History-Will R.

History is one of our most important subjects, because, as George Bernard Shaw said,

  we learn from history that we learn nothing from history.

I interpret this quote as him saying that there have been a lot of wars, mass genocides and other terrible things that happened throughout history,  and yet they keep happening all the time, which shows we haven’t learned anything. We need to look back at things that happened in the past, so that we do not keep making the same mistakes.

I also found the George Orwell quote

history is written by the winners

very interesting. I agree with this, because usually the losers of a war or a conflict have been defeated, so they do not get do decide what goes in the history books.  A lot of the time, the people who committed an atrocity or started a war and won, or something along those lines, change the story a lot when it comes to history.  They do this to put themselves in a better light, and make themselves seem less guilty, especially if they did bad things during the conflict, or are the only people who witnessed what really happened, and no one else actually knows the truth.  Much of what is written in history books, especially stuff from a very long time ago, may have some truth, but may be altered. The only way to really know whether a historical event is accurate, or blown out of proportion, is to see whether other textbooks and documents have the same description as what we read.

There are many different ways that we can learn about history. We can watch documentaries, read eyewitness accounts, or read textbooks. There can also be land deeds, historical artifacts, or memoirs of people who experienced the historical event, like the diary of Anne Frank. All of these methods are pretty trustworthy, because they all have to be approved before being published, or the information has to be verified. The only problem is that people who give eyewitness accounts could change the story to get more attention. This is why it can be hard to know what is accurate about history and what is not. For most of the historical events in our textbook, we were not there or were not alive when they happened, so if the person who writes or tells us about history is lying or making things up, or if they are biased, then we may have an inaccurate view of history.

5 thoughts on “History-Will R.”

  1. “Those who can’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it” by George Santayana show us that humans must learn about our mistakes and if we do not learn we will repeat it somewhen. I’ll take the example of the 2 World Wars that Germany tried to invade Russia in their coldest season, if something happened once, why would you do the same if you already know the outcome?

  2. Will, like many other of these posts about history, yours makes some good points but stays on a level of generalization that gives it very little value as a TOK analysis. Read the article that I have posted in Teams about how to do a close reading.

    You also make some doubtful claims, like “they all have to be approved before being published, or the information has to be verified.” It would be nice if this were true, but as we have seen earlier in the course, even scientific journals sometimes publish research that turns out to be bogus.

  3. When you write the quote history is written by the winners”, I agree completely with it. I think that minorities write history on their own benefit, to control a majority.

  4. I agree that winners write more about what happened but I also find that the other side does get an input into the events, sometimes it is harder to find yet they still want their points to be heard.

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