Discussion #1 HIS 2213

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2213 Module #01 Discussion: What is History? Create a New Descriptive Category
History is a very important aspect to life because if we do not know our history we will
not know where we came from and we will repeat mistakes from the past because history
repeats itself. George Santayana said "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned
to repeat it.” This quote means a lot to me because people need to understand their past and to
do this they must understand history. Understanding the connection between past and present
is required knowledge for a good understanding of the condition of being human and to
understand the past and present. History is not just useful it is essential to knowing who we are,
where we came from and where we are going. Finally to understand the present we need to
understand the history of the past.
The quote “history is a lie agreed upon” is true because people can have many different
interpretations of one historical event. Every event is a different event for each person
experiencing it. It is different in actual fact because each person has many different viewpoints
that help them create a memory of the event. These viewpoints are always different for each
person involved. History is shaped by those who write it and publish what they have written. The
best historians are those who attempt to include as many different viewpoints as possible in
each historical story he writes. History must be told from different viewpoints because it is not a
one sided argument.
“History written by the winners” means that history is written by the people in the way
that they see it not a generic version of a historical event. History might be written by the winner
at times but what becomes historical record is what makes the best true record of the event.
Even today as we record historic events the accounts are often not factual. It is because every
winner has a story behind their win which will be full of struggle and defeat. The winners in a
historical event may not always tell a true story because of their bias. Any time a historical
record is produced there will be differences in opinions between different people and historians.
That is what makes history written by the winners because whoever may write about history can
be a winner.
“There is no history, only histories” means that there are many different accounts of what
happened in every historical event. At any historical event there are many different accounts
and stories of what had happened. All history has many different biases from the people who
were there trying to tell the story. Everyone who writes about history are human and being
human is not superficial so they have their own opinion and bias and that is what makes the
history of a certain event become histories of that event. Historical knowledge is extremely
valuable in the pursuit of other disciplines because it helps to learn about the basis of society.
Consequently, all people are living histories.
“Whoever controls the past controls the future and whoever controls the present controls
the past” was said by George Orwell in his book 1984. This quote means that someone can
change who they are and by what a society is by changing the perception of how the past is
constructed and the history of the past. History is rewritten by people in charge and those who
are in power control the media, writers and any knowledge that is forbidden. Therefore, if the
person who is in power can control the history and our views of the past they can control how
the future will unfold is based on the ability to control the media. “This specific quote of Orwell's
has an additional meaning to people who study the past, in that scholars need to recognize that
whoever wrote a history book likely had an agenda, an agenda that might involve making one
group look better than another.” (Hirst What Does That Quote Mean?)
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