How to Cover Modern History in 10 Days
Modern History is a subject many of us find boring or difficult to learn. But why is it important? In every Prelims there are about 5 to 10 questions from Modern History. The return on investment is also very high in Modern History. That is, we are sure to get back as many marks as the time we invest in learning it. Even though questions are harder and less in number as opposed to Ancient & Medieval History, Modern History is sure to gain us more marks if we use the below strategy. The strategy discussed here is guaranteed to not only make modern history interesting for us but also easier to cover in just 10 days.
Three important lists to keep in mind when we are doing Modern History are the list of Acts, list of Governor Generals, and the sequence of events.
- List of Acts
Acts like, Government of India Act, Charter Act, Regulating Act, and so on, and what all they entail, the years they were passed, the Governor Generals of time are all important to be noted under this list.
- List of Governor Generals
It is very important to know the list of Governor Generals, the changes they made, and the Acts they were a part of.
- Sequence of Events
Changes made by the British, how Indians slowly started to participate in the struggle, formation of Congress, emergence of Gandhi, Satyagrahas, non-cooperation movement, civil disobedience movement, Bengal partition, and so on, all come under the list of events in Modern History.
Modern History will be easier to learn if we see it as a story. It becomes easier to remember if we visualize it. Unlike polity, history is our past; events and actions that happened. It is easier to visualize history because it is about people and events. We feel connected to them if we visualize it. We remember Bhagat Singh’s story easily if we watch it as a movie or a serial.
There are two books that can aid us in our study of Modern History. The first is Tamil Nadu Class 12 History textbook and the second is A Brief History of Modern India by Rajiv Ahir. While the first one is the old spectrum, the second is new and is bigger.
If we follow the below breakdown of days to go through the spectrum of Modern History, it will take us only 10 days or a maximum of 12 days to cover it for Prelims. As we are going through the spectrum we should also prepare notes of about 10 to 20 pages of A4 size paper including all important details as points.
If we are reading Modern History for the first time, we should start with Tamil Nadu Class 12 History book. It consists of 20 chapters in very simple language and is easy to understand. There is also a short analysis at the end of each chapter about that topic. These analyses are important for our essays in Mains. It will take us only 2 days to cover the entire spectrum in the textbook.
A Brief History of Modern India contains both India before and after independence. It is very important for both Prelims and Mains. After the TN 12th book, this will give us a better understanding of the philosophy of the British. It will also be easier to learn if we think of it as an interesting novel.
Unit 1 of the book is not that important and can be left out of our study. It is from Unit 2 that we should focus our attention on. The unit titled ‘Advent of Europeans and Consolidation of British Power in India’ talks about how foreign powers started to establish themselves in our country. It can be easily understood and can be finished in 1 or 2 days maximum.
Unit 3, ‘Rising Resentment against Company Rule’ includes the Revolt of 1857, which is an important event in the study of Modern History. This unit can be covered in 1 day.
Unit 4, ‘Reform Movements’ includes reform movements, revolts, peasant movements, religious reform movements, and so on, and 1 day is enough to go over it.
Most Modern History questions come from after the Revolt of 1857. Unit 5 and 6 cover this part of history, the beginning of modern nationalism in India. Most of us will relate to these units because we have seen movies or visited places that are important to the Indian freedom struggle. Both the units can be covered in 1 day as they are very interesting and easy to remember.
Unit 7 titled ‘Emergence of Gandhi’ deals with Civil Disobedience Movement, Non-Cooperation Movement, Simon Commission, and more. It will take us 1 or 2 days maybe to complete this unit.
Unit 8 which deals with partition and independence can be dealt with within 1 day.
Unit 9 and after is more important from the Mains perspective. It deals with economic impact, development of Indian press, development of education, peasant movement, and so on. Enough knowledge of these events for Prelims can be gained from the TN history textbook.
After going over the two books we will still have 1 or 2 days left depending on how fast or slow we are at grasping things. We can use this time to go over the notes we have prepared.
To make sure Modern History stays in our mind, there is a simple enough trick that we can use. The trick is to narrate Modern History to a family member or a friend while keeping our notes on hand. Relating the events to our life while doing this will make it easier to remember. If we tell Modern History like a story we won’t forget it. But as important as doing all these are, it is also equally important to practice our answers. Only then will we understand to what level we have retained the information.
Following this strategy and sticking to the time table will ensure that we complete Modern History in less than 12 days. It will also ensure that we retain it in our memory. This is a fool-proof way to cover Modern History for our exams.
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