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"History is written by victors" may itself be an example of history written by the losers! While the quote is commonly misattributed to Winston Churchill, it's origins are unknown and it might be inspired by Hermann Göring's quote: We will go down in history either as the world's greatest statesmen or its worst villains. On a (perhaps) more serious ...


12

All the bad press given to Vikings (and the like) by angry monks suggests not always. Depends if the victors build a tradition of literacy and of documenting history or whether they just go build more longboats and get drunk.


7

Although the Japanese attack was unexpected in its timing, The US Navy was well aware: (a) that the Japanese were in the habit of attacking before a formal declaration of war; and (b) that a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor was both possible and likely to be devastating, having itself simulated such an attack several times over the past 15 years as outlined ...


7

An important example from ancient history is the Peloponnesian war. The most important account of it comes from Thucydides, "the father of history". Thucidydes was an Athenian, and Athens lost the war. I am not aware of any Spartan accounts of this was that survived.


4

Theory of history is so closely related to "historiography" or the practice of writing and criticising history that we may as well consider them to be basically coaligned. Therefore you will want to read EH Carr's "What is History?" and a textbook aimed at honours / post-graduate coursework students on historiography. Ranke started modern history with the ...


4

Your question deals more with historiography, and philosophy of history, whereas most of the questions on this site are about specific historical events. That is the short answer to your question and my reasoning for that answer is what follows. My history classes focused mainly on three things: particular geographic areas of the world, particular time ...


4

Indeed, Japanese diplomatic codes had been broken. But the message sent to the Japanese Embassy in Washington, intended to be delivered before the attack (but in fact delivered later) did not contain a formal declaration of war, so although Washington knew a few hours before the attack that diplomacy was coming to an end, and war was coming, they did not ...


3

Some academics have studied this issue. The very popular theory today concerning it is the Strauss-Howe Generational Theory or the Four Turnings, which I believe only applies to US history. They created this theory to try to help some of the problems which will occur, since we can expect them. Strauss and Howe lay the groundwork for the theory in their ...


2

The Arab-Israeli conflict. The Arabs lost to Israel in 4 wars (1948, 1967, 1973, 1982) but their version of history is the most accepted today (even the universal acceptance of the term "palestinian people"). Thus Israelis are portrayed a "colonizers", Zionism was portrayed as racism in the UN, and Israel as an apartheid state. This while Israel is the ...


2

I am reading Andrew Weatcroft's's The Enemy at the Gate: Habsburg, Ottomans, and the Battle for Europe (see also here). It contains this relevant statement in relation to a (from some perspective) loosing party rewriting history: Of course, once the great [Ottoman attack on Vienna in 1683] failed, history was rewritten and the sultan portrayed as ...


1

Confining your perspective to just one approach is bound to yield highly subjective results. Modern history tries to implement scientific theory into its proceeding: Gathering evidence, establishing the factual basis, confronting source material (be it written, chemical, archeological...). Quantify what is quantifiable. Postulating a falsifiable hypothesis ...


1

Here are some other examples: The US Civil War. Much of the history was driven by the South's need to justify itself especially after the first 20 years up to about 1960 or so. The Fall of the Roman Republic Virtually all of the surviving histories were written by the conservative factions of Rome and not by the Caesarian side. Augustus didn't mind that ...



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