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"Everyone wanted to get rid of the old English rule"

September 25th, 2009 at 03:50 pm

That was the line I just read to my kids from a history book. Simple, direct, and false. Why on earth would anyone write that! Not only were there plenty of 'torries' there were plenty of folk who wanted to let well enough alone!

Why was it right for the colonies to rebel against their country, but not right for the south to rebel against the American govt?

Simplest answer, because the victors write history. I wish it were not so. I would like to hear all the honest truth when I study history. They say those who refuse to learn history are doomed to repeat it, I wonder what is to be said of those who feed false history to their children?

13 Responses to “"Everyone wanted to get rid of the old English rule"”

  1. mrs. Says:

    Interesting post. Got me thinking back to 9-11 when a friend-turned acquaintance called me. (Her story: Born and raised Christian Midwesterner, married a Middle-Eastern Muslim, changed her name to Sadiqua and presently resides in Pakistan where she is happily raising her child.) She told me that I should be watching the BBC's coverage of the horror because it wasn't "so biased" and offered a "more realistic" perspective on things. At that point, the horror of it was overwhelming. Makes me wonder how the event will portrayed in Middle Eastern textbooks for the upcoming generations. Sad and scary.

  2. ceejay74 Says:

    I agree with your post overall--it kind of steams me, all the history I essentially had to relearn as I got older, because the fairytales of elementary school history were just that.

    Unfortunately, the South is one of the few losers who still get to write a bit of the history. I can't tell you how many people I've heard talking up the South as this bastion of states' (and people's--huh??) rights.

    Luckily I read a fun fact that stumps even the most vociferous Yankee-hater: The South would persecute and even kill Southerners who tried to express a belief in or present an argument for staying in the Union, whilst in the Union states, free speech (some of which was arguing against the war) went unpunished. So there are layers of complexity in every war--the South became the establishment trying to quash dissenters just like any other ruling body.

    As a home schooler, do you try to present more-complex views of history to your kids? If so, how do they handle it? I'm curious about this myself, because I'd like to save my kids that sense of disillusionment (and having learned a bunch of half-phony history for nothing), but I wouldn't want to bore or overwhelm them if they can't handle the big picture right away.

  3. creditcardfree Says:

    Great post! Great points!

  4. Broken Arrow Says:

    That's a good point, and a very interesting topic indeed.

    Not that I agree with the policy of Imperialism, but such policies were common and standard back then. As such, they didn't really treat the American colonies any more or less differently than any other colonies. In fact, we were sort of an after-thought, as I think there were more pressing issues for the English crown back then.

    But the Americans saw imperial taxation as a sign of oppression (while conveniently brushing off the brewing confrontation and persecution of Native Americans).

    Very interesting topic on perspective indeed, and I applaud you for taking a more objective and critical view of things.

    I honestly believe that the pursuit of truth can set us free.

  5. princessperky Says:

    One of the reasons I homeschool is to be able to present real facts to my children, or the word 'maybe' along with everything that is only a story. And to be able to do so nearly immediately. (not three weeks later when they get the test back)

    In general I stick with simple statements like for the above 'there were plenty of folk in disagreement'. Or when any oversimplification has been written I can say 'It was a whole lot more complicated than that, it always is'. If I choose to give any info, I find JC listens if it is about people, GMC if it is about facts, and UE wasn't listening to the story in the first place Smile.

    Sometimes when a war is discussed. I ask how they think the other side felt? And I never allow them to boil stories down to 'good guy vs bad guy'. Recently we read a story of a grandmother who saved a child's special tree from soldiers looking for fire wood. The kids retold the story later as 'bad men chopping a tree down'. We do not know those men, how can we assume they were being mean? I can think of plenty of reasons to want wood it was the middle of winter!

    All folk tend to remember the good rather than the bad of their chosen party. (and they remember best the bad of 'the other side') The North and South had plenty of ills during the war. And the 'natives' were not all blameless (nor were the settlers). There are two sides to every story, and usually both sides have done wrong.

    Doesn't make war right or wrong, but it sure does make oversimplification wrong.

  6. ceejay74 Says:

    "and UE wasn't listening to the story in the first place" LOL

    That makes sense and sounds like a good approach--thanks for elaborating!

  7. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    Coincidentally, history and social studies in general are academic areas in which homeschooled kids (as a group) eclipse institutionally schooled kids (as a group).

  8. kimiko Says:

    The concept of civilization has always ring empty to me. I've always seen it as mirroring natural selection. From the day we are born, we are brainwashed by our society in order to instill a sense of loyalty, identity, patriotism, etc... you name it. The day we learn not to repeat history would be the day we become a world nation.

  9. frugaltexan75 Says:

    Recently there was an article about how a group of people were working on history curriculum in Texas. One of the things they tried to do (to much uproar) was to take out any mention of Christmas, but mention a variety of other cultures religous/non-relegious holidays.

    If you do enough searching, you can find several points of view on various history subjects. Relying just on what the publishers of history books think kids should know doesn't make for a very well rounded viewpoint on history. So, in other words, I salute you. Smile

  10. princessperky Says:

    In UE's defense he is not yet 4 Smile.

    Joan, I would have failed most history tests as a homeschooled teen, but for all that I think my family gave me a much better grasp of history, as opposed to dates and such. I hope to give my children an even better picture of the past.

    Kimiko, I think in way a world govt is what much of history has been heading toward, how many wars are fought over 'conquering'. From a united Norway, to a united Brittan, or expanding empires, manifest destiny, and colonization. History is full of attempts to create one grand nation. Personally with all the varitey created in the world, I do not think we should all be governed the same.

    Tex, thanks Smile

  11. scfr Says:

  12. princessperky Says:

    But as a parent, I can ask my children to do that. I happen to be a Christian, but I also happen to know that all religion (meaning the practice of certain habits) is a man made method of worship.

    A school cannot include full information when discussing the crusades, the Moorish invasion, or any other historic event. But as a parent I can. We can review the religious reasons behind wars, without feeling like we have to choose sides.

    One of the many reasons I home school is to be able to discuss things without worry of repercussions from other parents.

  13. terrymac Says:

    I have to challenge that "free speech went unpunished in the Union" falsehood. Thousands of dissenters were jailed in the North. A dissenting Congressman was driven out of the country. The North was no bastion of sweetness and light. Their standards of war were outrageous, Sherman let an army of rapists, thieves, and arsonists loose on the South.

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