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US History: Conquest and Colonization - Essay Example

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It is in no doubt that history plays an integral role in understanding the society and man’s past in addition to shaping the thinking and behaviours towards the future. History not only studies past events but also examine and analyze how those events happened…
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US History: Conquest and Colonization
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It is worth pointing out that history is a matter of interpretation where individual scholars obtain particular stories from human experiences; organize these stories into patterns, and then argue to suggest how various phenomena shaped or reflect human society at certain moments (Cobbs and Gjerde xvii). Since history is a matter of interpretation, historians might arrive at differing interpretations about same events that occurred at the same period of time. In providing interpretations, history scholars use evidences in order to justify their judgements. As such, history in some cases faces major problems in regard to information and interpretations; historians may disagree on events and their evidences or agree on one of these aspects and disagree on the other. In particular, the US history faces major problems since historians differ on historical interpretations. Most of disagreements are brought about by different interpretation on causes and effects of particular events and evidences that signifies these events. Primary documents and secondary sources are a source of major debates in American history; in some cases, these sources show historians’ conflicting points of view. For instance, historians agree that the Declaration of Independence in 1776 was signed by fifty- six men, but there are conflicting views on why the colonist decided to take this vital and dramatic step. The “problems” in US history are those issues regarding American’s past that historians have not yet agree upon despite addressing, discussing, and debating them. At the centre of these problems are primary and secondary sources. Primary source is defined as physical object or document which was created or written during the period under study, and they include written texts, artefacts, and pictures (Cobbs and Gjerde xxii). Secondary source refers to historians’ written works derived mostly from primary sources; primary sources include magazines, essays, academic journals, books, and other written works by persons who did not experience the events (Cobbs and Gjerde xxiii). It is noteworthy that all historical arguments are equally valuable as long as the arguments can be justified with credible and objective evidences. However, not all historical opinions are valid. This proposition is informed by the fact that validity of some sources is questionable; they do not represent the historical period under study, and some are biased and subjective. The validity of an opinion is judged based on verifiable facts; that is, opinions presented should be factual, objective, and supported by credible and sufficient evidences. Exploration, Contact and Conflict: 1500s- 1700s Historically, arrival of different groups of people in a given region has often had great impacts, both positive and negative. Arrival of Europeans in large numbers to North America into seventeenth century was no different. The lives of Native Americans of North America changed dramatically in the seventeenth century with the arrival of Europeans. Contact between Europeans and Natives of North America resulted to diseases, cultural exchange, slavery, trade, and war (Cobbs and Gjerde 1). The arrival of Europeans led to rise of epidemic diseases in the North America; European lifestyle was such that there were contacts between domesticated animals and human beings. Migration to North America ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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