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Teacher gave me a 10. I have no idea how to fix it. Here are the original instructions
For the gobbet, you will be doing an excerpt from a correspondence between U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower and British Prime Minister Anthony Eden with respect to the Suez Crisis of 1956. Before doing the gobbet, you should view the lecture on doing a gobbet (immediately below):
And then the short video documentary (just below) summarizing the main events surrounding the Suez Crisis: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xICnObSHU0M
Regarding the gobbet, a short explanation is first necessary (though bear in mind, what follows is repeating to some degree what was in the lecture): a gobbet is a short commentary on an assigned primary source, demonstrating your ability to place it in its appropriate context—how is this source (or excerpt) relevant to a particular topic of historical study? Who produced the source? When? What was happening at the time? How does it relate to wider historical events? What does it tell us about how people thought or felt about said events? Is there something about the language that is relevant? Who is the intended audience? You cannot properly interpret a primary source until you have at least attempted to answer all of these questions!
If, for instance, you were studying the Second World War, and you had to write a gobbet on Chamberlain’s “peace for our time” declaration, you would need to identify that Chamberlain was Prime Minster of Britain, that the declaration was made after Chamberlain’s return from the Munich Conference in 1938, as part of his determination to avoid war. As an example of his effort to appease Hitler, you would need to show some context: how did other British political figures and the British public as a whole feel about appeasement? Is it relevant that the British had lost an entire generation of young men in the First World War? What constituted British interests at the time? You would need to pick out crucial phrases and aspects of the declaration in order to properly address such questions!
The gobbet is highly structured, and will be organized as follows:
What kind of document is it/does it come from? Who wrote it? What was his or her position, social status, etc. What is it saying in the most literal sense? Are there key phrases that stand out, and what are they? (Don’t guess! You will need to research this a bit!)
II. Description (context):
With what larger development is it connected? What motivated it? Is it trying to achieve something? Does it reflect any particular interests?
This is where you consider how historians use it. What does it tell us about attitudes at (dare I say, the mentalité of?) the time? Does it help explain later developments (cause and effect)? This is where you might explore in greater depth the language of the document, certain key phrases, etc. For instance, the phrase “with all deliberate speed” in Brown vs. the Board of Education, might on the face of it seem to indicate that the U.S. Supreme Court was trying to speed up segregation, but most historians would argue that it really is an intentionally vague phrase, particularly for a legal ruling, with the intention of allowing states to take as long as they wanted! Which again brings home the point, particularly here, DON’T guess! You need to research this.
I’ve provided two sample gobbets here, both of which actually break down the components of a near perfect gobbet in outline form, in the one case, on the Balfour Declaration, what constituted a statement of British foreign policy in support of the creation of a “Jewish national home” in Palestine, issued at the end of the First World War; in the other, on the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen, which came out of the French Revolution. You will also find an example of a gobbet on the “Peace in Our Time” primary source, in written form (which is how your gobbet should be done—i.e., in written form, not as an outline, though that might make for good preparation!).
As indicated above, your gobbet is going to be an excerpt (to be found below) from a series of letters between the U.S. President, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and the British Prime Minister, Anthony Eden, in connection with the Suez Crisis of 1956. I’m also including here a link which I think will prove especially useful in researching this excerpt, but by all means, feel free to find other sources: https://www.press.umich.edu/pdf/0472108670-06.pdf
Excerpt: “In the 1930s Hitler established his position by a series of carefully planned movements. These began with occupation of the Rhineland and were followed by successive acts of aggression against Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland and the West. His actions were tolerated and excused by the majority of the population of Western Europe. It was argued either that Hitler had committed no act of aggression against anyone, or that he was entitled to do what he liked in his own territory, or that it was impossible to prove that he had ulterior designs, or that the Covenant of the League of Nations did not entitle us to use force and that it would be wiser to wait until he did commit an act of aggression.”
Eden to Eisenhower, 6 September 1956
The deadline for your gobbet, which should be typed, double space, to be e-mailed to me, is Friday, April 23rd.