Study Guides

Learners, check out our collection of Study Guides from Pilot Productions! We have guides covering a range of topics from history, geology and travel.

Study Guides

This is where you’ll find all our study guides to help you with your homework. Topics include the American Civil War, The Trans-Atlantic slave trades, slavery in America, an in depth look at volcanoes and primates, a short history of tea including the Boston Tea Party, the causes of World War 1 and many more.

Click on each of the headings to discover our guides.

Remember that all our guides are accompanied by Pilot Productions shows, making learning that much easier!

What Caused World War 1?

There is still plenty of debate as to what actually caused World War I. In reality, so many factors contributed to one of the most costly and bloody battles of the early 20th Century. With the assassination of Austria-Hungary’s Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo finally sparking is as definitive of a beginning as we’ll ever get.

The American Civil War

 The American Civil War, also known as the War Between the States fought from 1861 to 1865 in the United States after the slaves states(the South) and the free states(the North) disagreed  about whether slavery should be allowed in the new western territories. Seven southern slave states declared their secession and formed the Confederate States of America and turned on Abraham Lincoln’s message of anti-slavery.

A Short History of Convict Australia

 This site is the number one resource for those who want to know more about Convict Australia, and the locations where Australian history actually happened. Containing facts, figures, and relevant footage from the documentary, it’s an educational experience.

The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade

The Transatlantic slave trade (1501-1867), sold at least 12.5 million black Africans as slaves to work for white land-owners on the other side of the ocean. Of these 1.8 million died at sea. Many of the rest were worked to death within seven years in the sugar cane fields of Brazil and the Caribbean.

Galleons, Pirates and Treasure

Travel with us to Colombia, Panama, Florida, and The Bahamas, to learn about the galleons, hoarded of treasure, and Pirates of the Caribbean.

Colonial Australia – The Gold Rush and Ned Kelly

The Victorian gold rush was quite a significant part of Australia’s history, which began in 1851 when one of the earlier discoveries by Thomas Peters, a hut-keeper found fragments of gold near Specimen Gully.  After this monumental discovery, more gold was found in additional cities throughout Australia, including Ballarat, Beechworth, Bendigo, Stawell and Melbourne.  With the draw of gold, the population inevitably increased as well, with everyone wanting a piece of the pie.


Volcanoes have fascinated mankind for generations – their enormous beauty and destructive power revered in awe. They have been worshipped, immortalized in folklore and voraciously studied by geologist throughout the centuries.  Volcanoes have also contributed to an enormous amount of destruction of life from early records of primitive man fleeing from lava flows, or even further back in time when the Permian–Triassic extinction occurred 250 million years ago.

Planet of the Apes

This Globe Trekker Special is all about our fellow primates – lemurs, monkeys, and apes. In Planet of The Apes, hosts Ian Wright, Megan McCormick, Justine Shapiro, Zoe Palmer, Holly Morris, Eils Nevitt, Nikki Grosse, and Zay Harding, travel across Africa, Asia and South America, visiting the last strongholds of many rare and endangered species.

Chinatowns of the World

We all love to visit our nearest Chinatown for culture, food and colour, but do you know about the origins of these precincts? This interesting episode takes the discerning traveller to the world’s major ports, exploring the cultural imprint the Chinese have made across the globe.

Route 66

U.S Route 66 is commonly known as few different names: from Will Rogers Highway, The Main Street of America to the Mother Road, each identifies the famous stretch of highway that extends from Chicago, Illinois through Santa Monica, California. Along the way, the route weaves its way through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona.

The Ottoman Empire

Often identified in the popular imagination of the West as only one step removed from the realm of the Anti-Christ, the Ottoman Empire was at the same time admired for its enlightened attitude towards peoples of other faiths, a place where Jews and Christians, both Catholic and Orthodox, could live side by side with Muslim Turks — they may not have liked each other especially, but at least under Ottoman rule, they weren’t slitting each other’s throats.

Wellington vs Napoleon

In 1814, it seemed that twenty five years of war in Europe was finally coming to an end with the surrender of the Emperor Napoleon and his banishment to the Mediterranean island of Elba.

The European powers began the task of restoring their continent to normality and peace. However, on 1st March 1815 Napoleon escaped from Elba and landed in France. Nineteen days later he was in Paris and resumed his title as Emperor. His army rallied to him. The soldiers who had been captured during the years of fighting had been released enabling Napoleon to reform his Grande Armée.

Short History of Tea

Ever wondered how for thousands of years the simple cup of tea has become the world’s most consumed beverage after water? In this informative and entertaining episode, we uncovers the history of tea – how the drink spread from China to capture the taste of the world.

Who Were the Vikings

Often misconstrued in contemporary times as a culture of bloodthirsty yet noble savages, the Vikings’ historical legacy is in fact far more complex and important. A race originating from modern day Scandinavia, the Vikings expanded their influence throughout Europe through the implementation of their unparalleled seafaring abilities.

American War of Independence

This detailed Study Guide charts the The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), which was the armed conflict between Great Britain and thirteen of its former North American colonies, which had declared themselves as independent United States of America.

The Nazis and the Holocaust

This study guide gives a broad overview of The Holocaust, also known as the Shoah, a genocide in which approximately six million Jews were killed by Adolf Hitler’s Nazi regime and its collaborators.

The Crusades

This study guide focuses on The Crusades, military campaigns endorsed by the Latin Roman Catholic Church during the High Middle Ages and Late Middle Ages. The Crusades were military campaigns endorsed by the Latin Roman Catholic Church during the High Middle Ages and Late Middle Ages. Pope Urban II declared the First Crusades with the intended goal of restoring Christian access to holy places in and around Jerusalem.

The Spanish Inquisition 

One of the darker periods of Spanish history is the Spanish Inquisition, which entrenched Spain for over 350 years. Also known as The Tribunal of the Holy Office of the Inquisition, it was created in 1478 by Catholic Monarchs, Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile.

The Story of Chocolate

Our love affair with chocolate began at least 4,000 years ago in Mesoamerica, in present-day southern Mexico and Central America, where cacao grew wild. When the Olmecs unlocked the secret of how to eat this bitter seed, they launched an enduring phenomenon. Since then, people the world over have turned to chocolate to cure sickness, appease gods and show love. In fact, the making of chocolate has evolved into an industry so large that forty to fifty million people depend on cocoa for their livelihoods—and chocolate farmers produce 3.8 million tons of cocoa beans per year. This study guide takes you from the ancient civilizations who first devised methods to eat cacao beans through its journey to Spain, the colonial owned slave plantations and into the factories of Pennsylvania, Broc and Yorkshire.

Establishing the Hawaiian Kingdom, Iolani Palace, Honolulu, Oahu

The Polynesians, who had already colonized Tahiti and the Marquesas Islands in the first century AD, settled in Hawai’i around 300 AD. They brought with them a distinctively tribal, yet a spiritually advanced culture with a sophisticated farming system.

During the 12th and 13th century, a new wave of settlers apparently came from Tahiti and invaded the islands, establishing a new class system. Archaeological evidence suggests that by the 14th century, sea voyaging had ceased, but that the islands experienced an expansion in population and food production, indicating that they must have perfected their skills of farming and resource management. The new class system that was established should manage the Hawaiian indigenous population until the arrival of Westerners.

Russian Revolution, A Brief Introduction

The Russian Revolution was arguably the most significant turning point in the region’s history. It saw centuries of repression under the autocratic rule of the Tsar finally end, and eventually replaced by the world’s first Communist state. However, it was more complicated and long-lasting than people believe.

The Russian Tsars

Tsar is a title used to designate certain European Slavic monarchs or supreme rulers. As a system of government in the Tsardom of Russia and Russian Empire, it is known as Tsarist autocracy, or Tsarism. The term is derived from the Latin word Caesar, intended to mean “Emperor” in the European medieval sense of the term—a ruler with the same rank as a Roman emperor, with-holding it by the approval of another emperor or a supreme ecclesiastical official (the Pope or the Ecumenical Patriarch)—but was usually considered by western Europeans to be equivalent to king, or to be somewhat in between a royal and imperial rank.

The Chinese Revolution

The Chinese Communist Revolution of 1949 was the culmination of decades of simmering tension and conflict. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP), who would eventually seize power, were founded in 1921 initially as an auxiliary organization of the Nationalist Party.

The Chinese Empire

China has a long and rich history stretching back several millennia, as far back as the 20th Century BC. The Chinese Empire does not refer to a singular dynastic power but rather several different ones, each of which held power over its many millennia of history.

Industrial Revolution, A Brief Introduction

Although bearing little in common with any other revolution due to its lack of political context, the Industrial Revolution was nonetheless one of the most significant periods of upheaval in recorded history.

Migrant Labour Along the Central Pacific Railroad

In 1865 California Governor, Leland Stanford reported to Congress, “A large majority of the white laboring class on the Pacific Coast find most profitable and congenial employment in mining and agricultural pursuits, than in railroad work. The greater portions of the labourers employed by us are Chinese, who constitute a large element of the population of California. Without them it would be impossible to complete the western portion of this great national enterprise, within the time required by the Acts of Congress.”

A Global Guide to Coffee Tasting

Coffee primarily grows within a belt thirty degrees north and south of the equator, between the Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn. Within this belt, more than eighty countries grow great coffee throughout Asia, Africa and the Americas. Within each region, different countries and even different areas within countries have even more specific qualities. Like fine wines, if you really want to explore and imbibe, the world of coffee offers unlimited opportunities for your palate. Let’s get java trekking!

A Brief History of Japan

The early periods of Japanese history can be divided into four distinct periods. Firstly, the Japanese Paleolithic Period, which lasted several millennia between 40,000 BC to 14,000 BC, the Classical Period, Medieval Age and Modern.

A Short History of the Journey of Spices

Spices conjure images of tempting culinary art, fascinating travels and bitter struggles for supremacy. Expressions like variety is the spice of life and sugar and spice and all that is nice illustrate how spellbound were people of letters about the fascination of spices.

A Short History of Beer

Many anthropologists and archaeologists now believe that it was a taste for beer, not bread that started people farming barley around 9000 BC. Known as the agricultural revolution, it ended hunter-gathering and led to the world’s first ever civilization – Mesopotamia… This is the Globe Trekker short history to beer!

The Lost World of Joseph Banks

Sir Joseph Banks, naturalist, explorer, collector, patron and President of the Royal Society for more than 40 years was one of Australia’s founding fathers. He rose to lasting renown when, as a young botanist, he accompanied Captain Cook on his circumnavigation and voyage of discovery to The South Seas, and yet a true picture of Banks’s life has never emerged.

The Spanish Empire

Lasting nearly five centuries, The Spanish Empire was, at its peak during the 16th, 17th and 18th Centuries, the world’s most prominent global power, earning the nickname ‘The empire on which the sun never sets’. While its global supremacy was eventually eclipsed by the ascendant British Empire, the Spanish Empire remains one of history’s most important global powers.

Latin American Independence Movements

The political chaos in Spain following the Napoleonic Wars predictably resonated throughout its empire, most significantly in Spanish America, which became a battleground for several independence movements during the early 19th Century, marking the end of the Spanish Empire.

The English Civil War

One of the most important and violent periods in British history, the English Civil War was a series of closely related conflicts during the 17th Century, which saw the monarchy deposed and abolished for the first time in history. Replaced by the Commonwealth, under the leadership of Oliver Cromwell, the republican period was relatively short-lived, but nonetheless proved to be a major turning point in the monarchy’s history.

The Mongol Empire

One of the most imposing military and imperial forces in history, the Mongol Empire cemented itself as a power to be reckoned with over a very quick period of time. Lasting less than 200 years between 1306 and 1368, the Mongol Empire solidified itself as the largest land empire in world history. Known for its impressive and terrifying military prowess, the Mongol Empire was one of the most unique forces in history, unconventional in almost every sense.

The Story of Cheese

Cheese is one of the most ubiquitous foods in the world, ever-present across the world. Its many different variants reflect the cultural and culinary identity of each corresponding country.

Native Americans

Given their near-genocidal treatment at the hands of European colonialism, the current population of Native Americans in the United States remains staggeringly low at over 5 million, just over 1.6% of the country’s population. What few people realise is the sheer breadth of diversity amongst the Native Americans. There are over 500 tribes federally recognised by the United States government, each with their own distinct cultural and historical identities.

A Short History of the Moors

The Moors left behind a rich architectural and cultural legacy still apparent throughout the Iberian Peninsula and beyond today.

The French Revolution

The French Revolution is one of the most important instances of political upheaval in history, marking France’s transition from Empire to Republic after centuries of monarchy. Lasting a period of ten years, the French Revolution was a time of violence and major change, which not only changed France profoundly but also reshaped the entire world, suggesting the vulnerability of monarchies and paving the way for republics as a common means of ruling.

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