Year 11 History: Empires Units 1 and 2
Have you ever wondered why the most widely spoken language in the Americas is Spanish?
Have you ever wondered why English is spoken in India as a second language?
Studying Empires at VSV will answer these questions and raise a good deal more.
Unit 1 focuses on the Spanish Empire, how it grew within a century from nothing to global dominance and what that meant for the nations that it conquered and the societies of the Old World transformed by its discoveries. Unit 2 is about the British Empire and how it evolved from the thirteen colonies of North America to the shores of our own country. The journey across both of these empires is epic. Along the way you will encounter civilizational conflicts, heroic feats of resistance and endurance, revolutions in thought, the foundation of the modern world and last but by no means least, a good deal of piracy.
Who is it for?
Empires is for students who are interested in how the political map of the modern world came to be and the forces that shaped it and continue to shape it today.
If you enjoy reading and learning about history and plan to study it in Year 12, Empires will give you a great background into the events that are studied in History Revolutions Units 3 and 4.
What do you do?
You will be involved in a range of historical learning activities such as analysing visual and written primary sources, researching secondary sources, producing essay and short answer questions and participating in forum discussions.
You are expected to do some independent research into subject topics.
What skills do you need?
You need sound written English skills and an enquiring mind.
What skills do you develop?
You will develop critical reading and thinking skills as you pull together historical evidence to form your own views of the past. You will use weekly readers, as well as online resources, internet classrooms and class discussion forums to help develop your understanding. You will develop an awareness of historical thinking skills while structuring written responses that are needed throughout VCE.
Internet is needed to access this course. All work will be completed and submitted online weekly.
Things to think about
Students who wish to do History: Empires 1 and 2 will be interpreting primary sources from various time periods.
We expect students to allocate four to six hours per week of study towards this subject.
Student-specific weekly feedback is provided by your teacher, but students who fall too far behind in their weekly task requirements will not receive the feedback they need in order to consistently improve.
Things you can do now
There are lots of books, novels, movies and even podcasts that look at the Silk Road, the Spanish Inquisition, Conquistadors, the Reformation, the Enlightenment, the Scientific Revolution and Empires.
Read anything you can get your hands on that relates to these eras in history. Some of our suggestions (although certainly not limited to):
- The Constant Princess, Philippa Gregory
- Torquemada, Howard Fast
- Blood Work, Holly Tucker
- The Baroque Cycle, Neal Stephenson
- Candide, Voltaire.
Similarly, here is a list of movies that should get you in the mood for this subject:
- Master and Commander
- 1492: Conquest of Paradise
- Amazing Grace
- The New World
- The Libertine
- The Duchess
- Marie Antoinette
- Podcast – Empire
William Dalrymple and Anita Anand explore the stories, personalities and events of various empires over the course of history.
Go to the VCAA website for more information about this subject.