The fact is that this is Advanced Higher and before you leap into the question, you need to consider the issues behind the question. There will be a 'debate' or 'varying perspectives' about the issues underlying the question. You need to recognise this before you dive in!
Marking of your Essay:
The Advanced Higher marking team want you to show understanding of the events and the way they have been interpreted/explained by historians over the decades. You must show understanding of historical interpretations to PASS.
Range of Essay Question Stems Northern Britain from the Romans to AD 1000 1. How much does the evidence tell us about Iron Age society in Northern Britain before the Roman invasion ? 2. "They create a desolation and call it peace." Is this a fair comment on Roman contacts with Northern Britain?
"The House Divided": USA 1850-1865
2. Examine the motives of the Southern States for seceding in 1860/1861.
Why did Confederate foreign policy fail?
Germany: Versailles to the Outbreak of the Second World War 2. What were the causes of the economic and political crises which faced Germany in 1923? 6. How crucial were foreign policy successes to Hitler's popularity before 1939? Britain At War and Peace (1939-1951) 2. "The failure of the Norway campaign was the most significant cause of Neville Chamberlain's resignation in May 1940." How far do you agree? 4. To what extent was there a "swing to the left" in British politics between 1940 and 1945?
Field of Study 8 (2004) Exemplar of Marking Scheme
5. How significant was the use of terror by the Nazis in the consolidation of their power by 1936?
By 1936, Hitler and the Nazis had seemingly brought ‘good times’ to Germany:
• economic revitalization
• prospects of prosperity
• restored national pride (the list is Kershaw’s)
The regime was therefore firmly entrenched.
The wording of the question requires candidates to evaluate the relative weight of terror as against the aforementioned [and other] factors.
A secure answer ought to examine and explore the meaning of the many dimensions of ‘terror’, beyond the criminality of the Night of the Long Knives, viewing the concept within the larger framework of ‘the demise of the rule of law’. (Burleigh)
The time scale in the title is significant. A good essay will be securely rooted in the events of 1933-1936 e.g.
• 1933 - Hitler becomes Chancellor; Dachau is opened within 8 weeks of this; the Enabling Act, boycott of Jewish businesses, disbanding of trade unions; Gestapo established; first restrictions on gay rights groups
• 1934 - Rohm murdered, SA purged; von Schleicher murdered; Hitler became Fuhrer; start of nationwide arrests of homosexuals.
The best essays will display a knowledge and understanding of historical perspectives across two generations of scholarship, viz:
• what might be termed the ‘traditional’ view of the terror; its prime function in a totalitarian state, the notion of an omnipresent Gestapo, the jaws of the Nazi behemoth
• the revision of such a notion by historians such as Robert Gellatly’s studies of the importance of political denunciation in Nazi Germany, with an over-stretched state, reactive rather than proactive in its work, in a populace approving of terror.
Such historians, in describing the Nazi technique of rule, note that most Germans in 1936 were able to retreat into private life benignly accepting Nazi rule
• the most recent writing, as exemplified by Eric Johnson (1999) while accepting that ‘the great majority of German citizens did not suffer personally from Nazi terror during the Third Reich’ reminds us that Nazi Germany was a police state. Terror was not indiscriminate but pinpointed selected targets. Germans were well aware of the limits of their scope for criticism.
A PASS answer (13-14 marks) should display a sound understanding of the time scale of events and show awareness of discrete features of Nazi terror 1933-36. Such answers should assess the significance of terror in the process of the consolidation of Nazi power, but analysis may be uneven. Some account will be taken of different historical interpretation. A GOOD answer (15-17 marks) will display the above features but from a more secure knowledge base and with a more confident analysis. Greater account will be taken of different historical interpretations. A VERY GOOD answer (18+ marks) will integrate assured, highly informed narrative with knowledge of historical perspectives. There will be clear evidence of understanding of the views of different historians.
‘… candidates were marked down for providing an essay answer to the title they wished it could have been rather than the one it actually was.’ (2004)
‘ Merely rehearsing a revised answer to a previous question is not sufficient at this level.’ (2004)
You must include historiography in your answer ‘ Failure to do so will mean ‘an automatic fail’. (2003) ‘ If a candidate were to introduce a new paragraph with a phrase such as ‘Naturally, other historians have argued..…’ or ‘There is another school of thought on this matter……’ that will suffice for meeting the C standard. If they start [accurately] quoting historians by name or refer to particular schools of thought, or give quotes from historians and changing views over time, that clearly takes the essay into B and A territory on this aspect of the marking.’ (2002) ‘ Some poorer candidates invented historians’ names. This practice is entirely unacceptable. Candidates are reminded that their work will be read and marked by highly experienced, very well-read teachers.’ (2004)
You must include historiography in your answer ‘ ..not all essays lend themselves to a keen historical debate with key schools of thought arguing the case, but all essay titles would have been open enough for the candidate to include some signs of their reading on that issue.’ (2004) ‘ For some candidates, it was often still little more than the very generalised ‘Some historians have argued…’, for others it was just historical name dropping, but for many the essays had a clear sense of a review of key historians’ views on an issue, and these read convincingly as pieces of Advanced Higher work.’ (2004) ‘ Some poorer candidates invented historians’ names. This practice is entirely unacceptable.’ (2004)