Children being taught ‘invented’ version of European history
By ScottHarrison | Posted: February 26, 2015
Schoolchildren are being taught a “invented” version of European history which is “papering over” past disunity on the continent, a leading British academic has claimed.
Professor David Abulafia of Cambridge University told the Daily Telegraph history textbooks attempted to create an “artificial notion of Europe” in order to further integration under the European Union.
The paper reported that he was among 30 leading historians, also including David Starkey, who were calling for a “redrawing” of the UK’s relationship with the continent.
Prof Abulafia said: “There is a soft push to create a sense of European citizenship which is based on frankly an invented common history, because the history of Europe is to a large extent the history of division, not the history of unity.
“When it has been the history of unity, as we’ve seen under Napoleon and Hitler or under the Soviets in eastern Europe, it has gone disastrously wrong. It is a papering over the discordant elements in European history to create this idealised event.
“Attempts to create an artificial notion of ‘Europe’ distract from the reality of the situation and make it harder to rectify the many problems that exist within the EU’s institutions.”
It is not the first time Prof Abulafia has been outspoken on history taught in schools – in 2013 he backed curriculum changes to focus on British history.
He dismissed claims the changes were “jingoistic” as “absurd”.