MEANING OF HISTORY
- It is the study of all human experiences and record of events in relation to the environment.
- Is a branch of knowledge which deals with the past events of human beings and their response to their environment over the years.
- Is a science concerned with past human actions.
Two periods of history
- This is the study of history of man in the distant past relies on excavated materials and fossils.
- This is the study of the man in known times. Relies on raw data from raw narrations or written works
Branches of history
- It is the study of government and leaders. It analyses of political thinkers and their styles of leadership
- It is the study of the way of earning a living. It deals with economic activities in a different environment e.g. agriculture, industry, trade, transport and communication, hunting and gathering etc
- It is the study of the way of the people lived together, their way of building, dressing, eating, religion, medicine and education
Meaning of government
- It is the method of ruling or exercising power or authority over a country or a state or a city and its people.
- It can also mean the management of nation, country or state (i.e. those people who oversee the running of the nation, country or state)
Types of governments
- It requires the rulers to regularly seek public mandate through popular vote. The elected officials represent the wishes of the people.
- It is a form of government in which a group from the highest social class in the society rules over the others.
- Power is passed from parent to children. King or queen is the head of state
- It’s system of government where the ruler has the total power over the subjects
- It is a state of lawlessness or absence of government. People do whatever they want
Characteristics of government
- These are rules that govern members to ensure that life run smoothly for the benefit of all
- This led us to the supreme authority of the government to exercise power within its boundaries
- A government should be acceptable to the people over whom it power
- This is the geographical area within which the government exercises power and enforces law and rules
- The government is able to take action against those who broke the law
Importance of studying history
- We learn about the economic, social and political organization of different people.
- Help us to appreciate the value of others and their contribution to civilization.
- Enables people to appreciate and understanding their past way of life.
- History trains us to develop the capacity for critical analysis of historical data.
- It creates a sense of patriotism and national pride is developed.
- It also fosters empathy –the ability to understand how people think and feel and their positions and roles in society
- Is also a way of preparing the community or society for life.
- Provides intellectual fulfillment and interest in further learning
- It is also an integral study that accounts and records social and physical happenings in the time and space for the confirmation of man
- Can also lead the learner to respected professionals such as law, business management, teaching, administration etc
Importance of studying government
- It enables us to understand how laws are made and implemented.
- It helps us to understand the structures of government and reasons why we need a government.
- Help us to understand our rights and responsibilities as citizens.
- Help us to understand duties of our leaders in government.
- It enables us to compare our government of the world.
- It helps the learner to appreciate the constitution and constitution making process.
- By studying the system of the government of other countries, political leaders can choose the best system principles.
- One understands how the three arms of government operate.
Sources of information on history and government
- Unwritten sources
- Written sources
- Electronic sources
1. Unwritten sources
- Oral traditions
a. Oral traditions
Forms of oral traditions:
- Fork tales
- It is important in the study of pre-history.
- They integrate the study of history with other social studies.
- It is cheap as it doesn’t require experts or special equipment.
- It complements other sources of history
- The stories may be exaggerated. It’s hard to tell what is real and what is imagined.
- Some information may be forgotten or omitted since human memory is not precise.
- The stories may be changed for various reasons.
- It does not provide dates or sequence of events.
- It is expensive as one has to pay for transport, lunch and accommodation of informant.
- It is time consuming interviewing people, takes a lot of time.
- Gave information about the movement of people and their relationships
- Help us to understand communities, better as people with common language may have common origin.
- Helps those using oral tradition to gather information from various sources.
- Has enabled historical linguistics to discover links between different people which were previously unknown.
- It is useful in dating of the migration of people.
- It may take a longer period to learn a particular language and therefore delay the acquisition of information
- When translating the language the historians may omit some words.
- Different languages may have similar words with different meanings.
- There has also been borrowing of words from other languages and this has interfered with or corrupted the parent language
- A linguist may find some of the words from different groups difficult to understand.
- Some languages have become archaic or extinct and are therefore difficult to translate.
Concerns itself with present day social organizations in relation to customs, cultural values, institutions, forms of government, and systems of marriage, inheritance descent and religious practices.
It gives deeper understanding of a particular of a peopled culture.
- It can help to reveal similarities in the institution of different communities and possible interactions.
- It complements other sources of information in gathering historical data.
- It gives a deeper understanding of a particular aspect of people’s culture.
- It can identify a particular community with a certain material culture e.g. name
- Information is easily obtained from the surrounding.
- It is expensive as it involves a lot of travelling
- It is time consuming living for long in the community under study
- Anthropologists risks losing their culture and adopting a foreign culture
- The anthropologist may it difficult to adapt fully to the new community.
- Stone tools
- metal objects
- Wooden implements
- Remains of plants and animals
- Carbonized seeds
- Remains of charcoals
- The beads
Methods used to locate an archaeological site
- Radio carbon 14 dating
- Potassium argon dating
- Geological dating
It is a measure of the amount of carbon remaining in a fossil or artifact.
It is a measure of potassium remaining in a fossil or artifact due to volcanic eruption.
It studies the layers of successive deposits of rocks
Fission track dating
Studies the age of artifact from the amount of uranium remaining in the track of rock
The age of objects is determined through association of events with names
Advantages of archaeology
- Gives detailed information on material culture.
- It complements other sources of information.
- It gives a sense of time as artifacts can be dated.
- It is useful in providing information about man in the pre-historical times
- It makes history real through seeing and touching objects
- It earns the country money as people come to view remains and historical sites.
- It’s expensive to hire laborers to excavate and analyze the artifacts
- It’s sometimes difficult to locate a site
- Its time consuming to excavate and analyze the data
- Some remains are fragile and can disintegrate during excavation
- The information may not be accurate as it is based conclusions and reconstruction
- The dates may not be accurate as they exact as they are only estimates
- It’s difficult to differentiate between the bones of an animals and human beings
- Climate may affect the remains and some may decay
- There are very few archaeological experts and facilities for interpreting archaeological remains in Kenya.
- It’s hard to identify exactly who the people were and the language they spoke.
- Where there is large-scale excavation it may environmental destruction.
e. Written sources
- arrival reports
- Are more accurate than oral sources
- Methods of analysis used with written records are cheaper as is the case with oral information.
- Can be easily translated to many convectional languages
- Information may be stored for future reference.
- They are reliable as they can be easily changed
- It relies on oral traditions and archaeology to construct history to construct history for the period when writing had not delivered.
- Authors may omit essential information for one reason or another rendering if unreliable.
- It may be understood or misinterpreted by leaders either to disc red it the authors or suits one’s seed
- They are only limited to literate
- Authors write from their particular point of view and may be biased
- The cost of newspapers and books are high
- Reading written records is time consuming
- Written information may become obsolete because life is dynamic and many changes occur over the years
- Some written sources are inaccessible as government and other organization restrict it access.
Refers to the scientific study of passing on of characteristics from parent to offspring
- Information is accurate as real materials and remains are analyzed.
- Information can be obtained for millions of years ago
- Enables historians to trace the origin of domestication and spread of crops and animals
- Compliments other sources of history
- It is expensive as it involves laboratory analysis of specimens
- It is time consuming to obtain results
- It can only be used by experts
2. Printed sources
3. Electronic sources
- data banks and data bases
- They capture information as it happened.
- Films and videos give better understanding of some aspects of social history of a given people.
- They make past come alive today.
- Documentaries give facts about events
- Electronic data bases which are stored in a computer facilitate easy and fast retrieval of information
- Most records contains foreign materials which carries the bias
- They may be in accurate
- Electronic gadgets are expensive
- Some films are unrealistic and therefore contain exaggerated information
- Some are addictive and may make those are watching passive and lazy