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Primary vs. Secondary sources


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  • 3 weeks later...

In some regard, it's hard to come up with values and limitations that apply to all primary/secondary sources. The value and limitation of a source are often influenced by what you, the historian, are trying to use it for. However, I will attempt to provide some examples below. If you have further questions, please feel free to post them here or pm me.

  • Primary:
    • "The Treaty of Georgievsk, 1783" (Treaty of Friendship signed between the Russian Empire and the Kingdom of Georgia.)
  • Value:
    • Because it was written in 1783 it demonstrates that Russia promises to protect Georgia from its non-Orthodox neighbors.
    • Because it the treaty states the the King of Georgia asked for Russia's protection, it indicates that Georgia believed it could not defend itself against its neighbors. 
  • Limitation:
    • Because it is a treaty, it does not indicate if Russia followed through on the terms of agreement. 
    • Because it involved the rulers of the two countries, it does not take into account how the subjects of either country felt about this agreement. 

 

  • Secondary:
    • Georgia: Pawn in the New Great Game (Per Gahrton, 2010)
  • Value:
    • Because it was written in 2010, the book examines examines the role of Russian/Soviet hostilities in the current relationship between Russia and Georgia. 
  • Limitation: 
    • Because Gahrton is a Swedish politician, I cannot learn what a Georgian thinks about the same issues.
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