Hyphen-Nation

Sowell is quoted for “American society cannot be adequately described as ‘minorities.’ There is no ‘majority.’”[1] This is seen up to the 1970’s as describing different ‘whiteness’ not on one particular ‘whiteness.’ The literature was not about bringing people to together but separating them out by ethnicity. This was the start of immigration history not as a field in American history but a different perspective. This is the difference of operational military historians in the genre of military history and the creation of Women’s history and how it affects military history. This was in part by distancing oneself from atrocities of the past by claiming your heritage had nothing to do with it. This is not something I had thought about as a reason for heritage, I always thought of it as gaining something not losing something else.

[1] Sowell, Thomas. Ethnic America: A History. New York: Basic Books, 1981.

Immigration Portrayed as an Experience of Uprootedness, Immigration Portrayed as an Experience and Transplantation, & From The Uprooted to The Transplanted

The mentalité discussed by Handlin and Bodnar discusses neither the ‘push’ nor ‘pull’ factors of immigration but the ‘stay’ factor immigrants faced. Handlin discusses how most of the immigrants were agriculturist and saw land they were born on as a part of them and leaving such land as hard a leaving you family, another factor these immigrants faced. Bodnar discusses that the emigrants thought only of local factors. They thought of food and earning a living but not of “injustice and unfair treatments.”

Vecoli discusses in the beginning of his work that after the fifties there was a “escape from a collective amnesia”. This is I think inherently untrue. First off, you cannot have amnesia of the experiences of immigrants in the field of immigration history without first learning it. The historians of the time before the fifties did not forget immigration history but thought it did not place a large enough role in American history to merit research into the subject. Secondly by relating it to amnesia where memories often come back instantaneously when they do, immigration history is not one where suddenly you get the research but a build-up of years and works that lead to immigration history that Vecoli then discusses for the rest of his article.

Military Histories Old and New

The three tents of Military history are ‘New Military History,” Operational Historians, and Memory and Culture Military. These three groups do not agree but they each come to a different picture in history. New Military Historians often focus on how a war started, what caused it, and how it ended with like focus on who fought who and where. Fred Anderson is the main historian and prime example for this tent. Operational historians are often seen as too traditional but in the recent past they became for innovative by keeping with their modus operandi of exploring how different factors caused certain battles and wars to be lost/won. The specimen here is Dennis E. Showalter. He wrote extensively on Early German military history. They do sometimes often focus too much on ‘great man’ history and too little of other more subliminal factors. Emily S. Rosenberg leads the tent of historians that look at memory and culture and how they affect military history. The question is not which one is best because thy all must be put together in our mind to see a fuller picture of the past and its causes and insights. We must ask, how do we combine the tents not in practice but in our minds? We must look to see the downfalls of each and how the others cover that place in a different way to avoid the problem. We must understand each has a place today and that they all create a better understanding of the past by looking at military history through different scopes and thus seeing different things.

Historical Awareness & Uses of History

 

The historical-fiction books and movies we have all seen throughout our life is an example of our social memory. These modes of media do not always give a complete or accurate picture of the event but they do help strengthen the American culture. So, while in the recent movie ‘Dunkirk’ all the actors are white there was a minority of Indians that were used as support staff and are not shown.[1] The point of the film is not to give an accurate description of the place but an event that illustrates English fortitude and tenacity.  The Historicist, a movement in the middle of the 19th Century, and the historical awareness, argued by John Tosh, was one of understanding history from past perspectives and remove all biasedness either towards or against the past. In the next chapter Tosh brings up and discusses the question of, how history should be used. The answer to the question to me it seems it that history gives options and alternatives that give people agency but the outcomes, timetable, and method is all up for debate. It is about understanding and sympathizing with the past while also being detached and objective. History is not for discovering the future but to give people to hope of a future that could be different in all or no aspects of human life in 100 or 10 years.

[1] CHRISTOPHER WOOLF, AMULYA SHANKAR, “There were Indian troops at Dunkirk, too,” National Public Radio, last modified August 2017. Accessed September 17, 2017. http://kosu.org/post/there-were-indian-troops-dunkirk-too

Historical Consciousness & Mapping the Discipline

In “Historical Consciousness,” the goal of Gilderhus is to describe, with the evidence of books, how history came to become what we know of it now. One fact that seems to come up is that each writer seems to write not for what happened in the past but explain what is happening now and what they want for the future. In The Prince, by Machiavelli discusses politics and expresses how the government of the Medici’s are not the proper government and they can improve; later the case with Voltaire and his writing En Philsophe discusses the proper way history should progress as a study for the future and his contemporaries. Later Nationalist writings focus on building a unified history of a country to build a consciousness to create a nation or reaffirm its existence.

“Mapping the Discipline” by Jordanova at one point discusses how the title of which subsection of history can change depending on what the person wants to be in that piece of work. Thus, for example a piece on World War I could be a discussion on military, political, European, the theme of Nationalism, or even women’s history to give some examples. This could mean the content of history covers so much that often what your thesis is defines your, at that time at least, specific field of study in history. The country in which you study to become a historian decides whether you prefer theories or empirical based dimension’s to history, in general.

September Quotation of the Month

“Education either functions as an instrument that is used to facilitate the integration of the younger generation into the logic of the present system and brings about conformity to it, or it becomes ‘the practice of freedom,’ the means by which men and women deal critically and creatively with reality and discover how to participate in the transformation of their world.”

– Paulo Freire