Do you ever find history classes boring, painful, or even gruesome?  

As you look at your thick notes packed with useless names and dates, your history teacher starts his/her weekly ranting about policies.

You begin to ask yourself, why are people so obsessed with something that repeats itself over and over again? Why is history important?

You’re not alone. 

But your classroom is not the only place to learn about world wars, the French Revolution and more. To ease your pain in history classes, here’s a list of 5 of the best history YouTube channels that would make you ace your history exams and fall in love with history. 

Best historical youtube channels

  1. Best historical youtube channels
    1. OverSimplified
      1. (1) Exam lifesaver
      2. (2) Great visualization
      3. (3) Absolutely hilarious
    2. Biographics
      1. (1) One at a time
      2. (2) Broad coverage
      3. (3) Viewer-friendly, minimalistic screen layout
    3. UsefulCharts
      1. (1) Just the chart, nothing else
      2. (2) Interesting topics never seen before
    4. History Tea Time with Lindsay Holiday
      1. (1) Not just about people
      2. (2) LGBTQ
    5. bill wurtz

OverSimplified

Main focus of the channel: War and revolutions (Mostly in the western world)

As its name suggests, the channel aims to describe and explain the complicated stuff in history in an oversimplified way. It is literally one of the most popular and influential YouTube channels in the history niche. 

OverSimplified is probably my personal favorite history channel, and it’s also probably one of the most popular YouTube channels out there. Every time he posts something, you’ll always find his videos topping the trending page.

Because, how can you not? IT’S JUST SO GOOD.

What makes OverSimplified such an amazing channel for students?

(1) Exam lifesaver

OverSimplified covers almost all of the most commonly taught topics in different world history curricula worldwide. The best part? All of their videos are below an hour, so you can review everything you need to prepare for your exams in a relatively short time. 

If your tests or exams are coming, check out OverSimplified videos to refresh your knowledge while taking a little chill break from your boring textbooks.

– OverSimplified has included over 27 world history topics in his 27 videos:

  • Henry VIII
  • The American Revolution
  • The French Revolution
  • The American Civil War
  • The Napoleonic Wars
  • The Russian Revolution
  • World War 1 and 2
  • The Cold War

(2) Great visualization

As we all know, wars in history are very chaotic as everything can turn upside down in a split second. 

So, to keep things simple and easy to understand, OverSimplified visualizes and summarizes everything you need to know on a map, marking all the important dates, and general and battle names.

This makes their videos super helpful for any students who find it difficult to sort out what on earth is happening during the terrifying war periods.

Visualization of the War of the first coalition (1792-1797)
Screenshot from “The Napoleonic Wars-OverSimplified (Part 1)” by OverSimplified

(3) Absolutely hilarious

OverSimplified uses animation to bring history to life. In accordance with the name OverSimplified, the channel has a simple but funny animation style to help you visualize the scene and keep you from falling asleep. 

Despite the funniness, all the backgrounds and historical figures appeared in the videos are actually very detailed and historically accurate. Considering how long most of his videos are, this just shows how much effort the creator puts into making these videos.

The Winter Palace, Saint Petersburg
Appeared in The Russian Revolution – OverSimplified (Part 1)

To complement the animation style, OverSimplified implemented a lot of jokes, memes and puns into their video. With this abundance of laughter, it makes it impossible for any of their viewers to ever get tired of their videos. 

“Wanna tango with Fred? You don’t got the cajones.”
From “The Napoleonic Wars – OverSimplified (Part 1)” by OverSimplified

Go subscribe by clicking the link below if you haven’t already!

https://www.youtube.com/c/OverSimplified

Biographics

Main Focus: Specific historical figures

Are you the type that gets curious and fascinated about a specific historical figure? If that’s you, this channel is your best companion in learning about history. 

Hosted by Simon Whistler, Biographics is a channel that introduces the life and story of different influential figures in history one at a time.

With his videos, you can learn in-depth about the life of your favorite monarch or politician, with all of the juiciest and most useful information all concentrated into videos that are less than 30 minutes long. 

What makes Biographics such an amazing channel?

(1) One at a time

Each Biographics video focuses on the events that happened in one person’s life. There’s no complex family trees or relationships to remember, just the person’s family, friends, and enemies. 

Easy to follow and not too overwhelming.

(2) Broad coverage

A load of videos about different historical figures worldwide
Screenshot from Biographics uploads

Biographics has a huge number of videos, so much so that I can literally describe it as a mini digital library of biographies. In terms of the people they have included, they have such a great variety both chronologically and geographically. 

Chronologically, Biographics have covered historical icons from ancient Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamun 3000 years ago all the way to Queen Elizabeth II that still lives today. Geographically, you can find videos about the only Empress in China, Wu Zetian, Mary I of England, and even Ranavalona I, the mad Madagascan Queen. 

Not only does Biographics include the good old members of the monarchy or politicians, but also philosophers, astronauts and celebrities. They have videos about Plato, Yuri Gagarin, and even Elvis Presley. This precisely proves just how diverse the backgrounds of people covered in the videos are. 

From 2022 B.C. to 2022 A.D, Asia to Africa, and from astronomy to philosophy, there is literally nothing you cannot find on Biographics’ channel. No matter what your field of interests are, Biographic’s large database of more than 560 videos can surely cater for your needs and curiosity.

(3) Viewer-friendly, minimalistic screen layout

If OverSimplified’s fast paced animation is too overwhelming for you, you might consider watching Biographics as a substitute. 

In complete contrast to OverSimplified, the videos produced by Biographics do not involve much graphics. 

In fact, most of the time, it just shows a camera view of the host talking. The rest of the video consists of simple slideshows of pictures and quotes in a big, clear font made extra sharp by its contrast with the red text box behind it. 

A quote
Screenshot from “Henry V: England’s Greatest Warrior King” by Biographics

While the host is talking, there’s a little bar on the bottom of the screen that shows a short description of what he’s talking about, containing all the keywords you need to know. 

In compliance to that, Biographics also break down the life of a historical figure into several segments in their videos. 

The segments are clearly shown by a transitional slide with the segment title, which gives the audience a heads up about what the host will be talking about for the next couple minutes.

Transition
Screenshot from “Augustus: Rome’s Greatest Emperor” by Biographics

These little features and thoughts put into the screen layout creates a comfortable pace, making it viewer-friendly and convenient for students to follow along or to jog down notes while watching the video.

If you’re ready for some serious history talk and to get some supplementary information for your history class, check out the channel by clicking on the link below!

https://www.youtube.com/c/Biographics

Check out their website as well!

https://biographics.org/

UsefulCharts

Main Focus: Genealogy of different royal dynasties and families

Relationships between royals in ancient times can sometimes get very messy. For example, the Habsburgs, who married members of their own family so many times that they became the pioneer of incest in European history. 

UsefulCharts unravels all the complicated relations by making huge, detailed royal family trees and timelines of many royal houses/dynasties that have existed. In their videos, they explain more about the history and lineage of the charts they’ve made. 

What makes UsefulCharts such an amazing channel?

(1) Just the chart, nothing else

Queen Elizabeth II’s family tree
Screenshot from “British Monarchs Family Tree | Alfred the Great to Queen Elizabeth II” by UsefulCharts

There’s not much happening in their videos. Just the chart, the host explaining and some simple animations such as squares and arrows.

In addition to that, UsefulCharts marks the title of every member that appeared in the family tree. This makes UsefulCharts’ videos and charts handy for students who are trying to dig into the history of royal lineage, and to memorize the fancy, length titles of nobles.

For minimalist viewers who are sick and tired of reading never-ending paragraphs in essays or textbooks, this channel surely matches you.

(2) Interesting topics never seen before

Aside from their signature royal family tree charts, UsefulCharts also has a very interesting series called “Who Would Be King”. In this series, UsefulCharts trace the family tree of defunct royal families to find out who would become King/Queen today had the monarchy stayed.

Aside from this series, the channel has also made several videos about the hidden, unnamed matrilineal dynasties in European history (where lineage is traced through the female line rather than the male line).

House of Garsenda, the biggest, secret matrilineal dynasty in Europe
Screenshot from “Europe’s Hidden Matrilineal Dynasty | House of Garsenda” by UsefulCharts

These topics mentioned above are rarely discussed in history classes, or even in history academia. UsefulCharts’ unique and insightful videos supply a new perspective of discovering history, which can revitalize the dull, depressing history we have been studying for several hundred years. 

Find out about the different royal family trees across the world by clicking the link below!

https://www.youtube.com/c/UsefulCharts

Check out their website to buy yourself a copy of their charts!

https://usefulcharts.com/

History Tea Time with Lindsay Holiday

Main Focus: Women in history

In history class, teachers mostly talk about kings, generals, world wars, stuff like that. We rarely had a chance to know more about the queens, princesses and generally women in history other than a few notable icons.

The best thing about Lindsay’s history channel? The inclusivity of women and LGBTQ.

Lindsay’s signature series include:

  • Queens of Europe/The World
  • Royalty 101
  • Queens and Consorts of England (and the UK) (8-part series)
  • Holy Roman Emperor (5-part series)
Royalty 101
Screenshot from “Royalty 101: The Rules of Succession” by History Tea Time with Lindsay Holiday

If you want to know more about the stories of women that stood behind men in ancient times, this channel is your perfect fit.

Why is History Tea Time with Lindsay Holiday such an amazing channel?

(1) Not just about people

Lindsay doesn’t just talk about women or monarchs in history, but also other important terms or objects in history.

In her Royalty 101 series, Lindsay has debunked many terms and systems that were not commonly explained in history classes. 

These include the different rules of succession (e.g., Absolute primogeniture, Agnatic primogeniture), Peerage titles of the UK and more. 

Other than terms and systems, she has also made other videos about the crown jewels of the UK and the history of women-related topics.

Women-related topics Lindsay has included:

  • Menstruation
  • Birth Control
  • Contraception
  • Pregnancy
  • Delivery
  • Bras and Corsets

The list goes on, and it is obvious that she has covered a lot of non-traditional topics that extend across various fields of study and beyond the high school history curriculum.

(2) LGBTQ

Pride flag

The inclusion of LGBTQ content is what makes Lindsay stand out from other Youtubers of the same niche. 

On her channel, there are 5 videos about the stories of LGBTQ monarchs around the world, in the UK and also in the Ancient Roman Empire. To add to the list, she has recently released a video about non-binary and transgender nobles around the world. Through her videos, Lindsay tells the stories of LGBTQ nobles in the past and raises awareness about the rights of LGBTQ people.

For thousands of years in history, LGBTQ has been a social taboo among a lot of society across the world. Owing to that, LGBTQ was rarely discussed in history. 

However, as our world becomes more open towards LGBTQ people, being LGBTQ is no longer a fault. Therefore, it is time for us to acknowledge and embrace the people that belong to this community. 

Although LGBTQ rights have been improving, it is still undoubtedly an issue that demands the world’s attention. 

So, if you are interested in knowing more about some not-so-traditional history. Click the link below and check out her channel now!

https://www.youtube.com/c/LindsayHoliday/featured

bill wurtz

A musician who made the most viral history video on the internet

It is a crime to not include the iconic bill wurtz, who single-handedly produced two of the most viral videos of the history niche despite not having history as the channel’s focus. 

Bill wurtz is a musician who has a passion for history. You can’t say he’s a history channel at all, since all of the videos on his channel are his own music productions. 

He only has two videos about history:

  • “history of the entire world, i guess”
  • “history of japan”

Yep, that’s all. 

These two videos gained 141M and 71M views respectively, proving just how viral they are. 

Why are they viral? Because they are a perfect blend of humor, nostalgia, distinctiveness and knowledge.

Wait, why is nostalgia here?

It’s because bill wurtz uses a ton of psychedelic graphics which are full of neon colors, retro fonts such as Comic Sans and Helvetica Sans Serif, and scribbles which are full of nostalgia.

Take a look at this, does this not make you feel nostalgia?

Screenshot from ‘history of the entire world, i guess” by bill wurtz

His distinctively exotic and reminiscent art style is not the only thing that makes bill wurtz out of this world. His deadpan humor is also guaranteed to grab your attention, just like his sharp graphics that are full of black and highly saturated colors.

In all seriousness though, he did a great job on making his two videos very informative. He gave a great overview of the history of the entire world, from the start of the universe all the way to today in just 20 minutes. 

13.8 billion years, all in 20 minutes. If that’s not impressive enough to encourage you to watch it, I don’t know what will.

All that being said, go check out his two iconic videos about the history of the entire world, history of Japan and also his other music videos now!

https://www.youtube.com/user/billwurtz


If you’re feeling tired of your history classes and textbooks, go online and search for resources. Other than the above 4 Youtubers I’ve mentioned, there are always tons of other fantastic Youtubers, bloggers and resources that can help you ace your exams and become more and more passionate about history.

The school is not the only place to learn about history, or really any other knowledge. There is never just one solution to a problem.

As long as you are interested, curious, or passionate about a certain knowledge, nothing can stop you from learning about it.


That brings us to the end of this post.

Which history YouTube channel would you check out?

Let me know by leaving a comment!

Stayed tuned for the next article coming up next week♡


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