A Reasoned Reconstruction Of The Past

2140 Words Dec 7th, 2014 9 Pages
Often in the general public of readers and audiences, the terms history and memory coalesce and seem to easily flow together when considering historical consciousness of the past, and yes, there is an intertwined relationship between the two. However, there are distinct differences between these two expressions. History can be described as “a reasoned reconstruction of the past rooted in research.” It can belong to anyone and can be known by anyone, whereas memory is usually passed down and owned by a certain community or group. Memory is also used differently – it can be framed to suit a person or community’s specific ideologies, it can give value, and there can be deeper meanings such as helping one cope with the weight of past in that particular present. History attempts to preserve and discover the past, where memory tries to change and shape it to fit the agenda that seems important at that moment. From 1865 when the war ended until present day, the Civil War memory has been actively reinterpreted and remains an enduring source of public controversy in the ways that it is viewed and used. As early as the fifty years directly following the Civil War, its memory was forgotten or remembered according to what seemed beneficial to the country and its communities. As the North and South were focusing on the reconciliation vision, the emancipationist vision and the question of the millions of slaves that somewhat started the war was overwhelmed and overlooked for sake of…
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