What is a primary source? A primary source is an artifact that is contemporaneous of the period under analysis. for example: if we are studying the Civil War, how do we know what occurred at that time? What do we rely on to inform our understanding of this event? Primary sources are evidence of the past, and they usually consist of documents or other forms of “realia” (paintings, tools, clothing) that are from that period of time. Historians are essentially detectives, who use these pieces of evidence to inform and interpret the past. In the case of the example of the Civil War, historians may consult war journals, newspapers, congressional records, or photographs (a newer innovation of the period).
With this assignment, it is your job to play historians. You will read several documents and be asked to assess and interpret their content relative to the historical period under analysis. In doing so, you must have a grasp of who the author is, why they are writing the document, and who the intended audience is (the public? A significant other? A colleague?). You will then use this knowledge to answer the question that is presented in the respective modular assignment.
The essay should be approximately one to two pages in length, single spaced. Please use one inch margins. Make sure the title of your essay clearly refers to the specific question you’re addressing. In writing the essay make sure you have a clear introduction, main body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Make sure that you support all main points with specific examples.
Choose from one of the following:
1/ Women’s Networks in the New Deal (pg. 512-18)
In what way do these documents reveal the role that women played in the New Deal? Do the documents convey a sense of a unified network among women at this time, or were women operating on their own individual agendas?
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ELEANOR ROOSEVELT, “Women in Politics” (1940)
ROSE SCHNEIDERMAN, All for One (1967)
MOLLY DEWSON, “An Aid to an End” (1949)
MARY MCLEOD BETHUNE, Proceedings of the Second National Youth Administration Advisory Committee Meeting (1936)
MARY MCLEOD BETHUNE, Letter to President Franklin D. Roosevelt (1940)
2/ Television’s Prescriptions for Women (pg. 574-89)
By the 1950s, the impact of television could be felt all over the United States. In what way did the advent of television work to inform gender roles in this period? Was the programming a reflection of reality or an attempt to influence it?
Advertisement for Motorola Television (1951)
Advertisement for RCA Victor Television (1953)
Advertisement for General Electric Television (1955)
Ladies’ Home Journal Advertisement for NBC (1955)
Advertisement for Betty Crocker (1952)
Scene from Beulah
Scene from Amos ’n’ Andy
Scene from The Goldbergs
Scene from The Honeymooners
Scenes from I Love Lucy
Scene from Father Knows Best
3/ Women’s Liberation (pg. 654-67)
The radicalism of the 1960s and 1970s bore the rise of the modern feminist movement. In what ways do the following documents express the evolving views of feminists at this time? What role did diversity play in informing this movement?
JO FREEMAN, What the Hell is Women’s Liberation Anyway? (1968)
THIRD WORLD WOMEN’S ALLIANCE, Statement (1971)
MIRTA VIDAL, New Voice of La Raza: Chicanas Speak Out (1971)
BREAD AND ROSES, Outreach Leaflet (1970)
DANA DENSMORE, Who Is Saying Men Are the Enemy? (1970)
RADICALESBIANS, The Woman Identified Woman (1970)
ANNE KOEDT, The Myth of the Vaginal Orgasm (1970)
PAT MAINARDI, The Politics of Housework (1970)
Number of Pages: 1 Page
Page Line Spacing: Single spaced
Academic Level: College
Paper Format: MLA
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