Assessment Schedule – 2007 History: Examine a significant historical situation in the context of change, in an essay (90658)



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NCEA Level 3 History (90658) 2007 — page of

Assessment Schedule – 2007
History: Examine a significant historical situation in the context of change, in an essay (90658)


Achievement

Achievement with Merit

Achievement with Excellence

Through her / his response to the first part of the essay question, the candidate has described a significant situation in the context of change

(See content guidelines for examples of relevant historical information that could be included in the candidate’s answer.)



Through her / his response to the first part of the essay question, the candidate has described in detail a significant situation in the context of change

(See content guidelines for examples of relevant historical information that could be included in the candidate’s answer.)



Through the breadth, depth and / or range of the ideas in her / his response to the first part of the question, the candidate has comprehensively described a significant situation in the context of change.
(See content guidelines for examples of relevant historical information that could be included in the candidate’s answer.)

Through her / his response to the second part of the question the candidate has described the influence of the situation on people.

(See content guidelines for examples of relevant historical information that could be included in the candidate’s answer.)



Through her / his response to the second part of the question the candidate has evaluated the influence of the situation on people.

This evaluation should involve analysis which may include weighing up the influences that this situation had on people. Eg positive influences weighed up against negative ones or one theory about the influence contrasted with another.


(See content guidelines for examples of relevant historical information that could be included in the candidate’s answer.)

Through the breadth, depth and / or range of the ideas in her / his response to the second part of the question the candidate has comprehensively evaluated the influence of the situation on people.
This evaluation should involve analysis and the comprehensive weighing up the influences that this situation had on people. Eg positive influences weighed up against negative ones or one theory about the influence contrasted with another.
(See content guidelines for examples of relevant historical information that could be included in the candidate’s answer.)

The candidate has structured and organised her / his information using an appropriate essay format.



  • Introductory paragraph.

  • Relevant, structured and logically sequenced paragraphs.

  • Conclusion.




The candidate has structured and organised her / his information using an appropriate essay format.



  • Introductory paragraph.

  • Relevant, structured and logically sequenced paragraphs.

  • Conclusion.

The candidate has provided an argument, ie the candidate has stated a view and supported it with relevant and accurate evidence (probably most evident in the evaluative part of her / his essay).



The candidate has structured and organised her / his information using an appropriate and effective essay format.


  • Introductory paragraph.

  • Relevant, structured and logically sequenced paragraphs.

  • Conclusion.

The candidate has provided a convincing argument, ie the candidate has a clearly articulated view and has supported it with sound reasoning and relevant, accurate and significant evidence (probably most evident in the evaluative part of her / his essay).





Content Guidelines

Topic One: England 1558–1667



Topic One: Essay One
Describe the main features of family life between 1558 and 1667.

Evaluate the influence of parents on the lives of their children in early modern English society.


The candidate’s response to the first part of the essay question could include:

  • The nuclear family (parents and children) was the basic social unit for reproduction, upbringing, and old-age care. The term “family” could also include live-in servants and apprentices; however, the extended kinship group remained important as well.

  • Families worked and played together. Religious activities within the family (eg grace, catechism, and Bible reading) were considered important. Most families looked after their own needy.

  • The average number of children born was between three and four. Two or three usually survived to adulthood. The birth rate was reduced by the effect of late marriage, death during childbearing and breastfeeding. Children were seen as vital to carry on the family name, inherit family property, and fulfill emotional needs.

  • The role of parents was to provide sustenance and education, training in work skills, exercise discipline and morality, and give emotional support. Later in the child’s life, they would assist in finding employment, be a guide to a suitable marriage partner, and support with contacts to ensure economic, social, and political success. Lastly, they would leave as great an inheritance to the child as possible. The patriarchal role encompassed setting standards and order, income, and legal rights. For the governing class, the role also covered property administration, marriage partners, education for boys and dowries for girls. The matriarchal role was to bear children, support the husband, look after the health and well-being of the family, groom children for marriage and attract selected spouses.

  • Children were put to work at early ages on the farm, sowing seeds, chasing birds, and other rather unstrenuous activities. Boys were more likely to be put to work earlier, and girls to stay home a little longer to help their mother. Children who could be spared from the farm, or whose wages would not be missed, were often sent to school, to receive a form of elementary education. Most of these children, especially the girls, remained in school only for a short period, and would then be expected to work to help their family financially. Some children never attended school, but were taught by their mothers at home. Amongst the wealthier social groups, boys, and to a lesser extent girls, would be provided with private tuition, a school education, or education in someone else's house.

  • Children left the household with the onset of puberty for apprenticeships or domestic service. The advisory role of parents continued after the children had left the house and the financial part of caring had ceased.

  • The stability of society was enshrined in the expectation that the family unit would be self-sufficient from cradle to grave. Parish charity was very meagre by any standard.


The candidate’s response to the second part of the essay question could include:

  • The extent to which parents influenced the lives of their children is subject to controversy. There is such little evidence it is difficult for historians to reconstruct the “experience” of being a child. What evidence there is in advice literature, journals, and letters, is so open to differing interpretations that historians are divided over major issues such as whether children were loved and wanted in the past, the way parents viewed their children, and the treatment they received.

  • Lawrence Stone and Ralph Houlbrooke take a “progressive” approach to history, and conclude that the treatment of children by their parents improved considerably over time since at first there was no concept of childhood as a state different to adulthood. They point to the custom of the “blessing” being replaced with a “goodnight kiss”, a decline in swaddling and wet-nursing, and allegedly increased intimacy in letters between parents and children by the seventeenth century as indicators of change. However, Linda Pollock, after intensive study of over 400 diaries and journals, argued that there was no significant change in the quality of parental care, the amount of affection felt for infants or grief when they died. Rosemary O'Day and Mary Abbot assert there was continuity rather than evolution in the way that parents treated and reared their children.

  • Most contemporary writers reinforced the notion of the head of the family in early modern England as the apex of a patriarchal system with clearly defined roles. Based on Pauline scripture, male dominance was a godly duty. Any hint of departure from the accepted order was seen as “misrule” or chaos. The head of the extended family (especially in the upper classes) exercised authority over children in issues such as physical provision and well-being, education, religious instruction, career advancement or employment, business, and marriage.

  • Children were to be subject to their parents and had duties to them. They were expected to be respectful and obedient, carry on family traditions, consider the interests of all family members, and maintain or raise the status of the family. Willful children were frequently sent away to relatives to avoid the public shame involved. Lack of parental authority, instability or incompatibility in families led to public arguments, lawsuits and social humiliation.

  • Social class affected the parental influence on children. Upper-class children were dependent on and controlled by parents for longer than lower-class children. Marriages among the propertied classes were subject to greater controls than those of the poor. Parents frequently interfered to prevent unsuitable marriages with the most used penalty for disobedience being disinheritance.

  • Maternal influences remained strong, especially over female children.

Topic One: Essay Two
Describe the main features of popular beliefs that were held by people in England between 1558 and 1667.

Evaluate the influence of popular beliefs on the lives of people in Early Modern England.


The candidate’s response to the first part of the essay question could include:

  • Popular beliefs arose from a traditional oral culture based primarily on early pagan superstitions generated from a fear of natural and spiritual forces.

  • Popular beliefs in early modern England, however, contained an amalgam of aspects of Christianity with traditional pagan beliefs in magic, fortune telling, astrology, prophesy, witchcraft, and spirit beings.

  • Popular beliefs were concerned more with the daily affairs of life, and the dangers and misfortunes of life than with salvation after death. A supernatural world was believed to exist alongside the natural everyday world and in almost everything there was a supernatural / spiritual explanation.

  • There were blurred margins between traditional pagan (goblins, fairies, witches, sorcerers, vampires, and werewolves) and Christian (demons and angels) spiritual worlds.

  • Magic and folklore took various forms (tokens, charms or flowers, divining rods, magic words, the power of healers and cunning men). King Charles II revived the Royal touch to ward off the “King’s Evil” – scrofula. Forms of magic were widely used and never really diminished in this period.

  • Astrology and horoscope readings were seen as compatible with Christianity because God ruled the heavens, so stars and planets were his agents. Astrologers were consulted about important decisions because they were believed to be able to give some guidance about the future. Leading practitioners, like John Dee, advised the monarch. Astrological almanacs giving information about the luck associated with particular activities and days were very popular.

  • Black witchcraft involved the surrender of one’s soul to the devil in return for certain powers and was most often associated with poorer women. Charges of maleficium (the causing of harm using invisible powers) were most common. Witches were popularly believed to have familiars (animals who did their bidding) that they suckled. White witches or cunning folk were usually men, who used magic or good spiritual powers to combat black witchcraft. Acts against witchcraft, making it a capital offence, were passed in 1563 and 1604.

  • Belief in superstition, magic and witchcraft is considered to have declined during the period through the trickle-down effect of education, literacy, science and social controls. There was a continual war on religious rituals and festivity until at the end of the period separation was drawn between church and communal festivities. Magistrates began to express disbelief in black witchcraft, so it was increasingly difficult to get convictions.


The candidate’s response to the second part of the essay question could include:

  • Popular beliefs encompassed all sectors of the population. It was not an entity but a range of changing beliefs in different regions where each community had its own customs. Few experienced a formal education or travelled beyond their home village to be exposed to other beliefs.

  • They occupied an important place in the lives of people because there was an implicit belief by all in an unseen supernatural world of spirits competing for each human soul. Belief in the devil and the potential salvation or damnation of each soul was a part of popular consciousness.

  • Popular beliefs were important in influencing each individual’s attitudes, values and perspectives on the vicissitudes of life. They seemed to have a stronger hold on the hearts and minds of people. To protect themselves from personal misfortune, a variety of charms, spells, prayers and herbal remedies were used. Their perceived potential to affect the seasons and weather had a significant influence on an individual’s well-being and survival. People worried about such things as the length and intensity of winter, harvest failure, the success of hunting and fishing ventures. A series of traditional rites and ceremonies were important in allaying these concerns, eg New Year’s Day was to encourage the return of spring, and fasting before Easter helped conserve food for the latter part of winter. Accusations of witchcraft increased in times of economic hardship when people were less willing to give charity.

  • Taking part in festivals and ceremonies gave members of a community a sense of identity and were important times of fun and release from the rigours of daily life (eg giving gifts on New Year’s Day reinforced status and obligation ties).

  • At all levels of society, people believed in some supernatural forces at work, had difficulty distinguishing between the influence of religion or magic, and proved reluctant to part with anything that gave them reassurance, protection, support or comfort in dealing with the dangers and misfortunes of life.

  • Popular culture did become more secularised. Concerns about how revelry could disrupt public order and get out of hand caused many to stop sponsoring festivities in favour of organised entertainment such as races and displays. Popular amusements conducive to lust and sexual misdemeanour were frowned on, eg May Day celebrations.

  • Some historians argue that traditional popular beliefs were, by the end of the period, becoming limited to the rural working class. Oral traditions passed into a kind of folklore and popular literature as society was exposed to greater secularisation.

Topic One: Essay Three
Describe the ways in which the royal court operated under each monarch during the period 1558 to 1625.

Evaluate the influence of the royal court on the relationship between each monarch and his or her subjects.


The candidate’s response to the first part of the essay question could include:

  • The Royal Court was the centre of political power and culture. Great men at Court strove to gain the ear of the monarch through political argument, competent service, intellectual or cultural brilliance, feats of great daring or physical endurance, and the beauty of their person or their wives. Their patronage of writers, actors, musicians, theologians, and academics who might impress the monarch was also important. Royal favourites potentially could influence crown policy and the flow of patronage. Those who obtained favour at court might gain political office in central or local government, high military command, appointments to bishoprics, judgeships or academic posts, royal sponsorship, or grants of money, land or titles.

  • The Court as the centre of English public life gave lesser men opportunities to meet powerful patrons and have themselves accepted as clients. This “second tier” of courtiers aimed to gain favour with the great men who had direct access to the monarch in return for loyalty and support. They sought positions in local and regional government and lower level positions in central government. A patron might also nominate them as MPs, gain them commissions in the armed service, or appointment to well-paid legal positions. These lesser men, in turn, would be cultivated by a lower level of clients, possibly from outside the Court.

  • The Court operated wherever the Monarch happened to be. For example, Elizabeth would often go on a progress to the southern counties, but most of the time, she resided in one of the great royal palaces such as Whitehall. Over a thousand people generally attended court; and when it was not possible to house everyone, some had to lodge nearby.

  • Everyone who was permitted to court had access to the Presence Chamber – a great hall in which the monarch would give audience and where all entertainment such as plays, masques, balls and general socialising took place. Access to other parts of the palace depended on status and relationship to the monarch. The Monarch had two private rooms, the Privy Chamber and the Bedchamber (although rarely, if ever, alone in either). Government officials and Ambassadors were entertained here.

  • While all the men who frequented the court were technically courtiers, the role of the traditional courtier was very different to the role of the councillor or the politician. For example, Elizabeth expected courtiers, like Robert Dudley, to be handsome and athletic companions, flamboyant in dress and manner, who would charm her in the courtly love tradition with flattery, gifts, music, dancing, and words of love and devotion. Married men as well as single men played this game with the Queen. It was part of the courtly ideal and not meant to be taken to the personal level.

  • Each monarch brought changes to the royal court.
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