HIST 131

Primary Source Analysis

As mentioned in the assigned reading and videos, those who held the vast majority of wealth during the Gilded Age believed in the premise of Social Darwinism and Liberty of Contract. For his part, steel baron Andrew Carnegie donated much of his money to philanthropic efforts. During the same era, photographer Jacob Riis sought to highlight how the most impoverished Americans were living. After reading both primary sources, complete a primary source analysis of each. We have been working towards this assignment for the last three weeks. For reference, use the primer and example of a completed primary source analysis below and in CC.

For full points the following criteria must be addressed:

  • ·CONTEXT: the historical situation in which the primary source was produced. Who wrote this document? What is going on in the world, country, region, or locality when this was created? When was it produced? For what audience was the source produced? What type of document is this? Think, “What else do we need to know to better understand the evidence in this source?”
  • ·CONTENT: the major point(s)or meaning(s)of a primary source in its historical context. What is the source’s main idea? This can differ significantly from what the primary source may appear to mean to the modern observer. Explain what the author was trying to explain with this source. What is the author’s bias or point of view?
  • ·CONSEQUENCES/CONCLUSIONS: What contribution does this source make to our understanding of history? What does this document reveal about the particular society and period in question? Who is left out of consideration? Women, children, minorities, members of the majority? What are the effects or significance of this primary source in history?
  • ·CITATION: Who created this and when?

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AeWE_FaIP6k&feature=youtu.be

Documents

–         Andrew Carnegie, “Gospel of Wealth”

–         Jacob Riis, How the Other Half Lives

For reference:

–          Primary Source Analysis  Primer

–          Primary Source Analysis Example