According to the anonymous author , “Objectivity is neither possible nor desirable. It’s not possible because all history is subjective; all history represents a point of view. “, which In other words means that people see history In the way they want to see It based on what they think Is Important. It Is not possible to be objective because everything one says and thinks Is based on our perceptions, knowledge, thoughts and feelings . It Isn’t desirable because If someone Is trying to get a point across, they have to be subjective. History, while trying to be objective is mostly subjective.
The historian brings their feelings, prejudices, backgrounds, as well as their P. O. Vs. to historical situations. This effects how history is told and written about. The various authors that have wrote about Columbus arrival to the New World based it off of their own view of the world and of Columbus. In ” A People’s History of the United States “, Howard Zion approaches his view on history in a more opinion based way. Howard Zion beings by retelling the encounter between the natives and Columbus. Zion’s view of this Is different from the traditional encounter most historians talk about.
Howard Zion points out that the Europeans came to the Americas in search of slaves and gold and brutally killed almost all the Indians, who according to many other people were a peaceful people. This shows that Zion Is subjective and doesn’t view Columbus as an “enlightened ” explorer but rather a brutal one that would do anything such as torture others to get what he wants. Then Zion gives his opinion on how history is usually told from the Elite groups point of view. Zion points out that Columbus thought the Natives were weak and wouldn’t be able to defend themselves.
Howard Zion does give facts about the encounter such as using Columbus own Journal as evidence but he does become biased in certain parts of the first chapter. In other words , Zion wanted to tell the Natives pop because he wants the reader to know about that part of history. Zion wanted to expose Columbus as a cruel man. The idea of exploitation of resources, of people, of cultural differences was an Important factor In the conquest of the New World. Zion’s way of thinking and his thought one how the elite shouldn’t be the only one that students should read about were reasons why Zion Is not objective at all.
He does become biased and bases his reasons on thoughts about letting the reader hear the Natives side of the story. In A Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America”, Ronald Attack is subjective as well because he takes the Natives side by pointing a lot of negative defects of the Europeans. At first , Ronald Attack talks about how the Natives viewed the Europeans. Attack states that the Natives saw the Europeans as “ugly ” and “strange” . Ronald gives the reader an insight on how the Natives felt towards these explorers. A lot of other historians don’t teach about the thoughts of the oppressed people.
Then Attack talks about how the the English Justified colonization, enslavement and murder. The English didn’t view their taking of the land as robbery. Attack points out that Columbus saw these people As loving their neighbors as themselves, and having the sweetest talk In the world, and gentle, and always with a smile. Then the author writes about how the Europeans would destroy the Natives villages. The Europeans reclaimed the natives as savages and non-human. As an opportunity to take over the land. The Natives would be categorized as “the other” while the Europeans were entitled to the land.
Attack describes the Europeans as greedy and in control. Attack focuses on the severe treatment of the Indians and how this affected them in a negative way. This can be seen as being biased because Attack views the Natives as the victims and the Europeans as the villains . In the “American Pageant, chapter 1: New World Beginnings”, David M. Kennedy, Thomas A. Bailey, and Elizabeth Cohen present history in a more objective way. It is objective but the author still presents history in the way they want the reader to see it. They tell the reader only what they want them to know.
These authors start off by talking about the shaping of North America and the theory of Pangaea is explained. Then they inform the reader about early Americans such as the Pueblo Indians , Mound Builders and and Eastern Indians. Later on in chapter one , the authors start to talk about Columbus arrival to the New World. Throughout this section of the text , there was no opinions made. The authors state that Columbus was trying to reach the East Indies and how he misjudged the size of Earth. They are informing the reader rather than trying to convince them about a certain topic.
The authors don’t give their opinions on Columbus nor talk about his treatment towards the Natives. The quote does not go with this text because this text is showing that objectivity can be possible. The authors are being objective because they are basing their Judgment on the facts and what has been presented without putting any personal beliefs or bias comments. In “A Patriot’s History of the United States: From Columbus’ Great Discovery to the War on Terror, Chapter 1: The City On A Hill , 1492-1707”, Larry Shareware and Michael Allen’s way of telling the reader history can be seen as more objective.
Shareware and Allen wants to give the reader a fair story of the nation to the reader but does the opposite. Both authors become subjective because their history telling is based on patriotism. They want the reader to see the proud history of America. Allen and Shareware want to show their appreciation and respect for the United States. They leave out the negatives that occurred in history . This book (chapter 1) shows that history is a product of it’s authors. Since both of these authors are proud Americans , they want to show the positives of the nation throughout history.
In the first chapter , the authors point out that Columbus and other explorers such as Cortes were innocent and didn’t deliberately give the Native Americans diseases. The authors tell the history that all history books have in it but is also trying to go against “A People’s History of the United States. ” The authors point out that because Americans had a Christian Culture , they took life, liberty and property as serious manners. They also point out that hard work was a building block of the success of America. From chapter one , Allen and Shareware show a conservative perspective because they want the reader to see that the U.
S is a special nation because when the New World was found, settlers adopted several systems such as religious integrity, private property rights and also competition amongst groups like political parties. These authors want to show the reader that history can be subjective while containing facts. In “The Devastation of the Indies: A Short Account”, Bartholomew De Lass Cases does show a subjective way of telling history because he takes a side. Bartholomew tells the reader that the Europeans were cruel Soldiers would use this hospitality as an advantage to take over cities and villages.
This would allow them to get to the gold and slaves they wanted. Bartholomew goes on saying that the Europeans would massacre millions of natives , raping innocent woman and killing innocent children. The Spaniards would use slaves to build buildings and to attack other villages since sometimes the Spaniards didn’t want to use their own men. Bartholomew points out that the Spaniards committed genocide. There are two sides to every story and Barcarole goes with the side of the indigenous people. Bartholomew focused on the horrific actions taken by the Spaniards. Ironically , Barcarole was a Spaniard priest but still went against his people .
He believed that the conduct of the Spaniard Christians were not one of someone that followed the Christian faith. This ties in with the quote because Bartholomew is being subjective and is making it clear that objectivity can’t be possible in his brief account . Bartholomew wanted to portray the Spaniards in the worst light and also tell people the unfairness treatment that the Natives had to go through. Therefore , various authors that have wrote about Columbus arrival to the New World and the history of Early America have based it on their point of view and thoughts.
An authors ultra and worldview can affect the way they write about history by making it bias. Some authors might take a side and argue for that side. Authors will make their point using facts to back up their opinions. This leads to the conclusion that objectivity is rare in writings about history although it isn’t impossible . While the authors of “The American Pageant ” present history using facts and don’t take sides , other authors want to pursue the reader and make the reader believe what they believe. This shows that history is subjective because an author will base tell history in the way they want to.
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