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Why is history class generally focused on the stuff that happened 100+ years ago

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Why is history class generally focused on the stuff that happened 100+ years ago

Old 10-08-09, 11:05 AM
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Why is history class generally focused on the stuff that happened 100+ years ago

when all the important stuff happened within the past 100 years? In every history class I have ever taken, we usually just make it to WW2. Yeah, Rome and that jazz is semi-important, but all the good stuff that is VITAL in today's world all happened within the past 100 years. So why aren't we teaching our kids about Korea, Vietnam, and all that mistakes that were made? It's kinda hard to avoid repeating a mistake if you don't even know what it is.
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Originally Posted by Wordbiker View Post

What's frightening is how coherent Hickey was in posting that.
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Old 10-08-09, 11:06 AM
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So you'll know how to survive after 12/21/2012.
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Old 10-08-09, 11:11 AM
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You can't understand Hitler's motives without going back to at least the Napoleonic Wars. History is all cause and effect.
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Old 10-08-09, 11:14 AM
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why teach the people anything bad that happened that can be attributed to anyone still around or his/her close associates?
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Old 10-08-09, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Hickeydog View Post
when all the important stuff happened within the past 100 years? In every history class I have ever taken, we usually just make it to WW2. Yeah, Rome and that jazz is semi-important, but all the good stuff that is VITAL in today's world all happened within the past 100 years. So why aren't we teaching our kids about Korea, Vietnam, and all that mistakes that were made? It's kinda hard to avoid repeating a mistake if you don't even know what it is.
We didn't start the fire....its been always burning since the world's been turning......


Typical kid response to history. All important stuff did NOT all happen in last 100 years.



History in general is designed to cover written history. By covering such a large span it will focus on major events. If you think things like Alexander the Great and Napoleon weren't important in history then you are sadly narrow thinking.

If you want to focus in more detail on the last 100 years, then you need to take "Contemporary History". I took a Contemporary history class my senior year in high school and it was fantastic. Lots of fun because I could relate to it better (which is why you think the way you do in the first place, I suspect).
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Originally Posted by coffeecake View Post
- it's pretty well established that Hitler was an *******.
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Old 10-08-09, 11:18 AM
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BTW...one of the greatest quotes ever made.


If we don't learn from the mistakes of the past, then we are doomed to repeat them.
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Originally Posted by coffeecake View Post
- it's pretty well established that Hitler was an *******.
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Old 10-08-09, 11:21 AM
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Perhaps I'm not being clear. The stuff that did happen long ago is important, but virtually all of the recent history isn't being covered. AT ALL. I think we would all be a little better off if we had a good understanding of why things in the past 100 years worked out the way they did
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Originally Posted by Wordbiker View Post

What's frightening is how coherent Hickey was in posting that.
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Old 10-08-09, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by KingTermite View Post
BTW...one of the greatest quotes ever made.


If we don't learn from the mistakes of the past, then we are doomed to repeat them.
Yeah. Kinda my point here.
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Originally Posted by Wordbiker View Post

What's frightening is how coherent Hickey was in posting that.
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Old 10-08-09, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Hickeydog View Post
Perhaps I'm not being clear. The stuff that did happen long ago is important, but virtually all of the recent history isn't being covered. AT ALL. I think we would all be a little better off if we had a good understanding of why things in the past 100 years worked out the way they did
OK....that's a totally different story (no pun intended). If that's the case, then I agree with you that it should be covered, unless.......there is a 2nd class or companion class that covers the contemporary history more thoroughly.
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Originally Posted by coffeecake View Post
- it's pretty well established that Hitler was an *******.
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Old 10-08-09, 11:30 AM
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My guess would be that they're avoiding political interpretations, since the ramifications of recent events are still unfolding. WW2 is the most recent thing that people can talk about objectively - it's pretty well established that Hitler was an *******. Once you start getting into stuff like the Gulf War and the Cold War and Iraq is when you ignite partisan sensibilities and it devolves into a shouting mess. I think they save it for upper years in university so you can have somewhat of an informed discussion, vs. causing controversy amongst high-schooler's parents who may think otherwise than the instructor.
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Old 10-08-09, 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by coffeecake View Post
My guess would be that they're avoiding political interpretations, since the ramifications of recent events are still unfolding.
My high school US history class could have probably made it up to Ronald Reagan (the present) at the pace we were going but wrapped it up at just before Watergate, it seemed, to avoid kids bringing stories home to their parents and getting teachers in trouble on a hotbed issue. Still, even Vietnam we could review at the HS level from old Doonesbury books.
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Old 10-08-09, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by coffeecake View Post
- it's pretty well established that Hitler was an *******.
LOL....great quote. Going in my sig!
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Originally Posted by coffeecake View Post
- it's pretty well established that Hitler was an *******.
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Old 10-08-09, 11:39 AM
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Oh man, I should have put that in the Obvious thread!!! :facepalm:
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Old 10-08-09, 11:40 AM
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Because enough people can remember the recent past that it can't be distorted adequately enough by academics to make it fun enough to talk about. They will need at least 100 or so years before enough people who lived during that time die off.
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Old 10-08-09, 11:43 AM
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Is it a modern history class? If not, there's your answer.

That, or your instructor didn't keep the pace fast enough to get through everything.

Also, such things get less history book coverage because they're still relevant and we still talk about them regularly. No one talks in everyday conversation about the Stamp Act.
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Old 10-08-09, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by DallasSoxFan View Post
Because enough people can remember the recent past that it can't be distorted adequately enough by academics to make it fun enough to talk about. They will need at least 100 or so years before enough people who lived during that time die off.
LOL....probably the best (most accurate) answer yet.

I remember some years back looking through a history book that the son of a friend of mine was using in about 3rd grade. It was appalling how horribly inaccurate it was....just fluff to always make the U.S. look like the good guys. After reading that, you'd think the U.S. raised the African slaves and Native Americans out of poverty and raised their standard of living with our "better" technology.
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Originally Posted by coffeecake View Post
- it's pretty well established that Hitler was an *******.
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Old 10-08-09, 11:48 AM
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Cuz P*****y hasn't invented the Way Forward machine yet
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Old 10-08-09, 11:49 AM
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Gotta start somewhere.

Look up, "Germs, Guns, & Steel"
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Old 10-08-09, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by huhenio View Post
Look up, "Germs, Guns, & Steel"
Is that anything like "Lawyers, Guns & Money"?
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Originally Posted by coffeecake View Post
- it's pretty well established that Hitler was an *******.
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Old 10-08-09, 12:13 PM
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How can you study Vietnam without any understanding of the Philippine-American War?
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Old 10-08-09, 12:19 PM
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What is the specific class title and description from the course catalog?
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Old 10-08-09, 12:22 PM
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I was a history major and wrote my senior thesis on the space race. Since I graduated in '89, most of the events I analyzed had taken place within 35 years.
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Old 10-08-09, 12:31 PM
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One of the other problems with HS history classes is when the textbook was published. I completely empathise with Hickey. Way back when I was in HS (1984), I took 2 YEARS of AP US History. Our textbook was published in 1976. Our textbook did not mention the fall of Saigon.

We made it to WWII, no mention of Korea, Vietnam, Cuban missle crisis, or the political assasinations of the '60's and '70's.

It is impossible to understand the events of the past 40 yrs without the previous 200, BUT our schools do need to try to update things a little.
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Old 10-08-09, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
I was a history major and wrote my senior thesis on the space race. Since I graduated in '89, most of the events I analyzed had taken place within 35 years.
Completely off topic, but did you look in to U.S. involvement in USSR/Afgan war and the consequences of that to rise of Al Queda, etc. Probably PM would be better, no to hijack this thread or getting it locked.

UD
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Old 10-08-09, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by chipcom View Post
What is the specific class title and description from the course catalog?
Good question.
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