As I reflect back, I originally chose this class because I consider myself to be quite history-challenged and I led myself to believe this class would be about “current” United States history. I thought, maybe I could relate more easily. I never was able to grasp the concepts of why history happened. Needless to say, I was surprised to learn that we would be learning about world revolutions from the 20th century. I was able to learn and develop an understanding of many different concepts having to do with history.
1. The first thing I learned was the difference between primary and secondary sources. A primary source is a document or object which was written, created, or present during the time under study. What surprised me most was to learn that things like poetry, drama, art and pottery, clothing, and buildings are all considered primary sources. Weavings and pottery from the Native American’s are good examples. Secondary sources are something that interprets and analyzes primary sources. Examples of these could be a journal or magazine article or a history textbook. I also think the Bible is considered a secondary source as it contains “interpretations” from those that wrote each particular book and all the different versions can lose the original meaning.
2. I have also started to learn the skill of historical interpretation. I tend to be a “learn the facts” person. Historical interpretation is a more complex way of thinking and problem solving. Asking those questions, most importantly, of why and how something occurred is part of the historical interpretation. An example of this is how the revolution in Haiti and how slavery was abolished may have influenced the abolishment of slavery in the United States.
3. I also learned that the connection between the past and the present is important as well. History affects us in every aspect of our lives. It impacts the way we think, speak, and interact with each other....