The History Wars Essay

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synopsis (Included in word count) “The ability to stand outside your own political system and your own culture, to criticise your own society and to pursue the truth is something we today take so much for granted.” - Keith Windschuttle, 2010 The ways in which history is researched, perceived and recorded has changed dramatically over time to reflect the continuous historiographical problems associated with any attempt to uncover the ‘truth’ of the past. This essay will attempt to analyse and explore both sides central to the ‘History Wars’ and shed light on the problems of objectivity, prior political convictions, the role of the academic historian and the proper practice of scholarship research within the very nature of history as a discipline. Whilst the numerous works of key historians were integral to the validity of this ideological debate; the way history is researched does change the nature of history and it is with great intention that the role of history, especially Australian history, does indeed play with the political, social and philosophical life represented by this nation. Therefore the sub-intent of this paper goes beyond the historians’ impact on the writing of Australian history and delves into how the History Wars has been a major part of Australia’s perception of itself and its history. MacIntyre (2003) points this out as “the mission of the university, it used to be said, was to pursue knowledge for its own sake and to follow the inquiry wherever it might lead.” The question of whether this admirable motive is still relevant in today’s context arises when exploring this debate. In assessing how specific historians deal with the Aboriginal past the only definitive point that can be extracted is that history is anything but definitive. It is a constant, intricate and complex process

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