Tag Archive | "History"

Thought Talk: Should former colonial powers pay reparations to former colonies?

Driven by a desire for territorial expansion, material gain, and religious conversion, Britain and France and Spain would embark on a quest like many other countries had to colonize new regions of the world. The main areas that were colonized by these countries were North America, South America, Africa, Australia and Asia. There were drastic changes in the religion, economy, and culture of these places. Many have argued that this sudden control over these places has had a severely negative effect on the conquered lands. Should all colonial powers be forced to give reparation to their former colonies? Would financial donation neutralize all past wrongdoings, or is there a better solution?

Posted in Historical, International AffairsComments (2)

Resolved, that public display of the confederate flag be banned in the U.S.

The confederate flag is often associated with a time of slavery and injustice. Many justice-based organizations want it removed from public display. Such was the case with the NAACP in 2007, when its members were angered that the South Carolina statehouse had the flag displayed. Nevertheless, this symbol holds immense historical significance, as it is a representation of one of the most controversial times in America’s history. Is the displaying of such an icon justified by the 1st Amendment? Could the US recognize this historical event without offending the general public?

Posted in Domestic Affairs, HistoricalComments (0)

Resolved, that history is too subjective to be taught in school.

Historical events, especially those of a controversial nature, always have multiple sides to the same story. Occasionally, these viewpoints conflict with others, or appear utterly ridiculous to those of a different opinion. Some experts believe that much of human history – in particular the Holocaust, Black Power movements, and many religiously-tied events (including the life of Jesus Christ and the separation of the Protestant churches from the Roman Catholic church) – are far too subjective and/or sensitive to be taught to public school students.
Pros:
• The history of religiously tied historical events, and others like it (the Crusades, the Catholic Reformation) may create an in-class conflict between teacher and student, or student and student. The removal of this material from curriculums would prevent such distractions from happening.
• Genocide, or similar subject matters (the Holocaust, Rwanda, Stalin’s Great Purge, etc.) may be emotionally painful for some students to discuss- a situation that public schools should avoid.
• Students have the right to choose what they do and do not believe, and if a student chooses to believe that certain historical events did or did not occur the way the curriculum describes them (if at all), it could hinder their own learning process and that of his or her classmates.
Cons:
• “Those who do not learn from the past are doomed to repeat it.” – George Santayana
• The foundational history of the United States of America is crucial to understanding the way our country and government functions now. One cannot truly be educated without knowing where today’s world came from.
• Experts argue that it is only in observing our past behavior that we can learn to achieve our fullest human potential in the future.

Posted in UncategorizedComments (3)