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New Imperialism: Primary Source Analysis

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1 New Imperialism: Primary Source Analysis
The Work of a Historian New Imperialism: Primary Source Analysis Imperialism Justified By Nature Social Darwinism:

2 Author Karl Pearson, a British Mathematics Professor
Who wrote the document? Here one wants to know not just the name of the author, but as much as possible about his or her background; one may want to consider such factors as occupational status, class, education, religion, nationality, race, interests, etc. Karl Pearson, a British Mathematics Professor

3 Audience For whom was the document created?
Every author writes to communicate with someone else. One needs to consider questions about the audience’s background similar to those raised for authors. Those wanting to learn about Social Darwinism. College students – the next generation of leaders Most likely “the white man” and “good Britons.”

4 Subject What is the document about?
Some sources tell a story, some list information, some ask for something; one needs to understand the subject matter and historical context. The document is describing the beliefs of Social Darwinism. The main concept is that higher intellect and physical efficiency can be achieved by eliminating inferior races and allowing only the “fittest” to survive.

5 Lecture Form What kind (genre) of document?
Historical sources, even just written sources, come in many different forms; for example, personal letters, official government papers, fiction, propaganda. The type of document affects the kind of message that can be conveyed. Lecture

6 Purpose Why was it written?
Every document of whatever type is written to achieve some purpose. One needs to consider why the author would write it, why the audience would read it, and what effects it would have had. Karl Peason, the author wrote it to inform people of the beliefs of Social Darwinism and spread these ideas to the public. The audience would read it to inform themselves on the topic. The effects it would have would depend on if people embraced this idea or not. One major effect was racism.

7 Meaning(s) What does this source tell us about its author/ audience/ subject/ historical context? Author – supports and promotes Social Darwinism Audience – needs to be educated on topic Subject – that society should follow “survival of the fittest” and leave the inferior races behind. Historical Context – one of the reasons racism is around today is because it was promoted in the 1900s.

8 Significance Why do we care? (Does the information we can gain from this document relate to other things we know or would like to know?) This believe system was basically racism and even 100 years later, is still sadly around today. This helps us know how people thought / were taught at this time. Remember Pearson was an educated professor!

9 Why is translating documents important to enhancing historical understanding?
It is important to translate so that everyone can be informed and learn about different topics.

10 What new appreciation of this era (1870- 1914) did you gain from these documents?
People truly believed that they were better than others – this was a sincere conclusion drawn by many including the highly educated of the day.

11 When studying history, “Perspective is everything
When studying history, “Perspective is everything.” How is this evident during the Age of New Imperialism? Hmmmm - what do you think?

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