History Reimagined | Higher Ed Gamma


Ross Douthat, a very idiosyncratic kind of conservative, the Catholic intellectual traditionalist, a type more common in Britain than the United States, published a much commented upon columnon, of all things, the French and Indian War.

A Hollywood favorite — thanks to Last of the Mohicans — this conflict, one small part of the much more sweeping Seven Years War, did play, as Douthat suggests, a key role in European geopolitics, the evolution of European empires, and the forging of a distinctive American identity.

Douthat’s column is especially interested in how the conflict might be taught in K-12 schools.  He makes a strong case that the war offers an outstanding opportunity for teachers to bring history to life.  For one thing, the conflict provides a picture perfect opportunity for students to wrestle with the idea of contingency.  After all, the war erupted partly out of accident.  An incident at the conflict’s onset might have ended…

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