No historical event occurs in a vacuum. Instead, each event is connected to another and to larger political, social, cultural, and economic issues. In previous modules, you identified a topic, a historical event, and a current event related to one another. In this activity, you will dig deeper into the broader context and perspectives surrounding your selected historical event.
Use the provided Module Three Activity Template: Historical Context to complete this activity. First, you will describe the context of your historical event using evidence from the sources you have explored. You should focus on a particular historical perspective (social, political, economic) to describe what was occurring at the time. For example, if you were researching the establishment of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, you could focus on the political context of the Civil Rights Movement and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Next, you will examine how and why a key figure or group participated in the historical event. Use the “historian think aloud” examples from the module resources as inspiration for how you might answer these questions.
Specifically, you must address the following rubric criteria:
- Describe the historical context surrounding your historical event.
- Use one of the perspectives mentioned in this module’s overview (social, political, economic) to focus your description and highlight particular influences on the event.
- Describe a key historical figure or group’s participation in your historical event.
- In your description, identify that figure or group’s position/role in society and their role in the event.
- Explain the key historical figure or group’s motivation to participate in your historical event.
- In your explanation, include how you think the figure’s or group’s beliefs, assumptions, and values influenced how they perceived the event and the person’s ability to directly or indirectly affect it.
- Articulate how the historical context caused or influenced your chosen historical event.
- How do you think what was going on in broader society at the time impacted your historical event?
- Explain how connecting your historical event and current event improves the understanding of your topic.
- How do you think using your historical event to explore the roots of your current event might help you better understand your topic (climate change, political protest, human rights/inequality, or global trade)?