Junior Cert (Higher Level): Q.2 - Documents

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The last half of your source paper, after the pictures, is taken up with Documents. You will have two documents which could relate to any part of the course that you have studied. They might be old newspaper reports, diary entries, letters, or pieces from books.

The topics which appeared on Document Questions in the last few years are as follows:

2016: Sources (Elizabeth I), World War II

2015: World War II/Sources, Home Rule Crisis.

2014: The Renaissance, World War II.

2013: The Reformation, the Troubles.

2012: The Age of Exploration, World War II.

2011: Europe after World War I, The Emergency in Ireland.

You might be tempted to look for patterns there, but really there's no way to predict what could come up next. As you can see, some topics (such as World War II) are common enough, but there's still quite a mix of other topics.

Every document has four questions attached to it. The first three questions will be about information contained in the picture. The fourth question usually asks you something else about the topic in question.

Answering a Document Question
  • Study the documents carefully 
  • Don't just glance at them. Read them very carefully before looking at the questions. Underline key points. Quote from the document if you want, (as long its relevant) but keep your answers short. A 2-mark question requires just one piece of information. 
  • Timekeeping:
  • The Document Questions are worth 15 marks altogether. They can be an easy source for marks, but you must not spend too much time on them. Other parts of the paper carry much more marks with them. You should spend only about 15 minutes on the Document Question.

 Sample Document Questions

Extract from the eyewitness account of Antonio Pigafetta, diarist on Magellan's voyage of discovery in the sixteenth century.

The natives shot so many arrows at us and hurled so many bamboo spears (some of them tipped with iron) at the captain that we could scarcely defend ourselves. Seeing that, the captain sent some men to burn their houses in order to terrify them. When they saw their houses burning, they were roused to greater fury.

So many of them charged down upon us that they shot the captain through the right leg with a poisoned arrow. So, he ordered us to retire slowly, but the men took to fight, except six or eight of us who remained with the captain. The natives continued to pursue us, and picking up the same spear four or six times, hurled it at us again and again. Recognising the captain, so many turned upon him that they knocked his helmet off his head twice, but he always stood firmly like a good knight.

An Indian hurled a bamboo spear into the captain's face, but he immediately killed him with his lance. Then, trying to lay hand on sword, he could only draw it out halfway, because he had been wounded in the arm with a bamboo spear. When the natives saw that, they all hurled themselves upon him. One of them wounded him on the left leg which caused the captain to fall face downward, when immediately they rushed upon him with iron and bamboo spears and with their cutlasses, until they killed out mirror, our light, our comfort and our true guide.

Source: 'The Death of Magellan, 1521', www.eyewitnesstohistory.com (2001)

1.   In what way had the natives made their spears even more dangerous? (1)

2.   According to the document, why did the captain send men to burn the natives' houses? (2)

3.   Does the writer respect the captain? Give one piece of evidence to support your answer. (2)

4.   Give one advantage and one disadvantage of eyewitness accounts for historians. (2)

Extract from Albert Speer's account of Hitler's visit to Paris after the fall of France in 1940.

We drove through the suburbs directly to the great Opera building. It was Hitler's favourite and the first thing he wanted to see. A white-haired attendant accompanied our small group through the deserted building. Hitler seemed fascinated by the Opera, went into ecstasies about its beauty, his eyes glittering with excitement. The attendant, of course, had immediately recognised the person he was guiding through the building. In a business-like but distinctly aloof manner, he showed us through the rooms. When we were at last getting ready to leave the building, Hitler whispered something to his adjutant, Bruckner, who took a fifty-mark note from his wallet and went over to the attendant standing some distance away. Pleasantly, but firmly, the man refused to take the money.

Afterward, we drove past the Madeleine, down the Champs Élysées, on the Trocadéro, and then to the Eiffel Tower, where Hitler ordered another stop. From the Arc de Triomphe we drove on to Les Invalides where Hitler stood for a long time at the tomb of Napoleon. The end of our tour was the church of Sacre Coeur on Montmartre. Here he stood for a long time surrounded by several powerful men of his escort squad, while many churchgoers recognised him but ignored him. After a last look at Paris we drove swiftly back to the airport. Afterwards he said, 'It was the dream of my life to be permitted to see Paris. I cannot say how happy I am to have that dream fulfilled today.'

Source: 'Hitler Tours Paris, 1940', www.eyewitnesstohistory.com (2008)

1.   Name two places visited by Hitler on his tour of Paris. (2)

2.   Give two pieces of evidence from the document that suggests Hitler was not a welcome visitor
      to Paris. (2)

3.   What evidence is there that Hitler was deeply satisfied with his visit to Paris? (2)

4.   From your study of World War II, what was Vichy France? (2)