the five habits of historical thinking

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The Five Habits of Historical Thinking. Learning to Think Like a Historian in Order to Better Understand History and Enjoy Its Challenge. Violence, oppression, and hatred have been key parts of the story of the past. Slavery, for example, has existed in many societies throughout history. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Fear Itself Understanding and Interpreting FDRs First Hundred Days

The Five Habits of Historical ThinkingLearning to Think Like a Historian in Order to Better Understand History and Enjoy Its Challenge

1Violence, oppression, and hatred have been key parts of the story of the past. Slavery, for example, has existed in many societies throughout history. Slave auctions often times separated families. The idea that slaves were property and not people lasted for many years.

2At other times, history has been a story of inspiring heroism or amazing creativity.This is the beloved hero of the young United States, George Washington. When it became time to pick a leader for the new nation he was chosen unanimously!

3History is also a story of struggle and triumph over difficult circumstances.The decade of the Great Depression was a struggle for the entire country. It was a triumph for families to survive.

4Sadly, all too many students think of history as a boring subject.

5Yet history is the story of all of humanitys great moments. To grasp what the past was like isnt easy. It takes effort, but that effort can fire your imagination.

6What was it like to live in past times and through past crises? Photos like these help give you an idea.However, this photo gives us just a hint about one family during the Dust Bowl. What of the stories of the millions of other people in the past? How can we ever hope to understand all of them?

We cant really

7The past is gone. All we have to go on are the primary sourcesthat is, the records we still have.

Photos like this are one kind of record.

8As you learn more about various times in the past, keep this in mind: History is not the past itself. It is the account a historian creates based on evidence left behind.

9This is the first of Five Habits of Historical Thinking that can help you in studying any history topic. Five Habits of Historical ThinkingHistory Is Not the Past ItselfThe Detective Model: Problem, Evidence, InterpretationTime, Change, and ContinuityCause and EffectAs They Saw It: Grasping Past Points of View

1011The second of the Five Habits is The Detective Model. Like a detective, a historian uses clues to solve a mystery, question, or problem.Five Habits of Historical ThinkingHistory Is Not the Past ItselfThe Detective Model: Problem, Evidence, InterpretationTime, Change, and ContinuityCause and EffectAs They Saw It: Grasping Past Points of View12For example, here is a question historians ask: How did colonists at the time view the possibility of becoming a nation independent from England?Representatives from the colonies gathered to discuss their options

13For most historians road to independence was not a single event. It took place over decades.

14But this questionHow did colonists at the time view the possibility of becoming a nation independent from England?- leads to many others. How did the Patriots organize themselves for the possibility of independence?Why did Loyalists feel such a devotion to England?What efforts were made to try to negotiate with King George?

?

15To answer questions like these, historians must look for clues, or evidence.The evidence is in the primary sources.

The problem is that the sources do not all agree.

16For example, Loyalists felt the support they received from England was worth the sacrifices.I adore my Country. Passionately devoted to true Liberty; I glow with the purest flame of Patriotism. Silverd with age as I am, if I know myself, my humble Sword shall not be wanting to my Country; (if the most Honorable Terms are not tendered by the British Nation) to whose Sacred Cause, I am most fervently devoted. The judicious Reader, will not impute my honest, tho bold Remarks, to unfriendly designs against my Children ---- against my Country; but to abhorrence of Independency; which if effected, would inevitably plunge our once pre-eminently envied Country into Ruin, Horror, and Desolation.

Plain Truth by James Chalmers17Patriots felt that independence from England was necessary after trying numerous pleas to King George to stop taxation without representation. Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one; for when we suffer, or are exposed to the same miseries by a government, which we might expect in a country without government, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer...

Common Sense by Thomas Paine

18So to decide, historiansand this means youmust make their own interpretations, based solidly on the evidence.Five Habits of Historical ThinkingHistory Is Not the Past ItselfThe Detective Model: Problem, Evidence, InterpretationTime, Change, and ContinuityCause and EffectAs They Saw It: Grasping Past Points of View?

19The third of the Five Habits is about time. Over time, some things change, some do not. You need to keep both in mind at once.Five Habits of Historical ThinkingHistory Is Not the Past ItselfThe Detective Model: Problem, Evidence, InterpretationTime, Change, and ContinuityCause and EffectAs They Saw It: Grasping Past Points of View

20The early colonies were mainly agricultural and much of the economy of the United States is still based on farming.Modern large scale industrial farmingGrain field painting with local wildlifeAdam Oswald

21Although agriculture itself has remained constant here in the U.S. its methods have changed drastically throughout the years. Horse drawn grain harvesterModern grain combineL.K.Wood& His 12 Horsepower, 1899 Aultman TaylorEarly colonial harvest by hand

22So to fully understand history as a process over time, you have to see how change and continuity constantly interact.

2324The fourth of the Five Habits focuses on something else historians try to explain, along with describing what happened.Five Habits of Historical ThinkingHistory Is Not the Past ItselfThe Detective Model: Problem, Evidence, InterpretationTime, Change, and ContinuityCause and EffectAs They Saw It: Grasping Past Points of View25For example, World War I (19141918) shattered a century of progress for Europe and led to the deaths of millions. What caused this worldwide catastrophe?

26Some historians stress frantic military competition among European nations to develop and mass produce terrifying modern weapons.

27However, no one cause ever really explains an event in history. Historians say all these factors and more helped to cause World War I. A relentless arms race was bound to lead to all-out war.Nationalism turned European states against one another as never before.Stupidity and sheer accidents were key factors.It was the frenzied drive for colonies and empire.A tangle of alliances locked diplomats into a choice for war.28Some historians stress broad social and political factors. Others stress the individual choices leaders made. They interpret sources differently to make their case.Social & Political FactorsIndividual Choices Stupidity and sheer accidents were key factors.A tangle of alliances locked diplomats into a choice for war.A relentless arms race was bound to lead to all-out war.Nationalism turned European states against one another as never before.It was the frenzied drive for colonies and empire.29Finally, a big challenge in studying history is to understand how people in the past saw things. The fifth of the Five Habits deals with this challenge.Five Habits of Historical ThinkingHistory Is Not the Past ItselfThe Detective Model: Problem, Evidence, InterpretationTime, Change, and ContinuityCause and EffectAs They Saw It: Grasping Past Points of View30After all, its hard enough to empathize with others around us. How much harder is it to see the world the way these people did?

31Think about all of the ways their lives and ways of thinking differed from yours today.No cell phonesNo cars or trucksNo TV or InternetNo health clinicsNo pensionsWork from sunup to sundownDifferent ideas about childrenDifferent ideas about familyDifferent ideas about religionDifferent ideas about community

32A key challenge for historians is to grasp how like and unlike our own lives are to those of people in the past.

33Keep the Five Habits in mind as you become a Historian.Tasks ahead:Examine secondary sources for background informationInterpret primary sourcesDraw your own conclusions about this event in the past.Five Habits of Historical ThinkingHistory Is Not the Past ItselfThe Detective Model: Problem, Evidence, InterpretationTime, Change, and ContinuityCause and EffectAs They Saw It: Grasping Past Points of View34

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