What Is Good History?


Recently, the Texas State School Board desided what should and shouldn’t be in their texbooks. Why should you be cpncerned? Because what they decided in theor textbooks will be in mnay textbooks across the land. You see, tTexas buys a lot of textbooks and book makers take what Texas wants into consideration when they sell all those textbooks. What Texas wants, the rest of the nation gets.

I don’t know about all the changes that the Texas School Board want, but I do know about a few of them.: The want President Reagan to be considered a pre eminent president. That what he did as president was positive in the development of the country: They want creationism to be emphasised as part of science: They want Thomas Jefferson’s view of religion de-emphasised: They want almost no mention of the growth of Latino cultural influrnces in our country:

That is just a few of them. So, what is happening here is a development of Revionist History. They want a spin on the history of our country. Basicly, a one sided view of history.

This is done all the time. History is always rewritten and reinterpeteted. That is how we get different views of what happens in our country and how it influences us and affects us. It’s a fact that it happens but is it good history?

I think not. It alright to includde some of the views that are legitimate, but why can’t both viewpoints be included. As our students hear and read both sides, they will then make up their minds. Instead of saying that Reagan is an all positive influenc why not say that he is admired by many for his veiws about smaller government and his stand against Communism, but that some of his ecconomic and foreign policies caused problems for many in our country.

We couid say that Jefferson was a early proponent of limited federal government, but that he also, as president, used the Federal Government to obtain the largest land deal in our country, The Lousianna Purchase. We could say that his views on religion were fairly popular in his day, but les so now (by the way, most of the Founding Fathers had religious views similar and really believed that the seperation of chuch and state was a positive force).

We can say that Texas came about dur to a land and border dispute (which it was).

We could say that while many support evolution, there are a cosiderable segment that believes in creationism. We need to say that both views are just that hypothesis.

Our textbooks should give all viewpoints, not just what a few people with a political agenda wants. I, for one am willing to give all viewpoints a hearing. I’ll decide, thank you on what I think I should believe, not what someone else tells me.

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