Lies they told you in history class

Zeema

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The Germens are all Nazi's born from the Devil--My History Teacher
Pardon me, but there is no evidence of all Germans being Nazi's. You seem to forget that the first country the Nazi's invaded was it's own---Me

i got Detention for talking bad to the teacher
 

ultimateownage

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Feb 11, 2009
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Not just History; that applies to Maths, English and Science too. Electricity flows from negative to positive and I before E is bullshit.
 

Supertegwyn

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Glass Joe the Champ said:
Hey guys, I'm taking a US History Class right in high school and recently our teacher showed us this video from School House Rock (a series of educational videos for kids).

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We then had to write an essay on why this video is stupidly inaccurate. (For example, I talked about how Euro-American relations were a lot more complicated than "America is awesome and England is full of dicks")

This is hardly the first time in class we've had to unlearn what is essentially propaganda we were taught as kids. It got me wondering if other schools/states/countries have the same kind of biases in the classroom.

So guys, what kind of lies, if any, did you learn in your history class?
That was the worst video I have seen in a week. Who the hell made that, I have a sudden urge to murder them.

OT: Australian schools are pretty good with History. I've never been taught anything that was completely wrong, and when the teachers simplified things they admitted it.
 

War Pony

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Feb 19, 2010
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I can't immediately think of things that were "lies" in elementary, middle, and high school, but I can think of a few things that were curiously omitted in my history classes that I can remember.

For example, it wasn't until college history I learned that Japan not only hit Pearl Harbor, but continued bombing the U.S. west coast.
 

Supertegwyn

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Trezu said:
The Germens are all Nazi's born from the Devil--My History Teacher
Pardon me, but there is no evidence of all Germans being Nazi's. You seem to forget that the first country the Nazi's invaded was it's own-Me

i got Detention for talking bad to the teacher
The Nazi's invaded you? That would be very uncomfortable.
 

Supertegwyn

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Phenx92 said:
That Columbus "discovered" North America. It's funny cause the first question I asked after being told that is, "How do you discover something that's already got people living there?"
A better phrasing would be

"Discovered to European settlers"
 

Balls Mandingo

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Apr 15, 2009
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I remember my history teacher really briefly glossed over an US dickery during times of war. I mean I'm not one of those dudes that thinks America should have to apologize for every damn thing we do, war brings out the worst in everyone after all, but I remember when we were talking about the asian internment camps during WW2 he was like "we interned all asian citizens out of fear of spies working within the country. And it's worth noting that there was no internal sabotage to the country as a result of it" and I was like "well..yes that could be explained by us having interned all of the supposed spies, but it could also be explained by there not being any spies in the first place..."
 

Da Orky Man

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Apr 24, 2011
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Atticus89 said:
That Columbus traveled across the ocean to prove the world wasn't flat and Magellan proved that the world was round in his voyage.

Columbus and others during the time knew that the planet was round but they wanted a quicker route to the Far East rather than sailing around Africa so they weren't expecting the Western Hemisphere having land. Magellan also didn't prove the world was round but his expedition was the first to circumnavigate the world, an unprecedented and remarkable event at the time.

I'm sure there are others I'm forgetting, but these two stand out. I'm a history major so I've basically forgotten what I was taught in public schools.
Do you know who actually put forward the idea that the Earth is round? It was Plato. Yes, ancient Greek Plato.

Anyway, my history teacher was pretty good. The history books did tend to criticise America a lot for continually breaking agreements with the natives on land ownership, but that's about it.
 

Max Ahriman

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In the UK we were taught for about 4 years in a row that the allied forces were stopping the "evil" Germans during WW2. We got on to higher education for A-levels and our teachers then allowed us to ask questions about Dresden and the atomic bombs dropped in Japan.

So i was taught that we were the morally superior side and that destroying entire cities civilian or not was "acceptable".

Shockingly i got more than my fair share of detentions after my 2000 word essay on "How you win a war by being more morally loose"
 

immortalfrieza

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Glass Joe the Champ said:
So guys, what kind of lies, if any, did you learn in your history class?
That history class is important or even slightly relevant to anyone besides historians and people that work in museums. Basically, that history class has any justification for it's existence whatsoever is the lie.
 

ThyReaper

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I think I have a really good History Class and Teacher, we have an open minded view on all historical events. We're basically covering Modern History this year, and attacking it from all perspectives, I don't feel like he's trying to brainwash me, but rather help me develop an understanding of why this happened so I can formulate an opinion on it.
And he's open to debate, had a really good class where we debated on the values of Communism and Capitalism, that was interesting to see everyone's perspective and all opinions were respected, controversial or not.

The text book is pretty good, but we don't work on it solely.

I don't think I was told any lies in History, or any lies at all, maybe some bias views, but that comes from other Subjects and when I did Australian History when I was 12, you only saw one side, I was lucky enough to be able to comprehend both sides, other kids who didn't give a fuck, oh well. Too bad.

And yes, I'm Australian if that has any significance.
 

Exocet

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Sigh,for once I would like a history class that doesn't bullshit you.It takes an era,a conflict,whatever and describes what happened without sugar coating anything.Isn't one of the purposes of history class to teach us not to commit the same mistakes as our ancestors?

The video in the OP is an aberration to History,and the people who approved it should be slapped a few times for good measure.As for the video itself,why the hell are colonists portrayed as manly men that defy soldiers while carving out a nation by themselves,while the Europeans are represented by an effiminate king that looks so much like a drag queen,even the Sun King would tell him to calm down.

On my end,we were taught history pretty well,including when we were told our soldiers commited acts of torture during a modern time war.
What I didn't really like is the fact we got an entire chapter on slavery in the 18 to 19th century.Not all of it,just the part with black people,because apparently we still have to apologize for that.Fuck the other enslaved and downright genocided peoples,we still need to make sure black people like us!
 

Thaluikhain

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Glass Joe the Champ said:
Xmaspast said:
Don't forget that the Lusitania was carrying ammunition. They never told us that in school. They always tried to make it seem like the Germans just upped and sank an ocean liner for the hell of it.
As proof of ignorance, I didn't know that till you posted that. You re-learn things everyday I guess.
To be fair, there is some controversy about that. However, this could just be because of revisionists who've yet to be successfully discredited.

itchcrotch said:
i'm australian, so in our classes we learn nothing, but i have a relative in the states who, no shit, was taught that saddam hussein was behind 9/11.
Um...US government was telling everyone that in part of the lead up to the Iraq war. They kept changing their justifications, but that was one of them for quite a while.

itchcrotch said:
Do you know who actually put forward the idea that the Earth is round? It was Plato. Yes, ancient Greek Plato.
Not true. Although Plato did teach that the world was a sphere and the universe revolved around it, the idea had existed before him. He's probably the first really famous philosopher to get behind the idea, though.
 

Klumpfot

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Supertegwyn said:
Phenx92 said:
That Columbus "discovered" North America. It's funny cause the first question I asked after being told that is, "How do you discover something that's already got people living there?"
A better phrasing would be

"Discovered to European settlers"
I suppose those pesky Vikings don't count.

OT: I can't recall any outright lies being told in my history class, but a lot of things were perhaps too simplified.
 

Vidiot

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maxmanrules said:
Did any Americans learn history other than their own? I know that New Zealand history basically goes over the main points in our history (treaty of Waitangi, WW1, WW2, Springbok tour) pver and over again in gradually increasing detail. Interestingly (for anyone who knows NZ history) schoolchildren seem to identify more with the native Maoris, saying things such as "we" and "our" They are of course, not related to Maoris at all, and then was no such thing as a New Zealander then. They were far closer to the settlers then the illiterate stone age natives.
.

Hell, we're lucky if we learn all that much of our own. My high-school sometimes sent kids to detention for asking about the internment camps in the US during WWII. Worse if you asked difficult questions about Kennedy's cronies, Dr. King's assassination, or anything during the beginning of the cold war. (see: House Un-American Activities Act)

In my high-school, we spent 4 years on US history, and 1 year for World history.
The first unit in our world history class talked about how the early Muslim nations were bloodthirsty and evil; how they conquered neighboring countries to ease their own changing rulers every generation.
 

Aidinthel

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UrieHusky said:
Wow.. I genuinely feel bad for kids of america if they really grow up with things like that, it's also made me less pre-disposed towards the patriotic types if this is the kind of thing they're taught.
The video is a couple decades old, and wasn't part of any sort of official curriculum. If it seems like a cartoon, that's because it is - Schoolhouse Rock aired as part of Saturday morning kids shows. It's existence might certainly be taken to indicate some unsavory elements of our culture, but I think you'll find people of that sort everywhere. They're just a lot more vocal about it in the US.
War Pony said:
For example, it wasn't until college history I learned that Japan not only hit Pearl Harbor, but continued bombing the U.S. west coast.
Depends on your definitions of "bombing" and "west coast". A few Japanese submarines did venture close to shore, but I don't believe they had any specific targets or that they caused any real damage. The particular anecdote I read about was one of them spending several hours shelling an unoccupied beach.

Of course, if you count the Aleutian Islands of Alaska as part of the U.S. west coast, then yes a few of them were bombed. Outright occupied for some time, even. Now that is a curious omission.

immortalfrieza said:
That history class is important or even slightly relevant to anyone besides historians and people that work in museums. Basically, that history class has any justification for it's existence whatsoever is the lie.
What is this I don't even...

History is important because it shapes the way people view the world today. It informs our cultural identities and our dispositions toward other peoples and cultures. A major tool of tyrannical governments throughout history is historical revision because the easiest way to control people is to prevent them from disagreeing with you in the first place. Quite frankly, I find your statement not only personally offensive as a history major but also a highly dangerous and irresponsible attitude for a citizen to hold.
 

Supertegwyn

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Klumpfot said:
Supertegwyn said:
Phenx92 said:
That Columbus "discovered" North America. It's funny cause the first question I asked after being told that is, "How do you discover something that's already got people living there?"
A better phrasing would be

"Discovered to European settlers"
I suppose those pesky Vikings don't count.

OT: I can't recall any outright lies being told in my history class, but a lot of things were perhaps too simplified.
They didn't pass that knowledge on, so nope.