Historical Bias

May 2009
139
USA
No, the "Black Legend" was already a hot topic in the sixteenth-century. Foxe and de Montez, Benzoni, and the Dutch revolters all appealed to it and helped spread it. Note that they are Protestant, but I'm not sure it should be dismissed out of hand.
Whether the Spanish deserved this bias or not, it seems there is a reason they have it then, 16th century propaganda!
 
Jan 2010
1,012
Cali
to explain the historical bias
we need to remember that History is written by the Victor
so they'll always be a historical bias.
 
May 2009
139
USA
to explain the historical bias
we need to remember that History is written by the Victor
so they'll always be a historical bias.
I think this is more true of antiquity than it is today. There are certainly Germans who wrote about the World Wars. The idea that the victors can claim whatever they liked because they wiped out and conquered everyone who opposed them doesn't really apply in the modern world when nations still exist mostly intact even after their defeat. There are also enough outside sources to ensure that people remain at least somewhat truthful.
 
Jan 2010
1,012
Cali
I think this is more true of antiquity than it is today. There are certainly Germans who wrote about the World Wars. The idea that the victors can claim whatever they liked because they wiped out and conquered everyone who opposed them doesn't really apply in the modern world when nations still exist mostly intact even after their defeat. There are also enough outside sources to ensure that people remain at least somewhat truthful.
i agree that it is different now than before
but still, in most cases the victor would have more people lisning to them than the losers (in most cases) plus the vicotrs would have more power to spread their messages than the losers in generals, and i know that does not mean they can rewrite the whole story, but they can at least cover some facts or minor events or exaggerate some.
 
Jan 2008
18,733
Chile, Santiago
Japan was brutal and conquered a lot of Asia but most of the conquests were places that were just conquests of white peoples.
This is an example of a biased writing (there are others in your post #1). Think why you oppose Japan, which is a country, to "white peoples" instead of writing "UK, France, Holland, Portugal, Spain" or "some European countries".
One that has always been interesting to me is the bias involving the colonization of the Americas. To most people Spain is seen as "evil" and England as "good" and I don't really understand why.
In North America British and French were there to stay and make a living while in South America Spaniards were mainly interrested by the gold and others valuable resources to bring in Europe.
to explain the historical bias we need to remember that History is written by the Victor so they'll always be a historical bias.
History is not only about a war (eg. religion, biography, etc.) nevertheless the writer has his prejudices and write accordingly. Belisarius remind us of this fact in his signature. :)
 
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avon

Forum Staff
May 2008
14,253
This is an example of a biased writing (there are others in your post #1). Think why you oppose Japan, which is a country, to "white peoples" instead of writing "UK, France, Holland, Portugal, Spain" or "some European countries".
barlier,

The statement you quote was a specific example of biased history. Dr Realism is not supporting that view, merely pointing out that people hold it.
 

avon

Forum Staff
May 2008
14,253
to explain the historical bias
we need to remember that History is written by the Victor
so they'll always be a historical bias.
History is written by everyone. That's why we have so many differing perspectives and why history is frequently fought over in the present. For example, the Historikerstreit of the 1980s and the 'Goldenhagen debate' of the 1990s - both of which were played out in German newspapers before the general population.
 
Feb 2010
565
Yaller Dawg
Do we have biases when we study history? By that I mean, when we look at a conflict involving two countries or peoples, do we tend to think of one side as "the bad guy," and the other as "the good guy."

For Example.

Everyone knows WWII.
UK US are the good guys and Germany and Japan are the bad guys.Right?
But the UK had a huge chunk of the world conquered prior to WWII. They came out of WWI with more conquests than before, when Germany is often thought as the conquerer.
Japan was brutal and conquered a lot of Asia but most of the conquests were places that were just conquests of white peoples. Dutch East Indies, Phillipines, Indo-China, Burma, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia. I'm not saying WW I and II shouldn't have been fought. I'm talking about the perception of our minds on good guy bad guy.
I can't help but think of The Holocaust, and The Rape of Nanking.

Both countries committed horrible deeds in both. It is well known that japanese soldiers bayonetted infants in Nanking, to "set an example" to the Chinese. The Holocaust is well documented so I wont go into detail. But did any of the Allied governments do such horrible things? No, we stopped it as best we could. We also weren't the antagonists in the war. None of the allied goveernments were guided by totalitarian rulers (Hitler, Hirothito, Mussolini, and Franco for example).

In the Persia V Greece part....

David V Goliath scenario, I think we we all like rooting for the little guy.
 

David Vagamundo

Ad Honorem
Jan 2010
4,439
Atlanta, Georgia USA
I don't think you can write history without biases, and probably cannot read it either. That's why Barlier's idea of reading at least two different points of view on any contested historical topic is so good.