10 November 2016

Why national history matters - Jerry Bannister #nlpoli

"Nations matter. National cultures matter. And national histories matter,"  historian Jerry Bannister writes in his commentary on the American presidential election just finished.  "As we try to understand what has happened in the United States, we should keep those three things in mind."

Bannister notes that historians are increasingly drawn to interpretations that cross national and international boundaries, drawing attention to ever larger patterns and force that shape events.   "Well," Bannister interjects, "if we ever needed a reminder of the importance of national history, we got it last night."

"Despite all the ink spilled on connections across borders and links across the Atlantic world, American history diverges in critical ways from Canadian history.  For all of our similarities as continental neighbours, our political cultures appear to be going in opposite directions. Those differences may seem minor to some, but this morning they feel more important than ever."

This matters,  as Bannister concludes,  because as "we search for answers and understanding, we need to reconsider the importance of national history, national institutions, and the road not travelled."

Read the whole post at the Acadiensis blog.