The And Its Effects On The World

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When studying history, the further back on the timeline we focus, the less physical evidence is available about the events and people of the time. Therefore, we are often forced to rely solely on primary writings to learn about the past. However, these texts, even though written by those experiencing the event in question, are not always reliable sources of information. They could possibly misconstrue information, from which the reader, if they do not consult multiple sources, will gain a biased understanding. While the original writers might not have always intended to include inaccuracies in their works, other might have purposefully altered the events, through exaggeration or the inclusion of completely fictional aspects. Therefore, it is important to analyze the writer’s audience and motives for the specific document to see if they would have any reason for deviating from the truth. Cortés ' Letter and We People Here both present different accounts of Cortés’ interactions with the indigenous people for this reason. Other fallacies in historical texts could also be based on the writer’s existing bias of the time. A comparison of The Siege of Guanajuato and The Political Evolution of the Mexican People, a secondary source, highlights each of the texts’ own biases that might have otherwise gone unnoticed. These two causes of inaccuracy, intentional alteration and unintentional bias, perpetuate misinformation if not cross-referenced with other sources. The first pair of
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