hist final - The past is the past William Faulkner once said\"The past isn't past It isn't even over with all due respect to him I disagree Instead I

hist final - The past is the past William Faulkner once...

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The past is the past William Faulkner once said "The past isn't past. It isn't even over.” with all due respect to him I disagree. Instead I would say that ‘the past is the key which unlocks our future’, and that to not acknowledge that the past is in fact over is a folly of the mind which can lead to errors. The past is by its very definition things that have already happened, my issue with Faulkner’s quote lies not in the accuracy of its message, but in the accuracy of its wording. The past is something to be studied, not case by case, but in its entirety, the events that occur one after another can together bring forth a case for causality. Before this class began I would have used the events of the crusades and their relation to the current tensions between the west and the Middle East. After having taken this class and having read Robert Marks I think a much more correlative example is the effects that the Opium Wars of 1842 and 1858 are having upon the political and economic landscape between China and the west, the U.S in particular. As Marks consistently points out our understanding of the modern world and how it came to be is a more than a little Eurocentric here in the west, what we are taught is that it was a certain European superiority or at the least a greater degree of ingenuity that allowed the west to make the technological advancements of the industrial revolution, and that a certain inferiority has kept the east down over the last two-hundred years. This line of thought is not only wrong, but if allowed to continue could very well prove to be the downfall of the west, and the key to rise of the east to the top of the global ‘food chain’. What most people in the west are either ignorant of or simply fail to acknowledge is that in the nearly two thousand years between the death of Christ until the industrial revolution China spent the vast majority of that time as the pre-eminent empire on the planet. Not only were they one of the largest but for most of that time period and especially during the European ‘Dark Ages’, they were the most productive. A

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