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How Can We Exam Questions Develop a methodology for exploring the sorts of extracts given in the exams Develop a strategy for writing part (a) and (b)

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Presentation on theme: "How Can We Exam Questions Develop a methodology for exploring the sorts of extracts given in the exams Develop a strategy for writing part (a) and (b)"— Presentation transcript:

1 How Can We Exam Questions Develop a methodology for exploring the sorts of extracts given in the exams Develop a strategy for writing part (a) and (b) answers

2 WHAT CAN YOU LEARN FROM THIS EXTRACT ABOUT THE INTERPRETATIONS, METHODS AND APPROACHES OF THE HISTORIAN? EXAM QUESTION – 30 Marks

3 Basics In answering part (a) questions we must do the following: ◦ Comment on the interpretation ◦ Comment on the method used ◦ Comment on the approach All of this must be done by making specific references to the extract itself and not straying from it!

4 Interpretation What big points are being made? What quotes support this from the extract? What can we bring in here to explain this in context? Knowledge/other historian/detail

5 Method What questions are being asked? What evidence used? What quotes support this from the extract? What can we bring in here to explain this in context? How typical is this? Do other people do similar or different things?

6 Approach What kinds of approach are being taken? What quotes support this from the extract? What can we bring in here to explain this in context? Similar approaches/comparison to other approaches/place in historiographical school

7 Structure In structuring your answer remember: ◦ Intro – identify the extract theme and set up the task ◦ Interpretation – What are the main points made – support with quotes ◦ Method – How has the historian gone about finding these things out? What questions have they asked ◦ Approach – Where is the historian coming from? What sort of history are they writing? Again use quotes ◦ Conclusion – What can all this tell us about how the approach of the historian has led to their interpretation?

8 SOME HISTORIANS HAVE FOCUSED ON ??? EXPLAIN HOW THIS HAS CONTRIBUTED TO OUR UNDERSTANDING OF THE AMERICAN WEST. HAS THIS APPROACH ANY DISADVANTAGES OR SHORTCOMINGS?? EXAM QUESTION – 30 Marks

9 Basics In answering part (b) questions we must do the following: ◦ Identify the main features of the approach in question ◦ Suggest the advantages of the approach ◦ Evaluate any shortcomings of the approach All of this must be done by making specific references to what you have studied as well as by using appropriate quotes Do not just make general points eg. An approach looking at women tells us about women’s lives which we did not get before…

10 Features A good starting point is to identify questions which historians have tried to answer in this section You can then fit in how the different historians have tried to answer these big questions An example is given for “settlements” opposite What was society like in Western settlements? ◦ Currie & Billington – lawless at first eventually developing into a more civilised society – evolution – look at diaries, newspaper etc. ◦ New Western – cultural melting pot – more evidence from minorities. Generally well supported by army. Eventually built into large cities How far were Western settlements unique? ◦ Turner argues Western settlements unique – product of the Euro germ evolving. Continued by others like Billi ◦ NW - look at continuities with East. West & Pascoe – women brought culture with them – use evidence from women How did Western settlements build their own democratic ideal? ◦ etc

11 Usefulness and Limitations How could we use an approach like this? Why is it valuable to us? What gaps does it fill? Why might it also be limited? What issues does it leave unresolved? Does it have any issues with evidence?

12 Structure In structuring your answer remember: ◦ Intro – Very briefly set out what you are going to do – making a nod to the topic in question ◦ Cover Features, Usefulness and Limitations making sure you have specific and detailed points on all three ◦ Conclusion – Overall what do you think of approaching the West in this manner?

13 Past generations of historians conjured up a variety of reasons to explain the great migrations of the 1830s and 1840s. Men went west, they said, to plant the institution of slavery, or to win distant territories for freedom, or because land speculators aroused their avaricious desires. Perhaps some southerners did hope to perpetuate slavery,; perhaps some northerners did believe that the abolitionist crusade would gain by their sacrifices. But their numbers were few; the westward movement during these years would have followed the same course if the slavery issue had not arisen and if speculation was an unknown art. One motive clearly underlay the great migrations, and that was land hunger. So long as good lands lay ahead, nothing could hold back the American frontiersmen, whether distance or hardship or international boundaries. If anything in history approached the irresistible force, it was the pioneer who had learned that the fertile fields to the west awaited his plow... The trail ahead, through the Rockies, was so rough that no wagons could get through. For a time dismay swept the party as some talked of turning back rather than leaving their belongings behind. Marcus Whitman soon dispelled their gloom by assuring them he would lead their wagons into Oregon. With this missionary leading the way in a light wagon, the train rumbled out of Fort Hall...through a ‘wild, rocky, baron wilderness of wrecked and ruined nature; a vast field of volcanic desolation.’ So they laboured on, covering only a few miles each day, whilst a burning sun sapped the energy of man and beasts alike. Until at last they saw an idyllic valley six miles wide and surrounded by snow capped peaks. The journey was over. As they marked out their farms or took jobs with Americans already there, one closed his diary with these words: “October 28 th – Went to work... By migrating into Oregon, California and Texas, the emigrants had created a situation where the flag must follow. Neither they nor their fellow countrymen at home could breathe easy until the British were driven from Oregon, the Mexicans from California and Texas. From these insistent demands rose the diplomatic settlements that carried the boundaries of the USA to the Pacific, with Texas the first plum to fall. Motives for going West

14 The Removal Act of 1830 set into motion a series of events which led to the "Trail of Tears" in 1838, a forced march of the Cherokees, resulting in the destruction of most of the Cherokee population." The concentration of American Indians in small geographic areas, and the scattering of them from their homelands, caused increased death, primarily because of associated military actions, disease, starvation, extremely harsh conditions during the moves, and the resulting destruction of ways of life. During American expansion into the western frontier, one primary effort to destroy the Indian way of life was the attempts of the U.S. government to make farmers and cattle ranchers of the Indians. In addition, one of the most substantial methods was the premeditated destructions of flora and fauna which the American Indians used for food and a variety of other purposes. We now also know that the Indians were intentionally exposed to smallpox by Europeans. The discovery of gold in California, early in 1848, prompted American migration and expansion into the west. The greed of Americans for money and land was rejuvenated with the Homestead Act of In California and Texas there was blatant genocide of Indians by non- Indians during certain historic periods. In California, the decrease from about a quarter of a million to less than 20,000 is primarily due to the cruelties and wholesale massacres perpetrated by the miners and early settlers. Indian education began with forts erected by Jesuits, in which indigenous youths were incarcerated, indoctrinated with non-indigenous Christian values, and forced into manual labor. These children were forcibly removed from their parents by soldiers and many times never saw their families until later in their adulthood. This was after their value systems and knowledge had been supplanted with colonial thinking. One of the foundations of the U.S. imperialist strategy was to replace traditional leadership of the various indigenous nations with indoctrinated "graduates" of white "schools," in order to expedite compliance with U.S. goals and expansion. Probably one of the most ruinous acts to the Indians was the disappearance of the buffalo. For the Indians who lived on the Plains, life depended on the buffalo. At the beginning of the nineteenth century, there were an estimated forty million buffalo, but between 1830 and 1888 there was a rapid, systematic extermination culminating in the sudden slaughter of the only two remaining Plain herds. By around 1895, the formerly vast buffalo populations were practically extinct. The slaughter occurred because of the economic value of buffalo hides to Americans and because the animals were in the way of the rapidly westward expanding population. The end result was widescale starvation and the social and cultural disintegration of many Plains tribes. Native Americans


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