The Significance of the Last Stand

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The Significance of the Last Stand I. Fictionalizing History Relating history of past to history of present [1] What do historians create with the history they account? History is a story that never ends. The events of the present in essence have already happened in the past. Historians try to make sense of the present by deconstructing the past. Only through analysis of the past can one understand the present. I remember playing cowboys and Indians as a child. I would always play the part of the cowboys, and consequently the cowboys always won. At the end of my day's adventure I went to my parents to tell them of my conquest against the Indians. I made certain to include every detail of the battle -- from first charge to last saber stroke. History was made that day in my backyard with the green figurine—soldier on horseback—whose defeat of the Indian nemesis forces was both courageous and honorable. [2] Past history is connected to the occurrences of the present. History repeats itself as present action gains significance from past events. President Clinton was recently impeached. To date he is the first President to receive this less-than-honorable acclaim. In my opinion, no critical repercussions resulted. The only reason why Clinton’s impeachment was important was because it was the first such instance in our nation’s history. If President Nixon had not resigned and had been impeached and removed from office, the importance of Clinton’s impeachment would have appeared far less important in retrospect. Because of the past history of our nation, the present history became significant. II. The Purpose of They Died With Their Boots On Recreation of American Cause 1876 [3] American film demonstrates history as narrative. The historical classic They Died With Their Boots On is a recreation of the history of General George Armstrong Custer’s life. This movie adds to the already prevalent myth of the Boy General. The movie was released in 1941, when Germany, under Adolf Hitler, had control of “Fortress Europe," and threatened to end democracy as the world knew it. The United States prepared to defend democracy in total war. American soldiers needed a cause to die for.
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