General Certificate of Education History

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1 General Certificate of Education History Unit HIS3D Report on the Examination (Specification 2040) June 2013 Version: 1.0

2 Further copies of this Report are available from aqa.org.uk Copyright 2013 AQA and its licensors. All rights reserved. AQA retains the copyright on all its publications. However, registered schools/colleges for AQA are permitted to copy material from this booklet for their own internal use, with the following important exception: AQA cannot give permission to schools/colleges to photocopy any material that is acknowledged to a third party even for internal use within the centre.

3 Unit HIS3D Unit 3D: British Monarchy: The Crisis of the State, General Comments There was a pleasing range in terms of the questions selected by students to respond to, with many choosing the thematic/breadth question. Indeed it was usually this question in combination with Question 1 on Cromwell s foreign policy or with Question 2 on Charles ministers that provided the bulk of responses, with only a minority of students choosing a combination of Question 1 and Question 2. As usual the top responses were marked out by how clearly the essay was structured, the quality of the introduction and the level of sustained analysis that ran through their answers. It was also pleasing to see that many responses actively engaged with historiography as part of their answers rather than including it superficially. Question 1 01 The best answers provided a clear balance in their essay by considering failure and success. Stronger responses took this further by considering ambition as well as other reasons for what could be considered failures in foreign policy. The best responses were also marked by the range of their evidence, considering the following: the Western Design; the ending of the Dutch War; relations with France; policy in the Baltic; use of sea power. Students who also considered policy in Ireland and Scotland, with suitable comment linking it to the specific question, were given credit. Similarly rather than just address ambition stronger responses tended to consider other factors that shaped policy and thereby could be linked to judgement on success or failure; religion; economics; diplomacy. The majority of students, rightly, focused on the Western Design as the key example of what could be regarded as failure and one that could be said to have been brought about by Cromwell s ambition. Typically, stronger responses were marked out by the precision of the supporting evidence they selected to build their comment around. With regard to ambition while many wrote about the Western Design in terms of how far away it was and Spain still being regarded as the world power, fewer students developed this in the context of Cromwell s motivation. While there was some excellent references to the recorded exchange between Cromwell and Lambert over the merits of the Western Design, Lambert pointing out that the scheme was not wise financially or in terms of power politics as he regarded France as the emerging threat, few explained why Cromwell s desire to launch the Western Design was rooted in his view of Spain. Those that did, ably related how Cromwell, as many of his generation, still saw Spain in the context of the Elizabethan wars and thereby regarded a naval conflict against them as not only potentially self-financing but also in terms of a blow against the world s main Catholic power and England s main opponent since the late sixteenth century. Some even related this to attitudes expressed by MPs during the 1620s. Stronger responses also wrote about the failure of the Western Design in relation to the weaknesses of Cromwell s planning, evidencing the nature of the troops and commanders sent. Some legitimately commented on this as possibly being a reflection of Cromwell s overconfidence deriving from his providential outlook and tried to link this to ambition, with the Western Design as the another element in the crusade against the forces of anti-christ. 3 of 6

4 When considering other areas of policy, students, generally, argued that Cromwell could be regarded as having been successful. Some supported this with reference to Clarendon s later view, that Cromwell made England respected and feared aboard. Some students developed this by making a direct brief comparison to the failures of Charles II s foreign policy, particularly with regard to the Dutch and his reliance on Louis XIV, as the very context by which to judge Cromwell s success. Some students did not distinguish between the Rump s Dutch War and Cromwell s policy. Cromwell s prominence, even before he became Protector in December 1653, and distinguishing between the different regimes of the Interregnum is a difficult area, but stronger responses set Cromwell s support for the 1654 Treaty of Westminster in the context of his attitudes to the Protestant Dutch republic, the experience of the war by that stage, concern at the Rump s creation of the navy as a potential political tool, evinced by the republicanism of Admiral Lawson, and the more economic motivation of London merchants and some Rumpers who had started the conflict. Some answers also considered Cromwell s support of peace in the context of the pro-war attitudes, at least initially, of leading Fifth Monarchists, particularly Major-General Thomas Harrison and even set this in the context of the tensions from the collapse of the Nominated Assembly and the establishment of the Protectorate in December 1653 and the clear shift of influence from Harrison to Lambert. Many students ably outlined the key elements of Cromwell s French policy. This included how, initially, he used Spain s enmity to France to secure free trade in Spanish colonies, to then commenting on the Vaudois massacre or the later 1658 Battle of the Dunes in which an Anglo-French force defeated the Spanish at Dunkirk. Fewer students dealt with the Baltic and sometimes those that did, sensibly linked it to Cromwell s use of sea power. When considering Cromwell s relations with Sweden and Denmark students did reference the Treaty of Roskilde, Others looked at sea power in terms of Admiral Blake s campaigns in the Atlantic and Mediterranean. Others looked at Cromwell s relationship with the trading companies as a valid part of their assessment. Domestic material was credited when students linked it directly to the specific question. Of most note were references to Cromwell s financial problems and the link to his relationship to his Protectorate Parliaments. Other students considered the Major-Generals and Decimation Tax in the context of the failure of the Western Design. Again, when done well and precisely, this deserved credit. Question 2 02 The strongest responses to this question were able to provide focused detail on ministers, notably the Cabal and Danby, but then set this in the context of other themes; religion, finance, parliament, foreign policy. Good students linked these themes, whereas others structured their essay around these themes and interwove them with the policies, attitudes and actions of the ministers of the period. Stronger answers also dealt with Charles himself. The best of these examined how he used ministers to shield him and thereby avoid undermining royal authority, even if in some ways his use of them as scapegoats could undermine his authority. Some students did also consider the concept of royal authority and commented on how far the concerns of the period related directly to royal authority. In relation to this, stronger answers were also marked by a consideration for Charles II of his use of ministers as protection for royal authority from Parliament. 4 of 6

5 When dealing with ministers some providing good balance and judgement by illustrating how, even if it was in the short-term, ministers helped Charles position. This was more clearly done with regard to Danby. Students outlined how Danby, through use of royal patronage and pensions, created a body of crown MPs to aid the relationship with Parliament. His diplomacy with the Dutch was also viewed favourably in light of the anti-french and anti- Catholic mood of the time, heightened by the obvious growing influence of Charles cousin, Louis XIV. Yet over time Danby s managerial techniques with Parliament and the fear that he was secretly in league with France meant that the concern over the linked threat of absolutism and Catholicism heightened and underpinned the subsequent Exclusion Crisis. Some students did include information from outside the dates of the question ( ), specifically Clarendon or on the Exclusion Crisis. This was given credit when it was focused analysis to answer the specific question set through appropriate broader context as part of judgement. Question 3 03 It was very encouraging to see that the vast majority of students who responded to this question had a range in their answers across the period. What really marked out stronger responses was where students were able to bring this material together to comment on the themes of religion as an issue, division or the issues for the rulers. It was very encouraging to see some students set this broad essay in the context of ideas such as the crisis of state, of which religion and absolutism are central themes. While students dealt, in general, ably with Charles II and James II, those who confidently addressed the years 1649 to 1660 were less pronounced. Many students struggled to distinguish between the Rump and the regimes that followed. Furthermore there was a distinct lack of precision when dealing with religious groups of the period. Not all need reference and students could have used any from Ranters, Muggletonians, Baptists, Fifth Monarchists or Quakers as illustrative of themes. Most, naturally, selected the Quakers as the group that developed the most in the period and created the most tension in the period and then remained an issue for Charles II and James II. Better responses set the Nayler Crisis firmly in its broader constitutional context to explain the issues it raised for Cromwell. There were also some who provided good reference to the Quaker fear and its impact in 1659/60. While students, generally, had more of a grasp of examples they could use from the reign of Charles II, a lot relying on Exclusion material, the early years of the Restoration Settlement could have been dealt with more precisely. Students would benefit from distinguishing what became policy or Acts from the desires of Charles or, indeed, his ministers. Students would also have developed their responses by some greater precision with regard to James II and could have used treatment of his removal to bring together more the themes of anti- Catholicism and anti-absolutism. This would enable them to develop comment on the continuity of concern over anti-catholicism and the continuity of Protestant divisions across the whole period. 5 of 6

6 Mark Ranges and Award of Grades Grade boundaries and cumulative percentage grades are available on the Results Statistics page of the AQA Website. Converting Marks into UMS marks Convert raw marks into Uniform Mark Scale (UMS) marks by using the link below. UMS conversion calculator 6 of 6

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