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Document-Based Question (DBQ) on Classical Greece

Directions:  The following question requires you to construct a coherent essay that combines your interpretation of the Documents and your knowledge of the period referred to in the question.  In your essay, you should strive to support you assertions both by citing key pieces of evidence from the documents and by drawing on your knowledge of the period.

“To what extent has classical Greece influenced American civilization?”

Be aware of the difference between primary source documents and secondary source documents and the pitfalls that come along with their origins:

Primary Source: a document, recording or other source of information that was created at roughly the time being studied, by an authoritative source, usually one with direct personal knowledge of the events being described.

Secondary Source: a document, recording or other source that relates or discusses information originally presented elsewhere.

Bias or Point of View: When you are looking at a document, whether it is primary or secondary, you should be aware of who it was written by, when it came from, and why that might affect the accuracy or trustworthiness of the source.

For example, you could quote me as saying “Western Civilizations is the best class a student can take at Valley!” That is a source, but I am biased because I am partial to history, and partial to the courses I teach. Everyone brings their own biases and points of view to their observations, so take EVERY source you read with a grain of salt!

DOCUMENTS

Document 1
The Lincoln Memorial:
Open to the public in1922. It stands on the west end of the National Mall in Washington DC, facing east toward the reflecting pool.

Document 2
The Theater of Dionysus:
Located at the foot of the Athenian Acropolis, it could seat as many as 17,000 people. Dionysus was the god of wine and plays. Fell into disuse in the 400s B.C.E.

Document 3
Temple to Apollo in Corinth:
This temple, built about 540 B.C.E. on the site of an older, 7th century temple. An early example of “Doric” architecture.

Document 4Source: Alexis de Toqueville, An aristocratic Frenchman who came to the U.S. in 1831 wrote Democracy in America, a study of the American people and their political institutions. “I confess that in America I saw more than America; I sought the image of democracy itself, with its inclinations, its character, its prejudices, and its passions, in order to learn what we have to fear or hope from its progress.” Document 5Source: Pericles, Funeral Oration in Athens – in 429 B.C.E. “Our form of government does not enter into rivalry with the institutions of others. We do not copy our neighbors but are an example to them. Our constitution is called a democracy, because power is in the hands not of a minority but of the whole people.  “Our plan of government favors the many instead of the few: that is why it is called a democracy… As for social standing, advancement is open to everyone, according to ability. While every citizen has an equal opportunity to serve the public, we reward our most distinguished citizens by asking them to make our political decisions. Nor do we discriminate against the poor. A man may serve his country no matter how low his position on the social scale.”

Document 6Source: The Constitution of the United States, written 1787 and ratified by all 13 colonies by 1791. Preamble: We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. Article 1: Section 1. All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which...
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