I would like to open this up for debate, the fact that we judge history and those that made history, today, with the benefit of hindsight? Is that fair?
I don’t think there will be a definitive answer to this debate and I’m sure that more learned academics than myself, will have studied this topic at great length and argued and debated it almost to death.
My argument is, we see more and more in the media today, many so called experts pouring over decisions made sometimes a generation or two ago, sometimes even centuries ago, how can they possibly know exactly what was happening at that precise moment in time? How can you possibly judge the thought process, the state of mind and the peer pressures and the many other factors that made the political and historic figures of yester year do what they did? You cannot possibly judge them without the knowledge and hindsight we have today, your knowledge and intelligence today must bias your view of those that made the historic decisions. Can we really safely judge those that made the catastrophic errors on the battle fields fairly? We know for example of the tragic loss of life from War, but did those in command really know at the exact moment they sent the troops into battle, that the loss of life would be so catastrophic?
We live in a judgmental world today where we need to put things into nice little boxes to make us understand things clearly. Unfortunately I think that sometimes we forget that the lines are blurred and things don’t always fit neatly into a box. So can we lay blame to those that made history? We can certainly say that mistakes were made whether it was from the two World Wars or historic battles and crusades from the last two centuries, but do we have the right to question it?
It’s not about being right or wrong, to me it’s about how you can safely say that the decisions taken hundreds of years ago were the incorrect ones, without actually being there.
History is exactly that……………..it’s history at that precise moment in time.
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