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Interactives -- Historical and Cultural Contexts Image of a Newspaper Pick another Interactive:


Speed Round

Now that you are familiar with the different writing styles, it's time to test your detective skills.

As in the previous excercises, you will see three random documents, perhaps one of each primary source, one-at-a-time. However, for added fun and challenge, let's time it. You will have 3 minutes (180 seconds) to look at each document and identify on the map where it took place and what time period it was written. Then you will answer three multiple-choice questions about the document. Each story will have seven questions, for a total of 21 questions at the end of the Speed Round. Your final score will be totaled from all 21 questions.

Good luck...Ready?

You, O King, live beyond the confines of many seas, nevertheless, impelled by your humble desire to partake of the benefits of our civilisation, you have dispatched a mission respectfully bearing your memorial. Your Envoy has crossed the seas and paid his respects at my Court on the anniversary of my birthday. To show your devotion, you have also sent offerings of your country's produce.

Qian Long [Ch'ein Lung], Emperor of China, late 18th century.

Qian Long [Ch'ein Lung], Emperor of China, Late 18th century.

I have perused your memorial: the earnest terms in which it is couched reveal a respectful humility on your part, which is highly praiseworthy. In consideration of the fact that your Ambassador and his deputy have come a long way with your memorial and tribute, I have shown them high favour and have allowed them to be introduced into my presence. To manifest my indulgence, I have entertained them at a banquet and made them numerous gifts. I have also caused presents to be forwarded to the Naval Commander and six hundred of his officers and men, although they did not come to _______, so that they too may share in my embracing kindness. As to your entreaty to send one of your nationals to be accredited to my Celestial Court and to be in control of your country's trade with ______, this request is contrary to all usage of my dynasty and cannot possibly be entertained.

It is true that Europeans, in the service of the dynasty, have been permitted to live at ______, but they are compelled to adopt ______ dress, they are strictly confined to their own precincts and are never permitted to return home. You are presumably familiar with our dynastic regulations. Your proposed Envoy to my Court could not be placed in a position similar to that of European officials in ______who are forbidden to leave ______ nor could he, on the other hand, be allowed liberty of movement and the privilege of corresponding with his own country; so that you would gain nothing by his residence in our midst.

Moreover, our Celestial dynasty possesses vast territories, and tribute missions from the dependencies are provided for by the Department for Tributary States, which ministers to their wants and exercises strict control over their movements. It would be quite impossible to leave them to their own devices. Supposing that your Envoy should come to our Court, his language and national dress differ from that of our people, and there would be no place in which to bestow him.

Late 15th early 16th century

To the Most Serene Grand Duchess Mother:

Some years ago, as Your Serene Highness well knows, I discovered in the heavens many things that had not been seen before our own age. The novelty of these things, as well as some consequences which followed from them in contradiction to the physical notions commonly held among academic philosophers, stirred up against me no small number of professors--as if I had placed these things in the sky with my own hands in order to upset nature and overturn the sciences. They seemed to forget that the increase of known truths stimulates the investigation, establishment, and growth of the arts; not their diminution or destruction.

Showing a greater fondness for their own opinions than for truth they sought to deny and disprove the new things which, if they had cared to look for themselves, their own senses would have demonstrated to them. To this end they hurled various charges and published numerous writings filled with vain arguments, and they made the grave mistake of sprinkling these with passages taken from places in the Bible which they had failed to understand properly, and which were ill-suited to their purposes.

These men would perhaps not have fallen into such error had they but paid attention to a most useful doctrine of St. Augustine's, relative to our making positive statements about things which are obscure and hard to understand by means of reason alone. Speaking of a certain physical conclusion about the heavenly bodies, he wrote: "Now keeping always our respect for moderation in grave piety, we ought not to believe anything inadvisedly on a dubious point, lest in favor to our error we conceive a prejudice against something that truth hereafter may reveal to be not contrary in any way to the sacred books of either the Old or the New Testament." ...

With an announcement of dates for an election next month in the part of Kashmir under its control, the ________ government took a decisive step Wednesday toward carrying out its formula for peace in a territory that has been the scene of a convulsive war between ______ forces and separatist Muslim guerrillas in _______ only state with a Muslim majority.

H. D. Deve Gowda, former Prime Minister of India.

H. D. Deve Gowda, former Prime Minister of India in the late 20th century.

In choosing Sept. 7, 16, 21 and 30 for a rotating vote to choose a state government in the disputed territory, the election commission in _______ said it had determined that conditions existed for a fair vote despite continuing warfare that has taken at least 30,000 lives since the conflict began seven years ago.

The state government to be chosen in the voting will be the first since the national government, confronted by rising disorder, proclaimed direct rule from ________ in _______.

The decision to hold the election was taken after _______ new prime minister, H.D. Deve Gowda, visited Srinagar, summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir state, in early July.

Deve Gowda, who had been in office less than a month following ________ national election in May, was the first _________ prime minister to set foot in the disputed territory since the onset of the conflict...




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