Slavery in the USA

Example of a poster advertising the sale of slaves in 1840s USA.

Example of a poster advertising the sale of slaves in 1840s USA.

This is Peter, Marcel, Eilis, Catherine, Gemma, Marc, and Chloe and we are the ‘historyslaves’. In this blog we will be exploring the story of slavery in America in the 19th century. We have focused primarily on the conditions and treatment of the slaves, considering the variety of factors contributing to their condition as well as general statistics. Thanks to the popularity of the topic, we have been able to find a diverse selection of sources which allow a modern audience to gain insight and understanding of the subject, whether it’s personal diaries, newspaper articles or original designs of slave transport ships.


Battle of Gettysburg, 1863

mapOur group is called the Indecisives. We decided to research the battle of Gettysburg to give ourselves a challenge as we wanted to learn more about details of the American Civil War.

Our project aims to determine the circumstances and conditions in this particular battle in the American Civil War. During the project we discovered the significance of maps and how they were crucial in determining which side was most successful. This source was crucial in our understanding of the Battle of Gettysburg.

Lord Armstrong


Our group, JETAMS, decided to look into the life of Lord Armstrong, with specific focus on his armaments production.

Armstrong,  William George, Baron Armstrong  (1810–1900), was a Newcastle-born industrialist, armament producer and philanthropist. Notable amongst his numerous achievements are the invention of an hydraulic crane, the building of the Swing Bridge on the Newcastle-Gateshead quayside, numerous philanthropic endeavours and a huge armourments factory in Elswick, producing munitions, weapons and ships which were sold thought the world. It is this area of Armstrong’s life that we chose to study in further detail.Image: © National Portrait Gallery

Bloody Sunday

Bloody Sunday Blog ImageWe decided to call out group the Dirty Bankers and have been researching the Bloody Sunday event that took place in Ireland in 1972. Our focus when researching were the causes of the tragic day and the blame leveled afterwards, as well as who was effected and how.

Throughout our research we found out various interesting pieces of information about the reasons for the shootings, who exactly commit the murders and who gave the orders. We also found statistics showing which groups of Ireland tended to be subject to abuse on the day.

The goal of our project is, ultimately, to tell the story of the day, how the events played out, and what results followed because of the murders, not just for Ireland’s politics but also for those who personally felt the pain of the tragedy that was Bloody Sunday.

The Battle of the Somme

british-machine-gun-unitAs a group, we have researched the Battle of the Somme of the First World War, and studied several types of source material. The Battle, led by General Douglas Haig, was the longest of the war, stretching from July to November 1916; it accumulated the largest death toll.

The sources we chose gave us great insight into several aspects of the Battle of the Somme, such as death records and propaganda. The death toll records from November 1916 allowed us to interpret the correlation between soldier ranks and number of deaths. A diary entry showed us the Somme from a primary and personal perspective conveying not only events but also emotions.

Throughout the project we were able to retrieve and analyse specific aspects of the battle and divulge into intricate detail, despite it being such a broad topic.

Prohibiton in America

Following the passing of the Volstead Act in 1919, ruling the consumption, distribution and possession of alcohol illegal, the nature of American society faced irregularity and change until the repeal of prohibition in 1933.

Research of the period uncovers a variety of sources relating to the social impact that Prohibition had on America. Opinion was polarised during the pre-legislative debates surrounding Prohibition and significant movements were created on either side of the argument. The major impact felt by society as a result of Prohibition was that of increasing crime rates and the rapid growth of organised crime gangs. The increase in crime also influenced the position of many former exponents of prohibition, who changed stance to oppose the 18th amendment.

The Plague in London 1665


We are TEAM SILKO and we have researched the effect that the plague had on London in 1665. This includes the number of deaths from the disease and how doctors fought the illness at the time.

Initially our research covered a broad scope and as we found sources and developed our theme, we decided to focus more upon the city of London and how the plague altered society. At the beginning of our search we primarily used Google to locate appropriate sources, which we then found by using more reliable websites such as the British Museum’s Online Archive which provided more information about the source itself. Through the discovery of ‘The Bill of Mortality’ we learned that the plague had a profound effect on the demographic of the city of London as well as medical advances.


Our group project started by looking at hooligan related disasters in football, analysing them by using sources such as newspapers, fanzines and government documents.

Our first project looked at Hillsbrough in particular, and we explored newspapers like ‘The Sun’ to see how they reported the incident. Clearly, since the incident, it has been proven it was not a hooliganism related event, so we then looked at the way in which the event has been reported since the Liverpool supporters have been cleared of guilt after the Hillsbrough report was published.

In our second project we decided to look at the highest death toll in football disasters and then used the information to create graphs. This meant we could see what football related disasters had the biggest death toll, and let us see if hooliganism really was the biggest killer as the media had portrayed it to be.

Originally we looked at Hillsborough as a defining moment in football hooliganism (as it was originally reported) and how this led to changing attitudes of football fans and the wider society. However we have found that this angle is difficult to follow and hard to find conclusive evidence so we have decided to keep our focus on Hillsborough but instead look to how the disaster changed footballing safety for the better and its lasting impact.

The Fall of the Berlin Wall

As a group we decided to research the Fall of the Berlin wall in 1989. We looked at the effects of the wall when it was standing and we mainly focused on people’s views on the wall. We discovered that the people who built the wall saw it as a positive feature in Europe and that it was good for security. Though despite this positive outlook for Communist politicians, many saw the wall as a negative feature. They believed it was repressive and had a negative effect on the economy and their everyday lives.

We looked at four main sources during our research narrowing it down to a more focused search. We included a news report from when the wall fell, graffiti on the wall, a newspaper article and a newspaper cartoon. All these sources depicted different views of the successes and failures of the wall.

We are hoping to look at the contrasting social aspects of life on either side of the wall for our final project post. We hope that by exploring this it will help explain in more depth the viewpoints we have already discovered.

The Good Friday Agreement

Our project is on the Good Friday Agreement and the impact it had on Northern Ireland at the time. We have collected a variety of primary sources depicting the situation in Northern Ireland. These included a newspaper article by the former British Prime Minister John Major, in which he highlights the process of peace and how successful the Good Friday Agreement has been so far. We have also analysed a poster by the Irish Women’s Coalition in which they make clear that the only choice at the time was to vote in favour of the Agreement, such was the tension in Northern Ireland at the time.

Analysing these sources allowed us to see what the agreement intended to do and what it actually achieved. We also collected an extract from the Agreement and an article from an Irish newspaper, but decided to analyse the first two as we felt that they provided more useful information about the Good Friday Agreement and the effects it had on Northern Ireland.