Leaving Cert history: Treaty no-show a surprise

Eucharistic Congress not expected but overall a fair paper

While the Eucharistic Congress made an appearance instead of an anticipated question on the Treaty, higher level Leaving Cert history students would have been reasonably pleased with their afternoon exam, according to teachers.

The age-old problem of history continues as students still struggle to get all of the information down on paper in the time allowed.

"It's the only real complaint, and it's the ever-present one," said Fintan O'Mahony, ASTI representative and teacher in Scoil Mhuire, Greenhills in Carrick on Suir.

The paper opened with the documents-based question on the Eucharistic Congress. "Students might have been expecting the Treaty here," said Tom Broderick, TUI rep and teacher in Adamstown Community College.

“The questions were fair though.”

"They were possibly more accessible than questions that could have been asked on the Treaty," added Sean Delap of the Institute of Education.

The second section on Irish history drew a mixed response, with those who had opted to answer questions on 'Movements for political and social reform, 1870-1914' being relatively pleased. Those who opted for 'Politics and society in Northern Ireland, 1949-1993' were less so.

“The questions in this section could have been more generous and some were a little tricky,” Delap said.

Section three, which examined students on the history of Europe and the wider world, was broadly welcomed.

Some topics in this section are more popular than others. Students who opted for the topic ‘Nation states and international tensions 1871-1920’ had nice questions and plenty of choice, according to Delap.

In another popular topic, ‘Dictatorship and democracy in Europe, 1920 – 1945’ students were asked to write about the social and economic problems in Britain in the inter-war years.

“A question involving this theme has appeared every year on the higher level paper since the introduction of the new course in 2006,” Delap said. Future history students take note.

Questions on 'The United States and the world, 1945-1989' were very good, according to O'Mahony. Overall, students wouldhave been pleased with a well-balanced test.

The ordinary level paper held no real surprises according to Broderick. The documents questions were manageable and the questions were well phrased and accessible. “The paper was manageable and fair,” he said.


Europe and the wider world: Topic 2

Nation states and international tensions, 1871-1920

Answer one of the following questions:

1. During the period 1871-1914, how did one or more of the following contribute to international tensions: colonial rivalries; the naval policy of Wilhelm II; Serbia and its neighbours? (100)

2. How did economic crises and wars affect Tsarist Russia? (100)

3. How did European states manage relations with the churches and/or religious minorities such as the Jews during the period 1871-1914? (100)

4. During the period 1871-1920, what developments took place in one or more of the following: the motor car; science and technology; medicine? (100)