Course Summary

Pam Chessell focuses on a particular year in history, provides an overview of significant events that occured during that year and analyses the causal relationship between these apparently disconnected events.

In 1793 Lord Macartney ‘s delegation called upon the Emperor of China. Why was he there, and what is the connection between that visit, the American War of Independence, the British East India Company, the French Revolution and the Rum Rebellion in New South Wales?

In 1848 Das Kapital was published in London. Europe erupted in revolution: France, and the nation states of Germany, Hungary and Italy emerged. What were the social, political and economic conditions that lead to the ‘infectious’ outbreak of revolution? why had the Boers begun their Great Trek, and why did the United States purchase vast tracks of land from Mexico?

In 1861 Abraham Lincoln was nominated for the presidency of the United Sates that were dis-united about the issue of slavery. Civil War ensued. Alexander II of Russia issued a proclamation declaring that it was better to ‘free’ the serfs than to wait for an uprising, and Otto von Bismarck, The Iron Chancellor completed the political unification of Germany and gave all men the vote. Co-incidence or confluence?

In 1917 on the Eastern Front the Romanov Empire collapsed and Lenin returned. In the Balkans the Ottoman Empire collapsed and Kemal Ataturk emerged. On the Western Front carnage continued. British and French military victories in the Middle East had profound ramifications. Sun-Yat Sen established a military government and joined the Allies against Germany. The Second Conscription vote was lost in Australia, the Zimmerman Telegram triggered the USAs entry into WW1 and the British royal family changed its name.


Throughout these lectures the following states/countries will be considered:

  • China
  • Japan
  • New South Wales/Australia
  • India
  • South Africa
  • The Ottoman Empire
  • The United States
  • Prussia/Germany
  • Russia
  • France
  • Great Britain

Attention will be given to all countries over the course of the twelve lectures.  Events in New South Wales/Australia, United States, France and Great Britain will be considered in every lecture; the others as relevant and consequential.  Events preceding the date and subsequent will be noted.

Historical information presented will provide the context for the central significance of the selected dates.

Participants may choose to enrol in one or all series.

Supplementary material will be provided to support each lecture.

Delivered by:

Pam Chessell has been teaching for what feels like forever. She’s taught in big schools and small schools, rural schools and city schools. Government and independent, schools for boys, schools for girls.; even co-educational. For eighteen years Pam was the principal on an independent girls’ school. 

You could say, she’s been heavily involved in education for the longest of times.

She was especially stimulated by her work as a member of the English Methods Staff in the Education Faculty at Monash University.  She was commissioned to write the history for the centenary of her former school.

When her children were young, Pam took many VCE and sessional classes with the CAE. She relished the opportunities provided to design and implement courses and curriculum design became a major professional interest. During those years, she wrote many textbooks, mostly for English studies at all levels.

In retirement she has maintained her interest in course design and especially in history; exploring subjects such as how past events and people have shaped our present world.

Currently, we have no dates scheduled for this course. Please contact us via email to register your interest.

Last updated: June 18, 2021 04:41pm