History is both physical and a social science whose scientific nature is predicated on the nature of its study. History as originally intended was aimed to be an analytical discipline that combined the anthropologic analysis and the qualitative social back dating in an attempt to have a better understanding of past events and people in a chronological fashion with the target of understanding the genesis of the present life and people as constituted. The outcome of the historical analysis is aimed at helping shape current attitudes and help people understand their identities through the understanding of their heritage (Stille 5).
Notably however, the presentation of the subject of history as currently constituted in elementary schools’ curriculum lucks the scientific aspect that equips an individual with the ability to objectively analyze situations both past and present, learn from them and make projections into the consequences of future and current decisions and actions (Stille 5). The style of teaching history has eliminated the element of interrogation and reduced to a mere presentation of ‘facts’ that to be taken as they are rather than analyzed in the context of the time and circumstances of their occurrence.
It is no wonder people consider the phrase history as a science an oxymoron and oftentimes find it boring (Stille 5).
As a science, the interrogation and contextualization aspect are quite crucial in the study of history. The mystification and idolization of past historic figures and simply presenting a clear cut heroes and villains in the history teachings goes against the principles of science and denies history the mental stimulation effect it should have.
An example is given of how history paints the Native Americans as uncivilized and barbaric without taking into account the environmental and circumstantial motivation of their way of life. Ideally, it is impossible have a real life pure villain unless the account was captured by a biased individual (Loewen 11). It is therefore imperative that the perversions of the facts of history to suit political narratives by oversimplification of events is eliminated and the glory of history in shaping the mankind’s perspective and identity is restored.
As currently constituted and taught, the significance of history in understand the evolution of all facets of life from existence, technology, language to agriculture is lost or the credit that is positive given to the wrong people or a certain group of people wrongfully castigated to suit a given political narrative. In conclusion therefore, for contribution to self-growth and the progress of the society as a whole, history ought to be studied consciously from an analytical perspective and accorded all the necessary objectivity (Loewen 11). The progressives was a group of like-minded individuals with similar political views and shared the common agenda of eliminating the economic injustices as orchestrated by the excesses of capitalism.
This was a group credited indirectly with founding the concepts enshrined in the American dream of any individual regardless of background or class being able to achieve the heights they set to achieve. As such, the progressives were opposed to the exploitation of the working class by the owners of means of production currently referred to as entrepreneurs. The group therefore set out to exploit the power of constitutional reforms and activism to ensure that the working class were duly compensated for their labor (Beard, Charles, 50). Of the reforms credited to the progressives included the establishment of support of the working class by either establishing national industries or championing for compensation proportionate to the amount labor offered.
The aim was to eliminate the income disparities created by the over-exploitation of the working class. This desire rose from the observation that certain elements of capitalism were only enriching certain class of people and hence the agenda was to eliminate income differentials based on gender, race, religion or any other factor that was not hard work (Beard, Charles, 50). The progressives are further credited with initiating political and social reforms aimed to bringing out the benefits of true democracy for the happiness of every American. In essence therefore, the progressives observed the selective application of democracy and purposed to initiate reforms that ensure everyone in the society equally enjoyed the fruits of democracy (Zinn, Howard, 248).
This helped solve the existing political and sociological complexities and made societies better than they were. Some of the sociological and political complexities addressed included the distribution of resources across communities. Initially, certain groups were accorded privileges over others and created inequalities. The concept of an equal and just society is therefore a construct of the progressives (Zinn, Howard, 248). Having sought solution for the working class against exploitation by the business owners who at times cancelled off days and extended their shifts without compensation, the progressives purposed to ensure that the government would serve all provinces equally and make the equal distribution of resources a reality (DeWitt, Benjamin, 8).
To achieve this, the group decided to champion for a centralized system of governance that had no bias towards particular regions or groups of people. In essence therefore, this would be a government so democratic in the true sense of actual democracy; a government of the people, for the people and by the people. Such a government would protect the interest of all and sundry without favoritism and would see to it that the American Dream came to fruition. Indeed, America as constituted today is a product of the reforms by the progressives and this was also made possible through extension of the same to local governments (DeWitt, Benjamin, 8).