Defining History

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In the document, "Indians: Textualism, Morality, and The Problem of History," Jane Tompkins examines the conflicts between the English settlers and the American Indians. After examining several primary sources, Tompkins found that different history books have different perspectives. It wasn’t that the history books took different angles that was troubling, but the viewpoints contradicted one another. People who experience the same event told it through their reality. This becomes a problem when a person …

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…believed the children were taken and made more comfortable with nature, enhancing their lives. To the contrary, White into Red by Norman Heard addresses the treatment of captured children as cruel, claming many times the babies and toddlers were murdered (209). The inconsistency of views continue until Tompkins says, "It may well seem to you at this point that, given the tremedous variation amoung the historical accounts, I had no choice but to end in relativism. (213)"