Monism, Dualism, and Pluralism in American History Essay

Monism, Dualism, and Pluralism in American History Essay

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It seems readily apparent that monism is without a doubt the very worst way to approach history, Societies and cultures are not one dimensional, but rather are made up of a tapestry of factors. Thus looking at just one aspect gives the historian only a myopic sense of what was going on or what people were thinking at a particular time or place in history. While this is typically thought of as being the consensus history of the great white men, however other schools of historical thought can also be viewed objectively, as being equally narrow in scope. One simply can not expect to garner a panoramic perspective of history by looking at it solely from one perspective. Its illogical to think that a private in Washington's army saw the war from the same perspective as Washington did or likewise that a dock worker or recently emancipated indentured servant saw things from the same perspective as a wealthy shipyard owner, merchant, or planter. Thus to look at a chapter of history solely from the viewpoint of any of those will never create a full portrait of the events which transpired. This perspective does allow for minute investigation of a one aspect of the historical record, but only within a limited context.
George Bancroft the first well known American historian in the nineteenth century followed this perspective to weave the “great patriotic myth” of the founding of America and its rise to a blossoming world power. In this era when the country was experiencing tremendous growth both in population and territory, many few that the expression of a unique national identity was needed to bind the widely diversified and rapidly growing population with the ideals of American republicanism. This vision of course neglects the fact that w...


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...iated there. Also there are advancements in science and technology to consider too, as well as the effects on the environment and its ecology caused those advancements, coupled with the expansive growth in the nation's population in the 19th and 20th centuries. One can even add climactic changes to this mix as well, although in terms of the revolutionary era that is not so much of an issue, however it played a huge part in subsequent times. It quickly becomes clear that looking at all of this becomes a project of enormous magnitude and there lies a problem with even this best model of the three. In purely academic terms, in which the goal is to get to the absolute truth and essence of history this is without a doubt the best method for looking at history, however the monumental task of exploring fully even a single aspect of history can take years, maybe a lifetime.

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