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History is the lie commonly agreed upon. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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History is the lie commonly agreed upon. Voltaire.

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History is the study of the human past. Based on careful analysis of surviving texts (primary and secondary documents) and artifacts (objects made by humans), the historian attempts to reconstruct past events and processes which have created the current world.

  • Historiography

The principles, theory, and history of historical writing

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Historians, through careful analysis, attempt to reconstruct the past.

  • But every historian views the world through a cultural lens.

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Therefore, an element of historical writing is interpretative.

Questions to consider:

  • Whose perspective is voiced?
  • Whose perspective is ignored?
  • What sources are chosen?
  • What elements are emphasized (political, social, economic)?

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Is the encounter told from an indigenous perspective or

Did Columbus discover the Americas or did he accidentally land in the Americas?

from a



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“The present informs the past. It defines the historical questions we ask.”


  • Explain the quotation.
  • If the above statement is true, how would this affect the curriculum of World History AP?

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The Underlying Principles of World History

  • History is interconnected
  • Current events have historical roots
  • To understand the present, the past must be examined

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Select two historical events or topics previously studied that impact the world today and for each, complete the information that follows:

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The first historical event/topic: _____________________________

  • Description of the event/topic: _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  • Impact on the world today: _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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The second historical event/topic: _____________________________

  • Description of the event/topic: _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  • Impact on the world today: _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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  • What is “point of view” and why is it important to consider point of view when analyzing historical documents?
  • Why is it important to identify the historian’s point of view?
  • Why are World Historians interested in connections?

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What are some of the academic interests of World Historians?

  • Was Voltaire correct? Explain your answer.
  • Why is the study of history important?
  • How does World History differ from Medieval History?

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“Until lions have their historians, tales of the hunt shall always glorify the hunters.”

  ~African Proverb

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“History is the witness that testifies to the passing of time; it illumines reality, vitalizes memory, provides guidance in daily life and brings us tidings of antiquity.”

~ CICERO, Pro Publio Sestio

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