Modern History


Learn, Challenge, Create

Modern History offers students opportunities to analyse and investigate the development of the Modern World, the policies and politics that drive it and the personalities that challenged it.


At Aldridge: 

Modern History is offered from Year 10 where students can get a taste of the subject, and also build upon the foundations of changes in the modern world. Year 11 focuses on ideas and movements in the Modern world, with Year 12 focusing on national and international experience within the Modern World.


Why study Modern History? 

The study of Modern History develops academic research and writing skills, preparing students for the rigour of tertiary study. It also develops 21st century skills such as critical thinking giving students a better understanding of the world we live in and creating informed citizens.



Modern History is the door for further education and employment in the fields of archaeology, history, education, psychology, sociology, law, business, economics, politics, journalism, the media, health and social sciences, writing, museum work and curating, tourism, academia and research. The study of Modern History is useful in everyday life — including work —to understand situations, place them in perspective, identify causes and consequences, acknowledge the viewpoints of others, develop personal values, make judgments and reflect on their decisions.



Students have access to a range of original and replica artefacts from the periods being studied. In class students are exposed to a variety of relevant ICTs to enhance their learning experiences.


Units of study:

Year 10

1American Revolution, 1763–1783 (French and Indian War ends – Treaty of Paris signed)This unit offers the students an opportunity to investigate the American Revolution. Students will look at the reasons for the revolution and the battles that ensued. They will also look at personalities associated with the era and understand how this revolution relates to other events around the world during this time, in addition to understanding how this helped shape the modern world.
2Russian Revolution, 1905–1920s (Bloody Sunday takes place – Russian Civil War ends) and Soviet Union, 1920s–1945 (Russian Civil War ends – World War II ends)This unit is a combination of the Russian Revolution and the creation of the Soviet Union. It touches on events form the 1917 Revolution, including the Bolshevik uprising and the political idea of communism. The main focus is on Josef Stalin and his contribution to Russia and the Soviet Union.
3Space exploration since 1957 (Sputnik 1 orbits the Earth)This unit combines the ideologies of the Cold War and the Space Race between The United States and the Soviet Union. Students will have the opportunity to understand how the Cold War influenced the Space Race as both sides fought for domination.
4Terrorism, anti-terrorism and counter-terrorism since 1984 (Brighton Hotel bombing takes place)This unit introduces students to problems in the modern world in the form of extremist groups and terrorist organisations. Students will have the opportunity to study a terrorist organisation or a specific terrorist attack to analyse the effect on society.


 Year 11

1French Revolution, 1789–1799 (Estates General meets – New Consulate established)This unit offers students the opportunity to understand the move from Medieval times to the Modern world by focusing on the changes to social and hierarchical structures, the idea of nation, and an understanding of where many of today's human rights originated.
1Australian Frontier Wars, 1788–1930s (First Fleet arrives in Australia – Caledon Bay Crisis ends)This unit is a compulsory unit that focuses on the battles fought by the indigenous and settlers in Australia's early history. Students will be introduced to numerous wars from around Australia, however assessment will focus on wars in Queensland.
2Independence movement in Vietnam, 1945–1975 (Vietnamese independence declared – Saigon falls to North Vietnamese forces)This unit focuses on the first Indochina war, as a precursor to the Vietnam War, which is the concluding topic in year 12 Modern History. Students will understand the plight of Vietnam under the control of the Chinese, French and Japanese and how this led to the Second Indochina War (Vietnam War).
2African-American civil rights movement, 1954–1968 (judgment in Brown v. Board of Education delivered – Kerner Report published)This unit is an in depth look at the Civil Rights Movement with a focus on how changes were made gradually from Emancipation and the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments to the Constitution through desegregation and finally voting rights. This unit also links to current events such as the #Black lives matter movement as a continuation of persecution within the United States.


Alternative topic

Anti-apartheid movement in South Africa, 1948–1991 (apartheid laws start – apartheid laws end)This unit focuses on events of the Anti-Apartheid Movement in South Africa. Students will have the opportunity to research major events such as the Sharpeville Massacre and the Soweto Uprising. Students will also study personalities such as Nelson Mandela, Steve Biko, Desmond Tutu and many others.


Year 12

3Germany, 1914–1945 (World War I begins – World War II ends)This unit focuses on the rise of Hitler and the Nazi party in Germany and how this led to the Holocaust. Particular focus will be on the use of fear, education and propaganda to facilitate genocide as well as the responsibility of the bystander in the events that killed 11 million people during World War II.
3Israel, 1948–1993 (Israeli independence declared – Oslo Peace Accords signed)This unit focuses on the partition of Palestine at the conclusion of World War II. Students will have the opportunity to investigate the land claims of both sides, the Israelis and the Palestinians. They will also analyse the involvement of the British by looking at primary sources.
4Genocides and ethnic cleansings since the 1930s (Holocaust begins)This unit focuses on genocide as a Modern problem. Students will be taught about many acts of genocide and ethnic cleansing before focusing on a particular event for their assessment.
4Australian engagement with Asia since 1945 (World War II in the Pacific ends)This unit focuses on Australian experience in the Vietnam War. Students will have the opportunity to have an in-depth look at the reason for Australia's involvement, the reaction at home and around the world, and our soldier's involvement in the Battle of Long Tan. A focus of this unit is preparation for the external exam, including content and the style of question.




Last reviewed 14 May 2021
Last updated 14 May 2021