Page 2 of 2 [ 23 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2

GoonSquad
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 11 May 2007
Age: 50
Gender: Male
Posts: 5,748
Location: International House of Paincakes...

28 Jan 2014, 9:24 am

It's certainly not perfect, but Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States gives a good alternative view... and it is used in a few schools.


_________________
No man is free who is not master of himself.~Epictetus


GoonSquad
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 11 May 2007
Age: 50
Gender: Male
Posts: 5,748
Location: International House of Paincakes...

28 Jan 2014, 9:33 am

zer0netgain wrote:
mds_02 wrote:
The whole problem is that the material already is dumbed down and changed to appeal to a specific group; white kids.


I wholeheartedly disagree. Go see what white kids think of history class.

The problem is that people need CONTEXT when they learn about historical figures. The Founding Fathers had flaws, but what they did was incredible. That many owned slaves is a NON-ISSUE. It was a reality of their time. That's like someone 300 years from now thinking you are a savage for using paper currency when everything is electronic or that you refused to have a RFID implant or bar code stenciled into your forearm because of social/cultural/religious taboos you've accepted your whole life.

It's easy to look back from today and criticize how things were done in the past, but a lot of good people did things we'd disagree with because it was the accepted norm and they didn't really think much about it.

Hell, how long ago was it that most people started BATHING every day rather than once a week, or month, or year? Do we consider them savages because it was just how things were done back then?


To characterize slavery as a non-issue is completely asinine. Many of the founders were extremely conflicted about the issue (Jefferson, for one).

It's more accurate to say that if slavery had been dealt with head-on during the founding of the country, there would have been no single country... As it happened, compromise allowed for the formation of a single union AND laid the foundations for the bloodiest conflict in American History.


_________________
No man is free who is not master of himself.~Epictetus


zer0netgain
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 2 Mar 2009
Age: 52
Gender: Male
Posts: 6,612

28 Jan 2014, 10:13 am

GoonSquad wrote:
To characterize slavery as a non-issue is completely asinine. Many of the founders were extremely conflicted about the issue (Jefferson, for one).

It's more accurate to say that if slavery had been dealt with head-on during the founding of the country, there would have been no single country... As it happened, compromise allowed for the formation of a single union AND laid the foundations for the bloodiest conflict in American History.


And such was their BRILLIANCE.

If they tried to abolish slavery, the nation would never have been founded. It was an issue in transition around the world. The time to end it wasn't quite ripe.

The end of it would have likely been bloody no matter when it happened.

Nonetheless, putting a historical figure down for something that was inherent to their time is really nothing more than intellectual snobbery.

The Greeks (IIRC) proved that the world was round using simple math, but it took the "civilized" world how long to "discover" this truth via exploration? Should we look down on all those generations that thought the world was flat because they didn't know better and dismiss anything they accomplished in spite of that shortcoming?



GGPViper
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 23 Sep 2009
Gender: Male
Posts: 5,278

28 Jan 2014, 10:17 am

zer0netgain wrote:
mds_02 wrote:
The whole problem is that the material already is dumbed down and changed to appeal to a specific group; white kids.

I wholeheartedly disagree. Go see what white kids think of history class.

The problem is that people need CONTEXT when they learn about historical figures. The Founding Fathers had flaws, but what they did was incredible. That many owned slaves is a NON-ISSUE. It was a reality of their time. That's like someone 300 years from now thinking you are a savage for using paper currency when everything is electronic or that you refused to have a RFID implant or bar code stenciled into your forearm because of social/cultural/religious taboos you've accepted your whole life.

It's easy to look back from today and criticize how things were done in the past, but a lot of good people did things we'd disagree with because it was the accepted norm and they didn't really think much about it.

Hell, how long ago was it that most people started BATHING every day rather than once a week, or month, or year? Do we consider them savages because it was just how things were done back then?

Ah... *CONTEXT*... How is this for context:

In 1776, the founding fathers created a Union where widespread slavery was considered legal (and this was further entrenched by the constitution in 1787). This was 4 years after slavery had de facto been abolished in mainland Britain (the evil European taxman) due to the Somersett's Case in 1772. The US didn't abolish slavery until 1865 with the 13th Amendment, which was 93 years after Somersett and 31 years after the British Slavery Abolition Act of 1833 (effective from December 1834).

So, it is likely that the American Revolution actually prolonged the existence of slavery in America, just as slavery was reintroduced with the establishment of the Republic of Texas (later the US state of Texas) in 1836, after it had previously been abolished in Mexican Texas in 1830.

So, we don't actually *have* to look back from today when judging the founding fathers. Their moral character was wholly unimpressive even by the standards of the time, or as one famous English writer wrote in 1772:

Samuel Johnson wrote:
How is it that we hear the loudest yelps for liberty from the drivers of Negroes?

And If one were to pick a founding father that did something incredible, how about choosing John Jay instead of Washington and Jefferson? Not only did John Jay emancipate all of his own slaves (and bought slaves for the purpose of setting them free). He even managed to abolish slavery entirely in the state of New York as governor. Apparently, not everyone agreed that slavery was "the accepted norm".


_________________
Omit needless words.


Schneekugel
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 18 Jul 2012
Age: 39
Gender: Female
Posts: 2,612

28 Jan 2014, 10:33 am

If something nowadays unusual, was for a certain time normal for your culture, then its a certain specific attribute of that history, and so it should be not made an non issue, but it should be explained to understand, why it was normal for that time.

Royal cast system was as well something normal for midi-age, that does not make it an non-issue, but something that should be explained and teached, when you do european midi-evil history. ^^

If you leave out everything that was normal for a certain time, exactly what shall be left to teach then? Romans acted pretty normal according to roman habbits in roman society. Does that mean, that roman empire is an non issue, only because romans felt it to be pretty normal to be romans? ^^



ooOoOoOAnaOoOoOoo
Veteran
Veteran

Joined: 18 Jun 2008
Gender: Female
Posts: 12,265

28 Jan 2014, 5:08 pm

zer0netgain wrote:
mds_02 wrote:
The whole problem is that the material already is dumbed down and changed to appeal to a specific group; white kids.


I wholeheartedly disagree. Go see what white kids think of history class.

The problem is that people need CONTEXT when they learn about historical figures. The Founding Fathers had flaws, but what they did was incredible. That many owned slaves is a NON-ISSUE. It was a reality of their time. That's like someone 300 years from now thinking you are a savage for using paper currency when everything is electronic or that you refused to have a RFID implant or bar code stenciled into your forearm because of social/cultural/religious taboos you've accepted your whole life.

It's easy to look back from today and criticize how things were done in the past, but a lot of good people did things we'd disagree with because it was the accepted norm and they didn't really think much about it.

Hell, how long ago was it that most people started BATHING every day rather than once a week, or month, or year? Do we consider them savages because it was just how things were done back then?

I went to pretty much all white schools throughout my public education with maybe one or two blacks in the entire student body of over 300 and sometimes more than 1,000 when I was in high school. I went to a high school with the most people of any in the state. There were thousands attending and only one black girl I remember. I lived in a segregated community, most moved here to get away from other ethnic groups in the capitol city, a phenomena known as white flight. Nowadays it's more diverse.
All the white kids at this school were smug about history and were quite happy to express how glad they were to be white and not descendants of black slaves. It is a source of pride for whites. I bet it's difficult for the blacks dealing with it, especially at school where the pressure is always to look better than everyone else.



luanqibazao
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 13 Jan 2014
Age: 56
Gender: Male
Posts: 754
Location: Last booth, Akston's Diner

28 Jan 2014, 5:21 pm

GoonSquad wrote:
It's certainly not perfect, but Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States gives a good alternative view... and it is used in a few schools.


Zinn was an admitted Marxist. Like Hobsbawm, his stuff is still worth reading, but to say that it's slanted is putting things mildly.