1381: What was the impact of the Peasants’ Revolt?

June 29, 2017

This is the second of the two episodes on the Peasants' Revolt; here we discuss the events and consequences of the revolt. We also discuss the differing interpretations of the revolt depending on the different point of view of different historians.


1381: What were the Causes of the Peasants’ Revolt?

June 28, 2017

This is another episode for the Power and the People Theme Study.

In the summer of 1381, peasants from the south east of England rampaged through towns and cities. They murdered merchants and tax collectors and even the Archbishop of Canterbury. What caused this sudden outburst of violence? This episode looks at the social, politcial and economic causes of the revolt while the next one looks at the events and consequences.

The book mentioned in the podcast is available here: Summer of Blood



1264: The Origins of Parliament

June 24, 2017

How important was Simon de Montfort and what was the significance of his Parliament? This episode looks at the next major challenge to royal authority after Magna Carta and considers whether Simon de Monfort's meeting deserves the title of 'The First Parliament'.


1215: Why does Magna Carta matter?

June 21, 2017

Welcome to the second episode on Magna Carta with a new microphone cable. In this episode we cover the key clauses of the Great Charter and why they matter today.


1215: Why was Magna Carta necessary?

June 6, 2017

Apologies for the sound quality on this episode - the microphone cable was damaged and I didn't have a spare.

This is the first episode of the Power to the People Theme Study and it looks at where it all began: in 1215 witrh the document held by some to be the cornerstone of all modern democracy - the Magna Carta.

But why did the Magna Carta come about?


Durham Cathedral - Norman England Historic Site

June 4, 2017

Cathedrals were an important part of the organisation and structure of the Church, and Durham Cathedral was the one that established the pattern for all other Norman Cathedrals.

This episode will prepare you for the 16-mark Historic Site question on Paper 2.


Norman England Part VI: How did life change?

June 2, 2017

1066 is seen as a cataclysmic event, a moment that changed England forever: but how much actually changed for the peasant in the field? This summary episode looks at all the aspects of Norman England we've discussed so far and considers how life chnaged in the Norman period and, perhaps more importantly, for who.


Norman England Part V: The Growth of Towns

May 31, 2017

The Domesday book paints a picture of the grown of towns in the Norman period; over 200 hundred of them in the reign of William alone. Why did towns grow - and perhaps more importantly, how did they grow?


Summer 2017 - Exam Tips

May 25, 2017

In the final episode for the Class of 2017, we run through how to answer each of the questions on both of the AQA GCSE History B papers.

So for us on Paper 1 that's:

  • Origins of WW1
  • Peacemaking and the League of Nations
  • Hitler's Foreign policy, Appeasement and the Origins of WW2


and, on Paper 2;

  • USA in the 1920s
  • Germany 1933-45
  • Vietnam 1954-75

For the last time - and we really do mean it:

Thank you for listening - and good luck in your exams.



Vietnam Part IV: Peace With Honour?

May 2, 2017

The USA lost. One of the two great superpowers lost. It can be argued that America never got over their defeat in Vietnam. So why did they leeave?


In this episode we consider the factors that led towards Nixon claiming that they had peace with honour while the world watched the last chopper flee from the American Embassy in Saigon, leaving screaming crowd to their fate.


This is the last episode for the 2017 Year 11s, so let's just say good luck with your exams!


Vietnam Part III: Apocalypse Now - what problems did the US face in Vietnam?

April 28, 2017

How the VC won is a slightly different question: but why didn't the USA win? The strongest natio on earth faced some particular problems in the Vietnam War. What were they?


Vietnam Part II: Size Isn’t Everything

April 25, 2017

As a general rule the USA solves problems by throwing money and technology at them. But this did not work in Vietnam. Why?


In this essay style episode, we discuss which of the two sides in the war had the most effective tactics.


Vietnam Part I: You Don’t KNow Man, You Weren’t There

April 4, 2017

Why did the USA even get involved in Vietnam? It's thousands of miles away and, at first glance, of no strategic value. The answer lies in the background to the Cold War and some fairly tangled geo-politics and economics. Have a listen to this episode and decide for yourself - which was the main reason the Americans got involved in a land war in South east Asia?


Germany Part IV: Cui Bono? Who benefitted from Nazi Germany?

April 2, 2017

Even leaving aside the apparatus of the police state, Nazi control of Germany must have depended to some extent on the support of the German People. So why did people support the Nazi regime? The answer, as is also true in the case of Dick Nixon, is simple: follow the money.


Germany Part III: The Night of the Long Knives

April 1, 2017

After the Enabling Act and the Emergency Decree, the Nazi party has control of most of the levers of power in the German State. But there was always one other power bloc in Germany: the army. And the army were willing to throw their support behind Hitler and his party - but at a price...


Germany Part II: Burn Baby Burn - The Reichstag Fire

March 31, 2017

In early 1933, Adolf Hitler was Chancellor of Germany but he had very little, actual power. How did the Nazis sieze control of the German state? That long road started with a fire in the Reichstag.


Germany Part I: Never Mind the Ballots

March 17, 2017

How did Hitler become Chancellor? One of the most common mistakes people make is thinking that Hitler and the Nazis were elected to power. As you will see in this episode, the truth is rather more complex....


Norman England Part IV: Religion

February 9, 2017

How did religion change under the Normans? When William of Normandy asked for the Pope's blessing to invade England, he promised to reform the corrupt church in England. Was it corrupt? And how far did he stick to this promise? All will be revealed in this episode...


The Roaring 20s Part V: Did the 1920s roar for everyone?

January 28, 2017

In this episode we cover the people who didn't benefit from the economic boom; who were they, and why were they left behind? We also zero in on the experience of black americans and the activities of the Ku Klux Klan. It's recommended that you listen to this section alongside the episode on the experience of immigrants to make sure you're comfortable with WASPS and so on.

CONTENT WARNING: This episode contains a short extract from the film Mississippi Burning which contains language that some people might find offensive.


Norman England Part III: Trial by Ordeal

January 26, 2017

What changes in the legal system did the Normans make? This whistlestop tour takes in language, forest law and legal principles before stopping off for some good old fashioned death and mutliation when we look at trial by ordeal and consider the role of God in determining guilt or innocence.