When we study history we read about the great battles and the generals involved. We read about the presidents, kings, queens, dictators and a few of the primary politicians. And we read about a few of the most notorious villains. On this we form the basis for knowing our history. But what about the everyday average person who lived, worked and died during the era being considered? Who is it that actually makes history happen?
What would have happened if Cruzatte would have told Capt. Lewis that day at the mouth of the Marias to go suck a rock, he and the rest of the crew were going up the north fork?
The generals and other few people we study don’t make history happen all by themselves. They require the work and talents of the everyday average person, the army full of privates, to make things happen. But we don’t read about the privates. Consequently we develop the mindset that history is made by heroes. When we do read about the people we take everything very literal. We can’t conceive that what they say is wrong or prejudiced by their philosophies.
I think it is time we get to know our history in a more realistic manner. Read the many journals that have been written by hundreds of the everyday average people who participated in our historical development. We may then realize that those people who did the deeds and wrote the stories were just like you and me and did the best they could, most of the time.
By incorporating these everyday people's journals into our reading we will get to understand the whys of our history well beyond the point of reciting facts of famous men and events.