Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Historiography


I know this comes with only a few days left to blog, but I think it could be a great topic. As we will discuss in class, historiography is essentially the way that historians study history. For example when historians ask why an event unfolded the way it did?  Some might say because of economic reasons, while others might argue for social reasons and others might say it was due to the actions of a "great man." I challenge you to compare different historical interpretations of an event. This could be good practice for your 20th Century History Project.

23 comments:

  1. A well recognized event such as 9/11 have different interpretations and conspiracies about how and why this tragic event occurred. The official reported interpretation of 9/11 is that is was a surprise attack on the US by the Islamic people. Yet another group of people or historian have interpreted that the Bush administration used this event to extend the American empire. Although I don’t believe, and most of the country doesn’t believe that this is the case, but in reality it kind of does make sense. Since this sparked a war without a doubt and Bush sure made his point in the process. Another disturbing, yet interesting theory is that the Bush administration was totally aware of the attacks coming and let them happen anyway. Most of the American public is approving the official interpretation of 9/11, but a large portion of the public is also recognizing the other interpretations at hand. Nearly half of New York State is agreeing that the Bush administration was aware of the attacks on their way.

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  2. The Holocaust had a huge impact on World War II and the whole world. Many people like to say that the Holocaust never happened and is all a conspiracy theory. Two big question about the Holocaust is why Hitler was the way he was? and why the Holocaust happens? Many different people have many different answers for these questions. Many of the Jews that were killed had been very patriotic and fought for Germany in World War II. Hitler was abused by his father when he was a young kid and many people think this is why he is the way he is. Some disagree. Hitler ends up killing himself clearly showing signs of mental illness. The Holocaust happened because the people thought the Jews were the cause for all of Germany’s problems and they believed they had justified reason to kill them all. Most people agree with this idea because Germany and countries it conquered teached their children right away when they understood words that the Jews were evil people. There are many different reasons different people said were the reason the Holocaust started and why Hitler was a twisted person.

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    1. I'm glad the first two started with "radical revisionism" While this exists, it is what gives a bad name to revisionist history. Most revisionism is looking at legitimate and defendable interpretations, while some, like the ones you mentioned are not legitimate.

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  3. When we talked about the assassination of the Archduke of Austria we talked about how one countries terrorist assassin is another countries freedom fighter. This can tie into a lot of effects in history and even modern conflicts. For example ISIS, everyone in the US and in most of the world agree that this group of people is a crazy, terrorist, religious extremest group. But, from this groups point of view what they are doing is right. Same with Hitler and the Nazis, they thought what they were doing was good for the world. So if Hitler and his army had been successful and basically took over the world, then today we would be taught that Hitler was a savior, ridding the world of people that were "unworthy." So I think history's good guys and bad guys are all determined by who the winner is. I'm sure there are instances in history where some group tried to overthrow a corrupt government and fail. That corrupt leadership would teach that these people are the bad guys and it wouldn't be until later when that government eventually comes down that someone acknowledges that what that first rebellion was doing was right.

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  4. When we take about WW2, we often look at the military standpoint--as we all should. WW2 was one of the biggest wars in the history. It's effects greatly impacted every country involved and changed the way we view war. It's true that with every war we study, we focus on the facts of what happened when and who was involved, but this way of study is too narrow. The best way to study a war--especially WW2, is to look at the effects on a global standpoint. This was not only cost the U.S. over one million troops, but also made us rethink our entering of the war--of any war for that matter. Along with those killed in the U.S. 11 million people were murdered during the Holocaust, an event that is often studied when looking at Hitler's rise to power and his rule in Germany. In fact, most of us instantly think about the Holocaust when studying WW2. This event helps us to see the obscenely large number of deaths during the war, not only of soldiers, but innocent people too.

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  5. Good start. Anything more specific?

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  6. Historiography could be applied to pretty much the entire 20th century. The event that set the whole century off was World War one. While there were many things that led up to World War one, I'm just going to talk about the 20th century. After the war, the United States and its allies set up the League of Nations, which was ironic since the U.S didn't even join the League of Nations. If the U.S did join, the League maybe would have lasted a little while longer. Another important event that happened was the fact that Germany was treated so poorly at the end of the war, which directly caused Germany's influence in World War 2. The war also led to the Great Depression and economic crisis of the 1930's. World War 2 also directly caused the Cold War, due to the relations of the U.S and Russia, and the use of nuclear weapons. In the late 1900's, there were incidents in the Middle East like the Iran Hostage Crisis and the Iran-Contra Affair. These probably had an influence on 9/11 and terrorism in the 2000's.

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  7. When slavery was happening during American history, many Americans saw no problem with owning, having, and abusing slaves. For a long period of time, slavery was not study in American history. Once people finally started studying Slavery, people had all sorts of interpretations of what had happened and if it was right or wrong. Some historians think slavery was all about making many, which clearly was a large portion of having slaves. Some compare American slavery plantations to Nazi Germany Concentration camps. Some say it was comparable to Latin American Slavery. There are many different interpretations on how they African-Americans were treated but one thing most historians do agree one is how the African-American stayed together and kept their culture going strong.

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    1. I agree. There are many different ways to interpret slavery--it had a huge impact on our world. Slavery has been around since biblical times and was just another way to show status and wealth. One of the major points that I believe has been avoided for many years is the positive side to slavery. We often study the negativity of slavery (the brutality, misery, and racism that goes along with it), but have not really touched on the benefits that came from slavery. Plantation owners became incredibly wealthy in a short period of time because of the free labor provided by the slaves they owned. While they were mistreated and sometimes killed, the owners were making a great profit. You'd think that this would boost the southern economy, but in actuality, the southern economy suffered from slavery--another point we fail to study today. Since the south was so fixated on the slave industry, they fell behind in other improvement that could have been made to help them grow, things like transportation and industrialization.

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  8. The red scare when it was going on in the united states was a very much backed by the us government and by many of the americans. This happened after WW2 when the people feared a communist take over of the us gov. Politicians were put on trial because of thier ties with the comi party, actors and directors lost their jobs. For a period of time any one who was considered to have any tie to the communist party was looked down on. Through the red scare everyone agreed that it was the right thing to do. After it all happened and how it got so out of hand historians look back and realize that this was a bad event in the us history. Many of the trials were not based on legit facts and some of the cases were against people who opposed the leaders. Many Americans lost their jobs some were wrongly deported. So when looking back at the Red scare many people saw it as a good thing and people still do today just because of national Security while others look back and say how terrible it was to the citizens who were unlawfully persecuted through out this time period.

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    1. I agree with Joe, the Red Scare may not be hugely recognized and in every history textbook you read. But it does have a large, substantial impact on US society. So many people innocently had ties with either a communist organization, group, or business. Yes they were shunned, deported, and jailed but the government sure made a point. They made a strong stand on absolutely no communism inside of the United States. In all reality it could have overturned history as we know it, the US is famous for our free willed government and public input. If communism would have been implemented in our country who knows what would have happened down the road.

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    2. I also agree with Joe, The Red Scare has a large impact on the US and how it was a dark part of US history. The way we handled that was not very agreeable now that we have the hindsight of it. Historiography is important because the study of events like the Red Scare can help us look back and think about how we act in the future. We don't want to have a repeat of anything that awful again. History is everything, including present, and future. The way we act in the past effects how we act in the future.

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  9. We often hear about the holocaust as this bad horrible thing that happened during World War 2. But for the most part we never hear about that Joseph Stalin did the same thing to pretty much everyone in Russia. So why can we study one topic so much but leave the exact same thing alone completely? Hitler killed about 10 million people while Stalin almost tripled how many Hitler killed. Yet we constantly hear about the holocaust but rarely we hear about what happened to farmers in Russia that refused to hand their farm over to Stalin and they got killed or exiled because of it. So the United States went after Hitler but never bothered to deal with Russia until the Cold War, after Stalin was out of the picture.

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    1. Kyler makes an excellent point here about Stalin. Stalin was in a way like Hitler, and the U.S. should have maybe been more involved in this. Hitler and Stalin were both cruel people, so like Kyler said why is the Cold War not talked about as much? Stalin actually started a form of totalitarianism communism, and as I researched this is one form of what came from the Great Depression. This is only one perspective of what may have been a result of the Great Depression, but there are many different perspectives that will be discussed. But also, could studying more of Stalin help us to determine what may have exactly started or ended the Great Depression? Because we obviously don't yet know the exact answers to those with the debates and different perspectives that are present! Furthermore, I agree that Stalin should be studied more for different important reasons. Hitler was outrageous about what America was doing to basically not deal with Germany anymore in banking and he was also upset from how they kind of got screwed in the Great War, but Stalin still killed more people, so I feel this is an issue and topic that needs further discussion in our world today.

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  10. I choose to talk about the assassination of JFK because there are so many controversies. The way we are taught and the way it was published is this way: In the fall of 1963, US President John F. Kennedy performed a political tour of Texas to drum up public support for his 1964 re-election bid. The president and his entourage flew into Dallas, Texas, on Friday, 22 November 1963, and proceeded through the city in a motorcade. At 12:30 PM, the motorcade rolled into Dealey Plaza in downtown Dallas and passed the seven-floor Texas School Book Depository building. Several shots rang out; both the president and Texas Governor John Connally, who was also in the presidential limousine, were hit. The president died, the governor survived. About a hour later, the police arrested Lee Harvey Oswald, a worker at the depository, as a suspect, after Oswald had gunned down a police officer. Oswald refused to confess to any crimes, accusing the police of trying to frame him. Out of fears for Oswald's safety, he was to be transferred to a more secure facility at midday on Sunday, 24 November -- but while he was being moved he was gunned down by a Dallas nightclub owner named Jack Ruby. There are many theories behind this one. 1.) Second gunman: believed it came from Grassy Knoll- area in front of the car to the ride.. and that they was another bullet from that direction. Oswald was the first shooter, people believe that there has to be someone else involved. 2.) CIA involvement: CIA killed Kennedy because kennedy wanted to ‘’modify’’ the CIA. Bay of Pigs made the CIA look bad and screwed it up. 3.) Russian Involvement: Russia ordered Oswald to kill Kennedy because of his communists ties/sympathies. 4.) Cuban Involvement: Fidel Castro was furious that CIA-sponsored paramilitary group Brigade 2506 invaded the Bay of Pigs in a failed attempt to overthrow him. 5.) Mafia Involvement: Jack Ruby’s well-known connections to the mob. Ruby silenced Oswald so he couldn't testify in court.



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  11. I am choosing to do Hiroshima because there is controversy over this event. “The issue stirs enormous passions: at one pole speculative estimates of how many Americans would have died invading Japan, and were presumably spared because of the bombing, and at the other pole whether the attack in August 1945 was necessary to end the war.” Some historians also believe that this event was primarily aimed toward the wartime ally Soviet Union rather than the wartime enemy Japan.

    An atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima August 6, 1945, killing approximately 80,000 people. Three days later on August 9, 1945, a second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki killing approximately 40,000 more people. This is believed to be the only nuclear attack. The reason this war ended on August 14, 1945, is because Japan surrendered otherwise the war would have kept going on.

    Questions have raised about projected casualties because without these bombs, more questions would come up about whether the bomb would have been necessary or not, diminishing their roles. It has been talked about there there were other possibilities to end the war. Controversy over this bombing is still being talked about today because there really is no final answer to any of this.

    Sources:
    http://www.nytimes.com/1995/01/31/us/hiroshima-a-controversy-that-refuses-to-die.html

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