History and Memory Speech

Topics: Great Depression, 1930s, History Pages: 3 (850 words) Published: July 12, 2012
History is traditionally seen as the study of past events, which is recorded with facts, data and statistics. These recorded documents are everlasting pieces of the past. However, these documents on their own fail to present the intricate picture of the dreadful events that have occurred. The emotions and sorrows felt by the individuals are continually overlooked and sidestepped in these historical recordings due to their attempt to remain as unbiased as possible by maintaining an objective view. It is the memories of others that then add substance to the historical archives, which allows people to empathize and connect with those moments in time. While memory allows the personal experiences and impressions to be retained and recalled, it can be fragile and often bias to those recalling the event. For this retrospective idea, there is a need to infuse both memory and history to obtain a full understanding of the past.

While reading the retroactive second edition of Australian History, I began to wonder about the cold presentation of the breath-taking events and how shallow the exploration seemed to be. While outlining the specific dates and statistics of historical moments, a cluster of numbers cannot portray the sentimental experience of those involved, as Mary has by sharing her experience on the Seniors’ Australian Government website as a child during the 1930s.

In 1929, the world was plunged into its worst crisis since World War 1; the Great Depression. The great depression was a time of extreme hardship for people in Australia. After the crash of the center stock market of trading in America, unemployment in Australia more than double to twenty-one per cent in mid-1930, and reached its peak in mid-1932 when almost thirty-two per cent of Australians were out of work. With minimum emotive language and solely relying on these facts and figures recorded, textbooks simply generalize the impact on Australian society. Though the textbook is able to encompass...

Bibliography: Anderson, M., Conroy, J., Keese,I. and Low, A. (2005) Retroactive Stage 5:
Australian History (2nd Edition) John Wiley & Sons Australia: Milton, Old
Mary, Redhead, New South Wales (2005) The Depression years, 1930s (online)
retrieved: 9.6.12
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