ETEC 444 – SHEG History site


Okay, today we are going to explore how
to do searching for primary research materials for our research papers and
also introduce us to the kinds of things we’re really meaning when we’re talking
about primary sources in the history class. So our class is US History, 11th
Grade, and I’m your instructor Manish Pandya. So let’s look at the SHEG site –the Stanford History Education Group site —
as an example of where we might find primary source documents. And I’m going
to walk you through it here, as to how we’re going to go about that.
So taking a look at the SHEG site right now, we have, and as you’ll notice there’s
a bunch of different categories, we’re gonna go to the “Reading Like a Historian”
section seeking “History Lessons” and under “History Lessons,” since we’re U.S. History, as you can see they’ve got all sorts of
stuff, but we’re looking under “U.S. History.” So let’s go to “U.S. History,” and let’s say we
are dealing with, where we start with in an 11th grade U.S. History course, the
Civil War era going forward. And we want to learn a little bit about Abraham Lincoln,
his views about slavery, what’s the abolitionist movement like, what’s the
climate like at that time right before the Civil War, after the Civil War, and so on.
So let’s go to the “Civil War and Reconstruction” portion. Again what we’re
looking for is primary source material. We click on the “View Lesson” portion and
when we get to the “View Lesson” portion, what we’re looking for is “Original
Documents.” So let’s take – I”m going to download those – and let’s open up some “Original
Documents” related to Abraham Lincoln that will help us understand this topic. So
here we have an example of an 1858 original document and this is, as part of
the Lincoln-Douglas debates, and this is actually Stephen Douglas arguing why we
do not need to have a strong abolitionist policy — against Lincoln, and
that’s in 1858. And in Document B, we have the original writing – the original speech of
Lincoln responding to Douglas. Okay, so this would be good primary
source material on the topic of Lincoln’s views toward slavery, the
culture of abolitionism, abolitionists views versus slavery, and pro-savery reviews prior
to the Civil War. Let’s… another example would be Document
C. This is a more personal letter Lincoln writes in 1841 related to his views on
slavery, and we get a sense of how he felt even before he was in political
life. Document D gives us an example of what a pro-slavery position was and what
are the kinds of materials that were being sent out there in 1863. So
let’s go back and take a look at some other options. Now if we were to want
more material we would go to, for example, the “Emancipation Proclamation” lesson
again we’re going to get more information through the “Original
Documents” portion. Again, the “Original Documents” will give us those primary
sources we’re looking for. A couple more examples — here we have the actual text of
the Emancipation Proclamation, which we would want to explore. Again we’re gonna
do a lot of close reading in class so that would be important. A document like
that would be critical. Here’s a document by Frederick Douglass discussing what it
was like for him to meet Abraham Lincoln and his feelings about what
Lincoln might have represented regarding the issue of slavery. So again we want to
know what these people were thinking in their times. The Stanford History
Education Group documents really do help us do that, and that’s why this website,
the Sheg.Stanford.edu website, is a valuable tool for students. I would hope
you use it wisely. We are going to be focusing on primary documents
throughout this class to get a sense of how to integrate them into our writings, into
our essays for exams, and those of you who are going to be taking the AP exam
will be very familiar with them because you’ll get a ton of primary documents
and have to structure an argument based on your readings of them.
So that’s just a quick example of one source you can use to find primary
documents. Alright, good luck!

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