70

"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 note, ...


39

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.


34

Revolution and Power As Lenin famously said, the key question of any revolution is the question of Power. Translating it into the vernacular for the benefit of the unindoctrinated: a revolution is done for the sole purpose of gaining power. All talk about giving land to peasants or factories to workers is just that - talk, the people who are actually leading ...


25

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 war that survived.


17

Revolutions create instability. Edmund Burke said the following after the French Revolution: one of the first and most leading principles on which the commonwealth and the laws are consecrated is lest the temporary possessors and life-renters in it, unmindful of what they have received from their ancestors, or of what is due to their posterity, should act ...


17

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 "colonizers", Zionism was portrayed as racism in the UN, and Israel as an apartheid state. This while Israel is the ...


17

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 ...


17

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 ...


13

Old system destroyed, new system not yet established When you observe human behavior in large groups, you will notice a large amount of inertia. Let's take for example British political system. They have a monarch, with mostly ceremonial duties. They have a parliament, elected with first pass the post voting system, and very powerful Prime Minister. This ...


11

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 ...


10

The reason is that it was too large to be governed effectively. Already Genghis Khan understood this when he split it to uluses and assigned them to his sons. It was supposed that the Great Khan in Karakorum will perform the general governance. The system was not effective. When Mongol armies broke to Poland and Hungary, they had to interrupt their conquest ...


10

The entire Bible is pretty much written by the losers of history, written from the perspective of the Hebrew slaves, the prophets, and the exiles, rather than the Pharaoh, the king, and the conquerors, respectively. Egypt, Assyria, Babylonia, Persia, the Greeks, and the Romans all had their empires, but the perspective was taken from a particular people who ...


9

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 ...


9

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 wisely ...


9

It's actually very simple. So long as the target of a revolution/movement exists, the solution remains very theoretical: "solve the problem". During this time, everyone in the movement generally agrees with everyone else. However, once the revolution/movement succeeds in obtaining all or part of its goal, solutions have to become concrete and ...


8

I'm not sure the "disintegrated so rapidly" assertion is correct. As Alex answered, they dispersed intentionally (into Siberia, China, India, Persia). Second, "so rapid demise of ..." is also relative. Kazakh Khanate lasted until 19th century. Both co-founders of this Khanate (khans kerei and zhanibek) were direct descendants of Genghis Khan. In short, ...


8

The Spanish Civil War is an example of loser-dominated historiography. That the Rebels won is beyond doubt, but the Loyalists wrote all the history... it's hard to think of a history of the war which is sympathetic to the winning side.


7

If you are looking for examples: The history of most major invasions of Europe is written or significantly influenced by the Europeans (who happened to be on the loosing end). The Huns and Attila, the Mongols, the Vikings (OK, they are European, too), the Ottoman Turks; even if there is a significant body of information (e,g in case of Ottoman Empire), the ...


7

No, wars break out because of finite resources and outcome is never 100% certain Wars generally start when there is a finite amount of something ( land, oil, cattle, women, gold ...) and both sides want that something for their own use. This goes for all kind of wars, including religious (both sides want to organize society in a single territory according ...


7

In these kinds of situations, the divide is between the call for "continuing" revolution by some, and the wish by others to "Join the Establishment." Naziism was a "revolutionary" movement, until the Party amassed a plurality and nearly a majority in the Reichstag. Then Hitler saw that it was possible for the Nazis to rise to ...


5

Wenceslaus I (c. 907-935) was Duke of Bohemia from 921-935. His mother Drahomira was a pagan who persecuted Christians until Wenceslaus took control of the government and exiled her about 924/5. Wenceslaus I was assassinated by nobles favoring his younger brother Duke Boleslav I in September 935 and almost immediately became popularly believed to be a ...


4

The "core" Mongol group was too small, relative to its empire. Even today, "Mongolia" has just over 2 million people. In 1200, it was more like 1 million, with an army of 100,000. Compare this with the fact that China had about 100 million people, Persia, perhaps 20 million, and Russia, perhaps 10 million (population sizes vary depending on how these "...


4

I am of the opinion that your assertion is flawed. Merriam-Webster simple definition of Historian: a person who studies or writes about history Merriam-Webster simple definition of History: the study of past events. : events of the past. : past events that relate to a particular subject, place, organization, etc. MacMillan Dictionary definition of ...


4

I'll apply the same caveat as Mr. Geerkens, and go beyond that to acknowledge that this is a bad answer because it involves no sources. This is a frame challenge. Historians are deeply interested in questions of “who” did what? I'm skeptical. Both the Annales school and the Marxists (Arguably the Marxists are eisegetical (thank you for the new word)) ...


4

Howard Zinn, in his A People's History of the United States, claimed to be endevoring to do something quite similar to that. If you are interested in USA history, I highly reccomend it for two reasons. The first is that many others with that same interest will be familiar with it, so you can at least hold your own in conversations. The other is that it ...


4

An interesting article in History Today by Katherine Weikert is devoted to this very topic. The three examples studied in depth are: Byrhtnoth, the Saxon leader who lost - and was killed in - the battle of Maldon. Nevetheless, he is the subject of an Old English poem which glorifies his valour; he is also praised in the Ely chronicle. As Dr. Weikert ...


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 1991 ...


3

Disclaimer The approach described below is my own. It is informed by my personal life experience, which includes a fascination with history that stretches back over more than five decades. I make no claim that it otherwise represents the viewpoints of professional historians or historiographers. Your mileage may vary. All those sentient beings participating ...


3

Marxism is most notorious for 'eating their own" First they cultivate a mindset of revolutionary reaction to perceived or real tyranny Then they kill that generation; so they cant do it again. Venezuelan history in a nutshell. 1992: They were the 3rd richest country in the Western Hemisphere behind US and Canada 2001: Voted a marxist president to ...


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