Skip to 0 minutes and 10 seconds Ordinary people living through extraordinary times. Between 1912 and 1923, Ireland experienced radical changes that reverberate still. It was marked by revolution, guerrilla warfare, civil war, and partition.
Skip to 0 minutes and 29 seconds The history of this period has been told, retold, and constantly contested. But this course will attempt to do more than just focus on the familiar dates and faces. You will encounter a different kind of war and revolution with multiple voices and multiple truths.
Skip to 0 minutes and 51 seconds Over six weeks, leading historians in the field will challenge your understanding and certainties about what people thought they were fighting for. Why did people fight? What was won and lost, and by whom? What were the consequences for the ordinary man and woman? I think often when you see one historian in front of the camera, that impression is almost built in to whatever they say, that they have the right answer, and that there is only one answer. And in a sense, I think what this MOOC should be about is maybe being honest enough to say sometimes we often don’t have an answer and we never will have an answer. What’s actually exciting about it is the pursuit of the material itself.
Skip to 1 minute and 30 seconds Everybody experiences history, whether it’s the prime minister or whether it’s the street cleaner. History is happening to all of them. Nobody knows on Tuesday what’s going to happen on Wednesday. And you have to recapture that kind of sense of being alive. The phases and changing nature of conflict will be examined. The influence of total war in Europe from 1914 to 1918, rebellion in 1916 and the British response, the IRA’s ruthless guerrilla warfare, and the bloody civil war from 1922. Rich archive material will not only give you an understanding of events, but also the challenges faced by the historians working with often contradictory sources.
Skip to 2 minutes and 17 seconds The assumption that the lives of those of the great and the good and the powerful are in some ways more worthy of interest than the lives of ordinary people. And I think one of the reasons I got excited about getting into this in the first place is the opportunity actually to imagine ordinary lives in the past. The sources that we can use in the 20th century, I think the fact that people taking part in this MOOC can actually plug into those sources themselves and do things that couldn’t have been done a few years ago. We can now approach history looking at original documentation and asking their own questions. Learn to engage with the past on its own complex terms.
Skip to 2 minutes and 53 seconds Irish lives in war and Revolution. What will you discover when political, social, economic, and cultural histories collide?