What is History? Four main topics
History Begins with a Question or Problem • Gather information and facts related to the question. • Evidence can be used to reconstruct the past. • Evidence can be used to prove a statement or support a conclusion.
History Begins with a Question or Problem • Historical evidence comes in many forms: artifacts, photos, magazines, old movies. (sources) • Two types of sources: Primary and Secondary. • Primary: 1st hand information from people who were there. • Secondary: 2nd hand information from people who were not present.
Historians Select and Weigh Evidence • All historical evidence must be critically evaluated. • Examine point of view, perspective or outlook on events. • Point of view can be shaped by: age, gender, religion, occupation, or political views.
Historians Select and Weigh Evidence • Bias- any factor that might distort or color a person’s observations; it makes a source less trustworthy. • Bias could come from: friendships, preference or dislike of a person or group.
Historians Reconstruct and Interpret the past • Reconstructing begins with chronology. • If historical events are in order, connections can be made. • Elements used: cause and effect, identifying trends, and changes.
Historians Reconstruct and Interpret the past • Interpretation: finding meaning or significance in historical events. • Elements used: analysis: (what, how, why ?) and the effects on society. • Point of view blends with interpretation
History is never finished • History is open to interpretation. • Historians have their own distinct backgrounds and point of view. • Interpretations can be reviewed and criticized, revised and debated. • Differences of opinion creates interest. • Mistakes can be made and corrected by others. • New generations of historians create new arguments.