitarian state?
3. Read and take notes for “The third Reich: A polycracy” Answer this question: Define Polycracy and describe why the Third Reich was described as such. (Note: Dualism and Polycracy are sometimes used interchangeably)

Good luck, email me if you have questions.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Consolidation of power + Domestic Policies Project

It was a tiny class today. I hope you all enjoyed San Remo!

What we did today:
We worked through the concepts of Hitler’s consolidation of power. There is a document here: (In Germany folder).
This is a great document. It has lots of information as compiled by the ones-who-stayed. You need to take this information and make it your own.

We are going to move through domestic policies pretty quickly. One week to be exact. You will be doing a similar group project as you did for Mao. There will be a booklet (as decided by the ones-who-stayed, as were the groups)

Compare and contrast Mao’s China and Hitler’s Germany domestic policies

1. Women   Chilli, Catriona, Liam, Alex
2. Culture and Arts     Eric, Bruce, Miranda
3. Treatment of the opposition Luther, Nathan, Will O
4. Education and Health   Will EG, Noli,  Jules
5. Religion     Olivia, Max, Matt,
6. Economy John, Ned, Andie

For each:
Because of lack of time, you will need to keep your information shorter and to the point.
No more than 2 x A4 per topic. Clear headings, themes, concepts, dot points.
Your key source of information should be your textbook, mainly Chapter 3.

This is due Monday, please email it to me.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Hitler's consolidation of power, work for class today

Homework, please use your textbook (Access to History, Germany: The Third Reich, Geoff Layton)

1.            P10: How did Hitler create a dictatorship in two months?
2.            P13: In which ways did the Nazis achieve Gleichschaltung (co-ordination)?
3.            P15: How advanced was the process of Gleichschaltung by the end of 1933?
4.            P16 - 23: Write a short paragraph that addresses the question: Did Germany undergo a political revolution in the years 1933 – 1934? (p23)
In your paragraph, make reference to the following:
Hitler’s ‘revolution from above’, Rohm’s ‘second revolution’, night of the long knives, different political interests such as the Junkers, big business, civil service and the army, arguments for and against the concept of a revolution.

Key terms you need to know the meaning/significance of (in detail). Use your textbook and the internet:
1.            SA
2.            SS
3.            Reichstag fire
4.            Enabling Act
5.            Gleichschaltung
6.            Volksgemeinschaft
7.            Junkers
8.            Night of the long knives
9.            Ernst Rohm and his views on “revolution” and the role of the SA.

More material here: Germany Folder of the Google Drive

Richard Evans, The Coming of the Third Reich, P130, on Rohm, post 1923.

The composition of his book [Mein Kampf], the massive publicity he gained from the trial, the adulation that poured in from the nationalist right after the attempted putsch, all helped convince Hitler, if he had not been convinced before, that he was the man to turn these views into reality. The failed putsch also taught him that he would not even be able to take the first step - the acquisition of supreme power in Germany itself - by relying on paramilitary violence alone. A ‘march on Rome’ was out of the question in Germany. It was essential to win mass public support, by the propaganda and public-speaking campaigns which Hitler knew were his forte. The revolutionary conquest of power, still favoured by Röhm, would not work in any case if it was undertaken without the support of the army, so conspicuously lacking in November 1923. Hitler did not, as was sometimes later said, even by himself, embark on a path of ‘legality’ in the wake of the failed putsch. But he did realize that toppling the Weimar ‘system’ would require more than a few ill-directed gunshots, even in a year of supreme crisis such as 1923. Coming to power clearly required collaboration from key elements in the establishment, and although he had enjoyed some support in 1923, it had not proved sufficient. In the next crisis, which was to occur less than a decade later, he made sure he had the army and the key institutions of the state either neutralized, or actively working for him, unlike in 1923.80 Meanwhile, however, the situation of the Nazi Party seemed almost irretrievable in the wake of Hitler’s arrest and imprisonment. The paramilitary groups broke up in disorder, and their arms were confiscated by the government. Kahr, Lossow and Seisser, badly compromised by the putsch, were pushed aside by a new cabinet under the Bavarian People’s Party leader, Heinrich Held. Bavarian separatism and ultra-nationalist conspiracies gave way to more conventional regional politics. The situation calmed down as the hyperinflation came to an end and the policy of ‘fulfilment’ took hold in Berlin, bearing fruit almost immediately with the rescheduling of reparations under the Dawes Plan. Deprived of their leader, the Nazis split up into tiny squabbling factions again. Röhm continued to try and reunite the remaining fragments of the paramilitaries in allegiance to Ludendorff. Hitler put Alfred Rosenberg in charge of the Nazi Party as virtually the only leading figure left in the country who was still at large. But Rosenberg proved completely incapable of establishing any authority over the movement 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Work for the September holidays

This is your compulsory homework for the holidays:

Use the course overview / revision document (the one with the star on the front, and you can also find it on the Google Drive)
to re-create your notes along the major themes of the IB.
Create timelines, lists, detailed overviews.
Some dot points we may not have "done" in as much detail, but do the best you can with the notes you have, or find additional information online or in the textbooks that may or may not be on Google Drive. Be autonomous in your ability to find information.

Here are the Paper 2 themes (Topic 1 and Topic 3)

Topic 1: Causes, practices and effects of wars
War was a major feature of the 20th century. In this topic the different types of war should be identified, and the causes, practices and effects of these conflicts should be studied.

Major themes
Different types and nature of 20th century warfare
Civil, Guerrilla, Limited war, total war
Origins and causes of wars
Long-term, short-term and immediate causes
Economic, ideological, political, religious causes
Nature of 20th century wars
Technological developments, tactics and strategies, air, land and sea
Home front: economic and social impact (including changes in the role and status of women)
Resistance and revolutionary movements
Effects and results of wars
Peace settlements and wars ending without treaties
Attempts at collective security pre- and post-Second World War
Political repercussions and territorial changes
Post-war economic problems

Topic 3: Origins and development of authoritarian and single-party states
The 20th century produced many authoritarian and single-party states. The origins, ideology, form of government, organization, nature and impact of these regimes should be studied.

Major themes
Origins and nature of authoritarian and single-party states
Conditions that produced authoritarian and single-party states
Emergence of leaders: aims, ideology, support
Totalitarianism: the aim and the extent to which it was achieved
Establishment of authoritarian and single party states
Methods: force, legal
Form of government, (left- and right-wing) ideology
Nature, extent and treatment of opposition
Domestic policies and impact
Structure and organization of government and administration
Political, economic, social and religious policies
Role of education, the arts, the media, propaganda
Status of women, treatment of religious groups and minorities

The topics we have done are:
·         CPE WW1
·         CPE WW2
·         China (Civ War and Mao's China 1949 – 1976)

This is YOUR revision so you need to lay it out in a manner that works for you. I do very strongly recommend that you do it on the computer.

Use any means possible to make this a great document (Other textbooks, all the resources on Google Drive, use my old Moodle (see Google Drive for instructions), Scribd, Rudbeck, general research etc)

This is not an optional task, you need to all show me your work at start of the term. If it is not done, I will keep on hounding you until I'm happy with what I see, or I might even book in a lovely academic detention for you.

Attached are three easy readings on the Rise of Hitler, which is what we will start with next term.

The Year 12s are currently doing the same, but they are doing it for the whole 2 years, as well as all their other subjects. That is why it is vital that you do this now so that you will benefit from it next year. If you see/speak to other classmates during the holidays, could you please alert them to this email? I don't want anyone to use the "I didn't read the email" line.

Good luck and contact me if you have any questions,
Ms. V

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Mao’s domestic policies project

Mao’s domestic policies project.
Read EVERYTHING in this document.

Group 1# Women
Group #2 Culture and Arts
Group #3 Use of violence, treatment of the opposition
Will Orr
Group #4 Education and Health
Group #5 Religion
Will EG

Your textbook is your main source of information.

For each domestic policy
  •          What, Why, When and How
  •          Over what period did it run (if possible to pinpoint.)
  •          Key individuals associated with the policy
  •          What were its aims? What did it seek to address or redress?
  •          What strategies were in places to achieve these objectives?
  •          Did it succeed in these aims?
  •          Are you still reading?
  •          Weaknesses/failures associated with the policy?
  •          Each section should be ready for studying and revision.

Online research
  •          You should be using the advanced online research techniques we discussed in class (some may have missed these nuggets of gold because they were wading the Werribee river, I have pasted some info below for you).
  •          Each section should contain a section, quote, reading by a historian (Use your online research techniques or access the books themselves)

Due date: Friday 6th of Sept before P5. We will discuss in class and look at practise essays.

I recommend you work in Google Docs but then please put it back in a Word doc and email to me as a Word doc. I will put it together as a booklet.
It has to LOOK GOOD, be well organised, be accessible, easy to read, contain info from authoritative sources. How tall was Mao? Just checking you are still reading.

Online research for essays, EEs and IAs.

When studying Senior History, students are required to do their own research and come to an informed, reasoned and well supported conclusion through analysis and evaluation. This can only happen if students consult high quality, authoritative sources to base their judgement on.
This page aims to give some ideas on how to be more efficient at finding good sources.
1.    First off some search basics, like using “quotation marks to find a complete sentence” and things like filetype:doc or filetype:pdf. For more, read here.
Best trick: Take a sentence from a book you are looking for and Google that sentence using quotation marks. You can even add filetype:doc or filetype:pdf. You’ll be amazed to find that many books are online.
2.    Google Scholar. Stand on the Shoulders of Giants. Great way to get more authoritative results. Again, use your effective search queries to get the best results.
3.    State and University libraries Some schools give online access to University libraries. If not, then you can sign up for free with any State Library. The State Library of Victoria will send you your library card for free and you will get access to all online peer reviewed databases. Excellent resource. More detailed information here.
4.    Diigo and other online bookmarking sites. Using social bookmarking sites is a great way to get to high quality curated content. Diigo also has groups which follow specific topics.

Here is a collection of online books that I have found.
5.    Scribd. Give it a go.  Yes, they do charge money, but you can get a 7 day free trial, a day pass for $9.00 or you can go all the way and pay monthly ($4 only, the price of a cup of coffee). A lot of books and articles are available through Scribd so I believe it is good value to sign up if one of your key books is online. (This is my favourite, I found so many great books here!)
6.    Google Books, use Search Options. It is so much more efficient to use the “Search Options”. Choose “Google eBooks” to get all the books that can be read online. Save books to your library so you don’t “lose” them. Take screenshots o significant pages or quotes.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Cultural Rev and Life in Mao's China

I believe we are again missing quite a few students due to the musical. If you are involved, I know that there are huge demands on your time and you are all tired, but you do have to keep up or catch up.

This will be the last lesson on the Cultural Revolution.
In class we will look at the primary sources (attached) and watch the remaining 20 minutes of the excellent documentary. If you have missed it in class, you need to watch it at home. Chapter 4 (The Great Cultural Rev 66 – 76) is what you need to read.
(Start at 58:20 minutes: It's Right to Rebel!)

Key questions that you should be able to answer:
  • P78 How did the CultRev develop into a reign of terror?
  • P81: What are the four olds?
  • P89: What methods did the Red Guards use to terrify the population?
  • P101 Why did the intensity of the Cultural Revolution lessen after 1972
  • P103: Copy the Summary Diagram

 Next week, we are going to compare and contrast life under Hitler and life under Mao.
In preparation, look at Chapter 5 (Life in Mao's Chain 1949 – 1976), read it and take broad dot pointed notes along the lines of What, Why, When and How.

Project: Domestic policies in Mao's China
  1. Religion
  2. Women and Family (and population control)
  3. Culture and the Arts
  4. Education and Health
  5. Treatment of the opposition (Laogai) + Mao's impact on the people
  6. Click here for detailed task description.

You will work in a small team to produce a dot pointed, revision ready, easy to follow page. You will have to include historians' views.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Great Leap Forward homework

Hi people,
I have copied the Topic guide from your overview from Topic 3 at the bottom of this email. Read through it, keep up.

You won’t have a lesson with me on Friday because you’ll have the EE info session with Mr Wallace, Friday Period 5.
Due to the play, many of you will be missing from class on Tuesday.
It’s up to each person to stay up to date with what we do in class, you cannot afford to fall behind.

Today in class we did a broad outline of the GLF. Your book goes into much more detail than my PPT, and it is this type of detail that you need for future essays and the exam.

Your homework:
Chapter 3: The Great Leap Forward 1958 – 1962

Note down the key dates from the first page.

Answer these key questions below.  

Friday, August 16, 2013

Three Historians: Analyse the methods with which Mao established communist control over China from 1949 – 1957

On Monday, your paragraph on Mao’s early years is due.
Analyse the methods with which Mao established communist control over China from 1949 – 1957.

How to do it:
       Include: quotes from Spence, Fairbank, Chang, Lynch.
       Facts: Resist America (Korean war), 3 antis, 5 antis, anti-counterrevolutionaries (Yes, they were all “anti”: anti-foreigner, 3 antis, 5 antis, anti-counterrevolutionary)
       Use your textbook, Chapter 2 (Lynch)

Paste it here, but do not include your name!

The reading is online as well:

This should be done before the start of the lesson on Monday (P3)

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Why did communists win? Key questions, essay

Within the categories communist win and nationalist failure from the shared doc, divide all the reasons into these categories:

  • Political / ideological
  • Economic
  • Social (or other)
  • Use the Historiography too (see tab at the bottom)

 Key questions for reading: (

  • How did Mao’s early years shape his beliefs?
  • What were Mao’s political beliefs, ideological convictions.
  • You need to know what proletariat, bourgeoisie and Comintern is. 
  • Leninism vs Maoism
Essay on Monday
  • Analyse the reasons for, and the results of the Chinese Civil War (1946–1949).