What is history? Why should we study history?

What is history? Why should we study history? Within the context of our stories
concerning Christopher Columbus, Native Americans, the Pilgrims, or slavery,
discuss how historians (Zinn and Loewen) have dealt with the above issues
specifically. How have history textbooks begun to complicate our histories even
further? With regard to the above topics, how have your readings and studies in
this class differed from the ways in which these topics have been portrayed (all the
way back to elementary school) to you in previous classes? In the quote above,
W.E.B. DuBois suggests that in our studies of history, when we skim over the bad
parts, our histories begin to lose their value as “incentive and example.” What
does he mean by this? What are the far-reaching consequences of the ways in
which so many of us have been taught history?

1) Your response to the question must be typed—twelve point font, double-spaced,
one-inch margins. In writing your answer, please do not exceed five pages.
2) In your response, use only your assigned text(s), the instructor’s handouts, or
class notes taken from discussions. Do not use additional library or internet
3) Your generalizations must be supported by direct citations from the text, class
notes, or instructor’s handouts.
4) Citations should be made in MLA format. For class notes or presentations, you
might use: (60’s handout) or (class notes).
Note: You must cite parenthetically throughout your narrative. Please follow this format. There
should be many citations throughout your response taken from the sources noted above because
assumptions and interpretations must be bolstered by citations. The strength of your response is
dependent largely upon your citation of the assigned sources.

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