Portfolio Task 1 – Cam McDermid
Reflect on your understanding of the concept of 'history'. Has this changed in the first three weeks of the course? If so, how? If not, how did you come to your present understanding of how history works? Discuss at least two of the following: 'cultural change'; the 'Great Men' theory of history; historicism; and historical materialism
History is all around us, everywhere; every moment in time can be documented as a piece of history. This does not amount to how small the action was, or how long it took, it is all history. The greater the effect on a race or culture the longer the moment stays with us and is documented through time. This is called Historicism. For example one of the major moments in the last 10 years would be 9/11; although this did not affect us directly the amount of information and documentation of this event was vast, branching out to all nations. How long will this moment last in history’s books; will they remember this moment in 100 years? Will it stand the test of time? Something on a smaller scale may last longer, like inventions; things we still use to this day are a constant reminder of their history and where they came from. All people have a different timeline on history, some will gather information and not find it necessary or important, it hasn’t affected them so it is not a major event in history for them. For example; the Christchurch earthquake is a huge moment in history for us; it has changed our lives and things will never be the same, but for someone in Denmark, the other side of the world, this is an almost irrelevant happening and a miniscule piece of information. They might have seen a 2-minute clip on the news and this piece of history will not stay with them. Therefore history is our own little timeline of importance; although we may have the same events, they occur in different orders and rankings depending on the culture that surrounds you. There may even be a completely different timeline for someone else. None of it matters because history is what is relevant to you.
History is usually confined to one particular moment, giving one-person credit, securing their place in the historic books. This in fact isn’t true; not one great man creates history; there is always an underlying history behind history. For example; one great man did not invent the telescope. This is the typical route of invention, one that takes an idea from an already existing item and develops it, improves it and claims it as their own. This idea is not always true. Inventions had to start somewhere, usually occurring when something is needed to make a task easier. All inventions start somewhere, but very few people create something out of nothing. And the struggle of being the first is always a factor, to keep your development a secret until perfected enough to show to the public, and by then someone else may have beaten you to it. It is not the great man who creates historic moments; it is the importance, need and reasons for the acts to take place.
By Cam McDermid
Portfolio Task 2 – Cam McDermid
Discuss the links between Ancient Rome and the United States of America in terms of at least two of the following: architecture; political organization; ideology; and empire.
Ancient Rome is a very solid base in the world of architecture; perfecting concrete, having large structures, and using original techniques developed by themselves. America being America, in my eyes initially took on one of the largest colonies to try and improve their work, be bolder, bigger and better. Ancient Rome used large columns including steps leading upward giving a sense of importance, much like the Greeks. This was seen throughout their government buildings and town centers. America’s important buildings are very similar in this way, especially in their political scene. For example the Washington White House includes steps up to columns spread across the...
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