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Level 9



History Level Description

The Making of the Modern World

The Level 9 curriculum provides a study of the history of the making of the modern world from 1750 to 1918. It was a period of industrialisation and rapid change in the ways people lived, worked...

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Key inquiry questions

  1. What were the changing features of the movements of people from 1750 to 1918?
  2. How did new ideas and technological developments contribute to change in this period?
  3. What was the origin, development, significance and long-term impact of imperialism in this period?
  4. What was the significance of World War I?

History Content Descriptions

Historical Knowledge and Understanding


The following content is taught as part of an overview for the historical period. It is not intended to be taught in depth. An overview will constitute approximately 10% of the total teaching time for the level. Overview content identifies important features of the period (1750 – 1918) as part of an expansive chronology that helps students understand broad patterns of historical change. As such, the overview provides the broader context for the teaching of depth study content and can be built into various parts of a teaching and learning program. This means that overview content can be used to give students an introduction to the historical period; to make the links to and between the depth studies, and to consolidate understanding through a review of the period.

Overview content for the making of the modern world includes the following:

  1. the nature and significance of the Industrial Revolution and how it affected living and working conditions, including within Australia
  2. the nature and extent of the movement of peoples in the period (slaves, convicts and settlers)
  3. the extent of European imperial expansion and different responses, including in the Asian region
  4. the emergence and nature of significant economic, social and political ideas in the period, including nationalism
Depth studies
There are three depth studies for this historical period. For each depth study, there are up to three electives that focus on a particular society, event, movement or development. It is expected that ONE elective will be studied in detail. A depth study will constitute approximately 30% of the total teaching time for the level. The content in each depth study elective is designed to allow detailed study of specific aspects of this historical period. As part of a teaching and learning program, depth study content can be integrated with overview content and/or with other depth study electives.
1 Making a Better World?
Students investigate how life changed in the period in depth through the study of ONE of these major developments: the Industrial Revolution or Movement of peoples or Progressive ideas and movements. The study includes the causes and effects of the development, and the Australian experience.
  1. The Industrial Revolution (1750 – 1914)
    1. The technological innovations that led to the Industrial Revolution, and other conditions that influenced the industrialisation of Britain (the agricultural revolution, access to raw materials, wealthy middle class, cheap labour, transport system, and expanding empire) and of Australia (ACDSEH017)
    2. The population movements and changing settlement patterns during this period (ACDSEH080)
    3. The experiences of men, women and children during the Industrial Revolution, and their changing way of life (ACDSEH081)
    4. The short and long-term impacts of the Industrial Revolution, including global changes in landscapes, transport and communication (ACDSEH082)
  2. Progressive ideas and movements (1750 – 1918)
    1. The emergence and nature of key ideas in the period, with a particular focus on ONE of the following: capitalism, socialism, egalitarianism, nationalism, imperialism, Darwinism, Chartism (ACDSEH019)
    2. The reasons why ONE key idea emerged and/or developed a following, such as the influence of the Industrial Revolution on socialism (ACDSEH086)
    3. The role of an individual or group in the promotion of ONE of these key ideas, and the responses to it from, for example, workers, entrepreneurs, land owners, religious groups (ACDSEH087)
    4. The short and long-term impacts of ONE of these ideas on Australia and the world (ACDSEH088)
  3. Movement of peoples (1750 – 1901)
    1. The influence of the Industrial Revolution on the movement of peoples throughout the world, including the transatlantic slave trade and convict transportation (ACDSEH018)
    2. The experiences of slaves, convicts and free settlers upon departure, their journey abroad, and their reactions on arrival, including the Australian experience (ACDSEH083)
    3. Changes in the way of life of a group(s) of people who moved to Australia in this period, such as free settlers on the frontier in Australia (ACDSEH084)
    4. The short and long-term impacts of the movement of peoples during this period (ACDSEH085)
2 Australia and Asia
Students investigate the history of Australia OR an Asian society in the period 1750 – 1918 in depth.
  1. Asia and the world
    1. The key features (social, cultural, economic, political) of ONE Asian society (such as China, Japan, India, Dutch East Indies, India) at the start of the period (ACDSEH093)
    2. Change and continuity in the Asian society during this period, including any effects of contact (intended and unintended) with European power(s) (ACDSEH094)
    3. The position of the Asian society in relation to other nations in the world around the turn of the twentieth century (that is 1900), including the influence of key ideas such as nationalism (ACDSEH142)
    4. The significance of ONE key event that involved the Asian society and European power(s), including different perspectives of the event at the time (ACDSEH141)
  2. Making a nation
    1. The extension of settlement, including the effects of contact (intended and unintended) between European settlers in Australia and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples (ACDSEH020)
    2. The experiences of non-Europeans in Australia prior to the 1900s (such as the Japanese, Chinese, South Sea Islanders, Afghans) (ACDSEH089)
    3. Living and working conditions in Australia around the turn of the twentieth century (that is 1900) (ACDSEH090)
    4. Key events and ideas in the development of Australian self-government and democracy, including women's voting rights (ACDSEH091)
    5. Legislation 1901-1914, including the Harvester Judgment, pensions, and the Immigration Restriction Act (ACDSEH092)
3 World War I
Students investigate key aspects of World War I and the Australian experience of the war, including the nature and significance of the war in world and Australian history.
  1. World War I (1914-1918)
    1. An overview of the causes of World War I and the reasons why men enlisted to fight in the war (ACDSEH021)
    2. The places where Australians fought and the nature of warfare during World War I, including the Gallipoli campaign (ACDSEH095)
    3. The impact of World War I, with a particular emphasis on Australia (such as the use of propaganda to influence the civilian population, the changing role of women, the conscription debate) (ACDSEH096)
    4. The commemoration of World War I, including debates about the nature and significance of the Anzac legend (ACDSEH097)

Historical Skills

Chronology, terms and concepts
  1. Use chronological sequencing to demonstrate the relationship between events and developments in different periods and places (ACHHS164)
  2. Use historical terms and concepts (ACHHS165)
Historical questions and research
  1. Identify and select different kinds of questions about the past to inform historical inquiry (ACHHS166)
  2. Evaluate and enhance these questions (ACHHS167)
  3. Identify and locate relevant sources, using ICT and other methods (ACHHS168)
Analysis and use of sources
  1. Identify the origin, purpose and context of primary and secondary sources (ACHHS169)
  2. Process and synthesise information from a range of sources for use as evidence in an historical argument (ACHHS170)
  3. Evaluate the reliability and usefulness of primary and secondary sources (ACHHS171)
Perspectives and interpretations
  1. Identify and analyse the perspectives of people from the past (ACHHS172)
  2. Identify and analyse different historical interpretations (including their own) (ACHHS173)
Explanation and communication
  1. Develop texts, particularly descriptions and discussions that use evidence from a range of sources that are referenced (ACHHS174)
  2. Select and use a range of communication forms (oral, graphic, written) and digital technologies (ACHHS175)

History Achievement Standard

By the end of Level 9, students refer to key events and the actions of individuals and groups to explain patterns of change and continuity over time. They analyse the causes and effects of events and developments and make judgments about their importance. They explain the motives and actions of people at the time. Students explain the significance of these events and developments over the short and long term. They explain different interpretations of the past.

Students sequence events and developments within a chronological framework, with reference to periods of time and their duration. When researching, students develop different kinds of questions to frame an historical inquiry. They interpret, process, analyse and organise information from a range of primary and secondary sources and use it as evidence to answer inquiry questions. Students examine sources to compare different points of view. When evaluating these sources, they analyse origin and purpose, and draw conclusions about their usefulness. They develop their own interpretations about the past. Students develop texts, particularly explanations and discussions, incorporating historical interpretations. In developing...

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