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Imagine that you are writing a study of Paris during the Terror.
An extract from this essay...
Imagine that you are writing a study of Paris during the Terror. In the form of a short essay (not more than 900 words) consider the following three questions:
1. What kind of primary source is this and what strengths and weaknesses does it have?
2. Are there any particular words and phrase in the document that require elucidation or special comment before you can make use of it?
3. What can you learn from this source with respect to Paris and the Terror? You should distinguish, where appropriate, between witting and unwitting testimony.
This document in its original form as a speech is an unpublished document. However, because it has been translated and printed as a part of a book, it is now a published document.
As a source for study, it has several strengths. Firstly, it is now a part of a recognized historical document. Secondly, it fulfills the criteria of being a relevant document because of the author's proximity to the Paris Terror. It also provides good clues about the view points (however biased) of Jacques Roux and others like him living in Paris at that time.
On the other hand, while this speech's translation into English will ensure it reaches a wider audience, important nuances of the French language may have been lost in the crossover. As a result, significant connotations gained from a choice of French words may no longer be obvious and this may even affect the amount of unwitting testimony one might have been able to extract from it.
Another weakness this speech will have is its bias. It is very obvious that Jacques Roux is passionate about the role of the government in the persecution of his people. The reader is presented with one side of the struggle without being aware of whether the government was in fact guilty of what it is charged with. The foot notes are also open to interpretation. How sure can the reader be of the accuracy of the information?
While reading Jacques Roux's speech, it may be difficult to decipher certain terms, one of which is the sans culottes. If one investigates, one will be faced with the task of interpreting which version was meant and used by Roux.
In order to truly understand the context of the speech, one would also have to
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