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Forum LockedIs Nationalist History Real History?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote egyptian goddess Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Is Nationalist History Real History?
    Posted: 20-Apr-2009 at 11:44

Essentially it appears that history is often employed as a medium which reflects a nation’s nationalistic ideology and patriotic values, whereby some nations, in particular Japan have utilized history to exemplify their triumphs and suppress events which may appear to taint this virtuous image. For instance much of the historical facts concerning the Nanjing Massacre have been suppressed by the Japanese government and educational institutions. As, Eric Hobsbawn in his publication, ‘On History’ (1998) fittingly states “history is the raw material for national or ethnic or fundamentalist ideologies, as poppies are the raw materials for heroin addicts.”.  

What do you all think- Should Nationalist History be considered as real history?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Knights Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Apr-2009 at 12:35
I think it should. It has the added bonus of a fabulous insight into the psyche and influences of the author, as well as of their socio-historical context. Now I say this all with caution; I do not advocate nationalist history, but rather, find it interesting. Assuming the reader is perceptive and discerning, they can gain a lot from reading such histories. I have not pondered too much on the subject before, so if someone feels so inclined to convince me otherwise, feel free!

Regards,

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Parnell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Apr-2009 at 12:51
I completely agree with Knights. Nationalist history is by far the most interesting history to read. I mourn the lost days of the biased, bigoted, nationalist historians of the 19th century. I read James Froude's 'The English in Ireland' in a couple of days, and they were two, thick volumes. They wrote with such passion, and hypocrisy, and I got so outraged and indignated as I read along that the pages just flew by. I then realised how pointless it was to be annoyed by these people who are long dead.
 
Made the essay I had to write on Froude, Lecky and John Prendergast a lot easier :)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Apr-2009 at 16:02
It is a fundamental assumption of historical study that there was a 'real' history - a unique sequence of events that actually happened. In the same way it is a fundamental assumption of physics that there is an objective world 'out there'.
 
Anything is history if it is an attempt to ascertain or explain that real history. If it isn't - if all it is is an attempt to raise emotional fervour for instance - then it isn't history. Nationalist history is fine as long as the history is primary and the nationalism secondary. (Same goes of course for production of any other kind of propaganda where the cause dominates the search for fact.)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bgturk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-May-2009 at 10:32
Unfortunately this kind of history continues to be taught in the Balkans.
I had the misfortune of having to go through the Bulgarian educational system as  a Turk, and the history books were filled with outrageous tales of the evil barbaric Turks, and the victimhood and sanctity of the Bulgarian nation.
Its hard to underestimate what an effect it has on the young mind, which often reveals itself subconsciously subconsciously later in life.


Edited by bgturk - 18-May-2009 at 10:34
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zaitsev Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-May-2009 at 13:57
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

Anything is history if it is an attempt to ascertain or explain that real history. If it isn't - if all it is is an attempt to raise emotional fervour for instance - then it isn't history.


I have to simultaneously agree and disagree with gcle on this particular issue. Adopting his definition, Nationalist history is indeed not real history. I do have to disagree, however, that you can really define history so narrowly.

In the end, that's the problem with this thread. Whether nationalist history is history depends on the specific definition of history you adopt. History, in its broadest sense, applies to all things that happened in the past, all texts (also in the broadest sense) that describe, or otherwise portray or give evidence to, what happened, and all texts which deal with the texts that describe what happened.

If you adopt this broadest definition then Nationalist history counts. However, for the purposes of particular studies or as a lens through which to approach analysis, more specific definitions are often adopted and these between the schools of history and individual historians.

As such, if you want to answer the question, you need to define how you wish to view history.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-May-2009 at 14:41
What is nationalistic history? If it is mean for that the "official history" tought at schools, of course it will be biassed, either conciently or not, by the purpose of those educational systems, which is to teach kids a sense of pride about theirs lands.
However, while a country don't restrict independent historians from telling the truth from different points of views, I believe it is not much harm to give a bit of pride to small kids.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GökTürk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-May-2009 at 18:44
In Nationalist History,The Nation is always rightful.
If They have even lost a war,they are victorius :D
TENGRİ TEG TENGRİDE BOLMIŞ TÜRK BİLGE KAĞAN-
TURK WISE KHAN WHO BECAME IN SKY LIKE SKY-GOD
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Northman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-May-2009 at 12:48
Real (I assume EG means factual) History? - does it exist?
Events can be observed but when someone tries to explain why they took place, it becomes a point of view.
So most written history are not facts, but points of view colored by the authors preferences.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Parnell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-May-2009 at 13:56
Originally posted by Northman Northman wrote:

Real (I assume EG means factual) History? - does it exist?
Events can be observed but when someone tries to explain why they took place, it becomes a point of view.
So most written history are not facts, but points of view colored by the authors preferences.
 


There are such things as historical facts - as in clear, objective facts of any event or situation -> Such as the date in which Hitler was first elected to the German parliament, or that C.S. Parnell had an affair with Kitty O'Shea. If we don't accept that objective facts exist then we might as well do away with our legal system, since after all, any verdict of the court is merely 'their opinion'. Historians differ on interpretations of causes or of the significance of certain facts, but there is very clearly such a thing as an 'objective' fact.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zaitsev Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-May-2009 at 15:50
Originally posted by Parnell Parnell wrote:

There are such things as historical facts - as in clear, objective facts of any event or situation -> Such as the date in which Hitler was first elected to the German parliament, or that C.S. Parnell had an affair with Kitty O'Shea. If we don't accept that objective facts exist then we might as well do away with our legal system, since after all, any verdict of the court is merely 'their opinion'. Historians differ on interpretations of causes or of the significance of certain facts, but there is very clearly such a thing as an 'objective' fact.


You're both right and wrong Parnell. There ARE objective facts. Anything you read, observe, hear or otherwise gain an understanding of, however, is an opinion. If you are receiving information from someone else, such as a historical source, then you are viewing their opinion of events, skewed further by your own perspectives. Something you hear or see first-hand is still skewed by your own views and beliefs, a notion called selective comprehension.

Nothing we are told we can guarantee is 100% accurate, and to reference the legal system, we use the notion of "beyond a reasonable doubt". Nothing you have ever read of ancient times, or even modern times, can you prove without one shred of doubt. If you did not see it personally, you are relying on the flawed testimony of individuals. If you witnessed it personally, you rely on your own flawed senses and potentially flawed mind. There are simply things that are just reasonable to accept as true so that we can progress somewhere.

So in reference to the legal system, you are right to say that the verdict of the court is an opinion. If the legal system resulted in facts we wouldn't need lawyers, technicalities or appeals would we? If the legal system was without error, we would never have verdicts over-turned.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Akolouthos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-May-2009 at 21:27
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

It is a fundamental assumption of historical study that there was a 'real' history - a unique sequence of events that actually happened. In the same way it is a fundamental assumption of physics that there is an objective world 'out there'.
 
Anything is history if it is an attempt to ascertain or explain that real history. If it isn't - if all it is is an attempt to raise emotional fervour for instance - then it isn't history. Nationalist history is fine as long as the history is primary and the nationalism secondary. (Same goes of course for production of any other kind of propaganda where the cause dominates the search for fact.)
 
Ditto on everything. I would add that we run into the same problems -- and I would apply your same standard -- in doing the history of religion.
 
-Akolouthos
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