The study of history must always be approached with a sober, critical mind. While this task may be simple for the distant past or when learning the history of other cultures, it’s often an insurmountable prerequisite when it comes to the American Civil War. As Americans, we are reared in the lore and traditions of the Civil War era. Because of this ingrained upbringing, it is often difficult for us to understand that much of what we believe to be true, might not actually be based upon historical evidence.
Through this three-part series, we’ll try to understand what it takes to become a rational and critical thinker, especially when it comes to the study of the Civil War. We’ll also look at the pitfalls of bias, as well as some of our most bothersome logical fallacies. We will, I hope, learn how to become better students as well as teachers of history.