The American Civil War marked a major turning point and set the tone for modern America and the successes that the country has registered over the years. The American Battlefield Trust, on its website, refers to it as a major stage in America's historical consciousness. According to a discussion of this historical period available as of October 20, 2019, in battlefields.org, under the title A Brief Overview of the American Civil War, it is a reflection point which offers invaluable lessons regarding America's present challenges. In its exploration of the subject, the website makes reference to various primary sources. Abraham Lincoln's address at Gettysburg is particularly referenced in regard to the essence of the war in bringing about a "new birth of freedom". Besides this primary source, the website also makes reference to multiple recorded historical events that offer credence to the claims made. This website is good for studying history because it weaves together multiple events, explores fundamental learning points from the historical period, and authenticates the claims made with primary sources.
Battlefields.org is a history website that highlights the stories of America's hallowed battlegrounds. It is intended to educate the public on what happened in America's battlefields and why what happened is important for America today and in the future. The website is run and managed by the American Battlefield Trust, a nonprofit organization with a rich history of preserving America's battlefield land and their stories. There is so much on the website that is useful for students of history. First, there are images that paint an image of the historical period. Secondly, the primary sources that are used are not only in line with the theme of the website, but relevant to the lessons that should be learned from the historical period. Further, the fluidity and positivity with which the information is presented are such that it evokes an analytic approach to American history, which is vital for history students. The primary source helps to understand how America's leadership responded to a defining moment that presented an existential challenge in the country's history.
Whereas the website offers valuable lessons to learn from history, it assumes that the leadership at the time only made the right decisions and that the American Civil War was the only path to a united country. The website is considerably shallow in the sense that it only highlights the major events that occurred during this defining period and assumes that the reader has some background information on the subject. Also, despite being intended for a stratified audience in terms of historical knowledge, it maintains simple content. Further, it includes multiple external links which are content published by the same author. Hence, there is the risk of bias and one-sidedness that is difficult to assume while reading the article. The website leads the reader to source other perspectives on the topic from other places, hence making difficult the search for information. The website also does not rank top among searches on the subject it covers.
The issue of personal responsibility when using websites as sources of historical information regards due diligence. It is important for one to be able to link the information to the author and map out their intended purpose for writing the history. The URL helps to determine the author of the website, and the level of authenticity of the information presented. In this case, based on the URL, this is a U.S. government website. Information about the author is available at the footnote of the website. It indicates explicitly in this section the purpose and reason for the website and content. The organization is concerned with the preservation of American battlefields history, and its website helps towards the realization of this purpose. Whereas the website is reliable, bias is detectable as it highlights only positive aspects of the battlefields while presenting the lives lost as a worthy sacrifice. It matters that one realizes that such bias exists so that they can seek more information on the period covered, and have a deeper understanding of it. It is a personal responsibility for students to ensure that they get correct information from websites.
In conclusion, there are multiple reasons that make this website good for studying history. It relates to the events of the period seamlessly and is easy to read. The theme is clear, the author can be authentic, and their intention is clearly stated. The use of primary sources is helping to advance the narrative presented, while multiple links are provided regarding information that requires further references. The website is useful to history students because they can easily tell how the particular organization approaches the historical period and the lessons it draws from the events that occurred during this period. The purpose of the organization is in line with the material that is captured on the website. Therefore, understanding its perspective is useful as there is a proper weighing of the information derived from multiple primary sources.
Dawson, Catherine. Introduction to Research Methods 5th Edition: A Practical Guide for Anyone Undertaking a Research Project. Robinson, 2019.
Hall, Stephen J. "Beyond teacher transmission and Googling information to more creative language learning." (2018): 1-9. Retrieved from http://eprints.sunway.edu.my/938/1/Stephen%20Hall%20Beyong%20teacher%20transmission.pdf
The American Battlefield Trust. "A Brief Overview of the American Civil War".Battlefields.org. https://www.battlefields.org/learn/articles/brief-overview-american-civil-war (accessed October 20, 2019).
Walsh, Ben. "Technology in the History classroom." Debates in History Teaching (2017): 250.
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