Why Historical Thinking Matters

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Boring names, facts, dates - this is history for a lot of people. But historians think about history differently. They see themselves as detectives, often unsure about what happened, what it means, and rarely able to agree amongst themselves. This process of trying to figure out things you don't already know is as different from mindless memorization as you can get.

Explore this interactive presentation where Professor Sam Wineburg discusses how historians investigate what happened in the past.

Focusing on the question of what happened at the Battle of Lexington in 1775, this piece reveals that historical evidence is often fragmented and contradictory. Since this is all that historians have to go on, Wineburg talks about the strategies historians use to try to make sense out of this evidence.

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