must read and use at least one of any of the following articles:
Peter S. Onuf, “A Declaration of Independence for Diplomatic Historians” Diplomatic History Vol. 22, Issue 1 (Winter, 1998): 71-84.
— James R. Stoner, “Is There a Political Philosophy in the Declaration of Independence?” Intercollegiate Review Vol 40, Issue 2 (Fall/Winter, 2005): 3-11.
— Jeremy J. Tewell, “Assuring Freedom to the Free: Jefferson’s Declaration and the Conflict over Slavery” Civil War History Vol. 58, Issue 1 (March, 2012): 75-96.
must answer all the following questions:
Author: What is his/her prior history, point of view, the historical context, achievements? Is it biased?
Place and Time: Where and when was the document created? What is happening?
Prior Knowledge: What do you know that will help you understand the source?
Can you recognized any symbols and recall what they represent?
Can you identify any people or characters and what they represent?
What do you know about these events?
Audience: For whom was the source created, and how might these affect the reliability of the source? (Private correspondence with trusted advisors, tapes, and private diary entries might prove more reliable than statements made to the press, memoirs, or a speech before Congress.)
Reason: Why was this source produced at that particular time in history?
What was happening in the nation at the time?
Was it created to persuade, educate, entertain, amuse, mislead, quiet fears, anger, mobilize, etc.?
How do the message and purpose compare?
The Main Idea: What point is the source trying to convey? What is its thesis?
What ideas are represented? What symbolism and tone are used? Reduce the source to 1 to 3 sentences.
Significance: Why is this source important historically?
What does it reveal we wouldn’t know otherwise?
What does it convey that is indicative of the period?
How is it relevant to the question, era, or events being studied?
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