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1. "Professor, this document is so cool! It contains photos of cuneiform writing on stone and on clay tablets that date back to 1772 BC. There's a translation here that describes these 282 laws in Babylon which covered crime and punishment, family relationships and inheritance, military matters, commerce and much more! I'm ashamed I don't know the name of this amazing work, Professor. What is it?"
2. "Professor, this document is REALLY old! It was issued by King John at Runnymede in June 15, 1215. It seems to be a charter that outlines the limitations of royal power and guarantees that only the law of the land can be used to punish a free man. What is this document called, Professor?"
3. "My classical education is of some help here, Professor. This document is written in Latin. Aaah, I've found a date too - 1517. It's called 'Ninety-Five Theses on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences'. This explanatory note adds that it was translated into German so the local population could read it and that it was nailed to the door of the Castle Church of Wittenberg by the author. Can you please help me determine who wrote it?"
4. "Professor, this document's written in English - well, old-style English. Not surprising as it dates from 1620. It displays a signed pledge by a group of settlers, including many fleeing religious persecution in Europe, heading for the New World. They vowed to work together for the common good in the presence of God. Professor, I'm certain these settlers landed at Plymouth Rock, but I can't find the name of this document. Do you know what it is?"
5. "I'm sorry Professor, I simply don't understand this. I've only glanced at these excerpts from the three books in the series but they are full of drawings of geometric shapes and mathematical equations, planets, orbits, ellipses, proofs and gravity. I can't believe they are that important, yet the explanatory notes say this work from the late seventeenth century has had a profound effect on astronomy, physics and mathematics reaching through to today. Who wrote this material, Professor?"
6. "Unfortunately I didn't bring my glasses, Professor. The writing on this document is a bit hard to read. At the top it states "In Congress. July 4, 1776". I can pick out a few phrases "We hold these truths to be self-evident" and "among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness". The next section seems to list a lot of complaints about George III. This does seem to be familiar but I can't pick which of several documents this might be. Can you tell me which it is?"
7. "I know this one, Professor. It was written in 1848 by Karl Marx. It's the Communist Manifesto! It's one of the most important and influential political treatises ever written. The uptake of these ideas had a massive effect throughout large parts of the world in the twentieth century, directly influencing the political structures of many countries and changing the face of geopolitical interactions. Oh, what's that Professor? Another author? Who was that other man?"
8. "This is strange, Professor, this document seems to be in four installments. The first part dates back to 1864 and the last addition was shortly after World War II. Aaah, now I understand! There's a common theme relating to the treatment of prisoners, the wounded and civilians during wartime. Unfortunately the title page seems to be missing. So Professor, can you tell me the name of these important treaties?"
9. "I'm puzzled, Professor. Why are you showing me a single piece of paper? OK, I'll read it. It's from the British Foreign Secretary, Arthur Balfour, to a British citizen, Baron Rothschild, in 1917. It expresses sympathy for 'Jewish Zionist aspirations' for a national home in Palestine. It also emphasizes that nothing should be done to 'prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities'. So this appears to be a crucial development in the establishment of the state of Israel 30 years later. There's no title on this letter, Professor, what is it called?"
10. "This last document looks much newer than many of the others you've shown me, Professor. It is dated 1945. There's signatures here from 51 countries, although Poland's seems to be a little later. Wow, it's big. There's a preamble and lots of chapters covering subjects including the General Assembly, the Security Council and International Economic and Social Co-operation. The last bit of the preamble reads "...hereby establish an international organization to be known as the United Nations". My last question until next time, Professor, I promise, but what massive document is this?"
Source: Author MikeMaster99
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