History is written by the victors. This is a true of American history as it is of any other study of the past. Today in the 21st Century we look back on our past and face questions about what we have done, and what those who came before us have done. It is our job to make sense of it all. What stories are worth telling? Whose story is worth telling? Why do these stories matter to us? Do they tell us about our identity, our ideals, or our dreams? Do they advance a political position? Are the things the people in the past did to put us where we are now justified?
Sometimes the hardest thing about studying the past is to consider those who lost out. How do we feel about them? If things had turned out differently, the world we live in now would be different. We might not even be here.
Being mighty can help you get your way, but is having the power to get your way mean that you should? The study of the encounters between Europeans, Africans and Native Americans is often the story of winning and losing, of wealth and destruction, of triumph and disease. We cannot change the past. Those who were mighty in the past won, and those who were weaker, for whatever reason, lost.
But, can we look at the world with a Darwinian view. Should the fittest survive and thrive?
What do you think? Does might make right?