|This is the talk page for discussing improvements to the History article.|
What History?[change source]
Interesting how most history is about wars and empires. ;-)
That is a bias.
We need more on natural history, modern natural history, modern economic history, modern social history, modern intellectual history, and maybe the most neutral perspective is changes that have happened in ecology - like urbanization, deforestation, climate change, etc., which are scientific. For instance we can say more reliably what the weather was like in Dark Ages Europe than what the people were doing. ANd we know more about what crops they ate than about what they actually believed. So this is actually more reliable history.
Also, it matches what we tend to know about Ancient America, Ancient Australia, etc., so it's less biased to use this as the basis of comparison. If we compare weapons of war, for instance, we are going to make Rome look more "advanced" or Spain more "advanced" than cultures they wiped out. That isn't a good idea, is it?
As just one example, Muslim Spain is almost universally regarded as a far better society than the one that replaced it - it was educated, creative and multicultural. But the conquerors Ferdinand and Isabella deported Muslims and Jews, killed people who would neither leave nor "convert", then did the same all through the Americas, wiping out religions, enslaving everyone their subjects and their heirs' subjects came near. They were horrible, vile, ignorant people, who would be either shot without trial like Saddam's sons or at best on trial for war crimes, genocide etc.. But that is not what most history books say about them. ;-)
Disgusting to think the [opinion] above mine is seriously regarded with any truth. Europeans who suffered multiple Muslim invasions and European women sold into sex slavery by the Muslim slave trade would think differently of your opinion of a "Far better society".
(It would help if you signed your comments and added headers to different discussions)
I suspect the reason that Empires and Wars feature so heavily is because they are the exciting bits of history. It's what gives you a feeling for the subject and suggests some of the excitement to be had. The other stuff is of more limited interest, to those people who want to know, or need to know. More importantly, while we might know more about Dark Age weather it doesn't really help use as historians, to make sense of much. At best it is supplementary to understanding why something happened in a the flow of events. Granted, crops are slightly more interesting, but again, supplementary.
As for the point regarding Ferdinand and Isabella's conquests and imperialism - history should never be taken out of context. It's all very well judging the past from the modern point of view, or modern morals (indeed, a set of specific modern Western morals) but it doesn't help us understand anything. Nor are we necessarily right (I'd wager that we're not). Innokenti 18:31, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
Adding Quotations[change source]
"History is the study of the past. We know about what happened in the past by looking at things from the past: books, newspapers, letters, coins, paintings or other things. These are held in libraries, archives or museums." -- History is usually defined by reference to written records; the time before before cultures began to keep written records is usually called their "prehistory" -- RJWiki
- That should be in here.
Does that mean that we have to call Africa up to recent times Prehistoric Africa? Those people kept records orally and some were written on media that rotted away. So did the Inca. Since "prehistoric" often means "primitive" the term seems POV. But if it's correct, it's correct, and we just have to explain it.
Ancient history needs the core "first four centers"[change source]
Ancient history includes only that of North and South America, Africa and Australia, which are peripheral to an study of ancient history. The first four centers of history were at Mesopotamia (Tigris and Euphrates Rivers), the Nile River in Egypt, the Indus River in India, and the Yellow River in China.
Next in the list of histories is an entry for Roman History, but before that came the Greek Empire and before that -- in that same region of the world -- were various minor civilizations. There were the Phoenecians and Hebrews which seeded our written alphabets of today, etc.