Week Four: Independence Narratives, Past and Present

The lecture “Independence Narratives, Past and Present” was very informative and thought provoking. For this week’s blog, I would like to focus on to focus on two discussion questions.

Politicians seem to reference the past during speeches, campaigns, etc because it shows how much or little the country has progressed. When you look back at history, you are aware of any blunders or accomplishments. People are taught a  timeline going into detail of every recorded moment vital or minor in schools. History is an asset for the present due to the fact it tends to repeat itself. You turn back to so often in order to understand what’s going on in the moment or how something came to be or how it went wrong. It can answer any hard hitting questions. Moving on, there were very influential individuals who really created change and are honoured. On the other hand, they could’ve been horrible. Referencing back to them invokes feelings and a sense of familiarity whether it be positive or negative. Someone can manipulate the past to benefit them in the future.

I believe Bolivar is optimistic in his letter taking in consideration the overall message, language and political agenda. He is clearly slandering the Spanish by referring to them as the “evil stepmother”, “Three centuries ago, the atrocities committed by the Spanish” and “because the destiny of America has been irrevocably decided; the tie that bound her to Spain has been severed”. This is just in the the first few paragraphs. It showcases how passionate Bolivar was and had a clear idea of the enemy. He goes on talking about a unified Latin America, how the government would be, etc. Never once in the letter did I feel that this man felt defeated.  The language was empowering and consistent. He seemed to be trying to convince who ever he was writing in a well thought-out way.

Mentioning the American Revolution in the lecture was a bit surprising, I thought they were completely unrelated. Nonetheless, the two historical events were so close by geographically and time periods.  There is a correlation between the following. Again as I stated above history does repeat itself. Even around the world, it seemed to be a chain reaction because so many colonies were fighting against their empire in the years to come.

Discussion Question:

  1. Why do you think history is important when focusing on the present/future?
  2. What were some crucial quotes from the Simon Bolivar Letter? Why did you pick them?




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  1. Just as you touched on in your insights, you mention how you always look back to the past to understand how certain events came to be. This interconnects to the question asked on why history is important when focusing on the present.

    The history of anything influences things we as a humans do in the present. This does not just tie to the idea of political moves, but in life itself. Such as if you lose a race because you did not practice, when you do it again you will practice so you can improve the next time . We use what occurred in the history to evolve and do better. Thus when politicians use the past as a reference to what they plan to do, it shows us they plan to do better then those who came before. The history is how we improve

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