Monday, October 10, 2011

Rules for History

In Summer School, the students and I began this list... "Broach's Rules for History."  Maybe "theorems for history" would be better?

Of course, these are general statements and with anything in history, nothing is ever 100% correct and there is never a clear right answer... so here it goes:

1.       Watch out for those backcountry folk! They love to rebel.  And sometimes play banjos.  (Ex: Bacon's Rebellion, Shays' Rebellion, Whiskey Rebellion, etc.)
2.       Geography affects everything.
3.       Politics is always personal, regardless of what they tell you!  Just ask Andrew Jackson.
4.       Civil wars are the least civil of wars.
5.       When you split a traditional group of voters, the other side wins. (not always, but often)
6.       When people are poor and starving, they’ll listen to any radical idea (well, depends)
7.       In ideological struggles, symbolism is important.
Can you think of anything else?  Please let me know.
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