Junior Cert history: From ancient civilisation to Bertie Ahern

Broad sweep of topics but no place in paper for revolutions or age of exploration

Bertie Ahern made an appearance in the Junior Cert history paper. Photograph: Eric Luke

Bertie Ahern made an appearance in the Junior Cert history paper. Photograph: Eric Luke

 

Students may have been somewhat surprised to find that the American and French revolutions did not appear on this year’s Junior Cert history higher-level paper, while the age of exploration only featured very briefly.

Philip Irwin, a history teacher at The High School in Rathgar, Dublin 6, said this may have disappointed some students.

“Overall, however, there was good balance and variety on the paper, starting with Newgrange and moving through to medieval Trim and then onto a Hitler Youth rally. It is quite a long syllabus and there is a lot to cover.”

Students were asked to answer questions on women in ancient civilisations, craftsmen in medieval towns, and a settler in plantation Ireland.

They were also asked to write about an Irish political leader of their choice between 1960 and 1985.

Mr Irwin said that questions on the role of women in Calvinism during the Reformation and in the Renaissance were particularly interesting and would have been thought-provoking for students.

The ordinary level paper featured questions on anti-Irish racism in 19th century America, Dublin at Halloween time and former taoiseach Bertie Ahern.

Mr Irwin said that there was a good range of questions, ranging from crannogs through to the Renaissance and beyond.

Try this at home: Junior Cert history

- Give one reason why fascism became popular in Europe in the 1920s and 1930s.

- Give one reason why major European powers were willing to appease Hitler during the 1930s.