Activity: Historical Context Chart


  • Identify three secondary sources from your selected topic. The secondary resources will review three historical events that impacted your research topic. Complete the Historical Context Chart to explore the how these events inform the historical context of your topic and support your thesis statement.
  • Download and complete the Historical Context Chart. Save this chart as a file on your computer. Submit this saved file for instructor grading and feedback.

    HIS 100 Theme 3: Learning Block 5-3 Historical Context Chart


    Prompt: Historiography is the practice of analyzing how the historical context of a time influences how historians write about and interpret historical events. First, choose three secondary sources that discuss three historical events that influence your research topic


    Next, explain in the chart how the event impacted the historical context of your research topic. Then describe whether the historical context of the event supports your thesis statement for your research topic.


    Historical Context


    PROJECT 1:




    HIS 100 THEME 1


    Part 1

    Select a research topic area for Project 1 based on which of the following areas interests you the most. You will explore the selected topic a little later in this theme. Mark your selection in the right-hand column.

    Drafting of the U.S. Constitution  
    Mao Zedong’s Rule Over China  
    South African Apartheid ·
    Choose Your Own Topic  


    In the space below, write a short paragraph about what you already knew about the topic you selected prior to this course, based on your personal history or experiences. This may include assumptions, beliefs, or values related to the topic. Be as detailed as possible.
    I recall when I was still in school the first time through the South African Apartheid was continually on the news. I recall the arrival of Nelson Mandela following 27 years of detainment in my sophomore year of secondary school. It’s my understanding that Apartheid was much similar to the racial isolation Martin Luther King battled against in the United States. I’m uncertain yet anticipate examining the effect that had on South Africa’s relations with other increasingly ground breaking nations.


    Part 2

    Now that you have identified your topic and described what you already know about the topic, what questions do you still have about the topic that you would like to know? Place your answers in the right-hand column.

    Identify one question about the topic that you are curious about. How did other nations respond toward the South African Apartheid?
    Describe why this question matters to you personally. I experienced my childhood in a community where prejudice didn’t exist superficially (or maybe I was blind to it, yet black colleagues have affirmed it wasn’t there when we were growing up). I trust the more I think about it the more I can battle it.
    Describe why this question matters to society.  

    Discussion of the “racial division” is more common now than I can ever recall it being. I believe it’s vital for individuals of all races to think about and get bigotry and how it’s not to anybody’s advantage.

    Identify a second question about the topic you are curious about. When was politically-sanctioned racial segregation established? To what extent did it last?
    Describe why this question matters to you personally. It doesn’t
    Describe why this question matters to society. Understanding the timespan may help decide the mood of the members. It appears that racial discrimination was endured all the more amid certain timespans.


    Part 3

    You are now ready to complete the final part of your Topic Exploration Worksheet. You have chosen a topic, posed some research questions, and are ready to start thinking about what kind of sources you will need to investigate your research questions further. Using the library guide in the Shapiro Library provided for your chosen topic, skim through the suggested resources (or find your own) and complete the following information for your research questions.

    List which secondary sources would be helpful for investigating your first research question. Baines, G. (July 01, 2010). South Africa: Remembering Sharpeville. History Today, 60, 7.)
    List which primary sources

    would be helpful for investigating your first research question.

    Remembering Sharpeville – Gary Baines explores the impact of the massacre of black South Africans that took place 50 years ago. (January 01, 2010). History Today, 60, 3, 34.
    List which secondary sources would be helpful for investigating your second research question. Lodge, T. (2011). Sharpeville: an apartheid massacre and its consequences. OUP Oxford.
    List which primary sources would be helpful for investigating your second research question. Dlamini, P. (2018, March 21). Sharpeville massacre: Survivors say their dreams of better days are fading. Retrieved from Times Live:



    (Continued on next page)

    Now that you have gone through the research, describe what you have learned about your topic in one to two paragraphs. Since I have a greater comprehension of the task (I think) and where I turned out badly, I’ve chosen to concentrate on the Sharpeville Massacre. On March 21, 1960, 69 black South Africans were murdered, and another 186 were injured amid a demonstration organized outside of the police headquarters in Sharpeville. The dissent was organized by Robert Sobukwe, a leader in the counter politically-sanctioned racial segregation Pan-African Congress (PAC). To limit the likelihood of brutality, Sobukwe composed a letter to the Sharpeville police official reporting the up and coming challenge and underscoring that it would be a peaceful event.

    Around 7000 Africans united in Sharpeville for the dissent against restrictive pass laws. About 300 police were there to stop the peaceful dissent. Most exploited people were shot in the back running from police. The slaughter brought overall thoughtfulness regarding the loathsomeness that was politically-sanctioned racial segregation. It likewise started several mass challenges crosswise over South Africa. On March 30th the South African government proclaimed a highly sensitive situation which made dissents unlawful. The challenge boycott went on until August 31, 1960, amid this time there were about 25000 arrests across the country. The South African government’s reactions to the massacre escalated politically-sanctioned racial segregation resistance inside the nation and expanded objection from world leaders.

    Article Citation and Name of Event Historical Context of Event Impact of Historical Context on Thesis Statement
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