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An Inquiry into the Causes and Effects of the Variolae Vaccinae

Source

Edward Jenner (1749-1823) was a physician in rural Gloucestershire. Like Lady Mary Wortley Montagu he learnt of a widely known folk remedy to protect against smallpox. Smallpox cases were increasing in the 18th century and had a mortality rate of 40%. At least 30% of those who survived were left horribly scarred. Smallpox was a disease of children and youth in particular. However, dairymaids... Read More »

An Ordinary Guillotine

Source

The guillotine was first introduced as a humane, efficient, and above all modern form of execution in April 1792; during the radical phase of the Republic, it would become the symbol of the Terror. This engraving suggests the guillotine is providing "good support for liberty."

An Ordinary Woman Faces Prison for her Comments

Source

This petition from the wife of a wigmaker in Paris demonstrates both the volatility of the political situation (she went to jail for badmouthing a local official while standing in line at a food market) and the conditions in prison.

Thumbnail image of Codex Mendoza

Analyzing Images

Methods

The modules in Methods present case studies that demonstrate how scholars interpret different kinds of historical evidence in world history. In the video historian Dana Leibsohn analyzes two paintings from 16th-century Spanish America: a map from the Codex Mendoza (circa 1543) that represents the founding of Tenochtitlan, the large imperial capital of the Aztecs, and a painting entitled “The... Read More »

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Analyzing Inquisition Documents

Methods

The modules in Methods present case studies that demonstrate how scholars interpret different kinds of historical evidence in world history.. In the video, historian Joan Bristol analyzes records from the Mexican Inquisition, a tribunal created in Spain in the late 15th century to prosecute people who committed crimes against Christianity. These records is a summary of a case in which a nun,... Read More »

Analyzing Literary Sources

Methods

The modules in Methods present case studies that demonstrate how scholars interpret different kinds of historical evidence in world history. The video below features writing from a 14th century lai. Lais are short, poetic romances written during the Middle Ages in Western Europe. These stories were written and shared orally among nobility. The view the primary sources discussed in the... Read More »

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Analyzing Newspapers

Methods

The modules in Methods present case studies that demonstrate how scholars interpret different kinds of historical evidence in world history. In the video historian Jack Censer analyzes an 18th-century French newspaper, Le Courrier d’Avignon, and an image of the reading public in France around the same time. By the late 18th century, newspapers had become important means of... Read More »

Posada Broadsheet

Analyzing Newspapers

Methods

A newspaper is a publication intended for a broad audience that appears regularly, often daily, and claims to contain factual accounts of recent events. Usually newspapers are published with the intention of making a profit. Frequently, their factual content is accompanied by advertisements and nonfactual material intended as entertainment. Journalists often boast that they write “the rough... Read More »

Thumbnail image of Glikl

Analyzing Personal Accounts

Methods

The modules in Methods present case studies that demonstrate how scholars interpret different kinds of historical evidence in world history.. In the video below, historian Merry Wiesner-Hanks analyzes two personal accounts written by women living in northern Germany in the 17th century. The first is a diary written by a Jewish merchant, Glikl of Hameln. The second is a memoir written by a... Read More »

A Journal of Captain Cook's Last Voyage to the Pacific Ocean thumbnail image

Analyzing Travel Narratives

Methods

The modules in Methods present case studies that demonstrate how scholars interpret different kinds of historical evidence in world history. In the video below, historian Tom Ewing analyzes John Ledyard’s journal of his travels along the North American coast in the late 18th century. Ledyard, born a British subject, became an American citizen after Independence. He traveled with the British... Read More »

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