I was not tagged in one of those, “Tell so many things about yourself that other people might not know” posts, so it is likely that no one really cares. It also means that because I didn’t get tagged I won’t actually do it on Facebook. But it looked kind of fun so I thought I would share some things that you might not know about me.
I am a fan of history. You likely already knew that. I mean I have linked to and talked about things like Hardcore History, The History of Rome Podcast and a new one I have been enjoying recently My history can Beat up your Politics in the past. I have half a dozen history books in my Goodreads feed. I really like learning about history. But here is something you might not know. From about 1790 – 1903 in American history is really kind of a blank to me.
There are a couple of reasons for this. Westward expansion, the “wild west” settlers and “Indians” never really held any interest for me. During this time period about the only thing that excited me was the building of the trans continental railroad, there are some pretty interesting things there. Some of that dislike is probably due to Laura Ingalls Wilder. Yup, you guessed it when I was younger I was a boy who didn’t want to read about “girl stuff.” More than that I really didn’t find anything that she wrote interesting. And I still don’t. Yes, I read it when I was younger. Yes, I have read some of the stories to my children. Yes, some of them even really like it. And even Yes, I really try to hide my dislike of it when I read it to them, but mostly I try to avoid it by reading other things to them.
The second big reason is the American Civil War. I don’t know what it is about this war that made it less interesting to me than say the Spanish American War (shortly after the Civil War) or the Napoleonic Wars (around the same time period.) Whatever it is, when I see the blue and gray uniforms of the North and the South, I start tuning it out. Again I suspect some of it has to do with early presentation of the material. I almost feel like it was the end of an era, that spiraled down into the next 50-70 years where while we didn’t have slaves in most places people were treated worse than they were when they were slaves. The Civil war also saw very little in the way of technological advancement. (at least not that I know of and I realize that because I don’t know much about the time period I am likely missing a lot) but the idea of wooden boats covered in iron don’t seem like much of an advancement. (the Hunley is an exception.) But it was not until the Spanish American war that any of the advancements start showing up, and again not until the skirmishes between Russia and Japan and leading into the first world war, that warfare really changed. It was the same thing, as almost as far back as Roman times. You built forts and you defended them. Yes, they had cannons and guns but, those were also nothing new. So in the end I don’t know why I am not interested in the American Civil war, at least not for sure, but I really am not.
So I just don’t know much about that time period and I really don’t have a lot of desire to. It is ignorance on my part. I know that. I really should learn more about this period in American history, but I just really don’t find it interesting.
You can find the rest of these posts by clicking on the “7 Things” category
2 thoughts on “7 Things you didn’t know Part 4”
I found this post interesting, mostly because it is almost completely opposite of my favorite periods in history. I like the ancient civilizations – any and all of them for the most part – so I imagine some of our interests overlap there. However, when it comes to American history, I have always found the Civil War interesting not because of it’s battles, but because of the people fighting those battles. The Native American cultures, especially the Plains Indians, were romanticized early on and have continued to intrigue and inspire me. The Wild West outlaws…oh, they were fascinating to my teenage self.
It is funny, it was the wild west outlaws that turned me off most of the time. The only “Cowboy” I liked was The Lone Ranger, and really it was not any of the tv shows or stories about him that excited me about him, it was his back story. There is so much there. I even wrote a story about him once, though it was a Sci/fi Werewolf immortality space story. I did a report in 5th grade about the Sioux Indians, and I really kind of gained an appreciation of their culture, but that was about as close as I ever got to really being interested in it. The whole romanticizing of the “noble savage” never held sway for me.
I am glad you liked the post, and I am happy that you have found something that you like to learn about. It is always the people. Battle are battles all over the world and i think pretty much through out history, but it is the people who make them interesting.