History Lesson 1

by Jasmine on August 17, 2016

“History is simply the collection of facts about the past.”

History is known as full of facts, such as dates of historical events and famous figures. However, the term “fact” is misleading since I believe that history is pretty opinion-based. As Winston Churchill says: “History is written by the victors”, this means that what history is to us (people who did not first-handedly experience the event) is in the hands of the elite few who are able to record it, which they could easily manipulate.  Each human being interprets events though the lens of their own subconscious biases and perspectives. In addition to this, when studying the past, historians are dependent upon the writings and observations of others who were also were influenced by their own preconceived ideas. Therefore, I disagree with the statement above. An example of this would be public book burnings – in 1933, the Nazi party wanted to destroy all anti-Nazism books, bibles and history to create very pro-Nazi ideas. As seen in this example, lots of evidence of previous history recorded got destroyed, and this doesn’t allow accurate and valid facts to be passed down generation by generation.

However, history is agreed upon universally today, the content we learn in history class are facts that students from other countries can recite, most textbooks have identical information about a historical event. Therefore, even though the information may include some kind of bias or opinion, it’s been around for so long and been reinforced so many times that it’s slowly turning into valid facts and we have to accept it.

 

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