Everything in the world is related. History is one of the DNA strands we can look at to tie everything together. One may wish to focus on the origins of African slavery and trace the strand through the 18th and 19th centuries and even into Civil Rights and current societal issues of racism. Another may study the strand through a Native American telescope, quickly discovering European powers encroaching on tribal lands, attempting to figure out which side to ally with or when to make concessions. Too, another history buff will find it interesting to trace our story through the lens of war and warriors. Yet another may wish to take a biographical approach, studying the leaders and leadership styles through the ages. Whichever route one takes, history will soon engulf him, taking him to places and times and people in an endless web of adventure. Those connections will soon involve rabbit holes, while geese, and all kind of squirrels to distract the armchair scholar, as well.
When it comes to the end of the war, the book also does a fine, yet quick, job of tying everything together.
When a desperate Indian chief murdered a French ensign before a young Virginian's horrified eyes in 1754, then, an old world - one in which native peoples played determining roles in diplomacy and war - began to pass away...That we remember so little of this earlier world - and understand so little of its peoples and their ways - bears witness to the evanescence of all historical worlds, including the one that we ourselves inhabit. In that sense, to grasp the story of the great transformation that the French and Indian War began is above all to understand it as a cautionary tale: one that demonstrates the unpredictability and irony that always attend the pursuit of power, reminding us that even the most complete victories can sow the seeds of reversal and defeat for victors too dazzled by success to remember that they are, in fact, only human.
May that sense of learning and that feeling of awe be contagious in my classroom, and may my students realize there is much to learn from history that will benefit humanity in the future.
on the east bank of Lake Champlain in upstate New York, this summer.
I continue to collect my thoughts on my Fort Ticonderoga page.