The Making of Modern Britain - Examination Style Questions

The Making of Modern Britain examination style questions, found in the AQA book.

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The post-war consensus? 1951-1964

''The foreign policy failures of British governments in the years 1951 to 1964 were due to a lack of realism about Britain's position in the world.'' Assess the validity of this view.

AQA EXAMINERS TIPS

  • Answers require a coherent overall arguement - ability to evaluate alternative views.
  • Secure grasp of chronology and context.
  • Decisive in supporting of refuting the key quotation = needs to be more than a list of reasons.
  • Long answer full of detailed information - may not score as well as a short answer that is more structured and shows differentiation.
  • Comprehensive answers prove to be problematic.
  • Must show synoptic awareness of the whole period 1951-1964 - but supporting the main argument with precisely selected evidence.
  • Answers to this question may benefit from various historical interpretations.
  • Effective approach = differentiate between various perspectives = not lengthy statements = appropriate to use short, snappy phrases/quotations.
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The end of consensus, 1964-1975.

''The record of Labour governments in the years 1964-1979 was one of continuous failure''. Assess the validity of this view.

AQA EXAMINERS TIPS:

  • Answers require a coherent overall argument - secure sense of chronology.
  • necessary to define what the labour governments was and how far (if at all) it changed.
  • Evaluation the quotation in the question, is it true or false?
  • Good answers need to be more decisive in supporting or refuting the quotation in question.
  • Answers need to be more than a list of reasons.
  • There needs to be a central argument - that is balanced and shows some differentiation.
  • A Selective approach is vital - showing synoptic awareness of the whole period in question, but supporting the main question with precise evidence.
  • A historiography COULD be useful but only if it is applied to assessment and evaluation = be sure to avoid preparing a descriptive account of what historians have written - interpretation must be your own.
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The Thatcher revoluation? 1975-1990

''Margaret Thatcher's legacy was deep divisons in British society. With reference to the years 1975-1990, assess the validity of this view.''

AQA EXAMINERS TIPS:

  • coherent overall argument
  • grasp of alternative arguments and a secure sense of chronology.
  • It is necessry to define in what ways society could be seen as having 'deep divisions'.
  • Good answers will need to be decisive in supporting or refuting the key quotation, but the answer needs to be more than a list of reasons.
  • There needs to be a central argument that is balanced and shows some differentiation.
  • Selective approach is vital = avoid being comprehensive.
  • Synoptic awareness is required - supporting the main argument.
  • Historiography could be useful but avoid presenting a descriptive account of what historians have written.
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Conservative decline and the triumph of New Labour

''The mismanagement of Britain's foreign policies in the years 1990-2007 did lasting harm to Britain's position in the world''. Assess the validity of this view.

AQA EXAMINERS TIPS:

  • Necessary to take an overview of British foreign policy from 1990-2007 - covering the premierships of both Major and Blair.
  • Overall argument might involve completely agreeing of refuting the key quotation. 
  • Differentiation response of agreeing and disagreeing the concluding, cannot be a comprehensive account.
  • Essential to be concise and selective.
  • The whole timescale needs to be addressed - it would not be enough to focus on Tony Blair and Iraq.
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Conservative decline and the triumph of New Labour

''Between 1964-2007, the Consevative party ceased to be the natural party of government in Britain''. Assess the validity of this view.

AQA EXAMINERS TIPS:

  • Answers to synoptic essays must have breadth but similarly be concise and selective.
  • A differentiation assessment of a fiew selected factors is BETTER than an attempt at being comprehensive.
  • May start with considering what the 'natural party of government is' between the years in question.
  • May look at conservative successes and failures between the years in question.
  • A successful answer might include some differentiation.
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JUNE 2012 Past Paper Questions

1- ‘Britain remained a major world power throughout the years 1951 to 1990.’
Assess the validity of this view.

2- ‘Decline in support for the Conservatives and their continued electoral unpopularity were
due to the legacy of Margaret Thatcher.’
Assess the validity of this view of the years 1990 to 2007.

3- ‘Decline in support for the Conservatives and their continued electoral unpopularity were
due to the legacy of Margaret Thatcher.’
Assess the validity of this view of the years 1990 to 2007.

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JUNE 2011 Past Paper Questions

1-   ‘Margaret Thatcher’s achievements as prime minister in the years 1979 to 1990 were
limited.’
Assess the validity of this view.

2-  ‘Margaret Thatcher’s achievements as prime minister in the years 1979 to 1990 were
limited.’
Assess the validity of this view.

3-  ‘There was more continuity than change in British society in the years 1951 to 2007.’
Assess the validity of this view.

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JUNE 2010 Past Paper Questions

1-   The efforts of British governments to join the EEC in the years 1961 to 1973 were
mainly a result of Britain’s decline as a world power.’
Assess the validity of this view.

2-  ‘New Labour’s popularity in the years 1994 to 2007 owed more to the weaknesses of its
Conservative opponents than to the strengths of Tony Blair.’
Assess the validity of this view.

3-   ‘New Labour’s popularity in the years 1994 to 2007 owed more to the weaknesses of its
Conservative opponents than to the strengths of Tony Blair.’
Assess the validity of this view.

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SPECIMEN QUESTIONS

1-    To what extent can the period of Conservative dominance between 1951 and 1964 be viewed as ‘Thirteen Wasted Years’?

2- To what extent was Britain in economic decline in the years 1951 to 2007?

3-  ‘The industrial disputes of the 1980s were primarily the result of Mrs Thatcher’s desire to destroy the power of the trade unions.’Assess the validity of this verdict.

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