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January 25, 2021, 08:15:00 am

Author Topic: History Extension Essay Marking Thread  (Read 9425 times)

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sudodds

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Re: History Extension Essay Marking Thread
« Reply #30 on: July 20, 2017, 09:06:39 pm »
Hey! It would be amazing if you could give me some comments on my major work essay!
Thank you so much in advance  :)

Hey Susie,
I've got 40 posts!
Thank youuuuuuuuuu!
Awesome! Let's have a look then :) My comments can be found throughout the spoiler.

Spoiler
To what extent was the Japanese Human Experimentation prior to and during World War Two Justified? Do you mean justified by history, ie. how and why have historians attempted to justify it? I hope so, because if you are looking at it more from a "was morally/ethically justified" then you'll probably be focusing too much on the history, and not the historiography.

Regardless of contemporary pacifist claims that the human experimentation of Unit 731 and associated laboratories was ‘undisputedly… unethical, outrageous and abhorrent’ (Nie 2001, p.2), those who participated in these experiments believed themselves to be and were justified, in the short term context of war. In terms of historiography, I hope you mention how contemporary individuals can view the past with knowledge of its impact, whereas those who where active at the time being studied have no actual knowledge of the impact that their actions may have in years to come. Historians are being retrospective! However, it must be considered that the relevance (‘investigated a research question that had not already been answered in previous studies and it had at least two outcomes that could plausibly occur’ (Bärnighausen 2010, p.84)) of particular experiments was absent and their actions later had a profound impact on Japanese medical ethics; it was absent. I don't really understand what you are saying here - sentence structure needs cleaning up.Therefore, in the knowledge that their experiments would yield important results, and their ultranationalist ideologies (as well as the superiority complex embedded in this) within the exceptional circumstance of war, the justification in the actions existed solely in the process of them and does not extend past the boundaries of its history. Interesting! So you are saying that the discipline and writing of history cannot justify human experimentation, as context has shifted? So it was justified according to the context of the individuals who took part, but as context and values have shifted, it is now unjustifiable according to our contemporary standards? Again, I think you can link this to the idea that historians are retrospective, but also to the subjectiveness of morality and ethics.

While the position of strict non-use of unethically obtained data may be argued, ethics merely provide a theoretical stance towards an exceptional circumstance; war. Thus, while the acts of Unit 731 ‘shall be denounced by any moral standard’ (Ishii Harumi 1982, p.13), those involved believed themselves justified in the development of ‘desperately needed social goods’ (Döring 2010, p.142). An anonymous former member of Unit 731 stated ‘there’s a possibility that this could happen again, because in war, you have to win.’ It is thus highlighted that war is a circumstance in which behaviours not regularly considered justified can be carried out with ‘less inhibition in viewing other human beings as biological resources for medical purposes’ (Döring 2010, p.144). Subjectivity of ethics and morality! So by extension, due to its subjective nature, is it a valid historical tool? I.e. should historians be writing history from a moral/ethical standing point? Michael Thomas in the ‘Ethical Lessons of the Failure to Bring the Japanese Doctors to Justice’ ‘contends that the [war] argument is weak,’ (2003, p.1) however, he fails to see this argument in an ideological way I love the discussion of limitation here! But be specific when you say "ideological way" - as Keith Jenkin's says, we are all inherently "present-minded ideological worker". Ideology is our inescapable reality, and everyone is impacted in some way, what differs is the actual ideology they follow!; ‘if the people are going to die anyway, then why not use them as experimental subjects for biological warfare research? This argument is given as a justification or excuse or rationale for human experimentation’ (2003, p.1). Thomas addresses the argument of war as an exceptional circumstance in a superficial way, war did not exist as an excuse for the human experimentation, it was believed by those involved to be a genuine and rational justification this sentence is a bit confusing, I think you need to explain it a bit more because though I think I understand, it sounds a bit contradictory - it's not an excuse but then it is a justification?; ‘We believed that the war was conducted in order to bring wealth to Japan’ (Morimura, 1983, p.109). The ideology of the war argument is seen in ‘The Bacteriological Warfare Unit and the Suicide of Two Physicians’ by Tsuneishi and Asano, which highlights the methodology under which the Japanese operated in their research into biological and chemical warfare; ‘no matter what was done, anything was permissible so long as it was ‘for the people’ or for the ‘good of society’… in everyday society, there was no such distinction on reasons for killing.’ In this way the activities that occurred were deemed acceptable and when studied through an ethical stance, it is clear that conditional use of unethically obtained data was a conscious methodology of many involved.  Although Ole Döring in ‘Japan’s Wartime Medical Atrocities,’ claims that ‘it can never be argued that the ends justifies the means,’ (2010, p.142) as a pacifist, he disregards the whole-hearted ultranationalist ideology of participants and their fanatic loyalty to country and emperor (Harris 2002, p.15) in which the ‘end justifying the means’ was an inherent value. Furthermore, Döring (2010, p.142) recognises the problems in ‘measuring or otherwise positively accounting for ‘good’ or ‘right’ intentions’ and this becomes particularly problematic in the circumstance of Japan’s human experimentation, where the ‘pre-war education’ established that ‘the people of Japan [were] a superior race’ (Kojima Takeo 1996, p.246); a de facto racism ensued. Furthermore, Tsuneishi and Asano show the distinction between the moral expectations or perhaps disregard during war and everyday moral behaviours; ‘[Physicians involved in Unit 731 and similar activities] are the type of people who would be greatly troubled if they just injured another person in an automobile accident.’ War was thus clearly considered an exceptional circumstance to non-use of unethically obtained data and in this way those involved in the human experimentation had moral reasoning in their actions. Conversely, Kojima Takeo, a Captain of the Japanese Imperial Army who was involved in Unit 731, stated that ‘[they] had no sense of guilt or of doing anything wrong,’ which connotes that some participants put no consideration into whether their actions would otherwise be considered unacceptable outside of war. An anonymous hygiene specialist at the Unit 731 facility referred to incidents of water torture and stated “that’s war” to a friend who had seen it occur. Clearly, war was believed to be an inherently atrocious occurrence and that these acts were accepted as a necessary part of it. It is thus evident that in some cases, conscious consideration of ethical issues that may have arisen from the human experimentation, did not occur and thus that practical circumstances were difficult to compare with a theoretical approach of ethics. Awesome! Really really interesting, philosophical stuff, I really like it. I potentially would like a bit more of a discussion of this on a historiographical sense though - so linking this more explicitly back to concepts such as truth, objectivity, subjectivity, etc., and maybe incorporating some historiographers works, that though they may not directly relate to your topic of human experimentation, the ideas they present CAN link if you yourself make the connection (thus asserting that you understand their argument, and its universal nature (if applicable).

Ethics are moral principles which govern an individual’s behaviour or the conducting of an activity, however they are dependent upon the individual’s contexts fantastic judgement! However I'd go even further - the we interpret the morals of others is at the same time contextual (hopefully you go into that :) ). Ishii Shiro, the director of Unit 731 and associated laboratories, carried little notion of commonly accepted ethical boundaries in relation to the use of human experimentation in biological and chemical warfare within the context of war. However a Western perspective regards the experiments as ‘so inhumane that they were in breach even of the rules of war’ (Thomas 2003, p.1). Western perspective - do you think that this in anyway links to some of the ideals of the Enlightenment? Also, do you think you could link this to concepts like 'Orientalism' for example? In spite of this, Ishii was nevertheless aware of the scruples attached to these actions outside of war; ‘we were told to take the secret to the grave with us’ (Shinohara 1996, p.227). In this way, the society of emperorism in Japan, one where a citizen’s ‘absolute responsibility above the army and government was to the emperor’ (Captain of Japanese Imperial Army, Kojima Takeo), as well as the ultranationalism that arose from this, allowed these behaviours otherwise regarded as unethical to be deemed suitable and necessary. Outside of war, the ‘danger of discovery’ (Harris 2002, p.31) impacted the location of the facilities. Subsequently, the knowledge of those involved of the immorality of their actions is evident. In terms of the context of war, as a result of Ishii’s ultranationalist values, he was ‘fanatically loyal to country and emperor’ (Harris 2002, p.15) while simultaneously ‘burning with ambition to make a name for himself within the medical profession’ (Harris 2002, p.16). Moreover, due to his extreme intelligence, Ishii had a ‘fever for research,’ however ‘[this] forward drive ran roughshod over protocol’ (Gold 1996, p. 23). Hence, the way in which Ishii applied himself arose from his personal ‘duty to sacrifice some for the benefit of the many’ (Döring 2010, p. 143) Great, but this is a bit too "history" and not enough "historiography". What I am more concerned about is the way in which Ishii's actions have been interpreted (and maybe justified) by others, more so than how he justified it to himself.. In this way, the events that took place in Unit 731 and associated laboratories, during the war, can be considered justified as those involved based their actions on their personal ethical values in a time of war but what about the historian's ethical values, when interpreting these actions?. Conversely, it can be said that Ishii’s exposure to the illegality of biological and chemical warfare reflects a disregard for ethical principles, however through a report by Second Class (First Lieutenant) Physician Harada on the 1925 Geneva Disarmament Convention, ‘which outlawed, at least on paper both chemical and biological warfare’ (Harris 2002, p.19), Ishii noted that ‘if something were bad enough to be outlawed, then it must certainly be effective’ (Gold 1996, p.24). In this way, the Geneva Convention was a source of his motivation rather than one of discouragement. Through this, it is clear that Ishii’s intelligence and education gave him a notion of practicality over procedure; once again his personal morals came into play. Still too much history for me. Furthermore, as part of Japanese belief, ‘the emperor was a living deity’ (Kojima Takeo 1996, p.245) and possessed the divine right to rule an area of Asia known as the Greater East-Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere; by governing the people of this area, he would ‘bring them happiness’ (Kojima Takeo 1996, p.246). In this way it is clear that contemporary moral principles that influence the way we act have little significance in this ultranationalist society, where loyalty and thus devotion laid with the Emperor; the people were ‘set upon serving [their] country’ (Harris 2002 p.15) Better - now we're getting more into the historiography, but its historiography that should be dominant, so I still think you need way more of it, and to cut down on some of the history from before.. Yet Ishii’s education did not include a course in medical ethics, thus it can be said that he ‘never concerned himself with medical or other forms of ethics’ (Harris 2002, p.16) and therefore that his ignorance provides him with justification. As stated in ‘The Bacteriological Warfare Unit and the Suicide of Two Physicians’ by Tsuneishi and Asano, however, ‘many physicians of conscience and thinking were a part of ‘Unit 731’ and similar activities’. In this way, the moral principles of Ishii are regarded, despite that these principles were different to those outside of Japan. It is clear that Ishii’s values reflected a concern for practicality; the activities of Unit 731 and associated laboratories were undertaken for the benefit of the many. Clearly, the ideological underpinnings of their actions are significant in providing them with justification. Overall, though this paragraph is very interesting, constructed beautifully and clearly well researched - it's history, not historiography. You need to be emphasising how and why people have interpreted the actions of Ishii, and whether they can justify his actions based upon their subjective concept, rather than how he himself was able to justify it. You touch on what I think could become a great argument - "In this way it is clear that contemporary moral principles that influence the way we act have little significance in this ultranationalist society, where loyalty and thus devotion laid with the Emperor; the people were ‘set upon serving [their] country’ (Harris 2002 p.15)". I think this should be expanded upon, and make up the bulk of your paragraph - how can we attempt to justify the past based upon the morality of the present? Link to the concept of hindsight, and being retrospective, etc. etc. That will make for a more "history extension" response.

While the exceptional circumstance of war functioned as a justification in the process of the Japanese human experimentation, the establishment of biological and chemical warfare research, its continuation throughout the war and the successful suppression of its occurrence in history was not possible without the condoning by external platforms of authority. Jing- Bao Nie, of the University of Otago, states that those who engaged in the human experimentation ‘represented the evil force universally existing among human beings,’ (Nie 2001, p. 1) however, ‘many members of Japan’s scientific establishment, along with virtually every military leader of note and members of the imperial family, either participated in chemical or biological warfare research, or supported these projects with men, money and material’ (Harris 2002, pg. 14), and certainly these groups can be held equally accountable for the ‘most unethical, outrageous and abhorrent’ (Nie 2001, p.2) events. But what about the historians? It would be interesting to see a discussion upon their own culability. In the testimony of Hiyama, a member of Unit 731, the effect of the attitudes and behaviours of people and other countries on their actions is clear; it allowed them to be justified in participating, “there is nothing shameful in what I did at Unit 731… The Soviet Union was also conducting research into germ weapons… I was doing this for Japan, and I am not ashamed at all of what I did.” However, while Takashi Tsuchiya states that ‘the loss of common sense of humanity among researchers when the experimentation was performed secretly’ allowed the ‘mass murder’ (Nie 2001, p.2) to occur, it is evident through Hiyama’s testimony that even many years after the Second World War, many involved ‘did not have even the slightest sense of guilt’ (Nihon Jido 1983, p.109) even when the secrets were known to many. On an international scale, Japan was condoned for committing war crimes, by not being brought to trial. The USA came to an agreement with Japan; ‘in return for exclusive access to the experimental data, members of the Unit, from Ishii down, were granted immunity from prosecution.’ (MacDonald 2010, p.168) Hence, while it may be argued that the 1925 Geneva Disarmament Convention elucidated the illegality of their research, it was undermined by the actions of the United States has this shaped the way history has been written about the subject? Do historians attempt to cover up this aspect of history as well?. Thus, while ‘America expeditiously gained twenty years’ worth of information at minimal financial cost’ (MacDonald 2010, p.168), certainly their actions further justified Japan, encouraging their continued lack of remorse while simultaneously committing an equally atrocious act to the human experimentation itself, from a contemporary Western perspective Is this a suppressed feature of their national history? Ie. it's not mentioned in school textbooks, etc.? Because that would have some interesting historiographical implications, in that they essentially would be rewriting the narrative of their history, through purposeful omission.. Furthermore, the 1925 Geneva Disarmament Convention ‘did not arouse much interest’ (Harris 2002, p.19) in Japan, and through this, yielded little authority over their actions. Despite that this did not impact their judgment, it can be said that Japanese ideologies originating from Confucianism provide a reason as to why the experiments were unethical. In ‘Ethical Lessons of the Failure to Bring the Japanese Doctors to Justice,’ Michael Thomas refers to the Confucian values of ‘yi nai renshu’ (medicine as an art of humanity). By referring to these values as ‘fundamental Japanese Principles,’ (2003, p. 1) Thomas references Tsuchiya’s argument of these events as revealing an evil inherent to the human condition. However, through a testimony by Unit 731 member, Hoshi, it is clear that the militarisation of the practice of medicine in the context of war, as well as the condoning of the actions by his superiors, prevailed over these values; ‘Although I didn’t regard the Chinese as human beings, I hated cutting them up like this. However, I could not disobey the order.’ (Hoshi 2002, p.112) Evidently, these Confucian values functioned only in the normal social context. Thus, these events were very much allowed to occur due to the condoning on several levels, providing those involved with justification to carry them out. Again, not enough historiography was in this essay. Remember that the focus of this course is on historiography - how and why history is interpreted in different ways. Throughout your essay, I think you are focusing too much on the attitudes of the time in which you are studying, rather than focusing on the attitudes of people studying and writing the history years later (which is the focus of the course).

Despite that Unit 731’s human experimentation was justified as a function of the contexts, the significance of these events in shaping Japan’s later medical ethics plays an important role in questioning whether or not they were wholly justified. Furthermore, the relevance of the research and the extent to which the experiments aided in the Japanese war effort, while somewhat present, are undermined not only by their later ethical impact, but also by the possibility that the success of the results may have been overstated by Ishii and by the existing ‘ethical’ alternatives to the human experimentation in testing their hypotheses. In ‘Japan’s Wartime Medical Atrocities’, Till Bärnighausen, Assistant Professor of Global Health at the Harvard School of Public Health, addresses the relevance of experiments (‘i.e., it investigated a research question that had not already been answered in previous studies and it had at least two outcomes that could plausibly occur’ (Bärnighausen 2010, p. 84). While it is clear that some experiments, such as those testing hypotheses on tuberculosis, the effects of mustard gas and the treatment of frostbite, were relevant and did not have ethical alternatives in order to prove the hypotheses being investigated, ‘many of the human experiments conducted by Unit 731 were not relevant because they investigated research hypotheses that had either already been proven to be true or were highly implausible’ (Bärnighausen 2010, p. 84). Thus, it is evident that many experiments conducted offered no contribution to scientific knowledge, or to the Japanese war effort, and thus that the Japanese scientists were insufficiently justified to carry them out. Furthermore, ‘the issue of human experimentation has become a taboo you could look at this historiographically - is it a historical taboo, in that it is omitted from national history? Are people let likely to discuss it because of its nature as a taboo, thus rewriting the past? Are people less likely to consider the topic critically, due to its taboo and controversial nature? in [the] Japanese Medical Profession after World War II’ (Tsuchiya 2003, p.1) and ‘[this is probably] the reason why [a] human experimentation framework is absent in Japan’ (Tsuchiya 2003, p.1). Subsequently, throughout the 1950s instances of human experimentation without informed consent (permission granted in full knowledge of the possible consequences,) took place, in which lobotomies were performed on psychiatric patients, and disease causing agents were injected into infants and psychiatric patients without the knowledge of family members. Although the Eubios Journal of Asian and International Bioethics has provided a platform in which the human experimentation can be learnt from and ethical issues can be addressed, certainly the hostility surrounding human experimentation in Japan due to the events of World War II has had a profound effect on Japanese scientists. In this way, the scientific idea of progression and thought for future generations has been disregarded and consequently, the justification of the scientists in their human experiments is undermined.

Certainly, the Japanese scientists acted under the idea that the end justifies the means. In hindsight, the events that took place were atrocious, and it is difficult to comprehend how they may have been able to perform an act so cruel, one which seemed to completely disregard individual dignity. However, it is clear through testimonies of many involved that their ultranationalist ideologies, within the context of war and the condoning by those around them, that they very much believed themselves to be justified and possessed no notion of wrong-doing. It seems that those who performed human experiments in order to contribute to the war effort, were justified, but merely in the short term of the war and within the idea that these experiments would yield vital results.


Okay!! So my thoughts.

Positives - You've very clearly done A LOT of research, and that has allowed you to formulate some very sophisticated arguments (particularly at the beginning of your essay). Furthermore, your grasp of language and structure is for the most part excellent - which further boosts the sophistication of your response (you won't believe how important language is to many markers when it comes to this subject - I've read some previously successful essays, and they are almost difficult to understand because they are just so academic, like university thesis'!).

However, there is one, kinda major negative for me, that I do think needs to be addressed. Though your arguments were fantastic, for the most part they were focused on the history, and not the historiography of Japanese Human Experimentation. You were looking too closely at how individuals from the time interpreted their actions, and not enough on how contemporary historians/historical producers interpret their actions today! You kept on mentioning historiographical issues (eg. morality, context, etc.), but rather than linking them to the historians, you linked them to the historical personalities instead. Though you include a lot of historiography (ie. quotes), your actual essay for the most part isn't historiography. You did this better at the beginning of your response (particularly in your first paragraph), where you dissected the methodologies of historians, and assessed the limitations of their analysis. This needs to be more consistently done throughout the entirety of your essay.

But overall, good work! I hope this didn't come across as too harsh - I definitely think this is a great essay (and has the potential to be fantastic!), now we just need to work on really emphasising the historiographical element a lot more. I suggest having a look at the syllabus, and seeing if any of the historiographical issues they mention are relevant to your case study, and can be discussed!

Hope this helps, if you have any questions about the feedback let me know!

Susie
« Last Edit: July 20, 2017, 09:08:52 pm by sudodds »
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bigsweetpotato2000

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Re: History Extension Essay Marking Thread
« Reply #31 on: July 21, 2017, 01:58:57 am »
Don't mind if I do! It definitely is very tricky, so don't lose faith if you're finding it hard - it is hard. It's history extension ;)

My comments can be found in bold within the spoiler :)

Spoiler
Throughout the decades of historical examination and analysis on numerous personalities of the past, Communist figure Mao Zedong in particular continues to be a character of two contradictory perspectives. Nice! Numerous debates surrounded the character of a man who either saw beyond the prominent ideals of democracy and capitalism that had risen during the Cold War period hmmm they were around a long time before the Cold War!, yet were counteracted with the slaughtering imagery of a tyrant who supposedly found pride and joy in his maniacal elimination of human lives. The Maoist period during the 20th century was the only time where terror and corruption co-existed with economical advancement, a frightening yet promising combination for the Chinese I like how you have emphasised this juxtaposition. The brutality suffered by the Chinese have led to countless paintings of the Chairman as a ruthless murder, these conclusions drawn from the focus on the price the civilians unwillingly paid with their lives for the nation. However, the ideology that such tyranny serving as sacrifices for the greater good in recent historical analysis is becoming increasingly more accepted, as historians have stepped away from painting the western understanding on the implications on the East I love this as a discussion, but sentence is a bit messy and confusing. Yet despite this debate surrounding the actions and activities which shape one’s understanding of Chairman Mao’s character being an inconclusive argument, historians are able to come together and recognize in the words of Historian Jonathan Spence ‘Mao’s beginnings were commonplace, his education episodic, his talents unexceptional; yet he possessed a relentless energy and a ruthless self confidence that led him to become one of the world’s most powerful rulers.’. Thus historians take into consideration what they perceive held more significance, the overwhelming ambition for a country’s rapid succession or the importance of the lives who uphold the country itself to position themselves into the two sides of this controversy. Why do they perceive certain things to be more significant though? I'm hoping that comes through in your essay. However a MUCH stronger intro already bigsweetpotato :) well done!

The legacy of Mao Zedong is shaped by the interpretation of his achievements and contributions to his country, for these understandings arise when historians’ ethical considerations prioritize what actions were implemented, rather than what the personality reflects A bit confused what you mean here?. Stuart R Schram, an American Mao Scholar states that his views are shaped only by the accomplishments that advanced the contemporary nation, as ‘his virtues and vices, whether public or private, will be touched on only to the extent that they affected what he was able to achieve’ (Schram, 1994), this teleological yisssss  8) understanding recognizing the importance for such modernization to be obtained in China link it back to the actual concept of teleological history as well - Schram's teleological perspective is shaped by his belief in progress, and moving forward. Thus Mao’s recognition of the need for radical reform in China since his early years established his attainment of an  advanced understanding of the requirements for a struggling country to evolve in the 20th century, which allowed Schram to recognize Chairman Mao as a great leader who would be remembered for his efforts to improve China. By approaching Mao Zedong from Schram’s political prioritizing "political prioritizing" sounds weird point of view, one gains understanding that his purpose and goals which were indeed according to________, for the greater good for China, as the nation faced constant suppression from Western superiority they didn't face suppression from Western superiority, more so the West's belief in their superiority!. Schram asserts that Mao’s work provided ‘a very substantial industrial and scientific base’ for the growing nation at the contemporary time, which allows Schram to characterize the Chairman as a modernizing despot alongside Stalin. Despite his methods wrecking wrecking is too colloquial countless lives of the innocent innocent lives, his achievements such as securing their global market for economical exports allow Schram to outweigh such sacrifices. As a political scientist that prioritized the nation’s growth over its people, Schram recognizes that ‘by shaking up the ancient patriarchal, stratified world of China, Mao opened the way for the emergence of new ideas and institutions.’ Thus Schram applauds Mao’s recognition of the beneficial relationships with other countries and escape from being a ‘self-contained kingdom’, as such isolation would never give rise to extreme success; another accomplishment which allows Schram to reinforce Mao Zedong’s image as a reformer. Just a question is Schram a communist/communist sympathiser? Just because marxist ideology focuses on this idea of the collective good, which may be another reason why he presents this sympathetic view of Mao, because he believes he was doing a collective good for society, even if individuals at the time were negatively impacted.Despite the attacks on Mao Zedong’s progressive deterioration of legal human rights of expression and freedoms in the Chinese society during his rule, Schram through his understanding of Mao through Mao’s own texts only recognizes that such acts had potentially reflected the intended truth of Chairman Mao’s goals. He argues that the government’s response to the rebellious acts of rising confrontation through such immoral acts were the only solution to resolve the increasing foreign aggression placed on China at that period of time, ‘a successful modernizing despot’ whats the purpose of this quote?. Thus historian Tim Stanley affirms the necessity of the communist leader’s suppression as ‘Mao’s greatest fear was that his country would succumb to the bureaucratic style of socialism practiced in the Soviet Union’ (Stanley, 2012) highlights Schram’s belief that the Chairman’s priority was his country’s economical and political stance in the global environment. Yet whilst numerous historians turn to the ideology of Chairman Mao being the vigorous force who brought incredible destruction to his country, Schram’s recognition allows clarification of his perspective that Chairman Mao was a idealistic reformer, a thesis formed through his defined prioritization of the political agendas and the success of Mao’s liberating acts implemented in China during the Post War period. Therefore Schram’s viewpoint that Mao’s ‘merits outweighed his faults’ sheds lights on Chairman Mao’s legacy as a skillful reformer, however such a political view and Schram’s fascination with Mao Zedong’s character leads to a sense of biasness I think I said this in the last one - really not a fan of this word, particularly in this context, as it suggests that other sources aren't biased. ALL sources are biased, no matter what their perspective. and a narrow interpretation, hindering the validity of such a perception. SOOOO much better bigsweetpotato1 Like - so much better. There is way more of a focus on historiography here :D Yayayaya

Shared and subjective notions of ethic and morality have often been utilized to shroud interpretations of Mao Zedong, as his potentially positive contributions are clouded by the perceived terror of his regime. Historians such as Jonathan Spence present their subjective view of Chairman Mao as a tyrannical leader who acted without remorse through their interpretations of the primary recounts of suffering from the people. This verification can be denoted in Spence’s understanding that ‘him (attempting) to push in a more radical direction so as to prevent stagnation’ (Spence, 1982) becomes a confirmation of the immoral Maoist acts that brought astonishing death rates during the contemporary period. Furthermore, Spence’s detailed analysis of his extensive range of sources brings to attention his focus on the terrors suffered in 20th century China, highlighting his affirmation of the cruel suppression of the government to those opposing such implemented political agenda. His documentation of 20th century Chinese author Ding Ling showcases his ‘scrupulous attention’ to the ‘solid and sedulous readings’ his work is created upon. The explicit detail of the cruel psychological and physical abuse on intellectuals such as Ding Ling who voiced self opinionated reasoning in Spence’s book clarifies his conviction of Chairman Mao’s tyrannical leadership, as he states that she ‘called on the Fourth National’s people’s congress… to restore some levels of socialist democratic rights’.` Yet a voice that called for equality and justice was met with inhumane ideals that brought ‘struggle sessions’, a horrific suppression of individuals as Spence reinforces the Maoist acts that implemented ‘mental strain and physical abuse’ with the intention of reeducating. Dr Katherine Reist too, agrees with Spence’s careful consolidation of Mao’s power as she identifies ‘‘Mao, removed from much of the turmoil he created, willingly paid that price. The Chinese people are still reckoning the cost.’ (Reist, 2000) finding a certain extent of validity in Spence’s work through his exploration of extensive sources. Whilst the Red Guards continue to label their deeds as courageous acts benefitting the new world, Spence highlights the transition of the common enemy character from the Japanese to each other, reinforcing the perspective of Mao Zedong as a totalitarian who manipulated the nation to his liking for his beliefs. Despite Spence’s acknowledgement of the cultural, social and political ‘uniqueness’ on a balanced viewpoint, Chairman Mao’s achievements continue to be unappreciated great discussion of limitations!as his immoral ethnics undermine the humane right of freedom of speech. Finally, as Spence’s interpretation is validated in the words of Mao Zedong as the policies of the Cultural Revolution were aimed to ‘definitely destroy feudal, bourgeois, petty-bourgeois, liberalist, individualist, nihilist’ (McDougall, 1980), the idea of individualist aligning with the feudal allows correspondence of Chairman Mao with the image of a brutal enforcer and so, further establishes his tyranny. Again, so much better! However, in both paragraphs, I'd like a bit more of a discussion on the actual historians contexts, and how that impacts upon their interpretations. I think a discussion upon the subjectiveness of morality as a concept would be good as well here - is morality a valid argument, if it is inherently not objective? (though personally I don't think any history is objective lol)

However the political agendas of Mao Zedong despite the painted tyrannical ideologies expressed the intellectual understanding of the Chairman in reforming China and also provided the foundation for China’s position as a leading world power. This sentence doesn't really make sense - I don't know what you're arguing here. Professor G P Deshpande presents the Western interpretation of China’s revolutionary movement under the idea of a purge, yet retaliates how only deeper understanding of such beliefs with Mao Zedong’s policies at the contemporary time result in the admittance of historians that such description ‘was not only inadequate by also irrelevant.’ (Deshpande, 1966) Deshpande recognizes the advancing aspects of the Cultural Revolution through a Marxist thinking conception of history, aligning such a movement with the inevitable class struggles outlined in Karl Marx and Friedrich Engel’s economic and political philosophy. Great link to theory! With clarification on the irrelevance of Mao’s character as an influence on neither his plans nor a weapon that yields to Mao’s tyrannical desires, Deshpande develops his thesis that extends beyond the dogmas of the west. Through the correlation between the sixteen points program to China’s situation during that period did Deshpande establish a new accepted understanding that the politburo resolution implemented merely addressed the economical and political issues China faced in the 1960s and 1970s.This modernist understanding led to Deshpande’s appreciation of Mao’s objectives that served as solutions bringing the nation a step closer to ‘Mao’s vision of tomorrow’s China.’ Despite such policies holding ‘an air of militancy, Professor Deshpande ‘argues in favour of the Leninist notion’(Deshpande, NIL)  that a party which is tight and cadre-based could bring about revolutionary leadership, seen in the eventful Cultural Revolution and so ultimately resulting in a fully developed world power.  Such a unique interpretation illustrates China’s attempt to break free of their powerless position in society and take a great leap forward, allowing one to attain a more diverse perception of the Chinese communist leader. Yet Deshpande’s understanding of the optimal motives behind each point was brought to the surface when considering the campaign under the conditions of contemporary context. YES The Maoist vision allowed him to understand how the program held no tactics that were new and original to revolutions but rather brought a driving force to mobilize the Chinese for the new China. Thus, Deshpande’s perception of Mao Zedong holds incredible significance, as Professor Alka Acharya reveals how he successfully provides a vision which contrasted the characterization at the time where commentary and reports were dominated by the influential West, Professor Deshpande’s assessments were able to ‘deconstruct the events in all their complexity’, demonstrating his thorough analysis to seek the most justified deconstruction of Chairman Mao. The validation of Mao’s eradication of the bourgeoisie and ‘the four olds’ arises from Deshpande’s modernist values what are modernist values? Be specific and historian Dun J Li’s statement ‘let the demons and hobgoblins come out of their lairs in order to wipe them out better, and let the seeds sprout to make it more convenient to hoe them’ (Dun J. Li, 1969), bringing to focus that such acts was due to Mao’s realization of tradition being outdated in the new industrialized world. Thus by following up on Schram’s understanding of the necessity for Mao’s refurbishing revolution to create the groundwork for ‘national salvation and renewal’ (Schram, 1994), Deshpande’s perspective hold significant impact on developing the character of Mao Zedong. Such a detailed assessment which aligns with Edward Said’s Orientalism ideals not really orientalism ideals - Said wasn't advocating for Orientalism (in fact the opposite!), it was just his theory, so it would be better to say: "Such a detailed assessment aligns with Edward Said's theory of Orientalism... removes the influence of the Western convictions and highlights Mao Zedong’s contribution by providing a foundation for modern China today. Rather than portraying the Chinese government as manipulative tyrants, Deshpande provides a fresh interpretation of the Chinese, which becomes an acknowledgement of their noble ideals, such including sacrifices made for the greater good. Thus, Deshpande’s perception of Chairman Mao as a reformer tactician becomes a thesis that holds slightly larger relevance than his tyrannical brutality, when analyzing the Communist figure. Are there any limitations to Deshpande's analysis though? Anything to criticise? I feel like you'd been a bit too kind to him ;) But again, fantastic work.

The characterization of Mao Zedong as a ruthless dictator is found upon the interpretation of his beliefs on death bringing power and advancement as inhumane thoughts that lacked moral understanding. Chinese Revolution historians Jung Chang and Jon Halliday affirm the perceptions of a barbaric character who exploited his people for self or political gain in Mao: The Unknown Story. Chang and Halliday reveal their anti-Mao interpretations of this nation leader, their analysis detailing every action that reflected a brutal tyrant who purposely created massacres like the Cultural Revolution to catalyze the formation of his new country. The significant claims of Chairman Mao that led China to its demise has been thoroughly emphasized by Chang and Halliday, including how Communist leader Mao sold their nation’s agriculture supplies through falsified claims that they had ‘unlimited supplies of food’(Chang and Halliday, 2007) when the reality was half the population was suffering starvation. Furthermore, the atrocity of ‘Mao knew that in many places people were reduced to eating compounds of Earth. In some cases, whole villages died as a result, when people’s intestines became blocked’ reinforces their assessments of Mao and serves as insight when understanding this complex 20th century leader. Chung and Halliday’s research extended beyond exploration of numerous archives, they visited sites in China, annotated uncensored and published memoirs and interviewed thousands to provide their detailed thesis great discussion of methodologies!. In addition, Historian Lucian Pye‘s understanding of the Maoist acts being policies of success is ‘not particularly convincing because China today follows very few of the early Mao’s ideologies’ as such ideals go against his own Political Modernization Theory. This perception reinforces Chang and Halliday’s recognition that such actions undertaken by Chairman Mao mainly destroyed the Chinese rather than bring political advancement. However, such 20:20 hindsight 20:20 hindsight it too colloquial - hindsight itself isn't - but the 20:20 part is. belittles his recognition to an extent, which validates Professor Deshpande’s recognition that understanding Mao requires analysis from its context I want you to explore this historiographical implications of this a bit more :). Ten years of intensive research created 800 pages of critique on Chairman Mao’s despicability. Such detail not only provides a clear insight on the brutality but leads us to question the narrow interpretation that shapes Chang and Halliday’s interpretation. Chang and Halliday’s research basis is from an extensive range of sources both published and unpublished, leading to the questioning of its reliability of some. Despite the provided citations, there is no provided information to evaluate sources’ authenticity which often leads to apprehension of their perspective. As Jung Chang was one of the numerous who suffered the consequence of Chairman Mao’s policies in her early years the formidable anger she retains may have potentially played a large influence in channeling the direction her and Halliday’s perspective, belittling the perspectives reliability.  Spence continues to affirm the tyrannical characterizations of Chairman Mao through his skillful integration of accuracy integration of accuracy? and emotion in his words, as his conveyance of the mercilessness of Mao Zedong in his encouragements of destruction evokes a sense of empathy for those who suffered and a sense of hatred for the brutal leader so further focusing on morality!. Chang and Halliday’s understanding recognizes Mao Zedong’s awareness of the brutality retained in his policies, yet heeds no attention to the suffering allowing their comprehension of an immoral leader to develop. Thus such an understanding more or less more or less is too colloquial created by heavy in-depth analysis and influenced by a personal influence, such perceptions despite aligning with other historians hold an element of biasness i'm not even sure if biasness is a word? I think it's just referred to as bias., becoming an interpretation which is considerably valid in assessing Chairman Mao’s tyrannical aspects but still carries a level of biasness, weakening the perspective.

Communist leader Mao Zedong has carried numerous different understandings of his character and his legacy over the decades. In the words of Tim Stanley, ‘there was a big gulf between the theoretical Maoism and Maoism in practice (of Mao Zedong)’ Nice!. Whilst most recognize him as the tyrant whose machinations brought death to civilians, some choose to look beyond his social and cultural impacts on the Chinese civilians and understand his policies targeted the economical and political advancement. Chang and Halliday along with Spence all aimed to present the Chinese understanding and perspective of Mao Zedong as a tyrannical leader who held no ethical values. In contrast, Schram and Deshpande look beyond the surface infiltrated by stories of the sufferings and acknowledge Mao Zedong on his ability to achieve political and economical advancement. However, Chairman Mao’s controversial character cannot be with reformer or tyrant, but both. Once considering Mao’s words ‘the struggle to consolidate the socialist system…will take a long historical period’ (Mao, 1957) realization that without such suffering China would not have arrived at its current stage arises. Yet such recognition of Mao Zedong’s character can only be developed once aligned with self valued morals and ethics and when examined at the particular period of time. Understanding of this controversial figure is only clear when one recognizes the unavoidable ramifications of every action. Thus whilst Mao Zedong the tyrant, paid with his people’s lives the cost for China’s ultimate power, Mao Zedong the reformer would not have succeeded in modernizing China if such sacrifice was not made.

Okay!!
Sosoosososososososososo so much better bigsweetpotato2000! This has significantly improved since last time, and is way more historiographical! I love how you are really delving into the limitations of these historians as well, rather than just discussing their interpretations.

My only major comments are:
1) I'd like potentially a bit more of a discussion upon some of the historiographical issues that you raised outside of Mao Zedong, so just, in a general sense, why is the context of the historian important, how is utilising morality as a historiographical tool effective/ineffective, etc. etc. Integrating historiographers that aren't necessarily focusing on Mao throughout (eg. EH Carr). That way you can show that you understand these historiographical theories, and how they apply to different historical issues.

2) Language and expression - I know you said that your word choices were a bit off, so I'm not too concerned, as you seem to be aware of this problem, but I thought I should raise it anyway. There are some sentences that don't really make sense, and that is limiting the effectiveness of your analysis.

But overall, such a massive improvement since last time! I'm super proud of you, this really is shaping up to be an excellent major work. I don't think you are "screwed" at all - this is already great, and you've still got a week to make it even better!

Great work,

Susie


Heya Susie!

Sorry to bother you again, but I would just like some clarification on your commentary in my first body paragraph:

one gains understanding that his purpose and goals which were indeed 'according to________' for the greater good of China blah blah blah

When you wrote 'according to ______' do you mean where did this idea come from, ie which Historian said that? Because this was suppose to be my own interpretation that was formulated - but I don't think you could have known that, my sentence was really messy AHHAHAH

Thanks!

Bigsweetpotato Farm

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Re: History Extension Essay Marking Thread
« Reply #32 on: July 21, 2017, 11:16:32 am »

Heya Susie!

Sorry to bother you again, but I would just like some clarification on your commentary in my first body paragraph:

one gains understanding that his purpose and goals which were indeed 'according to________' for the greater good of China blah blah blah

When you wrote 'according to ______' do you mean where did this idea come from, ie which Historian said that? Because this was suppose to be my own interpretation that was formulated - but I don't think you could have known that, my sentence was really messy AHHAHAH

Thanks!

Bigsweetpotato Farm

No worries! I did mean it like that. I think the reason why I want you to back that up with a historian, even if it is your view, is that it is not a historiographical view, rather a historical view - it's a judgement upon Mao's intentions himself, rather than the interpretations. So your voice and interpretation needs to be on the historians, not the historical figures :) You don't have to heed my advice here if you don't want to, it was a minor point. In actuality you probably won't lose a mark, but using another historian just backs up the level of sophistication. Last year I tried to have a historian for everything, even when it was my own view (I'd change the wording a bit to still assert that it was my view, just that it was supported by other historians), so that it was clear how researched it was :)

Susie
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olr1999

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Re: History Extension Essay Marking Thread
« Reply #33 on: July 21, 2017, 03:37:26 pm »
Awesome! Let's have a look then :) My comments can be found throughout the spoiler.

Spoiler
To what extent was the Japanese Human Experimentation prior to and during World War Two Justified? Do you mean justified by history, ie. how and why have historians attempted to justify it? I hope so, because if you are looking at it more from a "was morally/ethically justified" then you'll probably be focusing too much on the history, and not the historiography.

Regardless of contemporary pacifist claims that the human experimentation of Unit 731 and associated laboratories was ‘undisputedly… unethical, outrageous and abhorrent’ (Nie 2001, p.2), those who participated in these experiments believed themselves to be and were justified, in the short term context of war. In terms of historiography, I hope you mention how contemporary individuals can view the past with knowledge of its impact, whereas those who where active at the time being studied have no actual knowledge of the impact that their actions may have in years to come. Historians are being retrospective! However, it must be considered that the relevance (‘investigated a research question that had not already been answered in previous studies and it had at least two outcomes that could plausibly occur’ (Bärnighausen 2010, p.84)) of particular experiments was absent and their actions later had a profound impact on Japanese medical ethics; it was absent. I don't really understand what you are saying here - sentence structure needs cleaning up.Therefore, in the knowledge that their experiments would yield important results, and their ultranationalist ideologies (as well as the superiority complex embedded in this) within the exceptional circumstance of war, the justification in the actions existed solely in the process of them and does not extend past the boundaries of its history. Interesting! So you are saying that the discipline and writing of history cannot justify human experimentation, as context has shifted? So it was justified according to the context of the individuals who took part, but as context and values have shifted, it is now unjustifiable according to our contemporary standards? Again, I think you can link this to the idea that historians are retrospective, but also to the subjectiveness of morality and ethics.

While the position of strict non-use of unethically obtained data may be argued, ethics merely provide a theoretical stance towards an exceptional circumstance; war. Thus, while the acts of Unit 731 ‘shall be denounced by any moral standard’ (Ishii Harumi 1982, p.13), those involved believed themselves justified in the development of ‘desperately needed social goods’ (Döring 2010, p.142). An anonymous former member of Unit 731 stated ‘there’s a possibility that this could happen again, because in war, you have to win.’ It is thus highlighted that war is a circumstance in which behaviours not regularly considered justified can be carried out with ‘less inhibition in viewing other human beings as biological resources for medical purposes’ (Döring 2010, p.144). Subjectivity of ethics and morality! So by extension, due to its subjective nature, is it a valid historical tool? I.e. should historians be writing history from a moral/ethical standing point? Michael Thomas in the ‘Ethical Lessons of the Failure to Bring the Japanese Doctors to Justice’ ‘contends that the [war] argument is weak,’ (2003, p.1) however, he fails to see this argument in an ideological way I love the discussion of limitation here! But be specific when you say "ideological way" - as Keith Jenkin's says, we are all inherently "present-minded ideological worker". Ideology is our inescapable reality, and everyone is impacted in some way, what differs is the actual ideology they follow!; ‘if the people are going to die anyway, then why not use them as experimental subjects for biological warfare research? This argument is given as a justification or excuse or rationale for human experimentation’ (2003, p.1). Thomas addresses the argument of war as an exceptional circumstance in a superficial way, war did not exist as an excuse for the human experimentation, it was believed by those involved to be a genuine and rational justification this sentence is a bit confusing, I think you need to explain it a bit more because though I think I understand, it sounds a bit contradictory - it's not an excuse but then it is a justification?; ‘We believed that the war was conducted in order to bring wealth to Japan’ (Morimura, 1983, p.109). The ideology of the war argument is seen in ‘The Bacteriological Warfare Unit and the Suicide of Two Physicians’ by Tsuneishi and Asano, which highlights the methodology under which the Japanese operated in their research into biological and chemical warfare; ‘no matter what was done, anything was permissible so long as it was ‘for the people’ or for the ‘good of society’… in everyday society, there was no such distinction on reasons for killing.’ In this way the activities that occurred were deemed acceptable and when studied through an ethical stance, it is clear that conditional use of unethically obtained data was a conscious methodology of many involved.  Although Ole Döring in ‘Japan’s Wartime Medical Atrocities,’ claims that ‘it can never be argued that the ends justifies the means,’ (2010, p.142) as a pacifist, he disregards the whole-hearted ultranationalist ideology of participants and their fanatic loyalty to country and emperor (Harris 2002, p.15) in which the ‘end justifying the means’ was an inherent value. Furthermore, Döring (2010, p.142) recognises the problems in ‘measuring or otherwise positively accounting for ‘good’ or ‘right’ intentions’ and this becomes particularly problematic in the circumstance of Japan’s human experimentation, where the ‘pre-war education’ established that ‘the people of Japan [were] a superior race’ (Kojima Takeo 1996, p.246); a de facto racism ensued. Furthermore, Tsuneishi and Asano show the distinction between the moral expectations or perhaps disregard during war and everyday moral behaviours; ‘[Physicians involved in Unit 731 and similar activities] are the type of people who would be greatly troubled if they just injured another person in an automobile accident.’ War was thus clearly considered an exceptional circumstance to non-use of unethically obtained data and in this way those involved in the human experimentation had moral reasoning in their actions. Conversely, Kojima Takeo, a Captain of the Japanese Imperial Army who was involved in Unit 731, stated that ‘[they] had no sense of guilt or of doing anything wrong,’ which connotes that some participants put no consideration into whether their actions would otherwise be considered unacceptable outside of war. An anonymous hygiene specialist at the Unit 731 facility referred to incidents of water torture and stated “that’s war” to a friend who had seen it occur. Clearly, war was believed to be an inherently atrocious occurrence and that these acts were accepted as a necessary part of it. It is thus evident that in some cases, conscious consideration of ethical issues that may have arisen from the human experimentation, did not occur and thus that practical circumstances were difficult to compare with a theoretical approach of ethics. Awesome! Really really interesting, philosophical stuff, I really like it. I potentially would like a bit more of a discussion of this on a historiographical sense though - so linking this more explicitly back to concepts such as truth, objectivity, subjectivity, etc., and maybe incorporating some historiographers works, that though they may not directly relate to your topic of human experimentation, the ideas they present CAN link if you yourself make the connection (thus asserting that you understand their argument, and its universal nature (if applicable).

Ethics are moral principles which govern an individual’s behaviour or the conducting of an activity, however they are dependent upon the individual’s contexts fantastic judgement! However I'd go even further - the we interpret the morals of others is at the same time contextual (hopefully you go into that :) ). Ishii Shiro, the director of Unit 731 and associated laboratories, carried little notion of commonly accepted ethical boundaries in relation to the use of human experimentation in biological and chemical warfare within the context of war. However a Western perspective regards the experiments as ‘so inhumane that they were in breach even of the rules of war’ (Thomas 2003, p.1). Western perspective - do you think that this in anyway links to some of the ideals of the Enlightenment? Also, do you think you could link this to concepts like 'Orientalism' for example? In spite of this, Ishii was nevertheless aware of the scruples attached to these actions outside of war; ‘we were told to take the secret to the grave with us’ (Shinohara 1996, p.227). In this way, the society of emperorism in Japan, one where a citizen’s ‘absolute responsibility above the army and government was to the emperor’ (Captain of Japanese Imperial Army, Kojima Takeo), as well as the ultranationalism that arose from this, allowed these behaviours otherwise regarded as unethical to be deemed suitable and necessary. Outside of war, the ‘danger of discovery’ (Harris 2002, p.31) impacted the location of the facilities. Subsequently, the knowledge of those involved of the immorality of their actions is evident. In terms of the context of war, as a result of Ishii’s ultranationalist values, he was ‘fanatically loyal to country and emperor’ (Harris 2002, p.15) while simultaneously ‘burning with ambition to make a name for himself within the medical profession’ (Harris 2002, p.16). Moreover, due to his extreme intelligence, Ishii had a ‘fever for research,’ however ‘[this] forward drive ran roughshod over protocol’ (Gold 1996, p. 23). Hence, the way in which Ishii applied himself arose from his personal ‘duty to sacrifice some for the benefit of the many’ (Döring 2010, p. 143) Great, but this is a bit too "history" and not enough "historiography". What I am more concerned about is the way in which Ishii's actions have been interpreted (and maybe justified) by others, more so than how he justified it to himself.. In this way, the events that took place in Unit 731 and associated laboratories, during the war, can be considered justified as those involved based their actions on their personal ethical values in a time of war but what about the historian's ethical values, when interpreting these actions?. Conversely, it can be said that Ishii’s exposure to the illegality of biological and chemical warfare reflects a disregard for ethical principles, however through a report by Second Class (First Lieutenant) Physician Harada on the 1925 Geneva Disarmament Convention, ‘which outlawed, at least on paper both chemical and biological warfare’ (Harris 2002, p.19), Ishii noted that ‘if something were bad enough to be outlawed, then it must certainly be effective’ (Gold 1996, p.24). In this way, the Geneva Convention was a source of his motivation rather than one of discouragement. Through this, it is clear that Ishii’s intelligence and education gave him a notion of practicality over procedure; once again his personal morals came into play. Still too much history for me. Furthermore, as part of Japanese belief, ‘the emperor was a living deity’ (Kojima Takeo 1996, p.245) and possessed the divine right to rule an area of Asia known as the Greater East-Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere; by governing the people of this area, he would ‘bring them happiness’ (Kojima Takeo 1996, p.246). In this way it is clear that contemporary moral principles that influence the way we act have little significance in this ultranationalist society, where loyalty and thus devotion laid with the Emperor; the people were ‘set upon serving [their] country’ (Harris 2002 p.15) Better - now we're getting more into the historiography, but its historiography that should be dominant, so I still think you need way more of it, and to cut down on some of the history from before.. Yet Ishii’s education did not include a course in medical ethics, thus it can be said that he ‘never concerned himself with medical or other forms of ethics’ (Harris 2002, p.16) and therefore that his ignorance provides him with justification. As stated in ‘The Bacteriological Warfare Unit and the Suicide of Two Physicians’ by Tsuneishi and Asano, however, ‘many physicians of conscience and thinking were a part of ‘Unit 731’ and similar activities’. In this way, the moral principles of Ishii are regarded, despite that these principles were different to those outside of Japan. It is clear that Ishii’s values reflected a concern for practicality; the activities of Unit 731 and associated laboratories were undertaken for the benefit of the many. Clearly, the ideological underpinnings of their actions are significant in providing them with justification. Overall, though this paragraph is very interesting, constructed beautifully and clearly well researched - it's history, not historiography. You need to be emphasising how and why people have interpreted the actions of Ishii, and whether they can justify his actions based upon their subjective concept, rather than how he himself was able to justify it. You touch on what I think could become a great argument - "In this way it is clear that contemporary moral principles that influence the way we act have little significance in this ultranationalist society, where loyalty and thus devotion laid with the Emperor; the people were ‘set upon serving [their] country’ (Harris 2002 p.15)". I think this should be expanded upon, and make up the bulk of your paragraph - how can we attempt to justify the past based upon the morality of the present? Link to the concept of hindsight, and being retrospective, etc. etc. That will make for a more "history extension" response.

While the exceptional circumstance of war functioned as a justification in the process of the Japanese human experimentation, the establishment of biological and chemical warfare research, its continuation throughout the war and the successful suppression of its occurrence in history was not possible without the condoning by external platforms of authority. Jing- Bao Nie, of the University of Otago, states that those who engaged in the human experimentation ‘represented the evil force universally existing among human beings,’ (Nie 2001, p. 1) however, ‘many members of Japan’s scientific establishment, along with virtually every military leader of note and members of the imperial family, either participated in chemical or biological warfare research, or supported these projects with men, money and material’ (Harris 2002, pg. 14), and certainly these groups can be held equally accountable for the ‘most unethical, outrageous and abhorrent’ (Nie 2001, p.2) events. But what about the historians? It would be interesting to see a discussion upon their own culability. In the testimony of Hiyama, a member of Unit 731, the effect of the attitudes and behaviours of people and other countries on their actions is clear; it allowed them to be justified in participating, “there is nothing shameful in what I did at Unit 731… The Soviet Union was also conducting research into germ weapons… I was doing this for Japan, and I am not ashamed at all of what I did.” However, while Takashi Tsuchiya states that ‘the loss of common sense of humanity among researchers when the experimentation was performed secretly’ allowed the ‘mass murder’ (Nie 2001, p.2) to occur, it is evident through Hiyama’s testimony that even many years after the Second World War, many involved ‘did not have even the slightest sense of guilt’ (Nihon Jido 1983, p.109) even when the secrets were known to many. On an international scale, Japan was condoned for committing war crimes, by not being brought to trial. The USA came to an agreement with Japan; ‘in return for exclusive access to the experimental data, members of the Unit, from Ishii down, were granted immunity from prosecution.’ (MacDonald 2010, p.168) Hence, while it may be argued that the 1925 Geneva Disarmament Convention elucidated the illegality of their research, it was undermined by the actions of the United States has this shaped the way history has been written about the subject? Do historians attempt to cover up this aspect of history as well?. Thus, while ‘America expeditiously gained twenty years’ worth of information at minimal financial cost’ (MacDonald 2010, p.168), certainly their actions further justified Japan, encouraging their continued lack of remorse while simultaneously committing an equally atrocious act to the human experimentation itself, from a contemporary Western perspective Is this a suppressed feature of their national history? Ie. it's not mentioned in school textbooks, etc.? Because that would have some interesting historiographical implications, in that they essentially would be rewriting the narrative of their history, through purposeful omission.. Furthermore, the 1925 Geneva Disarmament Convention ‘did not arouse much interest’ (Harris 2002, p.19) in Japan, and through this, yielded little authority over their actions. Despite that this did not impact their judgment, it can be said that Japanese ideologies originating from Confucianism provide a reason as to why the experiments were unethical. In ‘Ethical Lessons of the Failure to Bring the Japanese Doctors to Justice,’ Michael Thomas refers to the Confucian values of ‘yi nai renshu’ (medicine as an art of humanity). By referring to these values as ‘fundamental Japanese Principles,’ (2003, p. 1) Thomas references Tsuchiya’s argument of these events as revealing an evil inherent to the human condition. However, through a testimony by Unit 731 member, Hoshi, it is clear that the militarisation of the practice of medicine in the context of war, as well as the condoning of the actions by his superiors, prevailed over these values; ‘Although I didn’t regard the Chinese as human beings, I hated cutting them up like this. However, I could not disobey the order.’ (Hoshi 2002, p.112) Evidently, these Confucian values functioned only in the normal social context. Thus, these events were very much allowed to occur due to the condoning on several levels, providing those involved with justification to carry them out. Again, not enough historiography was in this essay. Remember that the focus of this course is on historiography - how and why history is interpreted in different ways. Throughout your essay, I think you are focusing too much on the attitudes of the time in which you are studying, rather than focusing on the attitudes of people studying and writing the history years later (which is the focus of the course).

Despite that Unit 731’s human experimentation was justified as a function of the contexts, the significance of these events in shaping Japan’s later medical ethics plays an important role in questioning whether or not they were wholly justified. Furthermore, the relevance of the research and the extent to which the experiments aided in the Japanese war effort, while somewhat present, are undermined not only by their later ethical impact, but also by the possibility that the success of the results may have been overstated by Ishii and by the existing ‘ethical’ alternatives to the human experimentation in testing their hypotheses. In ‘Japan’s Wartime Medical Atrocities’, Till Bärnighausen, Assistant Professor of Global Health at the Harvard School of Public Health, addresses the relevance of experiments (‘i.e., it investigated a research question that had not already been answered in previous studies and it had at least two outcomes that could plausibly occur’ (Bärnighausen 2010, p. 84). While it is clear that some experiments, such as those testing hypotheses on tuberculosis, the effects of mustard gas and the treatment of frostbite, were relevant and did not have ethical alternatives in order to prove the hypotheses being investigated, ‘many of the human experiments conducted by Unit 731 were not relevant because they investigated research hypotheses that had either already been proven to be true or were highly implausible’ (Bärnighausen 2010, p. 84). Thus, it is evident that many experiments conducted offered no contribution to scientific knowledge, or to the Japanese war effort, and thus that the Japanese scientists were insufficiently justified to carry them out. Furthermore, ‘the issue of human experimentation has become a taboo you could look at this historiographically - is it a historical taboo, in that it is omitted from national history? Are people let likely to discuss it because of its nature as a taboo, thus rewriting the past? Are people less likely to consider the topic critically, due to its taboo and controversial nature? in [the] Japanese Medical Profession after World War II’ (Tsuchiya 2003, p.1) and ‘[this is probably] the reason why [a] human experimentation framework is absent in Japan’ (Tsuchiya 2003, p.1). Subsequently, throughout the 1950s instances of human experimentation without informed consent (permission granted in full knowledge of the possible consequences,) took place, in which lobotomies were performed on psychiatric patients, and disease causing agents were injected into infants and psychiatric patients without the knowledge of family members. Although the Eubios Journal of Asian and International Bioethics has provided a platform in which the human experimentation can be learnt from and ethical issues can be addressed, certainly the hostility surrounding human experimentation in Japan due to the events of World War II has had a profound effect on Japanese scientists. In this way, the scientific idea of progression and thought for future generations has been disregarded and consequently, the justification of the scientists in their human experiments is undermined.

Certainly, the Japanese scientists acted under the idea that the end justifies the means. In hindsight, the events that took place were atrocious, and it is difficult to comprehend how they may have been able to perform an act so cruel, one which seemed to completely disregard individual dignity. However, it is clear through testimonies of many involved that their ultranationalist ideologies, within the context of war and the condoning by those around them, that they very much believed themselves to be justified and possessed no notion of wrong-doing. It seems that those who performed human experiments in order to contribute to the war effort, were justified, but merely in the short term of the war and within the idea that these experiments would yield vital results.


Okay!! So my thoughts.

Positives - You've very clearly done A LOT of research, and that has allowed you to formulate some very sophisticated arguments (particularly at the beginning of your essay). Furthermore, your grasp of language and structure is for the most part excellent - which further boosts the sophistication of your response (you won't believe how important language is to many markers when it comes to this subject - I've read some previously successful essays, and they are almost difficult to understand because they are just so academic, like university thesis'!).

However, there is one, kinda major negative for me, that I do think needs to be addressed. Though your arguments were fantastic, for the most part they were focused on the history, and not the historiography of Japanese Human Experimentation. You were looking too closely at how individuals from the time interpreted their actions, and not enough on how contemporary historians/historical producers interpret their actions today! You kept on mentioning historiographical issues (eg. morality, context, etc.), but rather than linking them to the historians, you linked them to the historical personalities instead. Though you include a lot of historiography (ie. quotes), your actual essay for the most part isn't historiography. You did this better at the beginning of your response (particularly in your first paragraph), where you dissected the methodologies of historians, and assessed the limitations of their analysis. This needs to be more consistently done throughout the entirety of your essay.

But overall, good work! I hope this didn't come across as too harsh - I definitely think this is a great essay (and has the potential to be fantastic!), now we just need to work on really emphasising the historiographical element a lot more. I suggest having a look at the syllabus, and seeing if any of the historiographical issues they mention are relevant to your case study, and can be discussed!

Hope this helps, if you have any questions about the feedback let me know!

Susie

Thank you, those are some really great ideas :)

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Re: History Extension Essay Marking Thread
« Reply #34 on: July 23, 2017, 12:00:03 am »
No worries! I did mean it like that. I think the reason why I want you to back that up with a historian, even if it is your view, is that it is not a historiographical view, rather a historical view - it's a judgement upon Mao's intentions himself, rather than the interpretations. So your voice and interpretation needs to be on the historians, not the historical figures :) You don't have to heed my advice here if you don't want to, it was a minor point. In actuality you probably won't lose a mark, but using another historian just backs up the level of sophistication. Last year I tried to have a historian for everything, even when it was my own view (I'd change the wording a bit to still assert that it was my view, just that it was supported by other historians), so that it was clear how researched it was :)

Susie

Ahhhh - Gotcha!
Thanks!

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Re: History Extension Essay Marking Thread
« Reply #35 on: July 25, 2017, 06:44:27 pm »
Hey, thanks a lot if you get round to reading this, I was wondering if you'd be able to mark it. Thanks!
Note - In the synopsis, it required us to talk about the 'development of the precise research question', I'm not sure if I've approached it quite correctly, but the rest is quite reflective of a synopsis.

‘Discuss how and why the Interpretations of Constantine’s Conversion have Changed over Time.’

Initially, there was a variety of appealing research questions – each revolving around Constantine the Great’s conversion and subsequent Christianisation of the Roman Empire. However, upon consideration of the syllabus requirements, discussing the event’s controversial motivations appeared as the optimal pathway for the task (as oppose to discussing its impacts). In order to satisfy as many of these requirements as possible, a question on how and why the history of the conversion has changed seemed ideal – this allowed the thorough implementation of all ‘what is history?’ syllabus points. The essay implicitly addresses this historiographical quandary, whilst explicitly answering the selected research question. This is achieved through a chronological comparison of Eusebius, Zosimus, Gibbon and Burckhardt’s interpretation of the event. By contrasting their views, the essay effectively captures how history has changed over time, whilst thorough contextual analysis justifies why this shift occurs. Initially, the essay discusses Eusebius’ awed portrayal of the conversion, considering his deep Christian roots to justify his interpretation. In contrast, the essay proceeds to contemplate Zosimus’ distinctly pagan history, which is riddled with disdain and scepticism toward Constantine’s motives. However, this scepticism derives from Zosimus’ fervent paganism, and is employed in its contrast to Gibbon’s history: this reflects secular scepticism and personal opposition toward Christianity. Clearly, this is inspired by his individual and societal context in the 18th Century (exposed to the ‘Enlightenment’). Jacob Burckhardt takes a similar approach to Gibbon, though demonstrates an empirical style, reflective of his 19th – 20th Century setting. The evidence used in the essay includes each historian’s major work, as to capture their interpretations (depicting how they’ve changed), and contemporary texts that discuss their context and resulting bias. This is explicitly used to justify why their interpretations have shifted, and allows a wider comment on history’s nature to reciprocate contextual values.

The interpretation of history is an ever-changing phenomenon, shaped by its writer’s historical and personal contexts. Such is the case with Constantine the Great’s ‘conversion’ and subsequent Christianisation of the Roman Empire – a historical topic that has evolved with its writers' contexts. This is seen from the comparison of ancient writers’ glorification of Constantine to contemporary writers’ justified scepticism. Several historians, including Eusebius, Zosimus, Gibbon and Burckhardt, capture this development, whilst reflecting distinctive societal beliefs. Ultimately, the disparity between their context justifies their varied portrayals, suggesting history’s conformation to the interpretations and contextual values of historians.

Eusebius, Bishop of Caesarea, was an ancient Church writer of the early 4th Century, and is one of the earliest sources for ‘Constantine the Great’ and his conversion of the Roman Empire. His writing sets the precedent for this early history from a devout Christian perspective, which reveres Constantine and his religious and political movement. This perspective is most prominent in Eusebius’ ‘Life of Constantine’, which serves as a biography of the emperor and his innovative religious policies. Considering his context as a Church writer and a declared Christian, contemporary analysts consider Eusebius with cautious scepticism, necessitated by his blatant prejudice (this has led many to consider the text a panegyric, rather than history) . Evidence of this bias is seen through historical comparison, contrasting Eusebius’ portrayal of the conversion with Lactantius’ (another Christian writer, who was also the tutor of Constantine’s son) . Whilst Lactantius describes Constantine being plausibly “advised in a dream”  to adopt Christianity, Eusebius portrays a divine encounter on the battlefield, featuring “the trophy of a cross of light in the heavens” . Subsequently, this encounter led Constantine to victory and an alleged, newfound Christian faith. Considering his known absence from the battle , this highlights the bombastic nature of Eusebius’ history, which explicitly idealises Constantine – “a triumphant conqueror in the assembly of God's ministers” . Arguably, this contrast is related to Eusebius’ personal context, where his religious and political position pivoted upon the Emperor’s opinion of him (which he sought to magnify through adulation) . In contrast, many consider this portrayal to be directed by Constantine himself, employing Eusebius as a medium for “imperial propaganda” , in order to sensationalise and promote Christianity. Despite their portrayal of the same event, each historian gives a separate account of Constantine’s conversion – attributable to their unique, personal biases.

This alludes to the nature of history, which is based more or less on factual occurrence, though clouded by its writer’s interpretation and contextual bias. This is applicable to one’s individual and societal context. Whilst Eusebius’ personal circumstances impact his work, there is also a distinct influence from the wider Empire, which had featured a severe persecution of Christianity . Constantine’s reign was momentous for the religion, ceasing such oppression, whilst forming “a public institution with a legal presence and official recognition”  – the Christian Church. This miraculous development gave new life to Christianity, and is a major influence on Eusebius’ writing. Averil Cameron affirms this view, stating that Eusebius “breathes the amazement, and at first almost the disbelief, of a Christian… who found all his expectations suddenly reversed” . This perspective is seen in the preface of ‘Life of Constantine’, where Eusebius admits to being “wholly lost in wonder at the spectacle”  that is Constantine’s life and reign. Therefore, Eusebius’ perspective of the conversion is one of awe and enthusiasm, leading his history to revere Constantine in a light of admiration. This interpretation is explicitly shaped by Eusebius’ personal and historical circumstances, highlighting the malleability of history to its writer’s contextual bias.

In sharp contrast, Zosimus was one of the few ancient writers to express a personal disdain toward Constantine. However, this scepticism is unlike modern interpretations, which rely on primary evidence, as it derives from Zosimus’ deep pagan roots. This further highlights the influence of context in shaping the portrayal of historical events. ‘Historia Nova’ is Zosimus’ main literary work, and is “an attempt to compile the history of the empire”  up to its writing in 490-510AD. Within his work, Zosimus inevitably discusses the reign of past Emperors, whilst incorporating the contextual theme of “the decline of paganism” . Considering his own pagan roots, it is reasonable to assume the bias within Zosimus’ text, he being heavily opposed to Constantine and his Christian reforms. This is heightened by ancient historians’ use of narrative, which holds a distinct political or religious agenda, and often neglects the idea of analysis or objectivity. Zosimus’ bias is evident in his description of the Emperor as “a rebel”, who continually “drained the empire with useless expenses”  (portraying him as a catalyst of the Empire’s decline). These “useless expenses” refer to the extravagant Churches built by Constantine, which are clearly redundant to a “fanatical paganist historian” . However, Eusebius’ opinion of “these benefactions” is in stark contrast, as he revels in the Churches’ “unparalleled size and beauty” , unperturbed by their questionable cost. This implicitly refers to how the interpretations of Constantine have shifted, from a distinct Christian admiration to deep-rooted pagan disdain. Moreover, this spiteful shift highlights the influence of Zosimus’ context, particularly considering the societal impact of Constantine’s polices. In the later parts of his reign, Constantine reversed the precedent of tolerance and launched a campaign of “religious terror against all other sects”  (particularly paganism, which was prominent in the earlier Empire). Evidently, this persecution heightened Zosimus’ reproach toward Constantine and his promotion of Christianity.

Another distinct (yet implicit) influence on Zosimus is the Emperor Julian. Following the death of Constantius (the last of Constantine’s sons), Julian was entitled to the throne, and “professed paganism”  to the empire. This allowed the re-emergence of pagan ideologies, facilitating the stance of ‘Historia Nova’ (which, otherwise, would have provoked severe criticism, and potentially the demise of the text and the author). Ultimately, this highlights the powerful effect of a writer’s wider context in shaping the history they portray, which may be socially constrained to certain ideologies. Furthermore, in Eusebius and Lactantius’ portrayal of the conversion, Constantine is inspired by a divine encounter (despite their differences), which eventually leads him to victory against Maxentius. However, in Zosimus’ recollection of the event, he describes “an infinite number of owls [flying] down and [covering] the wall”  of the enemy’s stronghold – a pagan symbol of ill omen. After seeing this, Constantine prepared for battle, marching his army forth and emerging victorious. Not only does Zosimus shape a blatantly pagan history, but he does not even mention the supposed conversion that accompanied this battle. Evidently, the religious affiliation of each historian severely impacts their interpretation and portrayal of events, further demonstrating history’s malleability to contextual values. In regard to Zosimus’ perspective of the conversion, he does not present a particular event of faithful metamorphosis, but describes Constantine “using” Christianity to satisfy his “evil disposition and vicious inclinations” . Evidently, Zosimus is sceptical toward the conversion, though this is presumably due to his inherent, pagan opposition toward Christianity, rather than epistemological analysis. Hence, the interpretation of Constantine’s conversion has shifted from Christian awe, and the belief of authenticity, to Zosimus’ pagan disdain and scepticism. Considering each writer’s circumstances, it is clearly due to their personal and societal context that these interpretations have developed.

Despite a vast shift in historical setting, Edward Gibbon shares similar scepticism toward Constantine’s conversion, though he reflects an opposed personal and historical context to Zosimus. Gibbon’s reproach is most evident in ‘The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire’, which suggests Christianity as a prominent catalyst in the Empire’s eventual destruction. In order to perceive the influence of context, we may consider Gibbon’s publishing in the 18th Century, closely following the emergence of the French ‘Enlightenment Period’. This movement inspired a widespread shift in the philosophical paradigms of society, challenging established tradition and dogma (particularly the Christian Church). Gibbon’s history reflects such religious scepticism – seen through his critical approach to Christianity: “it frequently condescends to use the passions of the human heart, and the general circumstances of mankind, as instruments to execute its purpose” . By describing Christianity’s “purpose”, Gibbon also implies his doubtful interpretation of Constantine’s conversion, heightened by the consideration that “he used the altars of the Church as a convenient footstool to the throne of the empire” . Evidently, the contextual philosophy of the ‘enlightenment period’ has impacted Gibbon’s interpretation of the conversion, encouraging a secularised perspective. We may contrast this interpretation to Zosimus’, whose disdain was fuelled by pagan religiosity, and Eusebius’, whose awed gratitude derives from Christian faith. These varied interpretations each reflect the context of their author, suggesting history’s nature to branch from factual occurrence (the conversion), and stem according to the unique circumstances of its many writers. This perception aligns with postmodern philosophy, and refutes the claim that history is fact – rather, it is one’s interpretation of such facts.

Whilst Gibbon’s historical context powerfully impacts his interpretation, there is also a distinct influence from his personal circumstances. In Gibbon’s early years, he is described as an “omnivorous reader” , who attended a variety of grammar schools in England – forming a path of intellectual development. Obediently, he affiliated himself with the Anglican Church, though he experienced an “intellectual conversion”  upon reading the Bible, and professed himself a member of the Roman Catholic Church. Gibbon’s father was outraged by this development, and exiled his son to France for religious rehabilitation. This intertwines with the wider context of ‘The Enlightenment’, which originated in France during the 18th Century – exposing Gibbon to such secular ideologies. Here, Gibbon ambiguously claims that he “suspended his religious enquiries”  and, many speculate, his religious ties altogether. The influence of this personal experience is significant within Gibbon’s ‘Decline and fall’, where he describes the “intolerant zeal”  of Christianity, and even depicts the “ignominious”  nature of Constantine’s conversion. This contextual bias extends to much of Gibbon’s history, such as his portrayal of the Crusades – a Holy War, featuring the “use and abuse of religion” . Gibbon explicitly suggests the true inspiration of this conflict: “intolerance, ignorance and political self-interest” , and neglects the potential authenticity of faith. This neglect also applies to Gibbon’s scepticism toward Constantine’s “suspicious”  conversion, highlighting the inevitable impact of contextual values in history’s construction. Therefore, within a millennium, the interpretations of Constantine’s conversion have developed from pure religiosity to the secularism of Gibbon’s 18th Century setting. Upon consideration, this shift is justified by the individual and historical circumstances of each author, underlining history’s reciprocation of contextual values.

Accentuating Gibbon’s secular stance, Jacob Burckhardt considers Constantine’s conversion with heightened scepticism, though this reflects his own historical and personal settings. This doubtful perspective aligns with Burckhardt’s 19th-20th Century context, and is most prominent within ‘The Age of Constantine the Great’, describing the Emperor’s life and reign. Despite their shared scepticism, Burckhardt differs from Gibbon in regard to his use of evidence: he frequently references sources to justify his doubtful, and often scathing perspective. This is seen through Burckhardt’s description of Constantine as “concerned exclusively with success” , supporting his statement with the Emperor’s questionable “experiment”  of Christian symbolism. Considering Burckhardt’s historical context, this may be inspired by the emergence of empiricist history, which seeks to maximise the objectivity – however futile – and the reliability of an interpretation through evidence and deduction. This extends to Burckhardt’s interpretation of the conversion: due to his analysis of Constantine’s actions, specifically the “murder of his brother-in-law, despite assurances given under oath” , he believes that “history cannot take another oath of Constantine too seriously”  – particularly the conversion. Although Burckhardt attempts to reasonably analyse evidence, there exists a general failure in considering the authenticity of faith, leading to, in the words of Barnes, “an anachronistic interpretation of Constantine… as irreligious and amoral” . Although Barnes is aware of Burckhardt’s potential accuracy, he recognises the need to consider possibilities outside of history’s contemporary lens. Moreover, Gibbon encountered a similar issue in his consideration of the conversion, as well as the Crusades, each of which lack insight into the potential of authentic religious motives. In regard to Burckhardt, this highlights the failure of empirical analysis in achieving an objective history; it is instead a literary art, inevitably bound to the context of its writer.

In contrast, Burckhardt’s personal values feature with far less prominence – perhaps due to his analytical endeavours (it is far easier to avoid personal biases than historical, which are often subconscious). However, several of Burckhardt’s personal circumstances intertwine with his work, such as his education in the University of Berlin. Here, he attended the lectures of, and experienced great influence from Leopold Von Ranke  – the renowned pioneer of analytical history. Many speculate that this influence, amidst the gradual emergence of scientific history, is what formed Burckhardt’s historical lens – a massive influence on the work he produces. However, we often see Burckhardt become excessively opinionated in such historical analysis, describing Constantine as “driven without surcease by ambition and lust for power… a murderous egoist” . This scepticism may derive from Burckhardt’s affiliation as an assured conservative – though this “conservatism was cultural, rather than political” . This suggests Burckhardt’s natural disdain toward Constantine’s audacious and unaccustomed religious policies – destroying prior traditions and forging a path that bested suited the Emperor’s “practical execution”  and “great goal of dominion” . Therefore, Burckhardt has consolidated Gibbon’s scepticism toward the conversion, expressing his interpretation through a contemporary, analytical lens. Similarly to Eusebius, Zosimus and Gibbon, this portrayal is directly reflective of the historical and personal contexts of the composer, and further implies history as an ever-changing phenomenon – malleable to unique contextual values. 

Thus, the interpretation of Constantine’s conversion has shifted dramatically over the course of time, developing from Christian awe and glorification to increasing disdain and scepticism – whether pagan or secular. This is seen through the cross-examination of several historians, including Eusebius, Zosimus, Gibbon and Burckhardt, whose various contexts justify their interpretations and portrayals of the Emperor. Ultimately, this study forms a wider comment on the nature of history, which is inspired by factual occurrence, though branches out according to the diverse personal and historical contexts of its writers – a contingent phenomenon, relevant to all recollections of the past.
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Re: History Extension Essay Marking Thread
« Reply #36 on: July 25, 2017, 07:49:47 pm »
Hey, thanks a lot if you get round to reading this, I was wondering if you'd be able to mark it. Thanks!
Note - In the synopsis, it required us to talk about the 'development of the precise research question', I'm not sure if I've approached it quite correctly, but the rest is quite reflective of a synopsis.
Hey mitchello! Happy to read your major work, however you're going to have to increase your post count a bit first :) 25 posts = one essay marked during the Trial period, just so that we can keep up. Once you've got 25 posts, give me a nudge and I'll look over your essay as soon as I can :)
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Re: History Extension Essay Marking Thread
« Reply #37 on: July 25, 2017, 08:57:02 pm »
Sure thing, sorry. I didn't read the guidelines for essay marking, I'll try get to 25 without wasting space on the forum - will be back soon hopefully
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sudodds

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Re: History Extension Essay Marking Thread
« Reply #38 on: July 25, 2017, 08:58:33 pm »
Sure thing, sorry. I didn't read the guidelines for essay marking, I'll try get to 25 without wasting space on the forum - will be back soon hopefully
No worries! Super easy mistake to make :)
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Re: History Extension Essay Marking Thread
« Reply #39 on: July 26, 2017, 12:46:49 pm »
Hey Susie,

Just writing to say we got our extension history projects back today and I got 24/25!! Couldn't have done it without your help, thank you very much

sudodds

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Re: History Extension Essay Marking Thread
« Reply #40 on: July 26, 2017, 01:09:56 pm »
Hey Susie,

Just writing to say we got our extension history projects back today and I got 24/25!! Couldn't have done it without your help, thank you very much
AMAZING!! So great to hear damecj :) I may have been able to help a bit, but that was all you! You should be really proud - this is a really hard project, and you absolutely smashed it :D
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Re: History Extension Essay Marking Thread
« Reply #41 on: July 26, 2017, 05:47:08 pm »
Will this thread still be open for marking during trials?
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Re: History Extension Essay Marking Thread
« Reply #42 on: July 26, 2017, 06:05:53 pm »
Note for trials:

Hey all, in 47 hours from now we will be locking these marking threads for the trial period. The two main reasons being, we want to be able to help lots of students in the time it takes to mark an essay/creative (usually 30-45 minutes at least) while lots of students need the help during trials, and also because feedback becomes less constructive with minimal time until the exam because we want to avoid panicking you with big changes, so the feedback isn't as worthwhile for you.

Not to fear - you still have 47 hours to post your work and we will get to marking them even after the threads are locked (if there's backlog).

We'll still be here to help you during the trials with all of our Q+A threads, downloadable notes, and so on. Thanks for understanding! We're still here to help on all of the boards that aren't marking threads! :)
Not sure how to navigate around ATAR Notes? Check out this video!