What Is History Essay example

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We need to appreciate the complexity of the past and not reduce history to a shallow field of point scoring. I believe that there is much that is worth preserving in the cultural heritage of our dispossessors as a nation, the Australian community has a collective consciousness that encompasses a responsibility for the present and future, and the past. To say that ordinary Australians who are part of the national community today do not have any connection with the shameful aspects of our past is at odds with our exhortations that they have connections to the prideful bits. If there is one thing about the colonial heritage of Australia that indigenous Australians might celebrate along with John Howard it must surely be the fact that upon the shoulders of the English settlers or invaders-call them what you will, came the common law of England and with it the civilised institution of native title. What more redemptive prospect can be painted about our country's colonial past?(65)

From this perspective, the black armband view of history is a strand of 'political correctness'-the dominant but erroneous view of how we see ourselves and what we see as worthwhile in our culture.

Historical understanding cannot be fixed for all time, Out of the present emerge new problems that require a re-examination of the past. The question we must ask is not “does history have to be rewritten?” but “does the re-evaluation of history lead to the discovery of historical truth?” In other words, does the re-evaluation of history deepen our understanding of the past and its relationship to the present, thus providing a more complete explanation of he course of history
Howard’s bitter sentiments towards are in fact
By the end of Mr Howard's first nine months as Prime Minister, it was clear that the desire to project a largely proud, heroic and benign version of Australian history was at the heart of his government's political philosophy and possibly its electoral strategy. This became even more obvious in 1997 when the Prime Minister repeated his assertions regarding black armband history in the context of his government's response to the Stolen Generations report and the debate surrounding the Wik legislation. Speaking at the Reconciliation Convention in Melbourne in May this year, he reminded those in attendance that while he felt personal sorrow in regard to the injustices committed by previous generations of Australians against indigenous people, he was unwilling to accept any suggestion that Australian history was 'little more than a disgraceful record of imperialism, exploitation and racism'. Contemporary Australians could not be held responsible for the sins of past generations.(56) Thus the Howard government's refusal to formally apologise to Aboriginal Australians on behalf of the Australian people appears to be entirely consistent with John Howard's stated views on Australian history.
From this perspective, the black armband view of history is a strand of 'political correctness'-the dominant but erroneous view of how we see ourselves and what we see as worthwhile in our culture.

enunciate more pride and sense of achievement
'unutterable shame' blemishing Australia’s past
Those who want to celebrate only our European past, rejoicing in its prejudices, and who want us to be exclusive and cocooned and who employ division and ridicule in their quest, must lose.
Suggestions of shame or guilt appear to have motivated much of the black armband rhetoric of both Geoffrey Blainey and John Howard.
“progressive” national outlook- one that acknowledges the so-called “achievements” of the Australian nation but which, at the same time, recognises the crimes and tragedies of the past. the issues of 'guilt', 'responsibility' and the 'Great Forgetting', today permeate much of the public discussion surrounding Australian history. The expression 'black armband view of history' has been used to describe a brand of Australian history