Questioning History

History is an ongoing process; the passage of time not only creating it but constantly shifting our perspectives so that often what we once thought of a solidly known about our history becomes debatable once again. Add to this changeableness the constant discovery of new evidence and the frustration of putting anything in as permanent a form as print can be great. For an excellent example of this have a read of the Rev Salmon case.

One value of a permanently but easily changeable website is that new material and new perspectives can be constantly added without needing to start all over again. More important is the point that we must constantly question on every level what we think we know about history. This begins with thinking not only about what we know but also about what we don’t know.

After considering what is missing we need also consider the many lies our sources tell us – intentionally or otherwise. Just think about how casually we reply to a question such as ‘How are you?’ How often do we answer truthfully? The immensity of the number of untruths that appear in newspaper reports, government files, speeches, diaries and various other historical sources can lead to despair of arriving at any kind of historical truth – whatever that might mean.