SOC313 LECTURE 2
HISTORY AND ITS ROLE
We can look at history and how it unfolds, in particular we can look at small historical events that
might seem unrelated can have long lasting consequences.
WHAT HAS HISTORY GOT TO DO WITH IT?
We cannot comprehend the present until we explain the past.
COUNTER FACTUAL HISTORY
Historiography that attempts to answer “what if” questions. Such as the family questions of what
if I didn’t go to the new year’s party? They like to look back in time and ask if those happened
differently. What if Germany had won WWII? What if the Roman Empire Never Fell? Instead of
watching America’s got Talent, and calling in of voting for favourites wold you be watching
gladiators fighting? What if the South Won the Civil War? On the moon there would be no US
flag? At the time, in the late 1960s, a popular flag was the blue outside, Luster B.
Critical Junctures in thecourseofworldhistory. If relativelyminorevents hadunfoldeddifferently
during these turning points, the coarse of the world history would have been dramatically altered.
Ronda Collins argument is that it is hard to trace these things to one event, such as how far would
wego? Let’ssayifHitlerdiedinWWIisthattheturningpoint? Therewerethousandsothersimilar
nationalist’s parties that had similar sentiments. If we go back to WWII, it was a complex event
that meant more than just one leader, he says that someone else would have risen and declared
war, but there were more events such as the stock market crash that play a role.
PSEUDO TURNING POINT
Turning points that can be influential and path dependant for relatively small events or details of
larger historical trends. Can we be so sure that there would be a Holocaust if Hitler died? Or were
these the consequences of one person, Hitler? Is the Holocaust a small event or a detail in history?
Or if Osama did not live, maybe 9/11 would not happen.
Peoples choices in the present are limited/restricted by events that have occurred in the past.
Examples, if the steam engine had not been invented, the industrial revolution would never have
occurred, and we would be still living in an agriculture era. The keyboard that we know, it is no
logical reason why the letters are carried that way, it simplycaught on and stuck and became habit
forming, even though there may be faster ways to write.
LESSONS FOR US?
An event is but of a number of events, patterns, trends, and/or forces that, together, contribute to a
present outcome. Events are consequential, but it is not an isolation, we need to look at
demographic, economic circumstances, stratification, globalization and global forces, and how all
these can tell the story. An event is not inevitable. Events don’t make history, people do. Large
groups of peoples and social movements. We do not want to take Rondo argument without a little
bit of criticism as he downplays the importance of people (such as Trudeau in Canada), he white
washes the existence. We can however, say that while they have not caused the outcome, they
certainly played a role.
Founded by 6 confederate veterans on December 24, 1865 during the reconstruction of the South.
This was after slavery was abolished by the Abraham Lincoln administration. They wanted to
restorewhiterespires, andintimidate.Veryquicklyafterthegroupwasformedandviolencebegan, federal authorities worked quickly to repress them. They were deemed as a terrorist organization
KU KLUX KLAN ACT OF 1871
Federal law enacted that was used to enforce civil rights provisions under the constitution. Why
didn’t the KKK become a small footnote in the history of US, what bought it back (second KKK)?
Many people have attributed it to a movie based on a book. The Clansman by Thomas Dixon was
released was released, and the movie a Birth of a Nation by D.W Griffith’s. It was a movie that
pushed barriers. The impact that it had on people. But some scholars suggest that it is the cause of
the resurgence of the KKK, in the 1920s. Americans became