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AP World History: DBQ Design Activity
The following question is based on the accompanying Documents 1-10. (The documents have been edited for the purpose of this exercise.) Write your answer on the lined pages of the Section II free-response booklet.
This question is designed to test your ability to work with and understand historical documents.
Write an essay that:
Has a relevant thesis and supports that thesis with evidence from the documents.
Uses all of the documents.
Analyzes the documents by grouping them in as many appropriate ways as possible. Does not simply summarize the documents individually.
Takes into account the sources of the documents and analyzes the authors’ points of view.
Identifies and explains the need for at least one additional type of document.
You may refer to relevant historical information not mentioned in the documents.
Historical Background: The Roman Empire came into being shortly after the death of Julius Caesar in 44 B.C.E. Caesar initiated the transformation of Rome to an Empire when he led an invading army of Romans against the Senate and the city and established himself as the “first citizen”. In the process, Caesar instituted broad, wide ranging reforms that would impact Rome for centuries. As a result of conquest and empire, Rome had simply outgrown the republic and the values that he held for centuries.
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Analyze the views of the citizenry and the rulers of Rome on the Roman style of governance.
Document 1: “Speech on Rome” Aelius Aristides; Greek Orator, delivering a speech to the Senate in 155 C.E.
Since the government is universal and like that of a single city, the governors with good reason rule both foreigners, but, as it were, their own people.
Document 2: “The Life of Augustus”-Suetonius; Roman Patrician and Empirical Biographer, 122 C.E.
He twice entertained thoughts of restoring the republic; first immediately after he had crushed Antony, remembering that he had often charged him with being the obstacle to its restoration. The second time was in consequence of a long illness when he sent for the magistrates and the senate to his own house and delivered them a particular account of the state of the empire. But reflecting at the same time that it would be both hazardous to himself to return to the condition of a private person, and might be dangerous to the public to have the government placed under the control of the people, he resolved to keep it in his own hands, whether with the better event or intention, is hard to say, his good intentions he often affirmed in private discourse, and also publishing an edict, in which it was declared in the following terms: “May it be permitted me to have the happiness of establishing the commonwealth on a safe and sound basis, and thus enjoy the reward of which I am ambitious that if being celebrated for molding it into the form best adapted to present circumstances; so that, on my leaving the world, I may carry with me the hope that the foundations which I have laid for it future government, will stand firm and stable.
Document 3: “Principles of Roman Political Virtue”-Plutarch; Greek politician, empirical biographer, orator, and writer; 61 C.E.
So, then, the statesman who already has attained to power and has won the people’s confidence should try to train the character of the citizens, leading them gently towards that which is better and treating them with mildness; for it is a difficult task to change the multitude. But do you yourself, since you are henceforth to live as on an open stage, educate your character and put it in order; and if it is not easy to wholly banish evil from the soul, at any rate remove and repress those faults which are most flourishing and conspicuous. For you know the story that Theistocles, when he was thinking of entering upon public life withdrew from drinking- parties and carousals; he was wakeful at night, was sober and deeply thoughtful…
Document 4: “On Julius Caesar, a man of of unlimited ambition”-Plutarch; Greek politician, empirical biographer, orator, and writer; 61 C.E.
But that which brought upon him the most apparent and mortal hatred was his desire of being kin; which gave the common people the first occasion to quarrel with him, and proved the most specious pretense to those who had been his secret enemies all along.