Primary sources provide a direct link into the past with the immediate and unfiltered records of events during the industrial age of the North, South, and West as recorded by the people present back then. Primary sources have several advantages in helping learners understand the past. Learners develop critical thinking abilities, build empathy for human circumstances, gain constructive knowledge and facts. Additionally, students ought to read textbooks as well to relate and comprehend the past fully. Books as secondary source help learners understand the interpretations of the history based on the facts presented in the primary sources.
Studying primary sources helps a student to develop critical thinking skills necessary for analyzing the past like one of two centuries ago. One needs to read and examine documents and stories objectively, trying to find relevant connection and reasoning behind every piece of evidence. Additionally, students think through the missing actions and events presented by the primary sources since they offer incomplete fragments of history. Critical skills also assist the learner to distinguish and comprehend bias information, a point of view and subjectivity of accounts of events.
Primary sources enable a student to acquire empathy for the human condition and understand human evolution through various faces of demanding lifestyles in the past all through the present. The connection to the human situation enhanced with the contact of firsthand accounts of events found in the primary sources. Students feel a direct connection, as the case and revelation become cathartic. Learners relate personally to the facts and circumstances the people in those days experienced, resulting in a deeper understanding of the American past through people's experiences.
Another advantage of using primary sources to understand the industrial age in America is that learners get the opportunity to consider various points of views before analyzing their research. The experiences and stories of different people exhibited in the primary sources present different facts and events. A student infers all the stories and information of the past to make historical interpretations. Learners can also grasp different perspectives on crucial matters of either the past or the present. Students feel engaged with first-person narratives since the events become real, and consequently encouraging active student reading.
Students who study the primary sources to understand the past gain constructive knowledge. It is possible for learners to have facts and observations of the past by conducting a thorough study of the primary sources. If students inquire deeply into the primary sources, one can distinguish facts from opinions and points of views of the people from the past to confront the complicated past. Knowledge construction comes from reasoned conclusions accrued from the various pieces of evidence presented in the primary sources. Integrating information acquired from the sources and that found through prior research help students deepen their understanding of the past with the backup of content knowledge.
Using textbooks as one of the primary sources in understanding the American west gives accurate and modern interpretations of past events. Books offer different interpretations of the past with the help of discoveries and recent innovations that students relate. Later editions of textbooks tend to reflect on current theories and the connections of the history to understand the industrial age. Critics from subsequent scholars in books help students develop a deeper understanding of the past. Textbooks give a review of the forms of primary sources, hence a more comfortable and faster way to understand the past than relying only on the primary sources.
Primary source number six outlines the plight of both Asian and American prostitutes during the industrial age, and through today's point of view, a student connects the past with the present. Even though prostitutes in the past were mostly slaves, the prostitutes of these days choose to enslave themselves in that kind of life maybe for fun of getting easy money by selling their bodies and services. Primary source number five portrays the life of Mary Moore, a successful woman who was 'born a virgin and died a whore.' The west industrial age seemed to have brought success but also the erosion of culture and morals.
From the provided primary sources two and three reveal the dark days experienced by the Native Americans in the west. Violence, massacre, and fear marked the introduction of the industrial era. Many Indian villages got destroyed as well as massive losses of property and people for both the raiders and the victims. The victims in retaliation also stole several horses and mules from the commander's camp, resulting in the death of many more Indians during that time. After the dark days, source five portray a period of another form of the dark period, where young women died from botched abortions, drug abuse, sexually transmitted diseases and murder.
Primary sources are the essential pieces of evidence for a student or scholar who focuses on understanding the industrial age in the north, south, and west. A student studies the primary materials carefully to efficiently compare and analyze the past events. Textbooks also come in handy for students to quickly understand and relate to the past since secondary sources give insights of interpretations and facts of the past by studying the primary sources. In using secondary sources like the textbooks, a student needs to examine the most recently published books for they give more reliable information than the former editions full of criticisms and maybe misconceptions.
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