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Week 2 - Origin, Purpose, Value and Limitation

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Week 2 - Origin, Purpose, Value and Limitation

  1. 1. Week 2 –Origin, Purpose, Valueand Limitation (WorldWar I)
  2. 2. ORIGIN• When and where was the source produced?• Who is the author/creator?• Is it a primary or secondary source?• *These can all be clues to aid in evaluating the values and limitations of the source*
  3. 3. PURPOSE• Why was the source produced?• What is the immediate historical context for the source?• Who is the intended audience?• What does the source “say”?• What can you read beyond the surface?• *These can also provide information to help analyze the values and limitations of the source*
  4. 4. VALUE• What can the source tell historians about the time- period or specific topic of study?• Think of a flashlight in a dark room – what does the source illuminate for the historian?• Important ideas: – Perspective of author/creator based on position, influence, geography, relationships, etc. – Time period importance – is it contemporary or produced at a later date (a primary or secondary source)? – Public or private source
  5. 5. LIMITATIONS• How is the source restricted in what it can tell historians about the time-period or topic of study?• Think of the flashlight/dark room – how is the light’s beam restricted? What can we not see?• Important ideas: – Bias of the source based on social class, gender, race, position, nationality, religion, etc. – Time of production: again primary or secondary
  6. 6. Example• A historian is analyzing a private entry in President Truman’s diary concerning the possible use of atomic weapons on Japan. The following is a general OPVL review. More specific analysis would make reference to details in the document.• Origin: President of the US, a private, primary source. Context = World War II and the aftermath of Germany’s surrender and the looming invasion of Japan.• Purpose: personal journal meant for later reflection and recall. Private, not public. Interpretation of what it says (literally) and what it may reflect would be based on specific document.
  7. 7. Example• Value: private diary entry and thus likely to be honest and revealing; from one of the major leaders concerned with making the decision. Again, interpretations and explanations would be based on specifics within the document.• Limitations: only the private perspective of a high ranking government official from the US. May not reflect other individual’s opinions who were also involved in the decision- making process. Informs about the immediate decision but not later concerns. May reflect but is not the official public US government policy position or necessarily the same as US public opinion on the issue.
  8. 8. What is “Origin, Purpose, Value and Limitation” (OPVL)?• Look at the following examples of sources – there are a total of 8 different types of sources (tables, cartoons, newspapers, movies, songs, propaganda posters, quotes, and first-hand pictures), some primary and some secondary• Identify the origin, purpose, value and limitation of each source. Try to explain which sources are most useful today in understanding the “Great War”
  9. 9. Origin, Purpose, Value andLimitation (OPVL)• “Peace Perfect Peace” – by David Low, 1919• What is the purpose of this cartoon?• What is the value?• What is the limitation?
  10. 10. Sept 15, 1916The Daily Mirror, London England
  11. 11. “I fired twice at Ferdinand from adistance of four or five paces. I raisedmy hand to commit suicide, but somepolice officers seized me and struck me.They took me away, covered with blood.I am not a criminal, for I destroyed a badman. I thought it was right.” – Gavrilo Princip, at his trial for the murder of Archduke Ferdinand, 1914
  12. 12. Oh It’s aLovely War1917, J.P. Long andMaurice Scott
  13. 13. Oh It’s aLovely War1917, J.P. Long andMaurice Scott
  14. 14. “Summertime” – Ella Fitzgerald, ‘39Find a line from the song to explain youranswer to each question below•What does the title, “Summertime” suggest?•WHO is this song being sung to?•WHERE are the people in this song?
  15. 15. “Summertime” – Ella Fitzgerald, ‘39Now interpret what you found•Why do you think this song was written in1939?•Why sing this to a baby? What could the babyrepresent?•Why do you think the setting of this song is inthe country instead of the city?•Do the lyrics (words of the song), and the moodagree or disagree? Explain

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