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Ireland 1800-1921 (A2)


The study unit

At Ashfield School, Kikby-in-Ashfield, Gary Hillyard has developed an imaginative and engaging Year 13 (A2) study unit, Ireland 1801-1921. The units were revised in the light of experience.


It examines what happened in Ireland between the Act of Union in 1800, uniting Ireland to the UK, and the partition of Ireland into Northern Ireland and Irish Free State in 1921. The main attention is on Irish nationalist groups and how they tried to gain better representation in Ireland during this period.


This unit builds on a shorter six-lesson unit taken at the end of Year 12 introducing the history of Ireland.


The Year 13 unit itself raises twenty-nine key questions in thirty-four lessons in four sub-units. It includes a wide range of sources and different approaches to learning.

The A-Team

A further unit draws on the A-Team to encourage students to write effective coursework essays.


The main textbook used is Great Britain & the Irish question 1798-1922 by P Adelman & R. Pierce, Hodder & Stoughton 'Access to History', 2005, 0340889012.

Other textbooks which are proving helpful include Challenging History: Britain in the C19th by Howard Martin, Nelson, 0174350627, and
The Struggle for Peace in Northern Ireland by Ben Walsh, John Murray, 0719574722.


An excellent source for historical maps, with informative commentaries, is Atlas of Irish History by Sean Duffy, Gill and Macmillan, 0717130932.

The resources
The study unit is arranged in a number of booklets in pdf format and the PowerPoint presentations which Gary has developed.


There are also PowerPoints of the OHTs and other visual sources used in the unit, providing, hopefully, better quality images than those in the pdf files. 

Year 12 Introduction

  Scheme of work
  L1-2 A brief history of Ireland before 1800
  L3 Change & continuity
  L4 What was Ireland like in the 19th century?
  L5 Ireland before 1801
  L6 The geography of Ireland

Year 13 lessons & key questions

Overview/scheme of work

Overview - mindmap

Scheme of work/lesson plans
Notes for teachers
Key words
Key figures

Select reading list

Unit 1 Act of Union & Daniel O'Connell

Booklet 1 The Act of Union 
  L1 Why did some people oppose the Act of Union?
  L2 What impact did the Union have on Ireland?
Booklet 2 Daniel O'Connell & Catholic Emancipation
L3 How did Catholic Emancipation fare before O?Connell?
  L4 Who was Daniel O?Connell?
  L5 How was Catholic Emancipation achieved?
Booklet 3 Daniel O'Connell after Catholic Emancipation
  L6-7 What next for Daniel O?Connell?
  L8 How successful was O?Connell in gaining what he set out to achieve?
PowerPoint for Unit 1

Unit 2 The Irish Famine

Booklet 4 The Irish Famine
  L9 What caused Ireland to suffer between 1845 & 1850?
  L10 How did different groups respond to the Irish Famine?
Famine sources - images
  L11 How did the Nationalists react to the Famine?
  L12 What effect did the Great Famine have on the Irish?
Famine - Graphic History
PowerPoint for Unit 2

Unit 3 1850-1900

Booklet 5 Why did Gladstone get involved in Ireland and what did he do?
  L13 How effective were Gladstone's early measures?
Booklet 6 Irish nationalism, 1848-1900

  L14-16 What were the aims and methods of the different nationalist movements during the period 1848-1890?
Techniques for starters

  L17 What were the aims, methods and impact of the Fenian movement?
  L18 What were the aims, methods and impact of the Land League?
  L19 What were the aims, methods and impact of the Home Rule movement?
  L20 Why did the Home Rule Bills fail?
  L21 To what extent were the aims and methods of O'Connell simply copied by Irish nationalists between

        1860 and 1890?
PowerPoint for Unit 3

Unit 4 Ulster Crisis & beyond

Booklet 7 Ulster crisis
  L22 How did Irish Nationalism develop between 1890 and 1914?
  L23 How would the nationalist groups react to the events of 1890-1914?
  L24-5 What is the future of Ireland 1?
  L26 What is the future of Ireland 2?
PowerPoint for Unit 4, Lessons 22-6

Booklet 8 Easter Rising, Sinn Fein, Government of Ireland Act
L27 Why did the Easter Rising take place?
  L28 What happened during the Easter Rising?
  L29 What was the impact of the Easter Rising?
  L30 How did Sinn Fein develop into the major Irish Republican group after the Easter Rising?
Booklet 9 Government of Ireland Act/Michael Collins/Conclusion
  L31 Was the Government of Ireland Act a real achievement for the Irish?
  L32 What were the results of the Anglo-Irish War?
  L33 How has history treated Michael Collins since 1922?
  L34 Why was Ireland partitioned in 1921?
PowerPoint for Unit 4, Lessons 27-34

Unit 1

Unit 3
Some quizzes

Year 13 coursework preparation - 5 lessons/7 parts

To what extent did the aims & methods of Irish nationalism change during the years 1820-1921?
Lesson planning & resources
Coursework guidance

  Part 1 Recapping on change & continuity
  Part 2 Paragraph structure
  Part 3 Coherency
  Part 4 Introductions
  Part 5 Conclusions
  Part 6 Your coursework
  Part 7 Top tips