History - National 5 Index

Online Lessons for Students in Scotland learning National 5 History

  • Migration and Empire 1830-1939
  • Transatlantic Slave Trade 1770-1807
  • World War II 1939-45
  • Exam Style Questions

Scottish Migration and Empire 1830-1939:

Unemployment, poverty and persecution caused thousands of people from Ireland, Italy and Eastern Europe to travel to Scotland in search of better lives.

The British Empire grew the British economy, it traded their goods and all profits were sent to Britain. At first, they learnt the Indian language, wore Indian clothes, and were part of the community. but were always kept suppressed, never given well-paid jobs and failed to help in times of famine.

Between 1830 and 1914 over 300,000 Irish people migrated to Scotland. The majority of Irish immigrants were economic migrants looking for employment.

During the industrial revolution immigrants from Ireland, Italy and Eastern Europe settled in Scotland. Demand for housing and employment increased. There were divisions between some communities.

Towns and cities grew as people moved from rural areas and abroad to Scotland’s ‘central belt’ looking for factory work. This had a negative impact on living conditions and created competition for jobs. Overcrowding in Scotland’s cities became a major problem.

A number of factors forced or encouraged people to leave Scotland after 1830. The Highland Clearances and competition for land, jobs and housing caused thousands of Scots to travel to the New World.

Pull factors are the reasons why people moved to the United States of America in search of freedom, safety, stability and new opportunities.

There are many reasons for the success of Scottish immigrants. In this lesson you will learn the locations Scots emigrated to, learn the positive contributions Scots made to their new homes and learn some of the impacts of notable Scots.

In this lesson you will learn the cultural impacts of Scots in new lands, learn why the arrival of Scots was not all positive and assess the overall impact of Scots in their new homes.


In the 17th and 18th centuries slaves were moved from Africa to the West Indies to work on sugar plantations. This industry and the slave trade made British ports and merchants involved very wealthy.

In this lesson you will learn what Africa was like before the slave trade, learn how the slave trade impacted African communities and learn the impacts of the slave trade on Africa.

The slave trade stimulated British manufacturing and industry through the demand for goods such as plantation utensils and clothing needed for enslaved people and estates. In this lesson you will learn how the slave trade benefited Britain, learn the legacy of this impact on today’s society, and to make judgement on the level of responsibility Britain has for the slave trade.

At first, European slavers simply went ashore to capture as many Africans as they could. This proved difficult however and later Europeans found it easier to trade with the local African chiefs. In this lesson you will learn about the methods used to capture Africans, learn about the conditions of slave factories and explain why the process from capture to imprisonment was so brutal.

In this lesson you will learn about the terrible conditions of the Middle Passages for slaves, learn slave methods of resistance and learn what attempts to resist eventually failed.

In this lesson learn about the effects the slave trade had in the Caribbean, learn the negative aspects of these effects and learn about the effects it had on Britain. 

In this lesson learn about the next series of events for slaves when they arrived in the West Indies. You will learn in detail the different kinds of slave auction.

On the plantation, enslaved people continued their harsh existence, as growing sugar was gruelling work. Gangs of enslaved people, consisting of men, women, children and the elderly worked from dawn until dusk under the orders of a white overseer. In this lesson learn about the different roles filled by slaves on the plantation, learn about what living conditions were like and learn why this made life so difficult.

Enslaved people took drastic and dangerous actions to escape from slavery. In this lesson learn about the ways slaves resisted plantation owners, the effectiveness of these methods, the methods used by plantation owners to limit slave rebellion and how this was often unsuccessful. 

In the late 18th century abolitionists led by William Wilberforce campaigned to end slavery. There was opposition to their movement from those who wanted the slave trade to continue. In this lesson you will learn about the people involved in the abolition movement, some of the reasons for the support of abolition, and why the movement gained support.

In this lesson you will learn about the methods used by the abolition campaign, the reasons why the methods of the abolitionists helped convince people to support abolition of the slave trade and the impact of the methods used.

In this lesson you will learn the arguments in favour of continuing the slave trade, learn why it took so long and the reasons why the slave trade was finally abolished.

European World: World War Two, 1939-45

After World War One the Treaty of Versailles was damaging to Germany and its economy. The Nazis took advantage of these difficulties to gain support. In this lesson learn how the Nazi-Soviet Pact led to war in Europe and the German tactic of Blitzkrieg.

The German occupation of Czechoslovakia was the final concession of the policy of appeasement. Hitler’s pacts with Italy and the Soviet Union gave him the confidence to invade Poland. This act led Britain to declare war. In this lesson learn how Germany made territorial advances in some areas of Europe, find out why such attacks were successful and dissect the consequences of each victory for allies.

In this lesson learn about the German attacks on France and Britain and the success and failures of each invasion.

Operation Barbarossa, also known as the German invasion of the Soviet Union, was the codename for the invasion of the Soviet Union by Nazi Germany and some of its Axis allies, which started on Sunday, 22 June 1941, during World War II. In this lesson learn why the Nazis attacked the Soviet Union, why the Soviets were unable to defend themselves and dissect the impacts of the invasion.

The Pacific War, sometimes called the Asia–Pacific War, was the part of World War II that was fought in Asia, the Pacific Ocean, the Indian Ocean, and Oceania. In this lesson learn why the Japanese entered WWII, learn details of the Pearl Harbour attack and understand the importance of the battle of Singapore.

In this lesson learn about the most significant attacks on Japan from America, understand why these attacks were useful and dissect the importance of each attack in the course of the war.

Learn about the experiences of life under Nazi-occupied Europe, understand the difference in conditions between Western and Eastern Europe and dissect why there were such differences.

In this lesson learn the way in which Nazis treated Jews, understand the different camps use to house ‘inferiors’, learn the other groups targeted by the Nazis.

In this lesson learn about the methods of resistance used in occupied Europe, evaluate the most successful attempts at resistance and understand why some groups collaborated with the Nazis.

The Normandy landings were the landing operations and associated airborne operations on Tuesday, 6 June 1944 of the Allied invasion of Normandy in Operation Overlord during World War II. In this lesson learn about the Normandy Landings and understand why they were successful.

In this lesson learn about the Nazi victories in the final stages of war, understand why the Nazis eventually surrendered and learn what happened to Hitler after the war


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