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Seconday Sources on the motivations for the Declaration of Independence
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Seconday Sources on the motivations for the Declaration of Independence


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  • 1. Declaration of Independence What were the motivations behind the writing of this document?
  • 2. Primary Source
  • 3. ESPN Stephen A. SmithSkip Bayless
  • 4. What really happened?• The football game is a primary source• Two different people can watch the same game and have different opinions about why one team won or why one player was more significant than another• People bring their own personal history, perspective, and biases to their opinions• But they must have evidence to back up their opinion in order to be valid
  • 5. Objectives1. Students will learn to analyze secondary source opinions based on a primary source document2. Students will comprehend different possible motivations behind the creation of the Declaration of Independence
  • 6. Analyze the opinions• Historians have different opinions about the same historic event using the same primary source as evidence. For example Bailyn and Zinn. VS
  • 7. Ideological Reasons• Definition of Ideological: of or pertaining to or characteristic of an orientation that characterizes the thinking of a group or nation.• Examples – Freedom – Equality – Enlightenment Ideals
  • 8. Selfish Reasons• Theories of human nature often assume people are selfish• Examples – Preserve power of rich and upper class people – Preserve privilege – Preserve exclusion - who get left out – Status, wealth, occupations, political connections
  • 9. 56 Signers of the Declaration of Independence• Occupations Listed – some signers had more than one type of job – 25 Lawyers – 17 Merchants – 14 Plantation Owners – 4 Physicians – 3 Scientists (Franklin, Jefferson) – 2 Land Speculator, 2 Farmers, 2 Ministers – 1 Surveyor, 1 Printer, 1 Musician, 1 Military
  • 10. Directions Step 1• Read views of Bailyn and Zinn• Take notes and annotate on the sides• Discuss within your group for 5 minutes• Be prepared to explain one of the historian’s viewpoint
  • 11. Directions Step 2• Discuss with your group the handout containing the list of grievances• Complete handout individually• Follow directions – “O” = only for rich people – “A” = for all people – “?” = not sure• Answer Two Questions at the bottom
  • 12. Class Discussion• Quick vote on grievances• Overall vote on the motivations of Declaration of Independence – Benefit and concern primarily rich people or all people? – What additional information do they need to answer the question?• Which historian is more accurate in his interpretation/theory?• How valid are #23, #24, and #27
  • 13. Closure• Think about human nature• Could a brilliant document like the Declaration of Independence come from the highest ideals or real world economics and politics?• Could it be a combination of both ideals and real world values?