Ohio History Journal

Reviews, Notes and Comments 103

Reviews, Notes and Comments             103


Resolutions adopted by


at its Annual Meeting held at Columbus, Ohio,

December 27-29, 1923

WHEREAS, there has been in progress for several years an

agitation conducted by certain newspapers, patriotic societies,

fraternal orders, and others, against a number of school text-

books in history and in favor of official censorship, and

WHEREAS, this propaganda has met with sufficient success

to bring about not only acute controversy in many cities but the

passage of censorship laws in several states, therefore,

Be it resolved by the American Historical Association, upon

the recommendation of its Committee on History Teaching in

the schools and of its Executive Council, that genuine and in-

telligent patriotism, no less than the requirements of honesty

and sound scholarship, demand that textbook writers and

teachers should strive to present a truthful picture of past and

present, with due regard to the different purposes and possibili-

ties of elementary, secondary, and advanced instruction; that

criticism of history textbooks should therefore be based not upon

grounds of patriotism but only upon grounds of faithfulness

to fact as determined by specialists or tested by consideration

of the evidence; that the cultivation in pupils of a scientific

temper in history and the related social sciences, of a spirit of

inquiry and a willingness to face unpleasant facts, are far more

important objectives than the teaching of special interpretations

of particular events; and that attempts, however well meant, to

foster national arrogance and boastfulness and indiscriminate

worship of national "heroes" can only tend to promote a harm-

ful pseudo-patriotism; and

Be it further resolved, that in the opinion of this Associa-

tion the clearly implied charges that many of our leading

scholars are engaged in treasonable propaganda and that tens

of thousands of American school teachers and officials are so

stupid or disloyal as to place treasonable textbooks in the hands

of childen is inherently and obviously absurd; and

Be it further resolved, that the successful continuance of

such an agitation must inevitably bring about a serious deteriora-

tion both of textbooks and of the teaching of history in our

schools, since self-respecting scholars and teachers will not stoop

to the methods advocated.