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Question on the book After the fact - Essay Example

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Name Instructor Course Date Analysis of the book After the Fact After the Fact is a book that has been guiding history students go through significant aspects and events in American history. The book uses various tools in its quest of trying to find the truth about different historical events in the history of America…
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Question on the book After the fact

Download file to see previous pages... In most cases, interpretation of history depends on the expertise of the historian or the generation for which the history is interpreted. This essay focuses on the chapter on Virginia and it will try to figure out the flaws that the story brings to the surface. In addition, it will give an alternative that the historian could have used in finding the truth. The story tries to explain the historical moment of the Virginia colony in the seventeenth century. It uses the settlement in the area as evidence to support the truth about the state of affairs during that time. The story relies on the written records of Captain John Smith. He was present at the time as well as other written past records to reveal issues of the historical moment. However, this process of obtaining evidence looks over vital aspects in history that could have produced another interpretation of the historical moment. For instance, the historian did not depend on the hardworking nature of the Virginians in interpreting Captain Smith’s account. Smith’s account focuses on firsthand information rather than a critical analysis of all systems in the society (Davidson, James and Mark 45). Therefore, this approach does not reveal critical details of Virginia but rather the ones that one can see clearly with the naked eyes. Other members of the society who had passed through various political and historical exposures were the best sources of evidence rather than using Captain Smith. These Virginians would have given the historian a wide source and range of information for making informed decisions about the historical moment. The diversity of the Virginians at the time questions the reliability of using firsthand information to make decisions about the history of Virginians. For instance, the Virginians established a new system of labor in the form of slavery, which is among the many aspects of history that are difficult to capture using the eyes (Davidson, James and Mark 75). The historian could have used research methods to dig out hidden information about the Virginians. Captain Smith could have used other sources of evidence to support his propositions rather than relying on information obtained from direct observation. There was more to rely on in making historical decisions and interpretations about Virginia rather than concentration on one source of evidence. Furthermore, direct observation depends on the observer's ability to interpret what he or she observes in the field. Therefore, the overall process of observation could have led to incorrect information about the historical moment. As a historian, I could have applied some of these diversities of gathering evidence to support the quest of finding the truth. These methods could have eliminated the flaws and issues that question the reliability of the historical information in deciding the truth. Research is the best method to apply when collecting historical information. Captain John Smith’s account is powerful despite its limitations of the challenges of limitations of his approach. It is serves as a trigger for historians to base their interests on in the course of their studies. It could have been extremely difficult for me to identify the historical moment of Virginia without looking at the written sources of Smith. He brings to the surface salient issues and events that were going on in Virginia despite him not digging deep in the topic. Therefore, his ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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