Historical Truth

2027 Words9 Pages
According to “History and the Historian” by John Warren, there are several issues that have risen out from the study of history and the defining of what are the “historical truth”. Indeed, these issues are discussed critically especially in the chapter 5 of this book. First and foremost, the definition of ‘historical truth’ itself may not actually be ‘historical’ at all. This is mainly due to the fact that what has happened in the past can never be able to be fully reconstructed in the present day in order for us to completely appreciate the past’s experience. As a matter of fact, the accounts and historical texts that we have read or studied are not what really happen in the past, it is actually what the historians perceive of the past. In the other words, all those texts are the historical reconstruction of the past from the observations and understanding of the historians themselves. This has eventually leaded to a bigger problem as different historians have different perception of the past and thus give different importance towards certain issues. For better illustration, let’s us look at contemporary Thai history subjects that are taught within the Thai high school curriculum. If one looks closely at how Thai history during the period of Sukhothai are perceived, the main focus of it revolves around the story of the kings, their dynasties and how they have ruled Siam during those time, instead of other subjects which, in my view, are equally important. The examples of such subjects are the livelihood of the Thai people during those times or the ways that they prepare and eat food in those days. Indeed, I suspected that the reasons that Thai history is designed to be taught in that way is due to the motive of the historians at... ... middle of paper ... ...of combatants in the French Revolutionary war or the diary of the soldier that fought during that time. Clearly the messages found within those texts are open to all kinds of emissions, addition and manipulation depending on the purposes of the writer at that time. As a result, it is not really the “truth” when certain ideas are extracted out of it. Overall, it can be seen that “historical truth” is most likely not possible to be recovered by the historian due to several difficulties as stated in this paper. In my opinion, the only thing that a historian is able to provide to us is the “truth” from the perspective of the historians. Also, it is important for us to keep in mind that all the historical account can be interpreted in any way that the interpreter wants and we should be on alert and consistently judge any historical reading that we may have come across.
Open Document