The British never achieved anything of value in their entire history before 1500

Aug 2012
1,554
A widely-rounded historical education is necessary. Learning to take pride in the deeds of people long dead that one happens to have some vague connection to is the road to nationalism and ignorance. A student's experience of humanity shouldn't be limited to one tiny corner of the globe.
I must respectfully disagree. Pride in your homeland and your ancestors is the sign of a healthy society. Problems, of course, emerge when you try to "rank" nations and peoples to prove your own superiority - as though possessing a steam engine or a printing press makes you somehow more human than another.

More education should focus on fostering this pride, rather than either prioritizing the history of foreigners or, just as harmfully, trying to guilt children into feeling shame at their own past.
 

Kirialax

Ad Honorem
Dec 2009
4,953
Blachernai
I must respectfully disagree. Pride in your homeland and your ancestors is the sign of a healthy society. Problems, of course, emerge when you try to "rank" nations and peoples to prove your own superiority - as though possessing a steam engine or a printing press makes you somehow more human than another.

More education should focus on fostering this pride, rather than either prioritizing the history of foreigners or, just as harmfully, trying to guilt children into feeling shame at their own past.
Sorry, I don't quite understand the connection - not teaching someone to be proud is not the same as teaching them to be ashamed.
 
Dec 2014
479
Wales
A widely-rounded historical education is necessary. Learning to take pride in the deeds of people long dead that one happens to have some vague connection to is the road to nationalism and ignorance. A student's experience of humanity shouldn't be limited to one tiny corner of the globe.
5,000 years of history/prehistory since the establishment of Sumer, spanning the entire globe - naturally history is going to be limited.

What makes Chinese or Indian history more important than Arabic or even African? How much of each do you think could be covered? If we are studying the history of other nations why not cover Russian history (not considered Western history but so significant in the western mind today), or even Australian/Canadian, which while once part of the British Empire and with so much history bound into the UK's, get almost no coverage.

The bulk of everyday life in western countries is shaped by western history, so not surprisingly that is covered the most in current education, but so much western history is already barely touched on that the idea of spending any real time studying other cultures would be extremely unpopular.

Mind, I've always said that history is the worst taught subject in current education so....
 

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
6,474
Portugal
Sandman, that link is not “the proof that India and China had the largest empires by wealth and population:”

It is a link to estimations made by Angus Maddison for the “USA”, “W Europe”, “India”, “China” and the “Middle East” contributions for the global GDP, from year 1 to 2003 AD. In other words, it is an *estimation* of a measure of wealth for that period, compared with the total. Estimation and proof are different concepts. Furthermore population size is not mentioned there.
 
Oct 2016
692
On a magic carpet
I wasn't 'throwing a tantrum', I was merely exclaiming that the question that you raised (reflected in the title of the thread) was too stupid - or perhaps, one should say, too wilfully ignorant - to be worth replying to, because people have to make at least some effort of their own to learn about things before one can have a meaningful conversation.
Interesting that this standard doesn't seem to apply when people start threads about other certain topics. There are tons of threads where people post far worse thread titles when it's clear the poster doesn't have even the most basic understanding of theology for instance (not that I've ever seen you do that, but it exists at the forum more generally).

Also, I was clear at the outset that the entire premise of the thread was a personal reflection based on the items in one museum. I am pretty sure I used wording along the lines of "on the basis of the items in the museum collection, it would appear that.." etc. It was pretty mild stuff. Presumably the title attracted the most controversy, but even here I was clear to specify "before 1500". The OP itself didn't say anything particularly controversial.

Mocking people for asking a question... is that what "history" has come to? My freedom to respond to things I think are palpably untrue rests on my ability to do so without resorting to insults. It would be nice if others could do the same.

...as though possessing a steam engine or a printing press makes you somehow more human than another.
Thanks for sharing. This is a deep observation - that people take pride in things achieved by people long dead who lived many centuries ago, to the point that these things are sometimes used by some individuals to say something like "I am/my culture is superior to culture/country X". Why? I suspect it derives from the human sense of community and need to belong that we as a species all share to one degree or another. For some reason, Balkan countries and Turkey seem to have a lot of this. E.g. dispute between Greece and Macedonia over the name "Macedonia".
 
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Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
35,841
T'Republic of Yorkshire
Interesting that this standard doesn't seem to apply when people start threads about other certain topics. There are tons of threads where people post far worse thread titles when it's clear the poster doesn't have even the most basic understanding of theology for instance (not that I've ever seen you do that, but it exists at the forum more generally).
Mmm. So is what you are telling me that you are deliberately seeking to inflame other members of the forum because some people have posted on a topic that you find unpalatable so this is your way of getting back at them?
 
Oct 2016
692
On a magic carpet
Mmm. So is what you are telling me that you are deliberately seeking to inflame other members of the forum because some people have posted on a topic that you find unpalatable so this is your way of getting back at them?
No, my point is that there seems to be a double standard in Linschoten's criticism of this thread's title, while I haven't seen the same level of criticism applied to other threads that are (Imo) much more provocative in intent. (also this thread was started in September 2017, long before those other threads I was referring to, so the thread title could not be a "response" to something that didn't yet exist).

At the museum, there were a range of items on display and I found the Roman section highly impressive. There was then a significant absence of artistic works until a much later period of history - roughly 1200AD. But discovering that so many of these items were foreign-made was quite surprising. The contrast between the medieval part of the display area and the post-1500 section was quite abrupt and dramatic.

Entering the section dealing with the 1600s for instance, there were paintings, items of clothing and jewellery, books, works of art and a seeming overflowing of cultural activity. Walking around the exhibits, I had perhaps an hour to an hour and a half to look around. I'd like to visit again to complete the rest of the museum's displays, although I'd need to organise a separate visit to see everything the museum has to offer.
 
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Aug 2012
1,554
Sorry, I don't quite understand the connection - not teaching someone to be proud is not the same as teaching them to be ashamed.
With all respect, it is to me. If you tell a child "Look at how awful we were at this time in history", how do you think they will feel?
Whether you are German, Japanese, Mongolian or whoever, you should love your people and enjoy your history, because it is your birthright.
 

authun

Ad Honorem
Aug 2011
5,219
This is interesting. But why? I thought England at that time (1300s) was ruled by a French-speaking nobility, and French culture largely dominated at that period. To what extent was the country at that period culturally "English"?
At Court it was french and then those who courted favour also spoke french. The population spoke english however. 1300s is the period of Chaucer and because of his works, we have examples of the language of everyday people, rather than of ruling elites. Old english can be compared with middle english:

OE
'drincan', 'to drink' is conjugated: ic drince, ðú drincst, he drincþ,

ME
'drinken', is conjugated, drince, drinceth, drincest.


Between Chaucer and Shakespear we lose most of our inflections so we lose the an/en infinitive ending and start to use 'to', 'to drink'. We also lose the inflectional endings in the verb conjugation, with the exception of the third person singular, to drink: I drink, you drink, he/she/it drinks, we drink, you drink, they drink

The 's' is said to be a french influence.

Have a look at this piece from Chaucer's, The Sailor.

But of his craft to rekene wel his tydes,
His stremes, and his daungers hym bisides,
His herberwe, and his moone, his lodemenage,
Ther nas noon swich from hulle to cartage.
Hardy he was and wys to undertake;
With many a tempest hadde his berd been shake.
He knew alle the havenes, as they were,
Fro Gootlond to the Cape of Fynystere,
And every cryke in Britaigne and in Spayne.
His barge ycleped was the Maudelayne.


[ But as for craft, to calculate his tides,
His currents and the dangerous watersides
His harbours, and his moon, his pilotage,
There was none such from Hull to far Carthage.
Hardy and wise in all things undertaken,
By many tempests had his beard been shaken.
He knew well all the havens, how they were,
From Gottland to the Cape of Finisterre,
And every creek in Brittany and Spain;
His vessel had been called the Madeleine ]


There is a small amount of french, danger, barge but it is mostly an development of old english. In modern english, we also use later french words like 'calculate' rather than the old english 'reckon' though to write, 'reckon his tides' is still in use.

Ycleped is an interesting word, it is derived from old english clipian, to call. The Old Englsh prefix on past participles changes to a single letter by the time of Middle English, y or a for example. ME ycleped still exists in modern english as yclept;

https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/yclept

but we tend to use 'called'.
 
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