From the 2007 world history ap examination



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FROM THE 2007 WORLD HISTORY AP EXAMINATION (COURTESY OF COLLEGE ENTRANCE EXAMINATION BOARD):

  • 1. Using the documents, analyze Han and Roman attitudes toward technology. Identify one additional type of document and explain briefly how it would help your analysis.
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  • Doc #1 - Han government official - 2nd Century B.C.E.
  • • Importance of water, waterways, and other engineering needs
  • • Government authority over development of these needs; Seen as
  • the proper scope of government to regulate
  • • Attitude - technology is essential part of empire and requires
  • government intervention
  • Doc #2 - Huan Guan, Han government official, Discourses on Salt
  • and Iron - 1st Century B.C.E.
  • • Government created sub-standard tools due to monopolies
  • • As a government official, Huan Guan implies that good
  • government should rectify the situation; Confucianism
  • • Misinterpreted as negative about technology, rather he is negative
  • about the government’s role
  • Attitude - technology is essential part of peasant production,
  • responsibility of government to support
  • Huan Guan (Doc #2) embodies the Confucian Han view that technology is good,
  • as long as the government uses technology to benefit the people. Crude or brittle tools are of
  • no help, and reflect poorly on the government. Here the evidence from a document is used to
  • support the thesis/topic sentence. The document is used to support the essay, rather than the
  • other way around
  • Doc #3 - Huan Tan, Han philosopher, New Discourses - about
  • 20 C.E.
  • • Listing Fuxi as mythical emperor as inventor of pestle and mortar
  • • Listing of progress of technology after emperor’s first invention
  • • At time misinterpreted as Fuxi as author
  • Attitude - technology is a “gift” from enlightened emperors;
  • Confucian benevolence through progress
  • p
  • Doc #4 - History of the Early Han Dynasty, government-sponsored
  • history - about 200 C.E.
  • • Governor of province, Tu Shih, was peaceful, destroyed evildoers,
  • planner, and loved common people
  • • Developed labor-saving device, water-powered blowing engine, to
  • facilitate cast-iron agricultural implements
  • • At times misinterpreted Fuxi as the author
  • Attitude - technology is a “gift” from enlightened leadership;
  • Confucian benevolence and harmony
  • E. Napp
  • Doc #5 - Cicero, Roman political leader, On Duty, - 1st
  • Century B.C.E.
  • • Those who work with hands are “vulgar” or common; gentlemen
  • do not work with their hands
  • • Craftsmen and “hired workers” are not fit occupations for
  • gentlemen
  • Attitude - technology is necessary, but not enlightened or fit for
  • enlightened minds
  • p
  • Doc #6 Plutarch, Greek-born Roman citizen and high official - 1st
  • Century B.C.E.
  • • Regarding Roman leader Gaius Gracchus’ road building
  • enterprises
  • • Glowing report of roads and amenities encouraged by Gracchus
  • for imperial good, no mention of populace
  • • At time misinterpreted Gracchus as the author
  • Attitude - technology has a practical/pragmatic side, but also one
  • of aesthetics
  • E. Napp
  • Doc #7 Seneca, Roman philosopher and adviser to Emperor Nero -
  • 1st Century C.E.
  • • Individual technology’s creator and creation is less important than
  • its use
  • • Differentiation between those who work with hands and those who
  • work with their mind
  • Attitude - technology is necessary and takes “smarts,” but not
  • enlightened
  • Doc #8 Frontinus, Roman general, governor of Britain, water
  • commissioner for Rome - 1st Century C.E.
  • • Glowing report of aqueducts and their uses in city of Rome
  • Attitude - emphasizes the practical and aesthetic nature of Roman
  • technology over Egyptian or Greek
  • p

Hmmm, it seemed that in three of the four documents concerning the Han, innovation and efficiency regarding technology were encouraged by the elite but in one document, a state monopoly led to inferior technology. Conversely, in two of the four documents concerning the Romans, innovation and technological efficiency were considered negatively yet in two documents, these very traits were praised.

  • Hmmm, it seemed that in three of the four documents concerning the Han, innovation and efficiency regarding technology were encouraged by the elite but in one document, a state monopoly led to inferior technology. Conversely, in two of the four documents concerning the Romans, innovation and technological efficiency were considered negatively yet in two documents, these very traits were praised.

TIPS FOR THE THESIS PARAGRAPH

  • Present a clear, analytical, and comprehensive thesis or at least, an acceptable thesis Correctly identify the nature of the documents.
  • Tell the reader how the documents will be categorized

SAMPLE THESIS PARAGRAPH

  • Around the dawn of the 1st millennium, attitudes toward technology were both self glorifying, however the Han empire in China placed more value upon technology and technological enhancements than did the Roman Empire, as evidenced by the consistent concern on the part of the Han Dynasty over the occasional indifference on the part of the Romans.


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