A ll A Level and IB specifications contain some components that ask students to answer questions based on different interpretations of historical issues. This article provides some guidance on how to answer such questions, combined with an exercise designed to test your ability to put such advice into practice.
A historical interpretation is an explanation of the meaning and relevance of an event that took place in the past. Where it is evident that interpretations are clearly based on verifiable information (or facts), then they can also appear to be judgements (rather than just opinions). Interpretations are made by historians as a way of expressing the viewpoint they might have on a topic. However, anyone can form a view of the past based on research of appropriate evidence — the formulation of an interpretation is not unique to the professional historian.
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