Drouin Secondary College - Course Selection

12 VCE History (12HHI1)

The Course

In Units 3 and 4 Revolutions students investigate the significant historical causes and consequences of political revolution. Revolutions represent great ruptures in time and are a major turning point in the collapse and destruction of an existing political order which results in extensive change to society. Revolutions are caused by the interplay of events, ideas, individuals and popular movements, and the interplay between the political, social, cultural, economic and environmental conditions. Their consequences have a profound effect on the political and social structures of the post-revolutionary society. Revolution is a dramatically accelerated process whereby the new regime attempts to create political, social, cultural and economic change and transformation based on the regime’s ideology.

Unit 3 Topics

The American Revolution from 1754 to 4 July 1776 (French and Indian War to the signing of the Declaration of Independence 1776)

·  the events and conditions that contributed to the outbreak of revolution, including the colonial experience, British mercantilist policy, the French and Indian War, British management of the colonies, the Proclamation Act, British tax revenue acts and colonial responses to these acts, objections to taxation without representation, the Boston Massacre, the Coercive Acts, Powder Alarms, the First and Second Continental Congress, battles of Lexington, Concord and Bunker Hill and the Declaration of Independence

·  the ideas that played a significant role in challenging the existing order, including the Enlightenment ideas: Natural Rights, Representative Government, Republicanism, and Liberty

·   the role of individuals in challenging or maintaining the power of the existing order, including King George III, George Washington, Samuel Adams, John Hancock, John Adams, Thomas Paine and Thomas Jefferson

Unit 4 Topics

The Russian Revolution from 1896 to October 1917 (Coronation of Tsar Nicholas II to the announcement of the Soviet government on 26 October 1917)

·  the events and conditions that contributed to the outbreak of revolution, including institutional weaknesses and tensions in Tsarist Russia, economic and social inequalities, the Russo-Japanese War, Bloody Sunday, the October Manifesto, the Fundamental Laws, limitations of the Dumas, World War One, the February Revolution, the effectiveness of the Provisional Governments, The Dual Authority, Lenin’s return and his April Theses, the July Days, the Kornilov Affair, and the events of October 1917

·  the ideas that played a significant role in challenging the existing order, including discontent with Tsarist autocracy, liberal ideas and reforms, Marxism and Marxism-Leninism

·  the role of individuals in challenging or maintaining the power of the existing order, including Tsar Nicholas II and Tsarina Alexandra, Pyotr Stolypin, Grigori Rasputin, Alexander Kerensky, Vladimir Lenin and Leon Trotsky

·  the contribution of popular movements in mobilising society and challenging the existing order, including workers’ protests and peasants’ uprisings, soldier and sailor mutinies, and the role of political parties: Socialist Revolutionaries, Bolsheviks and Mensheviks (SDs), Octobrists and Kadets.

Learning and Assessment Activities

VCE History Revolutions Study Design requires students to undertake 4 Areas of Study. Students complete the following tasks as part of their SACs for units 3 and 4:

In units 3 and 4, students construct an argument about the past using historical sources (primary sources and historical interpretations) as evidence to analyse the complexity and multiplicity of the causes and consequences of revolution, and to evaluate the extent to which the revolution brought change to the lives of people. Students analyse the different perspectives and experiences of people who lived through dramatic revolutionary moments, and how society changed and/or remained the same. Students use historical interpretations to evaluate the causes and consequences of revolution and the extent of change instigated by the new regime.

Grading/Study Score information:

SACs x 4: 50% of study score

End of year Exam (students write on BOTH revolutions): 50% of study score


These units lead to

Studying History leads to an array of occupations (archaeology, anthropology, criminology, cultural heritage office, foreign affairs and trade, writing, editing, teaching, journalism, tourism, research, data analysis, education, human resources, museum curator, among others).

The skills required to be successful in VCE History (analysis of cause and effect, evaluation of sources, communicating ideas through the written word) are invaluable and do not tie down to one field of expertise or occupation.

Special considerations

Before undertaking VCE History Revolutions, you should have satisfactorily completed a Year 10 History unit and demonstrated sufficient competency in all skill areas.

You must undertake Unit 3 prior to undertaking Unit 4.

Costs involved

Materials required

Units 3 & 4: One textbook per revolution/unit.

Due to a change in Study Design, a new textbook will need to be purchased in 2022. Please consult the College booklist for this information.

For further information see...

Mrs Firth


Study design link