It is pirate day!
Before we hoist the Jolly Roger or board another ship and steal its riches, I’d like to announce a few important changes to the Historical Dialogue assignment:
The Great Man Theory can also be used to argue that historical figures were not great. You can, for example, prove that an important figure had tremendous impact on history, but not enough impact to warrant being labelled a Great Man. Note: the figure you choose must still have done something significant; don’t try prove that Guy Fawkes’ second cousin on his mother’s side was not a Great Man.
I’ve also added another school: Feminism. In the past, I have excluded Feminism because of the lack of good sources readily available to the class; choosing this school would have required a student to do much more research than everyone else. However, the addition of pirates to our list provides students with at least two options–Elizabeth and pirates–that are highly appropriate.
Your goal is to evaluate piracy in the 16th and 17th centuries through the lens of your historical school. In fact, you may be able to use today’s work in your assignment:
Radical School: watch for anything that suggests that pirate “society” was more complex than general history suggests. You should also pay attention to differences (if any) between pirates and privateers
Marxist School: watch for the influence of wealth on piracy. In particular, notice what drove men into piracy in the first place.
Great Forces; pay attention to trade and changes to international relations
Hegelian Dialectic: how does conflict cause something “new”?