Grigori Yefimovich Rasputin was a Russian mystic and self-proclaimed holy man who befriended the king of Russia, Nicholas II. Rasputin and Nicholas II had a healthy friendship and Rasputin was a healer to the king’s son, Alexei. Alexei suffered from hemophilia, which is where the blood does not clot and it takes longer to heal after an injury. This brought Rasputin and Nicholas II very close and Nicholas II trusted him a lot.
Rasputin was a man greedy for power and wanted to take over the Russian throne and have control of everything. His greatest time of power was when he was left in charge of the country when the king went to visit soldiers fighting in WWI. This was in late 1916. Rasputin and the Queen Alexandra got very close and it is believed that they had an affair however most historians presume this is just a myth.
Rasputin was born in 1869 to a peasant family in a small village called Pokrovskoye. He was christened the day after he was born. Rasputin fled home after being charged with theft, abuse and blasphemy and went on a pilgrimage for four months. This made him become a monk and a more religious man. He visited the monastery owned by King Nicholas II. 
Rasputin was murdered by Prince Felix on the 30th December 1916. He led a small

group to kill him because they believed he had too much power and was out of

control. Felix invited Rasputin over to his house to try and poison him. Rasputin ate a

poisoned cake and drank three glasses of spiked wine, but he was not affected

by the poison. Felix then excused himself upstairs to retrieve a gun. He returned

to the basement in which they had been eating in and shot the monk. Felix

and his gang went to Rasputin’s apartment dressed in his clothes to make it

seem like he had returned home. The gang then went back to dispose of the body, but noticed he was still alive. He attacked Felix who shot him again and Rasputin was then thrown in a river to make sure he was dead. Many people were shocked by the monk’s death, but some were happy and his reign of power and control was over.

By: Benji Winslett

Richard I


Richard,well known as Richard the lionheart,was born on the 8th September 1157 in Oxford,third son of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine.Richard inherited the duchy of Aquitaine and was later enthroned as duke of Poitiers at age 11.

He obtained a high political and military ability;however later on,he joined his brothers and his family in the great rebellion(1173-74) against their father,who was invading Aquitaine.After the great rebellion,Richard was busy solving the revolts in his own duchy.His harsh ways of ruling infuriated the people of Gascon (a mountain region in France) who revolted in 1183,and called  upon the ‘young king’ Henry and his brother Geoffrey of Brittany ( both of Richards older brothers) to drive Richard out of the duchy;but this uprising shortly collapsed as Henry ‘the Young King’ died in June of 1183. Also leaving Richard as the heir to the throne of England and Normandy.

Henry II,Richard’s father,wanted to give Aquitaine to the youngest son,John,but Richard refused.And so,in 1189,he joined forces with Philip II of France against his father which led to Henry II’s death in July of 1189.

Richard received Normandy on 20 July and the English throne in September. Richard’s single ambition was to lead the Third Crusade prompted by Saladin’s ( sultan of Egypt) capture of Jerusalem in 1187.Richard didn’t take heed to the future of England,and put everything up for sale to purchase arms,and weapons for the crusade.Richard didn’t care for the dismemberment of the Angevin empire(the territory of  lands for Scotland to the Pyrenees that were ruled by the English king).He broke with Philip and didn’t take advantage of the Angevin defenses on the continent.War was avoided only because Philip took the crusader’s cross.To fund this crusade even further,Richard delved deep into his father’s treasury and sold sheriffdoms and many offices so he can attain the mighty fleet that he finally achieved.He departed for his crusade in early 1190.

In May,Richard reached Cyprus and whilst he was there,he married the daughter of the King of Navarre (Berengaria).In June of 1191,Richard and his fleet arrives at the Holy Land and Acre (which is known today as northern Israel) falls to Richard.After the victory of Acre,the lion-heart king and his army take travel towards Joppa(another city in Israel) only to be intercepted by the Muslim army under the Egyptian Sultan Saladin’s rule.This impediment slowed down the crusaders and on september 7th,Saladin’s army attacked Richard’s rear guard.The crusaders counterattcaked and eventually claimed victory.Due to the success during the battle of Arsuf,Richard had possession of Joppa.Even though they came close,Jerusalem escaped Richard’s reach.Back in Europe there were fierce disagreements between Germany, France and England produced a more pressing problem,and after another year of failure,Richard and his not-so mighty fleet left for England.  

Due to bad weather,the crusader’s ship took shelter in Venice and he was later imprisoned by Duke Leopold of Austria who handed him over to the German emperor,Henry VI who ransomed him for a vast price of 150,000 marks.Under the threat of being handled over to Philip II,Richard agreed to the harsh terms that Henry VI put forward..And so in February 1194,Richard was released.And he was recrowned in April of that year.within a month on the throne,he went to Normandy,never to return again.

The last five years of the lion-heart king’s was filled with constant warfare with Philip II and while Richard was besieging the castle of Chalus,he was fatally wounded and died 6 April 1199.The throne was succeeded by his younger brother John  who,at the time,was scheming against him. 

By: Sophie Lea



The word ‘Renaissance’ is the French word translating to “rebirth” in English. It was a time during the 14th - 16th centuries which marked the end of the Middle Ages and welcomed innovative discoveries and inventions. From developments in architecture to changes in everyday life, the Renaissance period affected the whole of Europe.

The Renaissance began in Florence, Italy and later spread to other parts of Europe. The rebirth of interest in the natural world and in the ideas of Greeks and Romans were reinforced. 

One major invention was created in Germany by Johannes Gutenburg in 1436 - the Printing Press. Before this, books and manuscripts were handwritten, extremely expensive and very time-consuming to make. The development of printing allowed effective communication and made books cheaper and quicker to make. This also allowed new ideas to spread quickly across Europe. 

This period of time also questioned ideas and practices from the Middle Ages.

For example, a new interest in developing medicine and anatomy made doctors

challenge previous ideas which were followed. Throughout the Middle Ages, the

Catholic Church discouraged new ideas and the performance of dissections on

corpses and therefore there was no proper understanding of human bodies or

medicine. However the new Renaissance attitudes in Italy welcomed innovation

and famous doctors such as Vesalius grew a detailed knowledge of anatomy through

experimentation and observation. His findings challenged the previous works of

Galen and Hippocrates. Vesalius published a book Fabric of the Human Body which

contained detailed illustrations of anatomy and his findings. At first it was shocking

as people could not accept that the beliefs they had been following for several years were in fact incorrect however over time with more evidence being discovered, the ideas became more accepted. Vesalius’ methods of experimentation, observation and dissection were also used by many other doctors at the time including the famous Ambroise Paré and William Harvey.

The Renaissance period also introduced developments and

changes in art and architecture. A rising interest in perspective and

space gave the art even more realism. Talented artists such as

Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and Rafael flourished

during this period. Famous Renaissance artwork includes:

the Mona Lisa (Leonardo Da Vinci),

The Creation of Adam (Michaelangelo),

The Last Supper (Leonardo Da Vinci) and

The Sistine Madonna (Raphael).

Most artwork was created based on religious beliefs and perspectives

however some artists branched out and explored other areas such

as Greek and Roman mythology, buildings and portraits of famous individuals. 

Most of the population during the Renaissance period were peasants. Their diet was very monotonous and usually consisted of soup made of basic vegetables for each meal of the day. If lucky, some peasants would be given bread to eat with their meal. Meat was a very rare and luxury item. One reason why meat was very limited in supply and expensive as it was usually preserved in salt and salt during the Renaissance was a very expensive import.
The rich and the nobles often had a far more varied diet. They would have extravagant feasts with slabs of meat and a variety of vegetables and spices. Most of these people drank wine or beer as the water was contaminated and dirty.


By: Deepa Patel

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The railroad was first developed in Great Britain. A man named George was Stephenson successfully applied the steam technology and created the world's first successful locomotive but it only carried coals and minerals. The first engines used in the United States were purchased from the Stephenson Works in England. George Stephenson (9 June 1781 – 12 August 1848) was an English civil engineer and mechanical engineer. He had two sons: Robert Stephenson and Frances Stephenson (died in infancy). Robert helped him with his railway work. He was married to two women before happily settling with Ellen Gregory.


Before Stephenson, Richard Trevithick built the first steam engine to run on rails but it wasn’t successful. The first train had an average speed of 10mph. The Transport Act of 1947 nationalized the railways, which were taken over by the British Transport Commission (BTC) in 1948 and given 
the name British Railways.rail transport was one of the most important technological inventions of the 19th century and a key component of the Industrial Revolution

Two technologies that were crucial in shaping the First World War were railways and artillery. Railways provided the enormous logistical capacity needed to support huge armies in the field for years on end, including transportation of millions of artillery shells. One of the reasons why the Schlieffen plan failed was because countries’ destroyed their railways.

By: Henna Nabi

Rosa Parks


Who was Rosa Parks?
Rosa Parks was an American activist during the civil rights movement. She is most known for the act she presented on the bus where she refused to give up her seat to a white man. As a result of this that happened, Parks was arrested for the disobedience of the rule. Having Racist rules like having to give up your seat on the bus to a White person if you are known as an african or have darker skin colour. Fighting for her rights and equality, Rosa Parks refused to obey the racist rules. As a result of these actions, she is now known as the Mother of Freedom of Movement and received a very prestigious ‘Martin Luther King Jr’ award along with it. 

When was Rosa born and who was her family?
Parks was born on the 4th of February in 1913 in Alabama. She grew up in her family full of racism and people being incredibly racist towards her. It is known that her grandfather was once forced to stand outside his house and hold a gun whilst ‘Ku Klux Klan’ members marched down their street. Her mother was Leona McCauley and her father was James McCauley. She had one brother who was Sylvester McCauley and her spouse was Raymond Parks. 

Bus Boycott
Bus Boycott was the bus which Rosa Parks was arrested on due to her refusing to give up her bus seat to a white person disobeying the rules. Here it is said that Rosa sat at the front of the bus and refused to give up her seat to the white people. This took place from December 5th on 1955 to December 20th 1956. After this incident occurred, it was then known as Boycott. It was also known that on buses, white people were to always sit at the front of the bus and the African american people were to sit more towards the back of the bus.  

State the dates in which these events happened and answer the questions below. 

1. What period did the African Civil Rights Movement occur?
2. Between what two years did the boycott occur?
3. In what year was Martin Luther King’s speech delivered to the world?
4. In what year did India have their independence?
5. What year did Mahatma Gandhi begin fighting for India’s rights?
6. How long was the period of India fighting for their independence?
7. Who else is known for fighting for African American Civil Rights?


1. Between 1954-1968.
2. December 5th 1955 to December 20th 1956.
3. 1963 is when Martin Luther King delivered his ‘I have a Dream’ speech to the world.
4. India had their Independence in 1947.
5. Mahatma Gandhi began fighting for India’s Independence in 1930 with the march to the sea. ‘Salt March’.
6. The period of time fighting for Independence in India was 50 years.
7. Nelson Mandela is also known for fighting for the Black Civil Rights Movement. 


By: Preesha Mistry


Russian Revolution


Events leading to the Revolution:

  • The Khodynka Tragedy involved the deaths of over 1300 people when stampedes occurred as free souvenirs of Tsar Nicholas II’s coronation began to run out.

  • Bloody Sunday: Police and troops open fire onto a peaceful demonstration, killing and injuring in excess of 1000 individuals. This led to Nicholas II being blamed in liberal media.

  • A mutiny inside Russia’s own Black Sea Fleet sets off a chain reaction of rebellion, leading to troops moving into Odessa to stop rioting in the streets.

  • Following the October Manifesto (in which Nicholas II promised liberties to the public in areas such as freedom of speech, therefore limiting the monarchy’s power), the Coup of June 1907 occurred. 

  • This dissolved the Second State Duma, the second parliament consisting of many opposers to the October Manifesto and severely changed the policies of Russian electoral law following the arrests of some of the members.

  • During the course of WW1, tensions arose in Russia, climaxing in the 1917 February revolution, which consisted of public protesting continuing for eight days, throughout ruthless clashes with the armed forces, and finally ending with the abolition of the Russian monarchy when Nicholas II abdicated from his throne.

  • However, 1300 people lost their lives when demonstrating against both the police and government-commissioned forces.

  • Following this event, the Provisional Government is constructed to keep the structure of society intact, and in a leaked document agree to continue with the draining war effort, causing more uproar and support for the Bolshevik revolutionaries.

  • The June Offensive consisted of a planned attack on Austria-Hungarian forces that, while commencing successfully, was halted as low morale led to soldiers refusing to leave the trenches. The offensive collapsed a few days later.

  • In July, many demonstrations popped up throughout the month, actively anti-government causing the leader of the Provisional Government (Prince Lvov) to resign, replaced with Alexander Kerensky, who crushed the revolutions and reintroduced the death penalty and the ability for women to vote and take a place in government office.

  • Bolshevik leaders are arrested following a raid on their ‘Pravda’ newspaper and  the recently returned Bolshevik leader Lenin is forced to go into hiding.

  • General Kornilov launches the ‘Kornilov Affair’, a coup that attempted to counter the rising power of the Bolsheviks, but ended up being useful for the targets. They used the affair to turn public opinion against Kerensky and the government even further, destroying any credibility they still had.

  • The October Revolution secured the Bolsheviks place in St Petersburg (renamed Petrograd to make it sound less German) and the Winter Palace, the final location of the Provisional Government. In their newfound office, they abolished the Decrees on Land, which spread land around to the lower classes, and the death penalty.

  • Additionally, they abolish the ‘Bourgeoisie’ press and allow for everyone to get ¼ pound of bread per day.

  • Fighting ceases in December of 1917 after an armistice is signed between the Central Powers and Russia.

  • After their participation ends in the war, the newly-titled Bolshevik Russia loses much of its vital industries, ores, food supplies and rail networks.

  • The Bolsheviks change their name to the Russian Communist Party, beginning a movement that would gradually sweep through neighbouring countries.

  • After the revolution:

  • Equal rights were given to men and women in July of 1918.

  • Lenin publicly executes 100 ‘wealthy peasants’ or ‘kulaks’ to stop uprisings in the Moscow area. 

  • The ‘Red Terror’ begins: the Socialist Revolutionaries try to assassinate Lenin and leave him badly wounded. Large scale arrests and subsequent executions are carried out throughout.

  • Around the world, new Communist parties form in 1920.

  • The ‘Red Army’ (against Communist ideals) invades and takes Crimea from the ‘White Army’ (loosely made up of Communist oppositions from other countries and revolutionaries).

  • After damning figures showed the 96% fall in value of the Russian currency (Rouble) and the falls in industrial production, another unsuccessful uprising took place against the Communist party.

  • The previous ideals of ‘War Communism’ were replaced with the ‘New Economic Policy’ (or NEP), which changed some of the more extreme regulations of the previous movement to more Capitalist ideas.

  • Stalin rises in the Communist ranks and becomes the General Secretary of the party.

  • The Soviet Union is formed when a treaty between Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and the united Transcaucasia (now separated into Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia) was signed in 1922.

  • In 1924, Lenin dies and is succeeded by Stalin after a power struggle. He becomes a dictator and exiles before executing Leon Trotsky, his rival to power.

  • WW2 begins and Russia join the Allies after an invasion from Germany. 

By: Beau Waddell

Jack the Ripper


Jack the Ripper was a serial killer active in areas around London in 1888. He was called the Whitechapel Murderer and Leather Apron.

Attacks ascribed to Jack the Ripper involved female prostitutes who lived and worked in the East End of London whose throats were cut to abdominal mutilations. The removal of internal organs from at least three of the victims showed that their killer had some surgical knowledge. The name "Jack the Ripper" originated in a letter written by someone claiming to be the murderer that was shown widely in the media. 
There was also a "From Hell" letter received by George Lusk it came with half of a preserved human kidney, presumingly taken from one of the victims. The public came increasingly to believe in a single serial killer known as "Jack the Ripper", mainly because of the brutal way of murder, and because of public treatment of the events.


What was Jack the Ripper known for?
Where did he work?
What did he do to people?
Where did the name “Jack The Ripper” originate from?


By: Blossom Santana-Spevick

Roman Empire


The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of ancient Rome. As a polity it included large territorial holdings around the Mediterranean Sea in Europe, North Africa and West Asia ruled by emperors.

Founded: 27 BC

Area: 4.4 million²

Date dissolved: 29 May 1453

Currencies: Sestertius, Aureus, Solidus

Between AD 406 and 419 the Romans lost a great deal of their empire to different German tribes. The Franks conquered northern Gaul, the Burgundians took eastern Gaul, while the Vandals replaced the Romans in Hispania. The Romans were also having difficulty stopping the Saxons, Angles and Jutes overrunning Britain.


Latin and Greek were the official languages of the Roman Empire, but other languages were important regionally. Latin was the original language of the Romans and remained the language of imperial administration, legislation, and the military throughout the classical period.

By: Tasmita Jeyashanker