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Transcript of History
Which of the following is the most persuasive description of history: an account of great
individuals, an account of a decline from the greatness of the past, or an account of
progress towards the future, or a cycle of recurring events?
What other descriptions might
be appropriate? Is it possible to portray different visions of history in a diagrammatic
History is a study of the records of the past.
History is mainly the study of records.
History is based around the
: techniques and guidelines by which historians use primary sources and other evidence, to research and write accounts of the past
Without records, there would be no way of discovering events from the distant past.
For ex: Artifacts are uncovered to find out what life was like before there was a written language.
After language was developed, written records became used by historians to study the past.
However it may also be possible for a historian who has experience a historical event to avoid using records, although this provides a limited perspective and bias.
What is the past? How can we know what the past is?
The only way for us to learn about the past or of events that have transpired before our individual existence we must reference some sort of records
History is not fixed
history is “always written wrong. . . The past is a steady process of imaginative reinterpretation and reconstruction; we want it to be meaningful to us in the present”
We learn about history through the lens we perceive it
There is no way to change the past, the past can only be distorted
We cannot study something if there are no records
indicating that an event ever occurred. Though some of the records left behind may be
, that is why historians study multiple accounts of the same event to uncover the truth.
The most privileged people control access to historical sources
History is various accounts left by the most influential people.
To further build off the first question, history is the study of records of the past.
Who is to say that the records left behind are 100% true?
Textbooks are often published by huge corporations, therefore those corporations have to determine what information is released to the masses.
History is a cycle of similar recurring events
Mark Twain: "History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme."
Ex: Rise and fall of Empires: Greeks, Romans, Persians, British Empire, collapse of the USSR
General Example of War: Conflict is always present no matter the time period; there is always a winning side and losing side; death, physical, economic, and social destruction always follows
Ex: Both Napoleon and Hitler lost wars by invading Russia too late in the summer to achieve victory before winter set in.
Ex: The role of the US in both WWI and WWII; US had to come into the European conflict and proved to be vital for success.
History is made by people
What are the implications of Henry Miller’s claim that ‘The history of the world is the history of a privileged few’?
The privileged often times have the power to control the availability of historical sources which which would then affect future historical studies. The most powerful people control which historical records survive,
Ex: Massive book burnings that were thought to be political dangerous and the burial of scholars by the first Chinese emperor in 213 B.C.
Ex: USSR government often erased unwanted people from history books and photographs.
Throughout history only a selective group of people were educated
These people made and kept records, most of the written records were made by the privileged few
However artifacts and remains have a history of their own
History is the study of the past records
-History is the study of the people of the past using evidence
-Records are solid evidences that are left by the people of the past to understand their lifestyle
-We understand early Chinese Dynasties due to the oracle bones that are left behind by them.
-We understand early European history due to the writing of Herodotus "father of history"
-Although some of the records are biased, they give us a clear understanding of the ancient civilizations.
The privileged created history
The Ancient Sumarians
People in positions of power influence history
History is the account of great individuals
Mahatma Gandhi's non-violent fight for the Independence of India
Napoleon's leadership during the French Revolution
Hitler's rise to power and fight to conquer the world
Abraham Lincoln bringing the North and the South together and putting an end to slavery
These are some of many individuals that certain periods of history revolve around
There are Numerous Ways to Portray History
History can be portrayed as a circular diagram.
Going off the idea that history repeats itself, then it would be reasonable to say that you can portray history as a circle.
The history is not only the study of individuals