The History Of Those Without Wealth Or Education

742 words - 3 pages

History has been traditionally told from the point of view of those with wealth and education. But to truly understand history one must understand the history of the people who were not writing the history which includes the nation’s minorities, working class and those without a high level of education. Society is made up of a variety of people and history is not complete without telling all of their stories. History was traditionally written by a select number of people. This leads to a biased view of history because the educated could not experience every part of society. One example is American slavery where many of the black slaves were not formally educated so they were not able to tell their stories. At first the educated white historian told the history of slavery. But as the freed slaves and their descendents received education they were eventually able to tell their story themselves, revealing previously unknown fact about slavery. History is not complete when it includes only one view which is why it should include experiences from all levels of society.
History was originally told by the religious men who live in monasteries, since they were the only ones who had education in medieval Europe. Their documents included information not only of medieval life but they also provided a detailed account of the agricultural patterns and techniques of the period. Although this information proves invaluable; one does not have any information on the lives of others who were not educated. In America, history has gone through four important stages, providential, rationalist, nationalist, and professional.1 Minorities are not addressed until the later parts of the professional era of history when new social history was created. Before new social history, most of American history was told by a select group of people with a defined purpose. For example Providential history was written by governors and puritans to justify the ways of God. Rationalists were usually wealthy and classically educated men with vast private resources who wrote history for leisure or to educate others with their success. Professional historians were college educated and wrote history for a living. A branch of Professional history, new social history focused on the retelling of history which...

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