The 21st-century kids know about the wars only from the pages of the history book or in the most poetic ways from the writing of famous poets like Alfred Tennyson. But what about the first-hand experience of what a war is? How would they know the impacts that a war can have in shaping up the culture of an entire nation? This is exactly where History and historians come into play. The role of history is not to just keep the data recorded in the pages of books and read by the future generations just to score marks in exams. The role of History is much broader, and it has the responsibility of bearing a culture along with it which otherwise would have gone extinct once and for all.
Orlando Figes is one such name, who has taken up this new practice of re-making History and putting it up to his readers not as mere facts, but as a story that would upheaval their entire concept. Taking the European history into consideration as this was Figes’ forte for years, Crimean War is one such event that has got multi-dimensional impact in building up several nations like Great Britain, Italy, and even Russia to full extend. But kids of now only get the mention of Crimean War in the stories of Florence Nightingale where a personality is being made glorious and not the event itself.
Popular knowledge has actually played a crucial role in setting up the mode of education. According to Figes, going by his power of analysis and strong representation, giving Crimea to Ukraine was like giving Pearl Harbor to the Japanese in the current day scenario. The Crimean War scripts all the bad notes possible in the psyche of the Russians. Ask any Russian about the Crimean War, and you’ll find them in the most uncomfortable position they could ever be in. Going back a century and a half, the entire global political scenario was different. Britain’s biggest enemy, like today, was not America at all. Instead, Russia was their only motive to exist and defeating them was anything that they looked forward to.
While Ottoman Empire, which is much bigger than the modern day Turkey turned out to be a declining empire then, Britain and Russia fought amongst them to attain power. While there were several cold wars between them, the Crimean War lied at their fulcrum making things spicy hot in the years to come. The strategy of Crimean War has always been the brainchild of the Britishers and the sole motive was to devastate the Russian naval base. France came in between and simply stole the show.
So the international affairs came out to be quite clear and these subtle plays in between, according to Orlando Figes makes History more interesting. Studying history means not just going through the facts, but analyzing them and realizing the value of these events in the scope of world history. The more you delve into this practice the better you find this ocean far more interesting.