10th October 2003 at 01:00
History is ideal for seeing how money makes the world go around, even in ancient times. Since banking is about money and trade, it is fundamental to any historical topic. There are wonderful possibilities for investigating the importance of finance in local developments.

* The Royal Bank of Scotland website

(www.rbs.co.ukGroup_InformationMemory_Bank) provides a springboard for KS23 pupils looking at the role of banks in the development of towns and businesses during the Industrial Revolution.

* Pupils at KS2 might look at the contrast between the lofty aims of maintaining the Gold Standard in the 1920s with the devastating consequences of that policy on areas blighted by unemployment.

* Students at GCSE and A-level can examine court records to provide a human dimension to local studies. Large numbers of people ended up in prison for non-payment of debts or taxes. Many more court cases concerned the collection of customs duties or contracts for trade between Britain and the rest of the world.

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