Emily and Phoebe

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Meanwhile, in Europe...

This is a handout that Emily's class (sixth grade of primary school) were given for History. It is a summary of a four-page introduction in their History book, giving some essential background for this year. Now take a look, and be honest, how much of this did you have a passing knowledge of at the age of eleven? And do you think it's reasonable to expect kids of that age to learn this sort of abridged version of history? I must say that I have my doubts...

"Europe in the modern* era

While Greece was enslaved by the Turks**, in Europe:

The use of gunpowder became widespread.

Daring voyages of exploration took place.
(Columbus -> America, Magellan -> circumnavigation of the globe)

Printing was invented by Johannes Gutenberg.
(The first printed book was the Bible)

The Renaissance begins in Italy.
(A flourishing of art, science and literature)

The Reformation.
(Many educated people refuse to accept the Pope's authority*** and the Western church is split)

The Enlightenment
(Intellectuals attempt to awaken people to an awareness of their rights.)

The French Revolution (1789)
(Liberty! Egality! Fraternity! Abolition of the monarchy.)

Napoleon Bonaparte
(Emerged from the French Revolution, led the French army to victory in a series of wars, defeated at Waterloo in 1814 by the European monarchies that had allied against him,**** downfall commemorated by Abba in 1974 Eurovision Song Contest winner*****)

Holy Alliance (1815)
(Created by the European monarchies to prevent revolutionary movements in Europe. Engineered by the Austrian Metternich."

* "Modern" is obviously a relative concept here.
** Subtext: "Look at everything that Greece missed out on because we were under the Turksih yoke."
*** Note the sideswipe at the Pope, here.
**** What? No mention of the Duke of Wellington? What anti-British propaganda is this?
******OK, I made up that bit up.


Post a Comment

<< Home