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TOK Essay History AOK

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In my TOK Essay I have covered the AOKs of mathematics, history and geography. For history I have used the quote "History is written by winners", developing the concept that countries who have won different wars have had much more power in the distribution of information on the war. My TOK teacher said the quote is trivial. What do you think about it? Is it appropriate?

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In my TOK Essay I have covered the AOKs of mathematics, history and geography. For history I have used the quote "History is written by winners", developing the concept that countries who have won different wars have had much more power in the distribution of information on the war. My TOK teacher said the quote is trivial. What do you think about it? Is it appropriate?

 

I would agree with your teacher. I don't know whose this quote is from, but it's likely to be just somebody's opinions rather than an actual claim that comes from a research paper, and thus you cannot treat it as some kind of arguments in your essay. That's why it's trivial. Of course, if that claim comes out from your own arguments and evidence in your own essay, then it won't be trivial anymore. Just don't use that claim as a starting point (if you get what I mean).

Since i'm not an expert on history, I will just quote an answer from Quora here:

History is written by the victor " is just a truism, not a solid principle.  It often simply isn't - we have almost no non-Roman accounts of the barbarian invasions of the Roman Empire, for example.  And we have plenty of accounts from both sides in all kinds of other events: WWI, WWII, the French Revolution, the English Civil War etc.  Finally, historians draw from multiple sources and take their biases into account - no historian reads a victor's account as a source and just accepts it at face value, that would be stupid.

So it's too simplistic to say "history is written by the victor".  History is written by trained experts who analyse and critically examine their source material, taking things like the biases of victors into account and comparing their versions to other sourced and data to determine a more rounded and objective view.

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Uh. I have the exact same point. Probably means it's not that good of a point, but anyway, I just put a footnote and said that while the quote is sometimes attributed to Churchill, we don't know the exact origins. My teacher was fine with it.

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