What are the reasons why judging historical figures is controversial?

Well I think it’s kind of ridiculous and unfair. Historical figures should be judged by their era, not by our era. That’s why I get very frustrated when I see all this revisionist history going on.

https://www.vox.com/2016/4/20/11469514/andrew-jackson-indian-removal

It’s now the ‘cool thing’ to do to hate on previously praised individuals. Look at Andrew Jackson. Previously a champion of the people, a supporter of democracy, the father of the Democratic party, a war hero, a populist, the only President to reduce the national debt to ZERO, a staunch anti-federalist anti-bank anti-authority type of figure. He was very popular until recently, which is why his portrait is on the $20 bill.

Now, everyone hates him. Why? Because he owned slaves like everyone else? Because he signed the Indian Removal Act and people blamed him for the ‘Trail of Tears’ – an act that was actually done by his successor Martin Van Buren, not him. In fact Jackson negotiated the treaty with the Cherokee leaders and he never forcefully removed them – that was all the doing of Van Buren.

https://www.vox.com/2014/10/13/6957875/christopher-columbus-murderer-tyrant-scoundrel

Here’s another one.. Christopher Columbus.. previously the man credited with discovering the Americas and changing world history. Now he’s also a tyrant too. Geez. If you go back to the 1500s can you name me any leader that didn’t do brutal things? That was the times back then. Why are we judging people 600 years ago by modern standards? It’s nuts.

https://futurism.com/schrodinger-pedophile

Turns out people married earlier in the 1900s. Guess what, I guess everyone was a pedophile back then. And you also know what? There were no child labor laws in the 1800s and early 1900s, meaning every employer back then was also guilty of exploiting children for free labor! I mean we can really go on and on if we want to take modern societal norms and judge people 100 years ago by them.

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2015/11/20/9766896/woodrow-wilson-racisthttps://qr.ae/prIWh1

Guess what? This previously highly rated President who steered the US through WW1, created the Fed, generated much more revenue for the government through the income tax act, champion for women’s suffrage, continued TR’s policies of anti-trust busting etc now apparently is just as bad as Hitler. Why? Because he was racist. Wow. And how many people from the 1910s weren’t racist? What did the average person from the 1910s think about black people at the time?

https://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-kendall-tempest-storm-presidential-affairs-20180324-story.html

and wow, so JFK was a womanizer. So what? I’ve heard people say that’s the reason why JFK is a horrible president is because he slept with too many women. Uhh.. that has nothing to do with his performance as President. Zero. Never affected his decisions as President, totally irrelevant.

https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2018/oct/09/antony-sher-was-shakespeare-a-misogynist-king-lear-cheltenham

You know that women weren’t even considered real people until the 1920s in the West right?

https://www.forbes.com/sites/rosspomeroy/2013/11/04/why-was-isaac-newton-such-a-jerk/?sh=2e556fbd6e20

Because he continues the tradition of geniuses who are also jerks – we have some in the modern era see: Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, etc Also the guy below too.

https://medium.com/lessons-from-history/thomas-edison-the-first-tech-jerk-d1b869f833dchttps://www.nj.com/middlesex/2013/02/oatmeal_comic_about_tesla_and.htmlhttps://www.cnn.com/2020/06/10/opinions/churchill-racist-great-white-men-view-toye-opinion/index.htmlhttps://www.vice.com/en/article/gvzebx/mother-teresa-was-kind-of-a-heartless-bitchhttps://medium.com/lessons-from-history/the-dark-side-of-mother-teresa-b8b9f93df835

^ even Mother Teresa isn’t safe!

I think somehow it has become ‘cool’ and ‘trendy’ to hate on previously popular historical figures as you can see. People just try to dig up whatever dirt they can find on a previously beloved figure and try to bring them down and sully their reputations. And often they are exaggerating things and blowing things up completely out of context by judging them by modern standards. That’s what I find annoying.

Who are they gonna go after next in their little witchhunts? Is FDR a commie now? What about Lincoln and Washington? They gotta have some bad parts about them too right? that Ghandi guy must have some terrible thing he did too right? How far is this revisionist history gonna go? I guess every historical figure must have a perfectly clean morally and ethically unassailable life in order for them to remain in good standing right?


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