Title: Ideological rhetoric : systemic arguments on war and peace in high school American history textbooks
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00097582/00001
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Title: Ideological rhetoric : systemic arguments on war and peace in high school American history textbooks
Physical Description: xi, 160 leaves. ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Leake, Woodrow Wilson, 1944-
Copyright Date: 1973
Subject: United States -- History -- Study and teaching (Secondary)   ( lcsh )
Rhetoric   ( lcsh )
Speech thesis Ph. D   ( lcsh )
Dissertations, Academic -- Speech -- UF   ( lcsh )
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Thesis: Thesis -- University of Florida.
Bibliography: Bibliography: leaves 145-158.
Additional Physical Form: Also available on World Wide Web
General Note: Typescript.
General Note: Vita.
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Bibliographic ID: UF00097582
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: alephbibnum - 000580750
oclc - 14081076
notis - ADA8855


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Woodrow Wilson Leake, Jr.



Copyright by
Woodrow W-ilson Leake, Jr.

For Susan
For her years of patience


Al-..ays, at the conclusion of a graduate career, there

is more assistance and guidance to be acknowledged than

there is space available for such a purpose. Such is my

predicament at this writing. I apologize in advance to

those mary people who are omitted from this necessarily

brief list.

I would be remiss in my acknowledgments were I not to

begin with two special notes of gratitude. First, I thank

Professor Merwyn A. Hayes, of Wake Forest University, whose

influence and friendship began to convince me that my

diverse academic interests could best be amalgamated in the

field of speech, specifically by studyiing rhetorical

theory, rhetorical criticism, and public address. Second,

I thank Processor Mlichael C. :;cGee, of Memphis State

Uni-.ersit.t. W'Jhile teaching at the University of Alabama,

Professor NcGee introduced me to the broad concept of

ideological rhetoric. His teaching and criticism strongly

influenced m; conceiving of this stud'.. The logistical

problems of commuting bet'.:een 'lemphis, Tennessee, and Gaines-

'ille, :-L rda2, finally. force- him to relinquish his role

as an :-.-- menoer of my co-T-ittee. His corntinuinc, long-

dis -.:- :-- icisi- has been --ery helpful during the writing

c: .-.- stu y..

-.....r : supervisory co;nittee--Professors Ronald H.

Car-e-.-r, .-'.n d E. Williams, G. Paul Moore, and Anthony J.

Cl-ar---. Ztr- University of Florida Department of Speech,

and Marilyn B. Zweig of .the University of Florida Department

of Philcsophy--.gave willingly of their time and critical

abilities. Professor Williams was especially helpful in

directing the early stages of the study. Professor Carpenter

was a creative and rigorous chairman of the committee. At a

time when so many accept and seem even to encourage academic

mediocrity as a norm, it '..as constantly encouraging and

sometimes painfully stimulating to work under a scholar who

demands academic excellence for himself and for his students.

Professor Carpenter demanded of me a constant questioning,

analytical, and productive attitude. Without his astute

criticism and friendly pressure, the study might .well have

gone astray.

Because of the need to consult numerous other sources

in the process of developing the bibliography for this study,

somewhat e::cessive demands were made on the staff of the

University of Florida libraries. Ray Jones, of the reference

department, w.as particularly helpful in identifying sources

which could be of help. Also, Sherman L. Butler, of the

inter-library loan department, w.as relentless in tracking

down and obtaining some rather obscure studies.

Since the study transcended tne traditional scope of

the field of speech, members of othe:- departments were called

- for assi_-.:-i.: beyonc- tha offered by my committee.

Professors :.-.-- :-!ahon of the Department of History, Kenneth

.Meg---1 o -he Department of Philosophy, and David Conradt of

the ELr_==_-nc of Political Science were all quite helpful

in direc-ing me to sources ,'ith which I was not familiar.

In addition, Professors Lyle McAlister of the Department of

History and Betty Ellis of the College of Education read and

offered useful criticism on parts of the study.

For their constant assistance and loving encouragement,

I am extremely grateful to both my families. And to my

wife, Susan, goes my most profound gratitude. She served as

proofreader and editor, as middle-cof-the-night sounding

board and readily available critic, as unpaid research

assistant and reiicf typist, and as crying toweL during the

inevitable dark periods. Most of all, she, above all others,

understands what it means for me to have completed this

degree and appreciates what I attempted to do in this study.










S . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . .

IN TRODUCTIO . . . . . . .

IDEOLOGY . . . . . . . .









vii i





. . . 14

. . . 159


Table Page

I. Distribution of Arguments Against Entering Wars 93

II-. Distribution of Arguments for Entering Wars 95

III. Percentage of Books Containing Each Argument 96

IV. Distribution of Categories . . . . .. 101

V. Percentage of Books Containing Each Category .103

. i 1. i

.---z--::" l=zr-ation Presented to the Graduate Council
S- ---r=ity' of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of
.-.5 -tre.-.ts for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy



Woodrow- Wilson Leake, Jr.

December, 1973

Chairman: Ronald H. Carpenter
Major Department: Speech

The situationally-unbound rhetoric of ideology and the

s'.mbolic movement of that rhetoric are the focuses of this

study. Ideology permeates the United States, just as it does

all societies. Furthermore, in order to help perpetuate

itself, ideology utilizes rhetoric to con.vev its positions to

the populace. The author identified the primary rhetorical

tool of ideology and designated it systemic argument. Sys-

temic argument was defined as an assertion of putative fact

which functions as a justification for actions) taken or

positions held on the part of the social structure. Such an

argument is addressed to the public at large and is intended

to instruct the populace as to .-'hiat action and/or attitude in

the situation being considered is most in keeoincg with the

articles of ideology.

In order to Leep the study tightly focused, the inves-

tigation .*.:s li.irited to the appearance in high sclo~ol American

.iaryv te:::-'::.-. o f-arguments for and against American

..-- .--: -- .; withdrawal from seven major wars in which the

L'.-.ir_ ?---s has been involved: the American Revolution,

the ,ar L 2l2, the IHe::ican-American War, the Spanish-

aAmerican War, World War I, World War II, and the Korean War.

It was clearly established that such textbooks do play a

role in the perpetuation of ideology by presenting the ideo-

logical interpretation of United States history. Thus,

history tex:-books could be treated as rhetorical documents

for purposes of the study. A list was developed of the most

widely used high school American history textbooks from 1920

to 1969. Selected at random from that list were fifty text-

books, ten per decade, to be surveyed in identifying the


The completed survey produced fourteen systemic argu-

ments f-tvoring A meriLcan entry- into wars, five arguments

opposing American entry, twTo arguments for American with-

draw.al from wo.rs (one of ;which was unique to the War of 1812),

and no arguments against wLithdrainLrg from w.ars. Subsequent

analysis of the rhetorical data produced the following re-

sults. (1.I The fourteen systemic arguments favoring American

entry, into wars constitute those articles of the mnerican

ideology "..-:.i.ch justify war. The-, were used in a high per-

centag : s-ur.veyed te:-.tbooks across time and across wars.

T'ie c.:-. 3 enl =--'. across wars ...as e-.'en more marked when

- -.--_-r- .s e- arguments were grouped into categories.

i .-. .--_---.i arguments tended to repeat parts of Presi-

denti w-.
rather c-an as patriotic rallying calls. (3) The arguments

opposing American entry into w..ars were not systemic arguments.

(4) The inconsistent and infrequent use of opposition argu-

ments, relative to the use of systemic arguments, supported

the observation of unwillingness on the part of textbook

authors to give equal treatment to opposition arguments.

(5) The tone of the authors indicated support for the

ideological interpretation of American entry into wars and

the already noted unwillingness to give equal treatment to

opposition arguments. (6) Authors omitted significant con-

tributory factors cited.by the definitive w.:ar histories and

misrepresented other factors, thus creating an incomplete and

ideologically slanted picture of reality. (7) Two kinds of

s.:o:molic movement were defined. Both were observed in the

surveyed rhetorical documents. Rectilinear movement occurs

'.*'hen there is a change of arguments or a change in the use of

a particular argument across time or across wars. Helical

movement occurs 'when there is recurrence of arguments across

time or across wars. Generally, there '.was more helical move-

ment of syscemic arguments and more rectilinear movement of

opposition arguments. Both ;move.mernt patterns provided subtle

support of the ideological position and negation of the impact

of oppas.itcn arguments.



I. The ieed to Transcend Situational Limitations

A. Situational Emphasis Is the Norm

B. Griffin Extended the Scope of Rhetorical

C. E::tending Mov-ement Theory Beyond Situational

I. The Need to Study "Other" Rhetorical Forms

A. Investigating Ideological Rhetoric

B. History Textbooks as Rhetorical Documents

I. The Importance and Timeliness of Focusing on War and


A. The Topic Is Timely

B. The Topic Is Appropriate to the Proposed
Scholarly i n.'e t igation

IV. The methodologicall Appro-nch of the Study

A. Defining and E:-:piaining the Function of

B. E::plaining History's Role in Perpetuating

C. Identifying and Describing the Textbooks

D. Analysis and Evaluation of Systemic Arguments

E. Conc idi.ng the Stud-

V. The Contribution of this S-udy





This chapter will identify and justify the need for

this study', discuss the theoretical foundations involved,

identify sources of investigation, and specify the method-

ology to be employed in carrying out the study. Specifi-

cally, this introduction will develop the following topics:

the need to transcend situational limitations in rhetorical

studies, the need to look at "other" rhetorical forms, the

importance and timeliness of focusing on war and peace, the

methodological approach to be used, and the contribution to

be made b' this study.

This stud'-. will focus on rhetoric which transcends

situational limitations. Such rhetoric may form the per-

suasive underpinnings for the time- and situationally-bound

rhetoric wh-ich is already the subject of so man' studies.

It is hoped that this study will supplement the work already

being done in the realm of rhetoric which is situationally-


0.-.- ve-ry interesting example is the unpublished paper
entitle: 'The Idea of a M:acro-Rhetoric," by Michael C. McGee.
i:cee _.:-=_-sts that too much effort is spent in the field of
spee--. -c:7r-.:nication on studies of pa-ricular men, speeches,
see.-. s i-zz:- ons, and movements and that not enough effort

In cc---.-. -sage in zhe Jnited States, ideoloqv is a

-- -: '.- -:. In fact, however, it is a neutral term

..-.-. = : narm.es a collection of ideas, beliefs, and

values ..---.c a society uses to guide and to justify its

policies and actions. The society also attempts to per-

petuate its ideology. This dissertation is a study of the

rhetoric used for such perpetuation of ideology. Because

the concept of ideology is so central to this study, Chapter

T:..o will be devoted solely to defining and describing


The Need to Transcend Situational Limitations

During the winter and spring of 1970, the Speech

Communication Association sponsored the National Develop-

mental Project of Rhetoric. BLtter and Black explain the

purpose of that project's t'wo main conferences as being to

identify some problems that rhetoric is facing and might

have to face in the future and to make some recommendations

about ho'. to resolve these problems.

is de.voced to defining the relationship between "public
values" and men in society. He is developing the concept of
macro-rhetoric in an attempt to deal in part with the kind
of situationally-unbound rhetoric focused on by this stud'..
Although the prefix macro is not unique to rhetoric, LIcGee
Is using the term to stress his emphasis on public address
in its broadest possible sense of being the kind of rhetoric
'.lhich L caddr:essed to the public at large, is intimately
related :: the '.alue s'.stems of the society which gave it
birth, _.-. is identifiable in rhetorical documents such as
nr.e*.-:.. : pa~a:onlets, pollc-. statements, etc.

-.:. := :.-;ec's two major conferences, scholars from
5.-=- fields considered rhetoric's past and future,
ie-.-_ :i he problems in contemporary life which
r=-:ire applications of rhetorical concepts and methods,
.-.i -cmended lines'of research and educational pro-
cra-= needed to bring an effective rhetoric into rela-
ti-n. -o current and future needs.2

Members of the Comm-ittee on the Scope of Rhetoric and

the Place of Rhetorical Studies in Higher Education expressed

their desire that scholars be encouraged to pursue rhetorical

studies beyond the normal range of inveStitigation.

The conferees encourage that the phrase "rhetorical
studies" be understood to include any human transaction
in which symbols and/or systems of symbols influence
values, attitudes, beliefs, and actions; they encourage
individuals and groupsto conduct investigations and
publish findings dealing with many different kinds of
such transactions.3

It is in response to that reconunendation and others calling

for broadening the scope of rhetoric that this study is being


Situational Emphasis Is the Norm

Whatever differences they' may have, most rhetorical

studies tend to share a situational orientation. This obser-

vation is not an indictment, but a statement of fact.

2Lloyd F. Bitzer and Edwin Black, eds., The Prospect
of Rhetoric iEngle'.-.ood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall,
Inc., 1971), p. v. When referred to in the body of this
study, these conferences will be called by their popular
name, "the Wingspread Conference."

Douglas Ehnirier et al. "Report of th- Committee on
the Scope of Rhetoric and the Place of Rhetorical Studies in
Higher E: -cation," in The Prospect of Rhetoric, ed. by
Lloyd F. Eitzer and Ed-.in Black (Englewood Cliffs, Ne' Jersey:
Prentice-:.11, Inc., 19711, pp. 214-215.


.---- r ---: s tend to focus on symbolic behavior within

.-.e :--.in-s of particular social context or as an event

or -_.n as par of a historical movement which tends to

estab-3.-. its own boundaries and make of itself a situation.

While the arguments for bounding rhetoric are widespread and

highly respectable in academic circles they are also in-

dicative of the fact that the field of speech-communication

has not yet explored fully symbolic behavior which is not


Emphasis on situationally-bound rhetoric has become the

norm in the field of speech-com.munication, and that is perhaps

as it ought to be. But, such emphasis tends to ignore the

seemingly obvious fact that men in society are influenced

by rhetoric '..hich tends to permeate their lives, to be con-

stant, and to influence their beliefs and behavior by subtly,

but also continuously, asserting the truth of seemingly fac-

tual statements. Thus, one's behavior, attitudes, and

beliefs may be changed not so much by being persuaded .:;thin

the confines of a situation as b. merely absorbing the claims

of a particular line of argument over a period of time,

without regard for situational limitations. In this sense,

the '.;er environment or social class in which one lives may

be rhetorical. It is rhetoric in this broader sense that

needs to be studied more than it has been, so that fuller

uncerstaninding might be gained of the %way situationall'.-unbound

r.eaoric is .usei .an' jud.gments might be made about its
.: --: : -r _~~.luence on chose excosed to it.

:-.- raon rhetorical critics and theorists have been

boun-d S- -zuations for so long is chat leading scholars in

the field of speech-communication have tended to emphasize

chat situations are the core of rhetorical studies. In their

classic treatise, Speech Criticism, for example, Thonssen

and Baird indicated chat the speech situation is the proper

object of study for all critics. They defined speech

situation as "a complex social relationship in which a

speaker attempts to secure a particular response from a group

of listeners," and they indicated that such a situation "is

sev.erel. controlled b- cime limitations."5 While chis

approach is tw:enty-fiv-e years old, it is unchanged in the

Thonssen, Baird, and Braden rev.-ise: edition which remains

speaker- and situation-oriented. Their approach continues

to influence scholars in the field of speech-communication.

A-s should be obvious, no rhetoric is entirely either
situationally-bound or situ.ationally.-unbound. Rather, there
is a continuum along w.iiich various instances and types of
rhetoric may be placed. Some will be more bound than others
and some will be more nearly unbound than others. For pur-
poses of this study, rhetoric 'which is primarily limited in
scope ..ill be called situationally:-bound rhetoric and that
rhetoric '..hich is primarily unbound by situation and.'or time
factors ".:ill be called situationally-unbound rhetoric.

5Le-r Thorisen and A. Craig: Baird, Speech Criticism
(Me.; Y :--:: The Ronald Press Company, 1943 3), pp. 6-7.

--: Thonssen, A. Craig :Baird, and Waldo W. Braden,
S?_-e- Cri-:-zism (2nd ed.; ile'-; Yorc: The Ronald Press
Cc::-=..., 1 7 pp. 7-3.

I-.-:.- c'-rre.-.:-_ ex-iting "new" approaches in the discipline

r.Zi -o r-ei-azae the perspective of Thonssen and Baird.

I-. -e :f -he'more widely read essays of recent years,

Bitzer asserts that "so controlling is the situation that

we should consider it the very ground of rhetorical activity,

whether that activity is primitive and productive of a simple

utterance or artistic and productive of the Gettysburg

Address." Thus, even some thinkers who are influencing

current trends of rhetorical scholarship are interested more

in limited than in situationally-unbound rhetoric.

The problem may have something to do with the fact that

many rhetorical scholars tend to function more as critics

than as theorists. The difference between a theorist and a

critic is adequately described by Brockriede's statement that

"the theorist tends to be interested in generalizations at

the highest level of abstraction he can achieve, whereas

participants and critics tend to be interested in making

decisions or judgmaenlts about one very particular and unique

act." Of co.-rse, there is a great need for rhetorical

critics. By functioning primarily as critics, howe%'er,

rhetorical scholars may cut themselves off from the possi-

bility of transcending that rhetoric which is situationally-


F: Bitzer, "The Phetorical Situation," Philosophyi
a-n F, I i .n te r 1 n r ) ,

.-.-: Brockriede, "Dimensions of the Concept of
...=- ic," -terly Journal of Speech, LIV (Februa-r 1968),

-=_.-.- _e:-.e caught up in specific, limited instances

3 r--=-.:r, .-.st scholars begin to praise specificity and

co:-.--: generalizations. Thus, it is possible to indict

rhetoric-l scholars who so limit themselves in much the same

tone used by Frye when he noted that "it is all very well

for Blake to say that to generalize is to be an idiot, but

when ,we find ourselves in the cultural situation of savages

who have words for ash and willow but no word for tree, we

wonder if there is not such a thing as being too deficient
in the capacity to generalize." [lost rhetorical scholars,

it would seem, have been interested in the asn and willow

of criticism. This study. will attempt to focus its atten-

tion from the perspective of the entire forest in which those

species grow.

Griffin Extended the Scope of Rhetorical Studies

While it is true that some scholars have extended the

scope of rhetorical studies, it is also true that they have

generally remained within the realm of situationally-bound

rhetoric. Griffin, for example, stressed the importance of

studying the rhetoric of historical movements. His idea is

full of possibilities for transcending situation in rhetori-

cal studies. The idea has not yet reached its potential,

however, in part because Griffin indicated that "to study a

rio'.ement is to study a progress, a rhetorical striving, a

:'r_-z-roo Frye, Anatomy of Criticism (Princeton:
Prin-ce:-- _'.- '.'.ersity Press, 1957), p. 13.

e:..-.:. _:- progress from stasis to stasis; for both

-h= r--i-_is .and 'the objectives of a movement are motionless.'

They vzi-. in the stasis of indecision, and they end in the

stasis of 'decision preserved in.'"0 The word progress and

the phrase "progress from stasis to stasis" present problems,

for Griffin wants to study the rhetoric within the confines

of an identifiable situation.

The student's task, according to Griffin, is to iso-

late a rhetorical movement.

The student's task is to isolate the rhetorical move-
ment within the matrix of the historical movement: the
rhetorical movement is the focus of his study. It is
to be isolated, analyzed, evaluated, and described,
so that he can say, for the particular historical move-
ment which he investigates: this was the pattern of
public discussion, the configuration of discourse, the
physiognomy of persuasion.11

Obviously, Griffin is interested in studying movements for

which there is a definite beginning and end which can be

described along with easily discernible periods within the

movement itself. Therein lies the problem. With the con-

cept he introduced when he began writing about and encourag-

ing movement studies, the studies as Griffin describes them

must, of necessity, be situation- and time-bound and must

continue in the vein of all studies that have gone before them.

Leland M. Griffin, "A Dramatistic Theory of the
Rhetoric of Movrements," in Cricical Responses to Kernneth
Bur-.e, e b3. by William Ho.-.:ard Rueckert (Minneapolis: Univer-
sity, of rMi.nn so a Press, 19691, ). 461.

G-iffin, "The Rhetoric of Historical Movements,"
Ou~,rter~i :-.r..al of Speech, :-::VIII (April, 1952), 135.

_::_ --n ing :_ -.-=--.-.-.t Theor. Beyond
1 7 -t ^.3 ations

-- .i .-n description, Griffin is interested in the

rhe ..-- :: historical movements. The "rhetorical move-

ments" he sees accompanying those periods of history are

identified by defining the patterns which speeches fall into

within a historical movement. It may be, however, that

within the realm of situationally-unbound rhetoric, there

exist purely "rhetorical" movements which are not linked to

historical or social mass movements, but are identifiable

primarily because the words, phrases, and arguments used to

discuss particular topics within a society may change as

the society refines and revises its rhetorical approach to

those topics.

Such movements may be helical or rectilinear in

nature. If the arguments tend to recur over a period of

time, the mo-.ement is helical; as the topics reappear,

the same basic arguments are revived to deal with them. If,

on the other hand, there tends to be no recurrence of argu-

ments, but a simple change of arguments across time, then

the movement is rectilinear. The changing arguments indicate

that the society producing those arguments has changed its

approach to the recurring topic. Rectilinear movement does

not necessaril: indicate that the society has improved, but

simply -:-. it has changed its rhetorical strategies concern-

in. a p.ar--:ular topic.

Because :.- : nedc be on accompanying social and his-

.- .. -.:--i-.. to aid in tr -cin3 patterns of movement in

r.-.r-:, apply Gr-iffin's tools to situationally-unbound

rhe-:or_-:: y be totally useless. It may be that those

changes :-wicn occur are within the rhetoric used by society

and that they are not a part of actions taken by various

political and/or social groups within that society. Finally,

since Griffin has already defined the term "rhetorical move-

ment" in another way, it will be better to refer to helical

and rectilinear patterns of movement as "symbolic movements."

The N[eed to Study "Other" Rhetorical Forms

Investigating Ideoloqical Rhetoric

To look beyond situationasll'.-bound rhetoric as a

legitimate object of study, it is necessary to look at forms

of rhetoric other than the usual ones considered by those

scholars primarily, or solely, interested in the narrow scope

of rhetorical studies. Although the appropriate defini-

tional matters will be taken up in Chapter Two, it is

necessary at this point to indicate that the situationally-

unbound rhetoric which will be considered by this study is

the rhetoric of ideology. As Drucker indicates, ideology is

the theoretical basis for a system's doing '.c-hatever it '.ants
or is goinm to do in any event. So, the relationship

--. :-.. DrL.u er, "Mar::'s Concept of Ideology," Philos-
o ._-, :-:.- : .= 1l, 1972) 154.

- :.:.een i : :- -nd r.-e-oric .coes e:-:isr. There is a need

fr :-. r--l:-:.--shio to be e:-plored from a rhetorical friame-

:.:. .= 1:.-. as that framework is an extension of the per-

spe-3_-- ~f situationally-unbound rhetoric and agrees with

Bryant's broad, encompassing view that "rhetoric is primarily

concerned with the relations of ideas to the thoughts, feel-

ings, moti-.'es, and beha-.'ior of men."3

History' Tex:tbooks as Rhetorical Documents

The "other" forms to be utilized as rhetorical docu-

ments are textbooks from American history courses, on the

high school level. This choice is an appropriate result of

the decision to stud- the relationship between rhetoric and

ideology. [rot onl' are high school American history text-

boo!:.s tools of education, but they also have rhetorical func-

tions w*liich deser-.-e further investigation and evaluation.

If ideology is to sur-.vive or be reinforced in a so-

ciety, it must be perpetuated. The time to teach an ide-

ology to a people is when they are "oung, not only because

that is when the" are most impressionable, but also because,

as Draves indicates, in this country at least, "it must be

remembe-ed that for the majority" of students, high school

13r.ald C. Bryant, "Rhetoric: its Function and Scope,"
in The .-:'vince of Rhetoric, ed. b-y Joseph Schwartz and
John .-. ?:.yenga (N!e.., York: The Ronald Press Company, 1965),
p. 22. . article originally appeared in the quarterlyy
Jo'-r:-.: of _cp ech, :X::IX: (December, 1953) 401--24.

S-.-.e n.d i ::.i education." Thus, high school

.-.er -r h_-szr textbooks can be used as the primary

rhe-.rL..- docum-ents of the study if it is understood that

theyL f-inzzion in part to perpetuate the ideology of a

society by telling the story of a nation.

By treating textbooks as rhetorical documents, the

study may provide much needed insight not only into rhetori-

cal aspects of American history textbooks, but also into the

use of systemic arguments by social systems to perpetuate

their own ideologies and popular mythologies. In addition,

by treating textbooks as rhetorical documents, this study

voices agreement with Simons' statement that "among the most

exciting trends in rhetoric today is the application of tools

and y.aristicks of rhetorical criticism to non-ob'.'ious forms

of persuasion, and, in particular, to the rhetoric of academic
discourse." Inr a similar '.ein. Ehninger and his colleagues

call for research in "the theory and practice of forms of

co;r.mun c:ation which hav-e not been in.-estigated as thoroughly

as public address." 1 B isolating textbooks as examples

con-reying situationally-unbound r-hetoric, it is possible to

carry out such research in this 3tud-'.

1Da-.id D. Dra'.es, "lU;ht's Wrong With the Teaching of
History in the High School?" 'The Social Scudies, LVI (-larch,
1965) 10 6.

.1Herbert U. Simons, "Persuasion in Social Conflict: A
Critin'e .f Pr::ev,-';ili.ng Conceptions and a Framework for Future
searc..." Speech o graphs, :::'IX (f[ovember, 1972), 240-2.'
1et al. p. 17
-...-.-L ge et al., p. 217.

If te::-b::~-s seem. i :-n unusual form of rhetoric, it

:.-.:i h rene-ered that situationally-unbound rhetoric

cs_. h- -.:-ke the form of speeches which ma' be fully inves-

ti3ga:=i- -y applying various tests of their effectiveness, by

subjecting them to neo-Aristotelian critical grids, or by

using other convenient devices such as Burke's dramatistic

pentad to help understand the speaker-audience-message rela-

tionship. Rather, situationally-unbound rhetoric is ongoing

and pervasive within a society and might best be given voice

by te:.:tbooks which are designed to teach a system of ideas to

a people across generations. While documents such as official

government policy statements also give voice to the

situ3tionally-unbound rhetoric of ideology, those documents

are more narrow in scope. They tend to be as situational as

speeches or debates. Te::tbooks, however, are themsleves

situationally-unbound and, therefore, reflective of the

situationally-unbound rhetoric they carry.

The Imporcance and Timeliness
of Focusing on War and Peace

Because there is such a mass of topics falling within

the realm of ideological rhetoric, it is necessary to limit

the study to a particular topic. The primary reason for

focusing on the situationally-unbound rhetoric of ideology

as it ar-es_ for and against entry into and withdrawal from

war is really quite simple. America has a tradition of

su--::-rng -.r involvement in wars by appealing to articles

.:.=rican =:ri:;n policy, especially as it relates to

=eria' s pc--ies toward war; Spanier documents the point.

.=ri-:-an depreciation of power and reluctance to
r=::--ize it as a factor in human affairs makes it
ps rnoiogically necessary to rationalize actions
[specifically, wars] in the international arena in
terms of ideological objectives and universal moral
principles. American power must be "righteous" power
used not for purposes of power politics and selfish
national advantage but for the peace and welfare of all
mankind. [One of the results of the rationalization is
a] public image of the United States as a noble and
unselfish crusader on behalf of moral principles.

Thus, the United States appeals to its ideology to ration-

alize its involvement in wars. Part of the goal of this

study is to determine whether the country also teaches those

rationalizations to its children through the high school

American history textbooks surveyed in this study. Such

teaching would facilitate the perpetuation of the ideology.

In addition to this clear appeal to the ideology when

rationalizing wars, it is also clear that there are other

reasons for focusing on wars in this study of ideological

rhetoric. War is a particularly timely topic right now,and

focusing on wars will facilitate studying the symbolic move-

ment of arguments about those wars. The following sections

develop these last two points.

The Top:c Is Timely

a,-1- is a particularly appropriate topic of study right

no, b--es-: or its timeliness. The United States has just

-'Jon "'. Spnier, -jerica.n Foreirgn Policy Since W-orld
:.- -I ;ew i":'-:: Fred~eric;' A. Praeger, Inc. 1960) pp. 85-

.: E te n_'-=znesc war in her near two-hundred-vear-

c- :--: -. -.en as thinking is adjusted to the conclu-

si .. f ..e -;ar, there remains confusion about what caused

and ;-szified United States involvement in that war. It

ma' be--in fact, probably is--too early to examine the

arguments for war and peace which have surrounded the war

in Vietnam, but a study of traditional arguments for and

against war in our society may provide an understanding which

will be useful later, when the arguments for and against war

in Vietnam begin to filter down into high school American

history textbooks.

The current confusion is not likely to subside soon.

May indicates that in all likelihood "history teachers in

the 1990's may find this (war] no easier to explain than we

find it today." Perhaps studies -of the type here being

undertaken will help those teachers and their students under-

stand and deal with the ideological interpretations which

Twilll inevitably filter intd the books from which they teach

and learn. ['ot only has the war in Vietnam been a long one,

but it also has been a bitterly debated one which imposed

conditions of war with which even the might might military machine

of the United States was unable to cope. The confusion

caused by this particular war needs to be cleared up.

Perhaps this illumination can be accomplished by recognizing

the fact that the bodi of arguments about .4,ar in general is

r-..st R. May, "What Will Teachers Say ?..bout the
Vietnar. .:,-r?" T' Gainesville Sun, February 11, 1973, p. 1A.

s _lfi --.::. to isolate and study, within the morass of

c-:- -. -- 'e for and subject to investigation.

-- so seems to make sense to study the arguments for

and against war for purely pragmatic reasons. Primary among

these is the fact that the United States has been involved

in several major wars during her relatively short existence,

and those wars have been conveniently spaced at somewhat

regular intervals. Thus, there is a considerable amount of

material about war and peace which can be studied. Bonner

indicates just how many wars the United States has been

involved in:

Despite her long isolation from the affairs of Europe,
the historical record of the United States has not
been a strikingly pacific one. Since declaring her
independence from Great Britain in 1776, the United
States has been engaged in seven major-wars and such
lesser conflicts as Indian wars, an undeclared war
with France in 1798, and the recent "police action"
in Korea. 19

Although Bonner's statement needs updating to include the

just concluded war in Vietnam, the point to be made here is

that wars are a highly practical focus of study.

The Topic Is Appropriate to the Proposed
Scholarly Investigation

In addition to the timeliness and practicality of the

topic, it should also be noted that the topic of war pro-

vides an ideal test for a subthesis of the study. mentioned

-.-.'is :i. Bonner, ".Aerica's Wars and Their Causes:
.s Sear. T-.r-.::h the Eyes of Historians," The Social Sciences,
::L'VII; '-: .-2 195 ) 22.

rlier0, .e.. -.at tne sizuationally-unbound rhetoric of an

i:i:..- -'- .,el take the form of a symbolic mo-ement.

"-.-. .-- reeds of the class change quite radically,"

accord-:.: zo Drucker, "it will ha-.ve to change its theory

too."0 As a result of the fact that wars occur at fairly

regular intervals in the history of the United States,

focusing on war as a topic should provide a workable way to

test the movement thesis that the changing theory of an

ideology can be detected and traced through studying the

situationally-unbound rhetoric of that ideology.

Thus, the original decision to focus on war because

of society's use of ideology to rationalize involvement in

wars is supported by several other reasons. The timeliness

of the subject, the practicality of the subject, and the

ability of the topic to contribute to scholarly investigation

of symbolic movement all add to the value of this choice of

emphasis. As te:.:tbooks can serve well as the vehicle through

which the situationally-unbound rhetoric of ideology is

transmitted, so can w.ar serve as the topic of the rhetoric

which is so transmitted.

The [lethodological Aoproach of the Study

The first three sections of this chapter have concerned

themselves with justifying this dissertation as a legitimate

corncerr. fr rhetorical schclarship. In designing the study,

Drucker, p. 154.

n .=.3 z z- -.-'ry tc recognize zhe validity of Duhamel's

:3 r--... :.: ..-.. "rhetoric occupies a peculiar position

ar--.- -.=: arzs and that it cannot be adequately interpreted

apart fr=-n he ideological context in which it appears."21

In fact, this study goes beyond that recognition and is

designed as a study which will investigate the rhetoric of

the ideology itself.

Defining and Explaining the Function of Ideology

An underlying assumption of this study is that not only

is rhetoric grounded in its ideology, but also that it plays

a role in the attempt to perpetuate that ideology. The

overall purpose for this study may be summarized as (1) an

attempt to develop a theoretical conceptualization about the

way ideology is perpetuated through the use of systemic argu-

ments, (2) an analysis of high school American history

textbooks to determine how widespread the use of systemic

arguments is in those textbooks; and (3) an attempt to deter-

mine whether the systemic arguments on war and peace reflect

a symbolic movement which can be analyzed from a perspective

of situationally-unbound rhetoric.

Since an understanding of the concept of ideology is cen-

tral to the theoretical foundation of this entire study, Ch-ap-

ter T;o willl be devoted to a discussion of this concept from

P. Albert Dunam.el, "Trie Function of Rhetoric as Effec-
ti':e E:-.r -ssion," in The Province of Rhetoric, ed. by Joseph
Sc.'ar-:r .:-. John A. F'.cenga (ie' York: The Ronald Press
Ccr: *D -:L :-': -,) o 36 .

.-.= -..i -r. s f its (1) definition and (2) function--

-.:--"-. ifinition of systemic argument, which is a

ts.-l :.-r_ :.-. -iich ideologies function rhetorically. Poli-

tical r:ha-ists will provide the bulk of the material about

ideolcg:. H. Mi. Drucker, Karl Mannheim, Miladin Zivotic,

and Abraharr Edel are among those who will be contributing to

the study and are illustrative of the theorists whose works

were sought out while the author was developing the material

in this area. The rhetorical function of ideology will be

abstracted from the writings of political theorists like

Amelie Rorty and M. Rejai and of rhetorical theorists and

critics like Richard Weaver, Herbert Simons, and Michael

Osborn. These short lists of names are not, of course, all-

inclusive but are meant to provide an indication of the

kinds of sources which will be used in this chapter.

E::plaining History's Role in Perpetuating Ideology

In Chapter Three, history's role as a storehouse and

con-veyor of systemic arguments on war and peace will be dis-

cussed. Here, then, will be a description of the differ-

ences in (1) what history is ideally and (2) .what it is in

practice. Included will be a discussion of the historian's

role in the ideal and in the practical functions of history.

These sections will depend for support primarily on his-

toriographers such as David Fischer and Ed.,-ard Carr. In

the final section of the chapter, those cr-oblems peculiar to

- -;-"r ::-: :::s will be emphasized. The supporting mate-

i-l f:r- -:.-3. tczion will be provided by rhetorical scholars

suec.- s =zer: Scott and Donald K. Smith; textbook analysts

such .s R:.' Billington, Jack Nelson, and Gene Roberts, Jr.;

and teachers of high school American history courses.

Identify'ing and Describing the Textbooks

Chapter Four will contain a description of the argu-

ments gleaned from surveyed high school American history

textbooks. The primary objective will be to describe the

data which result from the textbook survey. To facilitate

this description, the statements gathered from the text-

books will be grouped into systemic arguments favoring Ameri-

can entry into wars, arguments opposing American entry, into

wars, and whatever other groupings grow out of the survey.

The data will be organized in such a way that they can be

used easily in support of the analyses which will complete

the study.

Since it is obvious that not all high school American

history te:-tbooks can be read, this study will survey only

those books wnich have been identified by other scholars as

being the most popular and, thus, the must widely read dur-

ing the fifty--ear period covered by this study. Because

of the refusal of publishing houses to release sales figures,

these scholars have had to use other methods of determining

:h ich te::-boo':s l:a.e been the most widely used. Biilington,

fo. e:-:.l- L cc.pilcd his lis fcr the early 1960's by

:r-iir.ing re-:r s=,lied to hLm by the nation's leading

- -.- ri-ies :-. teaching ..erican history in secondary educa-

.-.. -.e list Billington developed and similar lists for

other _-.e -eriods have been combined to form the master list

for t'ris study. Books and doctoral dissertations in textbook

analysis have been the primary sources for building this list.

Lists were found which identify the most widely" used textbooks

as far back as the 1920's, thus enabling the study to include

an analysis of the books today's government leaders and older

voters would have been exposed to while in high school.

The materials to be gathered from the books.--Once gain-

ing access to these books which will be used as the rhetori-

cal documents of the study', the author will read the discus-

sions in those books of major wars to identify the following:

(1) all reasons listed by each text for American entry into

each war; (2) all reasons cited. by each text for withdrawing

from each war, and (3) all cited dissenting arguments against

entry into or withdrawal from each war. These statements

will be e:-:amined to determine how to group them and how to

describe those groupings.

Identifying and describing arguments.--Once the argu-

ments have been identified, their distribution across wars

and across time will be described. The concepts of helical

andi rec-ilinear movement will be useful in describing the

:a l-.llen Billington, The Historian's Contribution
t .-.. lo-.--.ri-an Hlisunderstanding (lew. York: Hobbs, Dorman
* .::.: ani, I- -. 1966.

__. ?.-:-_--=.ar mn.ovement may be noted in answers provided

-.--~-: s Tc -nese questions: (1) What changes take place

in .-.e reasons for different wars? (2) What differences may

be fou-nd in textbooks with significant time periods separat-

ing their publication dates? (3) What differences can be

noted in the use of systemic arguments in books published

during war periods .'%hen compared with those published during

peace time? Do those published during wars tend to be more


Second, the concept of helical movement will be help-

ful in describing the answers to these questions: (1) To

what extent do reasons recur across periods of time separat-

ing wars? (2) To what extent do arguments recur across

periods of time separating publication of te::tbooks? (3) Are

any arguments used to explain entry into all wars?

Anal.'sis and Evaluation of Systemic Arguments

Chapter Five will provide an analysis and evaluation of

the arguments for and against American entry into wars.

This chapter will utilize data from the surveyed high school

American history te::tbooks and from the definitive works on

each war to answer such questions as (1) To what e:-tent is

the ideology a false reflection. of reality? and (2) To what

e:-:tent do Presidential war messages serve as sources of

systemic arguments?

Ser-i.-ia as a basis for analysis and evaluation will oe

answers r-r.-cidd by the te:xtb3ok survey to these ques ions:

'") To *..;hat e:-:--:, are sysce-ic arguments e::plained or

i-cor:ed? 7.) Do the patterns of movement detected in the

a:,.-,-s -r'.-ide sufficient data to describe the symbolic

mo-v=.r... .f ideology? (3) Wlhat is the role of systemic

arguments in simplifying the reasons cited by -definitive war

histories for entry into the wars? -(4) How widespread is the

use of systemic arguments in the rhetorical discourse of the

textbooks surveyed? (5) What generalizations can be drawn

concerning the correlation between a war's generating con-

troversy and its being explained in terms of systemic argu-

ments? (6) What is the tone of the arguments set forth by

the textbook authors?

The final section of Chapter Five will discuss the con-

clusions and implications of the study. It will make some

general projections about how the results of this study

might be used in future research studies and how the results

might be used by and useful to the various contributing

academic fields.

The Contribution of this Study

Each dissertation is expected to make an original con-

tribution to learning. Most contributions in rhetoric and

public address tend to be very specific because of the focus

on sit:r--l nall'-bound rhetoric. Focusing, as it does, on

sit'-1 -oni Lv-u-nbou.lnd rhetoric, however, this study proposes

c -.:e a -if~r-ent kind of contribution. The stud '' will

rr from different, yet overlapping, fields of learning.

?-: :olici:l theorists from philosophy, political science,

..... --iical sociology will contribute an understanding of

the meanlng and function of ideology. Historians will pro-

vide the definitions and descriptions of history and of

historians and will indicate what their roles in society are.

Textbook analysts will provide lists of the books to be

surveyed and will provide suggestions which will help iden-

tify ideology's role in those textbooks. Rhetorical

theorists and critics will provide the concepts necessary to

describe and evaluate the rhetorical aspects of materials


Since the contribution will grow out of the integration

of these diverse fields, this study will be interdisciplin-

ary in nature. Each of the fields contributing to the study

will also receive insights into itself gained from over-

lapping with other areas. Thus, the ultimate contribution

of this study will be in the areas of broadening the scope

of rhetorical studies and of encouraging further interdis-

ciplinary studies of rhetoric.



I. Some Problems of Studying Ideology

II. Defining Ideology

A. It Has Its Origins in Class Theor.'

B. Ideology Is Pervasive

C. Ideology Is an "Official" Political Dictum

D. Ideology Is Generic

III. Ideology's Function

A. Ideology Reflects Society's Self-Image

B. Ideology Moves Society Rhetorically by [leans
of Systemic Arguments

C. Ideology Encourages Belief in Itself

IV. Suanary



Some Problems of Studying Ideology

Essential to a study of ideological rhetoric is an

understanding of the concept of ideology. There are a

number of areas of learning one might turn to for such

understanding, for the concept is treated by scholars in

many different fields. For the purposes of a rhetorical

study, however, one is forced to turn one's attention out-

ward, since the persuasion theorists tend not to deal with

the concept of ideology. Emphasis is perhaps best placed or.

political cheorists from sociology and philosophy.

Political theorists in sociology are concerned with the

way men are mov'.d by each other and by society as a whole

within the conte:-:t of a social structure such as the focus of

this study., the United States. Political theorists in

philosophy tend to be more generic in their concerns, al-

though they, too, tend to focus on particular societies.

Those who are concerned with political and social philosophy

tend to ha'.-e much the sarme focus as political sociologists

and, thus, supplement undierstanJing of the concept of

i:lieolo.-v: leaned from that area. It should be noted that

ecific '..'ci---:e:s sch as Eel, n-berle, and Leff really

.: ':- "-_.: ro rany one discipline of academe but tend,

.- i, -:: claimed or utilized by all disciplines

inr---r-- in a broad theoretical understanding of concepts,

sucr. as -deology, which play a significant role in explain-

ing iman in society.

A specific problem encountered in dealing with ideology

is an inability to recognize that everyone in society is

ruled by and depends on ideology. Laymen seem to be unable

or unwilling to acknowledge t;-.eir ow.-n dependence on ideology

to govern their lives. The tendency is to believe one's own

approach to life is the "right" approach, wi.hile those in

opposition to this approach are being ruled by an ideological

.-ie.' of the '..'orld. Perhaps the only '.,.ay' to deal '.:ith an

ideology is to step bac.k for a while and, as Mannheim sug-

gests, "look at it 'from without.'" Since an ideology is

so much of the '.ay one sees the worldld ho'..ever, to accompLish

this task of vie..'ing ideology from '.without one must engage

in w.,hat Mannheiin described as "suspending, for a time, the

whole complex: of its assumptions, thus doing something other

than 'hat is prescribed in it at first glance."-

Adding to the difficulty of dealing .with ideology as

a concept is the fact that the '.:ord itself has highly

'-*''nnheim, From Karl Miannheim,. ed. hy P.urr H.
';l 'f .;-. _r-k: Oxford Univ--.:sity Press, 1971), p. 119.


.-.:: -- .-.-z l.ionr:s in this society. One tends to believe

:-:r.--e.----i --kesmen when they tell him that what he be-

liev- : s -rue and factual, while what his enemies say is

mere :--i:e gical nonsense. Thus, one problem of this study

is to recognize the validity of Heberle's statement thit

"in popular language, the term ideology is often used in a

derogatory sense, as if the political opponents were inten-

tionally dishonest in their proclamations of purposes, creeds,

and beliefs."3 Part of the task of escaping this pejorative

sense is to realize that "ideology has no such derogatory

connotation," again using Heberle's phraseology, and to

unload the term by providing it with a neutral definition.4

Drucker's statement is true that "until very recently

'ideology' was almost always used pejoratively. It was, as

the philosophers used to put it, a 'boo-word'. This is to

say that describing something as 'ideological' was a '..ay of

condemning it."5

The truth of Drucker's statement should serve as ad-

ditional incentive to define the term, as is the primary

function of this chapter. Once that task is accomplished,

the remainder of the chapter wi-ll be spent describing and

3Pudolph Heberle, Social .ovements: An Introduction
to Political Socioloqg (ew York: Appleton-Century-Cro ts,
1951) p. 28.

I bid.
5.. Dru.:-er, "Mar::'s Concept of Ideology, Philoso-
hy, L-- april, 1 72) 157.

=.-: laniing :. e an'.. uCon of the concept of ideology

5ince zt-.os .-.-acteriscics also .-.ill be important to this

Defining Ideology

Edel appears to be correct in claiming that "objective

truth in social theory is unattainable."6 Perhaps a truth

is near at hand, however, when it becomes clear that most

theorists about ideology, whether their approaches are

specific or general, tend to hav.'e compatible definitions--

all of them reflecting a concern with ideas, beliefs, and

values which guide society.

For purposes of this study, ideology may be defined as

a system of beliefs, ideas, and.'or value judgments which

function to justify the operations of a social structure--

including its actions taken and positions held--and to

codify the popular political mycholo.g of that society. it

has its origins in class theory. It is pervasive. It is an

"official" political dictum. It is generic.

It Has Its Origins in Class Theorv

While it has been easy to keep in mind Drucker's state-

ment that "the concept of ideology as we no.. use it . .

stem[s] from Karl Mar:-:," it is also easy to lose sight of

S--:L- electionsos on Id_-ology," Pra:is (1967. p. 567.
Edl' : f'll assertion is th-?. "ideologies are thus fund nmen-
t-ll- irnco-:arable, objecti.-e truth in social theory is
-.---:sinable, erh3ps even altogether meaningless."

-. : .-.- '. ::r;-:-, as the concept's originator, developed

.:-.: -: : : I2deoldgy in conjunction with his developing

tr..eLrifs auz che way, classes interact and deal with each

other -.n he struggles which mark unstable social situations.

Drucker calls attention to the fact that each class must

have its guiding principles.

One of the needs of every class is a theory which will
orient it to its world and prescribe its future tasks.
Since the needs of the class change radically it will
have to change its theory too. Throughout its life
the theorists of the class will search assidously for
whatever factual or scientific basis for their preconcep-
tions they can find. When no such basis can honestly
be found, something which looks like one will be
patched up and put forward. Honest or not, a class
will exalt as "true" that theory which seems to provide
good reason for actions it wants to take in any case.8

It takes little imagination to realize that class can be

broadened to indicate a whole, basically homogeneous, so-

ciety, but the fact remains that understanding of the con-

cept of ideology grew out of a concern with classes. A

'brief focus on classes at this point will help indicate the

extent to '..hich ideology permeates a society.

Classes and other subgroups are microcosms of the

larger society and they e:
the debate about whether or not the United Sta-tes is a

classless society would be beyond the scope of this stud.'

and is irrelevant for its purposes. But it is clear that

7Dr'c-.er, p. 152
., p. 154.

.-_.,s.-. cl~--3s =s groups ,;iihin a larger society will assist

.-. e-r.-.--.; t-he pervasiveness of ideology within society.

5E e::--.--.- nhe fact that subideoloqies exist throughout

a -scL ez., it will be easier to understand the notion that

an overall ideology permeates the society as a whole. Fur-

thermore, by acknowledging the degree of allegiance each

group has to its own subideological underpinnings, it will

be easier to understand and appreciate the potential for an

entire society to be dominated and moved by its ideology.

Ideology Is Pervasive

To begin, then, it should be acknowledged that whether

one terms them classes or they even meet the technical defini-

tional requirements of classes, there are many distinct

groups in the country which can be identified. Religious

groups, ethnic groups, geographic groups, social groups,

etc., all e:.-ist in the country, and each has its own sub-

ideology. Each of these groups, in other words, has a

system of thought which governs the behavior of its members

when they are in contact with each other. There are at

least two supporting arguments for this line of analysis.

First, it should be noted that subideologies are in

essence part of the larger ideology and draw their substance

from the parent ideology. Lane, for example, indicates

that ideologies of groups "are [inevitably] torn from their

:.z e::t in a ar-b-er belief system, and share the structural
.-.- s-'L is :. properties of that system."

:--.:., it is clear that groups have alleg iance to the

pare..: :-oogoy. Obviously, subideologies overlap and, at

times, conflict. When they conflict, the prevailing ideology

tends to be that of the parent group. In most situations,

for e:-:ample, if there were to be a conflict between "the

American WJay" and 'the ideological stance of one of the smaller

groups, the overriding American ideology would be the pre-

vailing factor in making a decision. Allegiance would

follow; the same pattern as formation of the ideologies.

That is, since subideologies grow out of a broader ideology,

the primary allegiance would be first to the parent ideology

and second, to the subideology. Garstin indicates that

allegiance to an ideology is strong primarily because, no

matter ho-; much change takes place within an ideology,

"there always remains a hard core of beliefs which is con-

stant and unchanging."10

Furthermore, according to Garstin, the ideology itself

forbids deviation of belief. Here again, then, the ranking

order of the ideologies wouldl d determine the depth of com-

mitment ro each. Garstir e:.:plains that ideologies are

-: t E. Lane, Political ideology (New York: The
Fre 'e ?:Es Glencoe, 1962), p. 15.

L. H. rstin, Each Age Is a Dream (New York: Bouregy
; : In:.. 5 ) p. 79.

.. "-=red by an "L.-.:--ie n---ce [:-.. h] is usually revealed in a

.-.r-..ess : iccrirne which forbids deviation from the

=--.- ...Z' from rhe accepted principles and propositions

w:-=.-. ::.-.-:ute the ideologies, and in a fanatical belief
in their absolute rightness." Thus, even if a subideology

decided to oppose the pa-ent .ideology on a particular issue--

an unlikely situation--it .would be exposed to harsh, unre-

lenting pressure to "get back in line."

Ideology Is an "Official" Political Dictum

Ideology tends to be an "official" political dictum.

Even when it is not actually an official government pro-

nouncement, it has about it an official appearance. It

evokes political mythology to help maintain its po..er; it

evokes various propagandistic symbols to help in its e::pan-

sion efforts; and, tying all these matters together is the

fact that ideology tends to be stated. The starting point,

however, is that ideology is seen as being official.12

Adorno indicates that ideology is "a highly developed system

Ibid., p. 4.

1It should be acknowledged that political theorists
from Plato to Hobbes have argued that governmental leaders
have the right and responsibility to deceive the people of the
state w-.he those leaders deem that such deception would be
in the besc interests of the state. It is not a purpose of
this sz .i_ to argue the efficacy of such deception. Rather,
this s-_ simol, acknowledges the e::istence of such deception
of i,_i3.-y and sets out to :-:xamine and develop some theo-
retc.-a c:..repts which may be useful in examining the
r2-.-_ ric of iieolo7g which is used to deceive the populace
i s ra e.

: i-fiial e=rs."- Further, according to Simons, any

.- -s .-.i- occur within society "must necessarily be

c.... in the larger system's interests."4 Since con-

trcL .= _--:ng expressed, then, ideology always appears to

be ofi ial.

At this point, a difference between ideology and atti-

tude should be indicated for the benefit of those who might

consider attitude to be very similar to ideology. Attitudes

are not "official," but are personal. According to Ostron,

an attitude "exists in a personal and situational conte::t.''5

Ideo.logy', of course, appears to be official and tends to

transcend situational limita-cions. Further, a group of

people may share an attitude, but they are rarely expected

to do so as is the case w'.ith an ideology. All people within

a society are expected to learn and accept the ideology.

Ideologies evoke political r.yths in part because ,nyths

tend to reinforce beliefs '.hl:Ich the people may have and in

part because myths help simplify the rather co,.ple:< issues

with '.-'hich ideologies deal. Theorists who discuss the role

Theod,:r W. Adorno, Else Frenkel-Bruns;wik, David J.
Le-;inson, and R. Ne'.vitt Sanford, The Authoritarian Person-
alit'.' (rew.. York: Harper anrd Brothers, 1952) p. 162.

Herbert W. Simons, "Persu.asion in Social Conflict:
A Critic. e of Prevailing Conceptions and a Frame'.-or;k for
Future I=_:- rch," Speech :Ionocraphs Y>::.I (No.'e.ber 1972)

--.-o-_ :!. Ostrom, "T-e Emergence of Attitude Theor''y:
S .-- 5 Psycho logical :1 F u::dations of Attitudes, ed. b'
..-.-.-. Gr- e.:'; 1 Tir.-I:',th:- C. Brock, and Tho I.r a '.1. Ostrorn
: ork: .. --. i-c Press, 1968), p. 12.

:. :th vi:..-r. Lealog see-i to agree with Sorel that "a

-.-.-. -.r: e -refuted, since it is, at bottom, identical

.-:_ : -.- :::.-.ictions of a group. 16 Horowitz, for example,

wh--.n l-3ssing Sorel's theory, adds that "the myth is

stroke: tzhan a fact; it is a belief."7

There seems to be no doubt among these theorists that

political myth is closely aligned -.,ith ideology. Lasswell

and Kaolan, for e::ample, assert quite simply that ideology

"is the political myth functioning to preserve the social

sturcture," and that the political myth "consists of the

symbols evoked not only to explain but also to justify

specific power practices." 9 PReai goes further by indicat-

ing that ideology must simplify its primary messages if such

messages are to be comLmunicated successfully: "The myth in

ideology is socially and historically conditioned. It com-

municates a fairly complex. : message in simplified form, w-hich

is indeed a hallmark of all ideology. Successful communica-

tion of ideology and its myth(s) will not take place except

16Georges Sorel, Reflections on Violence, trans. by
T. E. Huime (London: George Allen &. Un.;w n Ltd., 191.5), p. 33.

Ir7.-ing Louis Horow'.itz, Radicalism and the Revolt
Against Reason (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University
Press, 1951), p. 135.
.:-:_old D. Lasswell and -.braham Kaplan, Power and
Socie-_-: .; Framew'ork for Political Inquir: (iew Haven:
Yale '_- ,vesit. Press, 19l5 : .

..ruh si-i. Such simplification will be seen

S--- p--- primarily through the use of systemic argu-

-_: o. zhe long-ranc:e purpose of any ideology is to

e:-:pand -ts influence and power. Such expansion is encour-

aged and reinforced by.evoking symbols around which large

numbers of people can rally. The evoking of symbols, accord-

ing to Garstin, is primarily a propagandistic operation:

"Symbols, slogans, songs, parades, rallies, study groups and

socials. are all made use of in diffusing ideologies, as are

such techniques as name-calling, mud-slinging, and glitter-

ing generalities, to name a few other devices."

Finally, it should be noted that ideology is not simply

some vague collection of meaning which never is made public.

Quite the contrary, ideologY does indeed tend to be stated,

frequently and publicly. Heoerle documents the point. "One

rarely finds a well-organized, systematic presentation.

Ideologies are usi.ally formulated in proclamations, resolu-

tions, speeches, programs, platforms, pamphlets, essays, and
newspaper articles."

Attitudes, on the other hand, are not openly expressed.

In fact, one can know an attitude only by inferring it from

.. -e]a. Decline of Ideology? (Chicago: Aldine-
Ather::-., 197L) p. 6.

--Fudo_. -!tere Social .lo..eme:t. : An Introduction
Dl tical E o log (; e-.-.. Yor.:: ApnpIeton-Centurv-Crrfts,
i951) p. 25.

:- :--i .-.5 or front overt behavior. Cronkhite indicates

-.--- .ie o measure of 'attitudes' except 'overt

be.:::---.'" OOvert behavior, then, indicates attitudes,

an2 _c7-l'-des may be given voice through stated opinions,

but ar.ciudes themselves generally are not stated. Betting-

haus concludes the point by indicating that "it seems useful

to retain the notion of attitude as a conceptual bridge be-

tw...een an individual's psychological states and his overt

behavior. The collection and evaluation of opinion state-

ments provide the best estimate of attitude."

Ideology Is Generic

The further one pursues an investigation of ideology,

the clearer it becomes that ideology is a very general con-

cept which provides the ultimate justification for a

society's operations. In essence, ideology is the generic

justification for all the specific actions or stances a

society may wish to take. Aiken elaborates on zhe point by

stressing the generic nature of ideology.

Nio.,r political ideology is nothing but political dis-
course (as distinct from political science) on its
most general formative ici.el. It is, that is to say,
political discourse insofar as the latter addresses
itself, not just to specific, piecemeal reforms, but
to zhe guiding principles, practices, and aspirations

SG3 r. Crosnkhite, Persu.asion: Speech and Behavioral
Chance (Indianapolis: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, Inc. 1969),
p. 9.
-r.- ?. Betinghaus, Persuasive Communicationi (,e
Yor'-: :1- .nahairt and Winston, Inc. 1968) p. 22.

5b' :'ic.-. 7::-_-_il-. or:_ -.nied societies absolutely,
.or e1s .. ercain typical situations, ought to be
.-er.-:. This being so, political ideologies inevi-
-b L-. --:de, among their leading articles, state-
-:.:s general principle or method and expressions
-: : attitude, orientation, and concern which, as
l..- nd, are so highly abstract as to appear to many
.-:. preoccupied with day-to-day problems of "practi-
al politics" virtually meaningless. Such statements
car of course habitually formulated in terms li!e
"general welfare," "common yood," "justice," "equality,"
democracyv," securityv," and the rest.25

As Aiken indicates, the generic nature of ideoloqv, makes it

difficult for many to deal with, but it is generic precisely

because it is the ultimate authority to which any societal

appeal is carried. It must be general and abstract enough

to handle any specific situation which ma. arise in the day-

to-day functions of explaining and justifying actions taken

or stances held on the part of the society as a whole.

An attitude, unlike an ideology, is grounded in the

psychological states of individuals. As such it is much

narrower than ideology. It applies to the situations en-

countered by individuals, and does not transcend situations

for whole nations. As was indicated earlier, attitudes may

be sh-irc- by large numbers of people but, while ideoloqges

are tied- to societies, attitudes are primaril.- relate. to

indi-iduals. As Bettinghaus indicates, "an att3.tude . .is

an individual's structure or organization of psychological

process=_e." t us, Ldeologies are generic, attitudes specific.

-:.-.r: D v Aiken, e "T':. 'e'.olt Aga nst Ideology, in
Th_ .: f i: le.-.i o Debate, ed., b- Chaim I. '.-axman (ne.
r..: -.n..: i :.-.agna ls, 1968; ". 251-252.

Betti.---aus, 21.

Ieologys's F2unction

.-. -.:-. -eoloy is a hiqhlv intangible concept, it

c3-s .-a-- = ertin identifiable functions within a society.

To :r-. e:-:rent that it fulfills those functions, it mani-

fests i:seif in ways that can be dealt with in a study such

as this one. ;n ideology serves at least three functions

within a society.. First, it tends to reflect the wishes and/

or theoretical underpinnings of a societal structure at

large. In this sense, it matters not whether the reflection

is rLealistic or accurate because, if me.n in society believe

in the ideology, they, will accept it and act in accordance

with it. Pejai indicates that "beliefs, in short, say noth-

ing about the truthfulness or falsity of a notion or an

attitude; they imply only a psychological state of accep-
tance." The ideology pro'.-ides a codification for thcse


Second, ideology. tends to help move society" to new

positions or to reinforce already held positions. This

second function tends to be performed through the use of

sys-tem.c arguments, a rhetorical tool which will be defined

when both functions are ex
ideology encourages the belief amriong members of society that

its articles are true.

Ideology Reflects Society's Self-Imaq-e

'The rflecting function of ideology is iniherently


-~.~:e -. ...:e- vilrtuaily all societies have a set of

.:-- f ,. _'zh chey support their own "right" approach to

e::is-.-.e, rnev must all be considered "ill" in the sense

than o system of beliefs can reflect reality with a high

degree of accuracy, especially during times when the reality

may be injurious to the well-being of that society, or to

its sense of well-being. The overall reflective function of

an ideology, then, is to maintain an image which reflects

the wishes of the society at large, whether or not that

reflection is accurate beyond the confines of the society.

Since an ideology is seen primarily as a set of ideas,

beliefs, and values which are accepted and acted upon by

society, it functions in part to reflect the .way a society

sees itself. But it should be pointed out that this reflec-

tion is not necessarily accurate. After all, the society

has an image of itself that may or may not be in keeping

with the reality of any. given situation. An ideology will

tend to reinforce those thinqrs which are believed, and acted

upon and ignore those things which are contrary to the be-

liefs of the society. An ideology, in short, will not con-

tradict itself, but will generally reflect conditions not

perhaps as they are, but as custodians of the ideology wish

them to be seen.

C .'.stdia ns of ideolcc; is not a pejorative labri,
as -.a :- Lnplied by sone. C-rstin defines the phrase as
rcferrl-._ : "a leadership V; o act as their [ideologis']
of ici :is:lrs. Their philosophers provide the
'ff1icia ,i- events :oncernin; ideological policy and these

Tr is, if:-r all, the z.:=todiarLs who, according to

-s-:in. see -c :t that "ideologies are protected from

ss- :s r._- zart] b the use of .. abstract statements

[w..c :, If skillfully worded, are not only, difficult to

analyze ouz are also subject to a multitude of interpreta-
9 Ci
tions."-' These abstract statements may be one reason why

ideologres tend to be viewed pejoratively, as w.as explained

earlier. Abstract statements which seem to obscure reality

may be seen by those holding an opposite -.view as referring

to what Edel described as viewss that were somehow bent out

of shape, distorted to seem brighter. than the reality they


If the way a society sees itself through an ideology

is that society's self- i:nmage, then virtually y all so-

cieties are reflected by ideologies which distort reality.

In fact, no society can stand off and: view itself directly.

Thus, no society can have an accurate self-image. A true

picture might perhaps be concei'.'able, but only in a society

either so unstructured as to be without ideology or in the

midst of such great social change or turmoil that it would

be impossible for the society to delude itself into ignoring

the harsh reality of the situation. Such conditions,

:3taterma-.2s are to be accepted by the supporters of the
ideolo s withoutou t question (p. -). Operationally, the
term r-e- rs to the official spokesmen for a society, be
the_ :.-e---..=nt leaders, party officers, or political
tn..:ris:s .-.w formulate the ideological positions.

Garst-., 4.

Edel, 1 565.

.. ;- -r- '- rare. Thus, virtually y all societies

".I r :fi---r reality in a distorted way."

Ide .l:D '.::ves Society Rhetorically
by .-le_.-.' f SystCmic Argumenns

Sysvemic argument needs to be defined. Despite fre-

quent negative reaction to the concept of ideology, that

reaction should be expected because, in part, of the

rhetorical and argumentative function of ideology. It has

already been shown that the use of abstraction leads to

misunderstanding. But it should also be noted that the '.ery

.act of espousing an ideology is inherently rhetorical.

Part of the concern at this point is to define the type of

rhetoric being used by ideology, so that the process of

peL-petuati.ng ideology can be better understood.

The rhetorical function of ideology is described best

in terms of syst..mic argument. Perhaps a definition of

systemic argument should be prefaced with Weaver's admoni-

tion "that the language of definition is inevitably the

language of qeneralitv, because only the generalizeable is

definable. Singulars and indi'.-iuals can be described but

not defined."1 Thus, until data have. been gleaned from the

tex:tbooks ..;hich '.ill provide such details, it '.;ill not be

possible to describe the specifics of systemic arguments.

But, an o'.er'iew definition of systemic argument can be

3 _
S--.ai Wea'.,ei2, The E-ihics of Phetoric (Chicago:
:-:.'ry -:-. r- Comnan,, 1953) 'p. 70.

e-ined in_ t.-.e? :r:.c=3 of usin.g that definition to describe

_ -_bi--:' ic_ :. ideology.

c^h --e an ideological system engages in explanation

of i-s =zi-.-s or its policies to its subjects or those out-

side it3 .;n societal jurisdiction, it is in a kind of

symbolic conflict with those people, because it is directing

argum-ents toward them. Since the situationaliy-unbound

rhetoric of ideology ends to be argumentative in nature, it

can bes: be defined as systemic argument: an assertion of

putative fact which functions as a justification for actions)

taken or positions held on the part of the social structure.

Such an argument is addressed to the public at large and is

intended to instruct the populace as to TJhat action and/or

attitude in the situation being considered is mrost in keeping

with the articles of ideology.

Within the framework of ideology, a systemic argument

is a specific philosophical justification for an action

taken or a conclusion drawn. Thus, ideology attempts to

fulfill its rhetorical function of justifying action to the

people by use of systemic arguments. It assumes the people

are generally in agreement and support actions being taken

and that, primarily, it needs to explain the action by relat-

ing tha- action rhetorically to those ideological articles

people -.l- to be true. The channel to use in the exr:lana-

tic.. s:.uld 'be readily av.ailabie if Simons is correct in

s-~-1:-.- hat .tiher ideological statements have long been

passed on by ei_-ca'zos. "-:- disseminationr of culturally

-;rro-ed values as 'fact' has been a historic function of

-a i--s, a means by which social order is legitimate and

S.-ui often, the social order needs this legitimation,

because the action being taken is of such a nature that it

must be related clearly to ideological beliefs if it is to

be assured of solid support on the part of the people. Such

would obviously be the case when such'action is highly con-

troversial and has engendered debate among various factions

of the populace. Even when debate or social dissent is not

likely, however, the action should always be related to

generally accepted ideological values to assure popular sup-

port of these actions. Rorty indicates that the reference

to ideology is essential.

If it is the very criteria for interest and good that
arc at issue, the argument must still proceed by
reference to some further conception of a human value.
This ideological point goes hand in hand with a seman-
tic one: no argument for change will be comprehensiv-e
unless it is phrased in terms that can be understood
as appealing to accepted canons of -alue."33

As part of understanding what a systemic argument is,

it is necessary to know something about its source or origin.

The systemic argument may originate in a -ariety of ways. A

systemic arguwme-nt may be a part of any written document which

-- :.ns, op. 241.

."'Amal O-.senberg Rorty "aturalism, Paradigms, and
If .cig_-," T.e Rev'iew of Nletop'.ysics, XXIV (June, 1971), 652.

:rm-s part o a arnersco.ne for the ideological system. In

--:- ase, :-- ar-gument 'ill very probably have originated

1-. w.ri-:-.s of one or more of the philosophers or

pc l-c-_-i r--orists whose thoughts formed the argumentative/

philosc,.--.cal support for the type of society set forth by

custodians of ideology.

On the other hand, a systemic argument may develop out

of a particular, narrow debate on a specific issue. Some

"ideal" combination of words may be invented in the heat of

debate which supports the ideological position so well that

it is quoted e::tensively by others, with the likely result

that soon the originator is lost sight of and only his words

remain. When encountering this type of instance, it is easy

to react in much the same way Griffin did when he discovered

the role played by unknown speakers in historical movements:

"We may come to a more acute appreciation of the signifi-

cance of the historically insignificant speaker, the minor

orator who, we may find, is often the true fountainhead of

the moving flood of ideas and words.'34 Some of the most

prevalent systemic arguments may have been originated by very

minor spokesmen for the ideology.

Thus, a systemic argument may become a commonplace as

its use I:.-reases. But the coMMLionplace nature of systemic

argumen-s a .s to their effectiveness, because they are not

"Lela-. :I. Griffin, "The Rnetoric of Historical Move-
.-. s, Q arzerlyv Journal of Speech, -:X'VIII (April, 1952),

-=.-. r- -r:=--e. as blacan.t propaganda devices. The

= r_- =-_- -.a ~, also may be strong because of the argumen-

ta-::-e a--il made to the authority of the ideology as a

whcle. ..-.5 then, of course, the great power of presumption

rests u.lth the status quo.

The tie-in ideology has with rhetoric is perhaps best

illustrated by the fact that when used by ideology, rhetoric

maintains the essentially pragmatic function which was de-

scribed by florris as being one which deals with the "relation

of signs to their interpreters."35 Systemlc arguments, in

a sense, are the rhetorical middle men which serve to relate
the overriding ideology to the people in society. Sy',stemLc

arguments, of course, are used by the ideology custodians to

help in establishing and perpetuating the inherently inaccu-

rate picture of reality sought ar..d reflected by ideology.

In this sense, the collective purpose of systemic argu-

ments is similar to that ascribed by Simons to other system-

orientat ions: "however reasonable they may appear in

35Charles W. Morris, "Foundations of Theory of Signs,"
International Encyclopedia of Unified Science, I (July, 1933),
in this sense, systemic arguments perform the same
basic function attributed by BEtzer to rhetoric as a whole.
He said that rhetoric "comes into existence for the sake of
something be ond itself; it functions ultimately to produce
action ol change in the world; in performs some task. In
short, rhetoric is a mode of altering reality (Lloyd F
Bir.z, "T-e Rhetorical Situation," Phi ioophy and Rhetoric,
I [1in'.r. i9 8] 3). Of courL-se, Bitzer is at this point
l:;so aie-rl.-g tne meaning of rhetoric somewhat. There are
-:-.es .*..=.-. _r-.e-oric reflects reality quite accurately. Sys-
te..ic -:: .---.: on the other hand, alv.':a s alter reality since
= -. -: --. is an inherent psrt of the ideologies they
7'q L

-r--. p --rc-ice they ha-.-e constituted indiscriminate

:.-._ fz- -..e preservation of the existing systems and

r -.. p-riileged persons who would wield power thinn

the y'stemic arguments are no different. They, too,

are used by the ideology custodians to help preserve the

system. The custodians seek to convince the populace, or

reinforce their already held belief, th.t the ideological

interpretation of reality is in fact the reflection of

reality they should accept as accurate.

This rhetorical function of ideology should dispel the

more idealistic view of rhetoric's function given voice by

Bry'.ant- "Rhetoric recognizes the strength of the fictions

men live by, as well as those they li-.e under; and it aims

to fortify the one and explode the other. "'. He seems to

be correct in saying that rhetoric "is concerned with

-values,"' but he fails to acknowledge the -.alidity of the

charge made by Frye that "rhetorical value-judgments are

closely related to social values and are usually cleared

through a customshouse of moral metaphors: sincerity,

subtlety, simplicity, and the like."'40 While Fr.'ye's own

SiLmons, p. 229.

Donald C. Bryant, "Phetoric: Its Function and Scope,"
in Tfhe Provicnce of Phetoric, ed. by Joseph Sch'.;artz and
John A. F',cenga ew o-k:: T're Donald Press Company, 1965),
p. 2 This article original, appeared in the Quarterl.'
JoTurn l fI Speech, :;:I:: (December', 1953) 401-42?4.

--- 'r-o Frye, nat.:my of Criticism (Princeton:
ri.c.- -. -.-.-ersrt Press, 1957 p. 21
-- P

-e= .r ..h s D:-:aking, his point that rhetoric goes hand

.-. :.--. '-:i-. C .- ric social values is well taken.

.- i::-, far from helping men in society to explode

the .y-:.- of their ideology, the rhetorical function of

ideology :s designed to help perpetuate those myths and

reinforce belief in them on the part of the populace. Sys-

temic arguments are argument tiv.e because the societal system

is involved in a struggle with the consciousness of its

members and must use whatever dev.rices are most effective to

persuaLsi've advantage in convincing its members to maintain

the inherently distorted picture of reality reflected by

ideology. Because the ideology custodians see their role

as an argumentative one, they tend to use systemic argu-

ments in much the same way Simons says coercive : persuasion

is used by government systems.

Cosrci'.'e persuasion applies to any situation in which
at least one pa--ty sees hLmself in genuine conflict
with another, has some co rciv.e power over the other,
and finds it e::pedient to establish, persuasively,
any or all of th2 following: (1) his relative
capacity to use coercive force, (2) his relative
willingness to use coercive force, (3) the relative
legitimacy of his coercive force, (4) the relative
desirability of his objectivess.1

It is primarily the last two of ttiese persuasive objec-

tives which are the aims of an ideology when it employs

systemic arguments. Tne custodians of ideology, feel that

tne public should be w.-ill.ing to allow society to convince

th-m thi:-. official actions are correct and desirable.

-.-.er, := .dians feel, it must continually' be the

-.-:r.---. = = .e-r and right to inform the populace of this

desi_-:_--- ., or the incomplete picture painted by the

ideol::=,- may begin to clash with reality as a result of open

debate. Thus, not all information is released so that the

public can scrutinize the conditions of reality. Only sys-

temic arguments about the nature of reality and the legiti-

macv of the actions taken by the powers to reflect that

reality are allowed to be debated. That information which

tends to reflect a reality opposed to the ideological picture

of reality is withheld from the general public by the cus-
todians of ideology.42

Ideology Encourages Belief in Itself

In order to understand the pow.:er ideologies have over

men in all societies, it should be recognized that men tend

to ac-t according to their beliefs. If something is be-

lieved to be true for a man, then for that man it is true--

and, ;what is more important, he will act as though it is true.

Thus, when one realizes that someone is defending as true

a position k-nown to be indefensible, it is easy to rational-

ize the conflict by recognizing that the other person

4One of the lessons currently being learned from the
so-called Pencagon Papers case is that government withholds
information from the public not only when revelation of such
informa:icn might endanger national security--in '.-'hich case
it should -.e '.ithheld--but also when revelation of such
inform..--__. -.ight paint a picture of reality quite different
fr-c- the --Isription being presented by the custodians of
the ic:- :=.

is -ervly -..im of his ideology--or perhaps the person

:.-, :::.- :-.:e position is indefensible is merely a '.ictim

cf .-.- :-. '_ieology in refusing to recognize the validity

of the c-:er position. Speaking pejoratively about this

kind of relativism as an approach to history, Ortega sum-

marized the position by noting that "the truth, then, does

not e:-:ist: there are only truths 'relative' to the frame of

mind of the person considering the matter."43 Such explana-

tion applies to those who accept, without question, the

articles of an ideology as "true."

It is convenient to paraphrase Ortega by noting that

the ideas, beliefs, and values which make up an ideology can

be seen as D collection of "truths" reflective of the frame

of mind of the entire society or subgroup. The important

thinc to realize, as Garstin indicated, is that for the

people within that group, no matter its size, the ideology

is true and w.-ill not generally be disputed. Each person

within such a structure may' well be under the influence of

competing ideologies, as '...as illustrated in the section on

the pervasiveness of ideology, but .within a functioning

framew..ork these competing ideologies will be ranked in a

priority alignment such that ideologicall jurisdictions" are

clearly understood by members of the societ'.. Thus, for an

.r'.~- ., -.e merican Ideals forn the foundation of his

Jos- -:-t:eqa y G tssett, Thi2 .'lod.rn Theme, trans. by
s Cleugh :e'.' Yorlk: Hah per & Po.., 1961), p. 29.

Garstir., cp. 3, 4, 4,-', 79.

- dcing -r':-.: in Lif.:-. Further, it is safe to assert

.. -.1.....L .- =_1 Amrericans are trained to believe in the

-_.r_.-. -I- =_ as part of their growing and educational

pr.:=s. -:cht virtually everyone is aware at some level

of con-.s:usness of the ideological jurisdictions which

overlap throughout the society.

The effectiveness of the ideology is protected against

the char-e of inconsistency by the fact that the ideology is

reflect= in a rhetorical movement of a symbolic nature.

This movement can be identified and understood more clearly

after examining the systemic arguments which are used to

perpetuate the ideology. At this point, however, it seems

logical to recognize the validity of Garstin's observation

that "ideological content is not static once it is formu-

lated." 46 Further, such recognition indicates that, while

the changes in ideology might be perceived by sone members

of society, those members would accept the changes unques-

tioningly because of their very strong belief that the

ideolcgv continues to gro.; as it discovers more facts about

the conditions of reality in the world.

Ntot only do men expect thei- ideology to change and

look forward to it, but they also would have difficulty

1 .roughout this study, A.merican will (1) refer to a
resider-: 'of he United States .ho, though not necessarily" a
citi._e. .-.?.s :een a resident of the country. for a long enough
period :i -i.e to acquire as his the parent ideology that of
t-7.e .t-._e: _?tes and (2) be used as the adjectival form of
S:.- .._ed ta-es. America, likewise, will refer throughout
-- -3 the _:-ized States.

"- Garst--, n. 79.

'.-.l engin: :i-- of .': changes that do take place

.- o="-: :r_-rsely because of their belief in that

_:::ii. -ai specifies the point when he says that

"i i--:--. s.-.uid be viewed as consisting primarily of be-

liefs c:.4 only secondarily of ideas. The basic distinction

is that ideas are subject to scientific operation (such as

testing; and verification), whereas beliefs are not."47


The primary function of this chapter was to define the

concept of ideology for purposes of this study. In order

to accomplish that task, however, it was necessary also to

discuss the various problems involved in the study of

ideology, differentiate between ideology and attitude, and

describe the function of ideological rhetoric. Since sys-

temic argument is such a vital part of the function of

ideology, it was necessary to define systemic argument as

part of the description of the function of ideology. Now

that these various tasks have been accomplished and ideology

has been adequately defined, it is possible to mo'.'e on to

the role of history as it applies to this study.

-jai, P 2P



I. Iceally, What Is History?

A. Answers About the Past

B. Fair Pepresentation of the Past?

II. Practically, What Is History?

A. Imperfections in Historical Stances

B. History Helps to Perpetuate Ideology

III. ParCicular Severe Limitations on History Tex.tbooks

A. Unwary Ignorance on the Part of Authors

B. Inertia Caused by Over-Poliance on
Secondary Sources

C. The Impact of Pressure Groups on Textbook
Writing and Selection

IV.. SLummary



In Chapter One, it was indicated that the rhetorical

documents for this study would be high school American

history textbooks. While the use of such documents was

justified, no attempt has yet been made to indicate just

what relationship exists between history and ideology.

For purposes of this study, clarification of that

relationship requires at least three steps. First, history's

ideal fulfillment of its own goals should be described so

that an understanding can be attained of the kinds of goals

historians traditionally set for themselves. Second, it

should be acknowledged that history, like most other human

endeavors, rarely achieves its ideal goals. Thus, an

examination should be made of what happens to history when

it falls short of its goals. Third, since history text-

books specifically will be the rhetorical documents utilized

in this study, an examination should be made of the very

special problems inherent in writing history textbooks.

It is in examining the textbooks that a full understanding

of the r-'l played by those books in the perpetuation of

ic-e:*:'_ ...~-I b.a gained.

I:eall., Wihat Is History?

r_-i ices one stop to ask himself the question,

-- .:os-cryv?" Yet, he goes about talking about ;what

hisr:--y -_lIls him or what he can learn from history as

though :.-.e j'new e:-:actly the answer to his own unasked ques-

tion. He seems to feel history is simply what took place

in the past. Usually, he fails to realize that history is

not what took place in the past, but a record of those events.

Without the record, the events themselves would have no way

of being known or understood by men Living in contemporary

society. Of course, the record does not compile itself.

It is put together as a result of scholarly research carried

out by a person interested in finding out what happened in

the past and in determining the relev.,ance of those events to

contemporary society. The scholar and his methods determine

,what kind of a record will be produced.

Answers tAbout the Past

A historian asks questions and seeks answers about the

pas.. He is a scholar who has been trained to delve into

events of the past, to learn all that he can about those

events, and to put that knowledge in some order which will

nake the past meaningful as a foundation for the present and

the future. Fischer describes this investigative function

quite simply when he defines a historian as "someone anyone)

who asks :.. onen-ended question about past events and

-.ns.Jrs it -.. e=eeced .ac-Ss 'which are arranged in rhe

: r : a. .:-:. i.-.atory paradigm." The basic tool used by

-ill .-- -.-, it would seen, is the process of question-

-I :,urse, these questions cannot be asked in a vacuum.

They mis. have some structure, some organizing framework,

if they are to be able to fulfill their function adequately.

Answers '.ill be meaningless if there is no organizing frame-

work ou: of which the questions are asked. Again, Fischer

supplies the e:.:planation which puts the matter of questions

in perspective.

A moment's reflection should suffice to establish the
simple proposition that every historian, ..illy-nill,
must begin his research ..lth a question. Questions
are the engines of intellect, the cerebral machines
which conv-ert energy to motion and curiosity to con-
trolled inquiry. There can be no thinking without
questioning--no purposeful study of the past, nor any
serious planning for the future. Moreover, there can
be no questioning in a sophisticated sense without
hypothesiznir.;,, and no systematic testing of hypotheses
'..ithout the constri-ction of hypothetical models which
can be put to the test.2

Jn spite of the apparent validity of Fischer's state-

ment, however, it should be noted that ideally tne historian

should re'er impose his own structure on the answers to his

questions. Ideally, the hypotheses he uses to frame his

questlcr-. will themselves grow out of other questions, so

th-it he .1ill .never be guilty of imposing his point of v.ie.-

-.:.-i -.. -I ir .-. i. 7 .

-Ibid. 3.

. :h -,s -:rr s=m:s to acree with this statement when

.- 1.- -ates ~ -- there are "questions which the historian

--: :. *-is vocation incessantly to ask," but he also

wr.s .- ':he historian who accepts answers in advance to

these cestions goes to work .'ith his eves blindfolded, anrd

renounces his vocation.4 While there must be structure,

there must also be a limit on the degree of control the his-

torian himself may e::ercise o-.-er that structure.

Fair Representation of the Past?

Answers to historians' questions will inevitably pro-

vide a wealth of historical facts so vast as to demand that

the historian select from among them. And beyond these facts,

there must always be a myriad others of which the historian

is not even aware. The problem is compounded when one

realizes that those facts of which he does have knowledge

range from empirically verifiable phenomena to subjective

value judgments. The historian must decide which facts to

select from within this spectrum. Carr acknowledges the

acrobatic function the historian must perform: "Somew.here

between these two poles--the north pole of valueless facts

I' must, of course, be acknowledged that no such
ideally -.-ritten history, exists; nor will it ever exist.
[lan car.-t- look back into the past without the inherent
necessi ... imposing himself on the past. Thus, whenever
on-e 1':;3 ~ the past, he w..11, of necessity, look at the
o:ni t...ou-: .'is ow..n weak, based eves. An inherent part
of -=-.-.: -1i. -..2 is the inabil it: to escape oneself.

Ed'..ard :-allett Carr, ;fna. t Is historyy? ([iew. York:
.-.l i A. .'.n :f. 1964) p. 103.

-.n thhe soc. ;: or -:alue judgments still struggling to

-nsfr-m --h-. lves into facts--lies the realm of his-

:-- -:_-... The historian . is balanced between

f:__ -.- i.-._erpretation, between fact and value. He cannot
1, 5
separl- -: :hem.

He cannot separate them, but to make any sense out of

the facts available to him the historian must be highly

selectiv;e. He must glean the material relevant to his pur-

pose of understanding the past from all of the data available.

And he must discard the rest as superfluous.

In the ideal fulfillment of his function, the historian

must be accurate as well as selective. He must adopt a kind

of detached selection attitude if he is going to be fair to

history. Again, Carr provides the support by noting that

"the serious historian is the one who recognizes the his-

torically conditioned character of all values, not the one

who claims for his ow..n values an objectivity beyond history."

Only by letting history impose order can the historian be

honest in fulfilling his function.

The kind of accuracy demanded of a historian might be

praised in many scholarly pursuits, but it is merely e::-

pected of the historian. It i a part of his function.

In thin.i.-.c of t!-is requirement, Carr commented: "I am

reminda _: H'-iousman's rei.r. t'r.t 'accuracy is a duty, not

a -ir-. To Lraise a historian foc his accuracy is like

Ibid., 5-. 175-176. 6Ibid., pp. 108-109.


--raising an r:z-.i-e:c fr usin:-c.'ell-seasoned timber or

_-rey .-i:- :i concrete in his building. It is a necessary
::.ii--z -f is work, but not his essential function."

Practically, What Is History?

It is one thing to acknowledge the ideal fulfillment of

the historian's function, but it is another matter entire"

to find that ideal function applied in the 'works of his-

torians. Just as questions the historian asks are not asked

in a vacuum, neither is the historian himself functioning in

a vacuum. He is caught in a framework himself which may be

more binding on him than is the framework of the hypotheses

he uses as a guide to asking his questions. History, then,

in its practical application, is the result of the efforts of

a human being who may consciously or unconsciously impose his

ow;n beliefs or ideology on the past in order to impose an

interpretation on the past which may not be accurate.

Imperfections in Historical Stances

It should be acknowledged that a historian is bcth more

and less than a scholar who asks questions. He is, above

all, a human being who is subject to the same pressures,

values, and beliefs that any other human being is influenced

by. He approaches history out of a particular societal back-

ground z3.-. framework which influence his work. Simply stated,

t"-he -.i-orln cannot escape being what he is. No matter how

TIbid., z. S.

h.rd he tries r be objective, he, too, is influenced by

societal vales of which he may not even be aware. Carr

s:rzLifies -he point by noting that the historian is him-

sel -a- -f history.

-." historian, then, is an individual human being.
Like other individuals, he is also a social phe-
nomenon, both the product and the conscious or uncon-
scious spokesman of the society to which he belongs;
it is [in] this capacity that he approaches the facts
of the historical past . .The historian is part of
history. The point in the procession at which he
finds himself determines his angle of vision over
the past.8

It would seem, then, that even scholarly historians are

strongly influenced by their surroundings.

As human beings existing in a societal environment,

historians can no more escape being influenced by that en-

vironment than can any other human being. It is inevitable

that the social environment will reflect itself in the his-

torian's work.

It is, then, both natural and totally understandable

that the historians should be "guilty" of falling victim to

and reflecting their own biases. Carr stated that it is

obvious "that you cannot fully understand or appreciate the

./ock of the historian unless you have first grasped the

standpoint from .hiich he himself approached it; second, that

th:at str..2ooint is itself rooted in a social and historical

back r.:- .." When read inc -istory, it should be remembered

r':-._ _: r. s:rian w.;as opetrctiwc out of a paLtic.ilar

IIbid., 2. 42- "Ibid., p. 43.

i -_:: .- _lke h.-e reader, -;as also once a beginning

:---= ... -.cloy', but he has gone beyond that beginning

-. -:=-.-.-. ros of his career studying many of the ideology's

in.tri _-, learning how they fit together to wea-.'e a

patccr- that deserves to be shown to other students :who

follow- afcer him.

Even recognizing his own susceptibility to his en'viron-

ment may not keep the historian from falling victim to it.

Dance stressed the difficulty by emphasizing how hard it may

be for himself and other historians "to think ourselves out

of the milieu in which .we have been reared, to force our-

sel'.'es into points of view which are strange to oursel-ves."0

Dance cioes on to indicate that historians become "hidebound

by the cultural traditions which we inherit, and by the tra-

ditions of learning which we acquire in our educational

en'v ironmenrt."

Part of the result of historians' reflecting their

biases is that w.hate,.'er they label as facts which they" ha-.-e

selected for transmission through their work may not be,

strictly speaking, factual at all. The reason for this

apparent contradiction lies in the multiple uses of the word

fact. E::planation is due. W.ihile discussing ideology in

Chapter Two, the way nen act according to their beliefs w.as

'E. -:rd HerLert Dance, History the B.trayer (London:
HuTchi:r. :-. Co., Ltd., 1960) p. -5.
1 -

i-:sr- :- -.as i.-Ldicac-ed that if a man believe. s something

--: -e 1, .ll act as if it is true. Thus, that piece

of __ o.111 become for him a "fact," whether it is in

rea"l:-. rue or not, and whether it can be empirically veri-

fied ;:i n:. As a parallel to this notion, it might be

pointed out that ideologies depend for perpetuation on entire

systems of such "facts." All systemic arguments are facts

of this type, and systemic arguments make up a large part of

the content of history. These facts have meaning primarily

in relation to each other and to the system of thought

which gives them birth. Since historians' biases are beliefs,

it is easy for them to label as facts things which they

believe to be true.

History Helps Perpetuate Ideology

Part of the practical role of history, especially as it

manifests itself in history te:-tbooks, is to assist in per-

petuating the ideology of the society. Part of this role

entails an attempt to help people in society accept and act

on their beliefs as facts. If the individual believes in the

system, then he is very closely related to these facts and

..ill act as though they are true. One function of history is

to assist the parent ideology in turning systemic arguments

into the kinds of beliefs by which men run their lives and to

'.nrich m~r:-. p::-e.al when they need help in making a decision.

If t i? f::: succeeds, histcr'1 will be percei'eed as being

r-e b',- its r .i=ers and ..ill ha-.'e succeeded in fulfilling

-- ieolocz:: .: role.

:: .~. be noted that it is not necessaril-' the inten-

ti:.. ..iz oarians or of rY.riters of history tex-:tbooks that

their .r;.:s be used for perpetuating ideology. Rather, that

is seen as one of the justifications, explicit or implicit,

for stu~1ying history. Billington, for example, points out

that "bhon educators in the United States and a majority of

the people view instruction in the nation's history as a

practical pragmatic means of protecting and preserving the
American way of life." He reinforces his assertion by

noting that "today, as in the 1830's, the purpose of American

education is to instill loyalty to country into the nation's

youth and to educate future citizens into the wise use of

the franchise." 1 lWhile Billington's comments apply to

education as a whole, Dra-.es speaks directly to the reason

for studying history: "One of the justifications for the

study of history is that it transmits from generation to

generation the cultu-re of a given societ."14

This approach has a greater impact than simply turning

loose so-called opinion leaders to work on the people in

1?.3 .Allen Billirng ton, Tha Historians' Contribution
to An.le -.-Unerican M1isunderstanding .ile. York: Hobbs, Dorman
. Co.-c .-. Inc.., 1966) p. 27.

-'Da.id I. Dra-.es, ";hat's .irong With the Teaching of
Hist in th.- igh School?' The Social Studies, L''I (March,
-. 55) 105.

-::: a massive persuasion campaign. This way, edu-

:-:--_ .-: fir -_he custodians of ideology by teaching the

i-e:_:7- young people so that they will grow up believing

the .~. -o be true, thus being more likely to support it

and Lo assist in the perpetuation effort which will be

directed toward their children. There would seem to be no

more efficient or better way to perpetuate a myth than to

teach it as truth to the students required to learn the

story of their country and its system of government.

Particular Severe Limitations on History Textbooks

Ideally, high school history should serve, in Lauwerys'

words, to "give all pupils sufficient knowledge of the past

to enable them to understand the present."5 The knowledge

of the past attained ifnhigh school history classes, however,

is not always geared to provide the students with an accurate

picture of the past. In part, this fact is due to the nature

of the history textbooks, which are the main source of learn-

ing history.

High school students are not as fortunate as scholars

who utilize definitive histories and have access to the

finest historical scholarship available. The history which

is taught to high school students is not written by highly

scholarly, writersrs by-and-large, nor is it taught by the

best of historical scholars. Thus, the ability to maintain

"- Lu*-,.erys, HistLor,' Te.:tbooks and International
t:-. _r -_ (Pa Sis: LUI;E3SCO. 5 p. 71.

:se. sane hizh i=Eree :f -:c:,ll-ence demanded by history

:-.-.irs ine- oly begins to slip.

'-.-- :::n.ce on the Part of Authors

7: ;--prisingly, one reason for the "ignorance" attri-

bated ze:-:tbook writers is actually a function of the

medium with which they deal. Their works are not lengthy,

schola:1i, definitive documents about particular aspects of

history. On the contrary', a te::tbook for American history

covers the entire span of the nation's history. This breadth

of coverage necessitates a more rigorous selection process

than would be necessary in a treatment of a part of the

nation's history. The extreme selectivity necessarily im-

poses a certain lack of coverage or competence on the text-

book. Pelating the problem of selection to the treatment

of specific groups within a society, Dance says that "his-

tory textbooks are necessarily short, and the shorter they

are, the more they restrict the scope of the enquiry.

Selection has to be made quite ruthlessly, and this inevi-

tably entails inadequacy in the treatment of many human

groups." l6

Of course, the main reason for the textbook writer's

unconscious bias is the ..ery humanity which h he and all his-

1-orians share, as discussed in the section on the practical

definiz- of history. To be human is to have biases of

Dance, H-isory With-ut Bias? (London: The Council
S -ri tian nc Je.'.:s, 195,4- o. 49.

.-.-h one is .:. aware. if that human being happens to

---te te::t.::.-k, then his biases will inevitably find their

-- i-t t-:-_ textbook. It is not really the fault of the

wr--r, :-.:r is it an "error" which he can correct, unless

his biases are pointed out to him by a critic who has his

ear. Billington points out that, in spite of attempts which

have been under way for some time to eliminate bias in text-

books, "nationalistic bias is as persistent in today's

schoolbooks as in those used a generation ago. More impor-

tant, this bias is potentially more dangerous, because it is

less easy to detect. Usually it appears to stem not from

any deliberate or conscious prejudice on the part of the

author, but from the unconscious self."17

Even though the biased statements present in textbooks

are there without the conscious knowledge of the textbook

authors, their impact is felc nonetheless by students learn-

ing their nation's story from such te::tbooks. Lauwer.ys

assumes that all authors engaged in writing textbooks would

eliminate all biased statements from their textbooks if they

could. In spite of this possibly na'-.-e preface, however,

he has to admit that all authors are biased.

All authors holJ opinions they are not aware of hold-
inc, and all, or nearly all, are biased and prejudiced
.*;i:..out knowing it. Thns has effects on tne te:-:tbooks
S.*v .-rite and, conseq..uen 1y on the opinions and
s:- .--e of the children .,'.o use them. Tne result is
--.- -.se te:-t ooks ser-.' ends n .wiich their authors
..':.- .. r P di-ite and de:lore 13

i7 18
i i.-. n, p. 2. Lauwerys, p. 31.


Th2se f---es, c-re, include the ideological orien-

-Bion :..:ic- --.e authors have absorbed and come to believe

---::. li. :-_- .r people in the society. Thus, in spite of

th- ...r . some would readily believe that history te:-:t-

boo- a.re totally objectiv'.e, the truth of the matter is

that these texts are riddled with bias emanating, in part,

from the unwary ignorance on the part of the authors.

Inertia Caused by Over-Reliance
on Seco-.:ar;' Sources

While an author's ourn unwary ignorance may cause serious

problems regarding the filtering of biases into the class-

room, there are also some methodological problems which add

to the limitations of history te:-:tbooks. Basically, these

methodological problems take two forms.

Although some well-known history scholars write te::t-

books, for the most part a writer of history textbooks is

primarily that and not a history scholar in his o;n right.

Therefore, he depends for much of his material on hsitory

scholars and other textbook wrriters, thereby utilizing secon-

dary sources rather than primary sources as the foundation

of Ills work. Lauw:erys indicates that "far too often, this

compilation is the result chiefly of consultation of other

te:: tboo: s Thus, ancient errors are handed on, and contacz

with fIrs:-h.and up-to-date research grows ever more tenu-

cs."- L -.er''s also e:-:p-e3-es agreement vWith the fact

Ibid. -. 21.

-.'ar althu,:zh -he texboo.k writerer "may be a scholar as .w.ell

. he is .-.c functioning primarily as such when he
-- :: ook.

r-. ly because textbook writers are not their own

sch:-ai--, -t is possible for new research findings to take

quite a long time to filter down to the levels from which

te:-:tbook w-riters do their job of compiling. Thus, even if

the te::T-ook author has in mind to present a fair and com-

plete Dicture of his country's history, he is limited by

the quality of the scholarship in secondary sources which he

uses as his research materials. Billington indicates that

the "latest scholarly findings have to filter down to the

te:-tbook level slowly, usually appearing first in general

monographs, then in the.larger histories, and finally in

textbooks. This process requires years so that texts are

sometimes a generation behind in reflecting current his-
torical views."

It can, of course, be argued that the blame for the

time-lag should not be laid at the feet of the textbook

author. Dance occupies this position when he indicates

that the textbook author may not be entirely to blame for

the timTe-laq.

It -.ay take anything from years to generations for
t.- scoveries of research to percolate into the
S.:. looks. And for this the te:x:tbook writers are
.-.-- lame. Articles on research are legion; they

Ibicb p. 27. 21 illington, p. 5.


=L'. :- ll hiDstory frcm before Adam till after
"-_ 5:, ..no te::tbook writer can keep pace with a
-..-.i- f them. For another thin most specialist
published in journals which few textbook
.--_s r n be expected to see--and in any case, many
.-- : pice of research is followed by another, con-
-r- :C'y piece of research in some equally inac-
c:SsLble publication.22

Dance's pa..nt is '..ell taken, but it seems to miss the mark

entirel'. If the writer of textbooks were genuinely inter-

ested in filling his world w..ith respectable scholarly find-

ings, he could utilize journals more in researching his book.

It would be more difficult for him to compile his material

out of journals, but it would result in much better history:

than is the case with using other textbooks and history

books as the main sources of information. Billion ton seems

far nearer an accurate depiction of the situation when he

labels such la:-. scholarship on the part of textbook authors

as "bias by inertia" and says that the term "means the failure

of textbook writers to keep abreast of current historical

scholarhsip, and their consequent readiness to perpetuate

on their pages outw.orn legends that usually exhibit nation-

alistic bias.23

The fact that historians and history te:.:tbook authors

are human and subject to all the flaws of human character

has been mentioned several times. It should not come as a

surprise, then, to disco.-er that being part of a human

S: History the EBetrayer, p. 23.

- - -.zton, p. 5.

:--_-.-._- .-.is scneching to do with the poor scholarship which

-.-.s----= -o he perpetuation of ideology in the rhetorical

c--::-r-= f :igh school American history textbooks. The

wr-ir .:j ex:-:tbooks is hampered not only by his own scholarly

limi-:c ons, but also by the inertia of the very society he

is attempting to teach. Since he is himself a part of that

human society and is likely to be unable to write from a

totally unbiased position, it might be easily understood that

he lets himself get trapped by his own inertia and that of

the society he writes about. It is so understandable, in

fact, that Dance again offers an excuse for the authors'

la:-:ity by taking the attitude that that is simply the way

things are.

We are so accustomed to thinking along well-worn lines
that we rarely make the intellectual effort needed to
strike out along lines of our own. Generations of
teachers teach what they learned when they were young;
generations of scholars learn what they will teach to
others; and therefore the history taught in schools
and universities lags far behind the new world for
which it is supposed to prepare its citizens.24

In spite of the understandable nature of the situation,

however, the blame should be borne by the authors. It is

gratifying, then, to note that Billington's language indi-

cates that his assessment of the situation places a bit more

blame on the authors than did Dance. Billington says that

"cormpoun~in.g this crime [of allowing a time-lag] is the

tendenrc :f aill humans to thi*in alcng well-w'orn lines rather

-. istor.' the Bete ra er, p. .*7.

:.an endure -.h- 1.-.: -11_c- : r-,Lent needed to grasp new

__=s. His .ri al discor-ions are passed on from genera-

---i -- g:.-.-zaion, from teacher to pupil, from textbook

al- .-:r :D :-.z ook author at all educational levels."'5

Thz 1:-.-.- of Pressure Groups on
Textbc-: .'.riting and Selection

he 'l-her history textbook authors want to write biased

accounts Df history or take any action to pre-ent that bias

is not ra-ily at issue here.' More important, perhaps, is

the fact that there are groups which e:-;ercise inordinate

influence on the markets for which these authors '.-:rite.

Furthermore, these pressure groups seem to want the kind of

bias which shows up in our textbooks. :lany of these groups

would echo West'.;ood's statement that "the primary aim of a

course in American history in secondary school should be the

teaching of the freedoms which, in sum, distinguish America:

teaching what they are, whence they came, how they evolved,

how they have been attacked, defended, and qualified, and,

finally, something of how they may be challenged in the


One would hope, implicitly, that this statement reflects

the views of only a small reactionary minority of Americans,

so that iz could be Jiscounted as the work of extremists.

Such h-.:, ho.;ever, is little more than a pipe dream. In

Bi l i.. t-n, pp. 5-6.

26Howard :. West'.-ood, "A La.man's View of High School
--erican Hiscr--..," The Social Studies, :LVI (January, 1955), 3.

f5c, 3Billi-_ ::.-...s .-rea:z been quoted as indicating that

= j-oriy _f ..e people -:ie,..; instruction in the nation's

.--:r:. is ; -actical, pracnatic means of protecting and
_--.-.-.- -:'.=3 American way of life." Thus, the opinion

peri- :=.--roughoit the country that the primary purpose of

teac:.-..- history is to pass on the ideology to the young

genera-z.-n. That opinion tends to manifest itself in the

form of pressuree brought to bear by national pressure groups

on the writing, publication, and selection of te:-:tbooks.

Whatever else may be said of groups which attempt te:.:t-

book censorship, it may be said that they represent a vivid

manifestation of the function of ideology discussed in

Chapter Two. It '.as e:-:plained at that time that ideology

reflects the wishes of a society, whether or not those wishes

picture reality as it actually is. Ideology reflects reality

as the custodians of the ideology thinly it should be, not

necessarily as it actually is. The same basic observation

can be made about those arouos which attempt censorship of

te:-:tbooks. On the '.hole, these groups believe themselves to

be defenders of the ideology and feel it is their respon-

sibilit' to force their views on a society which they be-

liev'.e has gone la:-: and is no longer concerned about protect-

in ana. erpetuating the .A erican Ideals.

.-l: according to Ielson and Roberts, pressure groups

s:r_.:-;= .i::.::- warning and frc the particular object of

Billin.:=:,n, p. 27.

.-r attac:- --z es-pod as a_;z:kl as possible. 2 Oan a

.-. -.51 scme. -, course, this fact results in forcing

:----_--. 2 = '.*..le to make a decision about the direction

i- .-_-.- -::-bo!Oks co take. Hlelson and Roberts elaborate

on -'-.s ccint.

'..-.ever the differences in dress or the nature of
their .-iorries, would-be te::tbool: censors share the
sa.-.- conv'.ictions: that their '.!ieJws arce the correct
onss. that the child will be sub-.erted if he hears
the Opposing philosophy. Always, the censors ignore
-. a fct that no textbooJk can e-.er be perfect, and
t--- textbooks will always reflect the changing
krc i-!edge and the changing interpretations of succes-
si-ve generations. Society, as a result, must decide
'.!-etlher it w..ants its t-e:tbooks to be shaped by pressure
groups or by scholars seeking to supply the most
accurate information available. Too often, society
has yielded to the pressure groups.29

As has already been stated in the preceding section, all

pressure groups think: their w'ay is the only wa'y 'whicn is

right for the counntry.3 This fact implies, obviously, that

such groups tend to be of the type generally referred to as

right wing or super patriotic groups. By and large, this

generalization is accurate. For example, groups actively

taking part in censorship activities include the Daughters

of che American Rev.olution, the Sons of the American Re.:olu-

tion, the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars,

=:; elson and Gene Roberts, Jr., The Censors and
the Sc- : s (Boston: Little, Bro..;n and Company, 1931 p. 3.

__' 24 .

"oc_.-re:.ation of the specific censorship activities
:- -:: ps l'-=led in this section as pressure groups is
-.-i :s- le in ':elson anId R.ber:s.

.e various ::.-.i.z C -i i .ns c-r.cils, and such e:.:tremist

: -__ s as .'---er-: 's Future, Inc., and the John Birch

-:. :.= er hand, however, from time to time groups

wh_.-: . .-.ighly stable in most situations and which tend

to be oy moderately conservative get involved because

they feel that they are themselves being threatened or

cheated something they find in the te::tbooks. For

e:.ample. :he Florida State Chamber of Commerce once forced

a publis-.d geography- textbook to be changed by the pub-

lishers because it contained more pictures of California

than of Florida. Bad for the tourist business, they felt.

Nelson and Roberts provide another interesting e:.ample:

"FTC [Federal Trade Commissionl investigators learned that

the rational Electric Light Association, the American Gas

Association, the Amrerican Railway Association and many of

their member corporations had attempted--and often succeeded--

in placing the utilities' o',;n interpretation of history
before the nation's children."

Among the primary targets of pressure groups engaged

in censo-rship activities at both local and state levels are

the selection agencies whose responsibilities include choos-

ing te:-:;.ooks for all the schools in their jurisdiction.

Ge7ra-_-l attacks on selection agencies demand one of two

t.i.-.--=: --.- e in the make-up of the agency' itself or a

S lelso-. -.d Roberts, c.. 31.

:-.-ane in a -:::.oK seec- oCr.. n the first instance

.-.e -ar-.d u y takes the form of groups' demanding that

::-.:-.--- -.-cies admit la people to their membership.

T7-.= =_-T -:Jn being made by the pressure groups in this

in-1-.:s s that sufficient pressure can be brought to bear

on the appointing officers) to force into membership lay

people ...-o will support positions of the group. Baxter inidi-

cates _._= "recently, textbook1 critics have demanded more

particLr-:a:ion by lay people iil the selection of textbooks.

It is nat clear whether the demands are based on the assump-

tion that laymen are better qualified than educators to

select textbooks, or on the assumption that adoption agencies

have not been diligent in their duties.32

The second instance is just as conuTon as the first.

The intent, in this case, is usually to get a book changed,

done away with, or selected, depending on the desires of

the pressure group. Pressure groups have been so successful

in rallying _support that their campaigns to get books

abolished, changed, or selected keep selection agencies quite

worrieded Helson and Roberts cite a lot unusual result of

this kind of pressure: "In a candid moment in 1960, a

deputy< superintendent of the school system in the District

of Ci-.-l:ia revealed his forr-ula for a-'oiding contro'ers"

S ..es z .. ard Bax::ter, Selection and Censorship of
?-.::-:- Ss:- Te:-.tbooki s i.A CD= :rion :ive Stu.-' Ph.D. disser-
.- Urni-=rit' of Soitnerr: Mlississippi 1964) 37.

.'er te:.:tboo:ks. -.e -..is simplicity itself. 'We try

: -.<5e sure- _..= the books we select are not objectionable

-: n .-.. '- Billington acknowledges the validity of

t.- s -:Z=--..1.: and points out that "local pressure groups,

of--.- :r5 nationalistic than the authors or users of text-

books, =re in a position to bring pressure on school boards

and adcpz ng commissions to select texts mirroring their own

point of .iew."34

These examples seem to reflect a natural condition of

this society: that the more powerful individuals and groups

become, =he more they reflect and emphasize the rectitude

of ideology. It is but a short step beyond that stance to

insist that all people in the society should be taught the

ideology the w'ay the powerful groups or individuals think

it should be taught.

Te:-:tbook publishers come in for a great deal of pres-

sure directly from pressure groups. Sometimes, demands

made are for changes in a particular book to make it conform

to a particular set of criteria. Other times, demands are

for suspending publication of a book the pressure group finds

particularly offensive. This kind of pressure is nothing

new for publishing houses. The first concentrated pressure

they e:-::_riernced came after the Civil War, when the North

and t:.e 5:_-th each demanded te:-:tbooks specifically designed

I;.elso-. ='. Roberts, p. 17. "Billingcon, p. 28.

-o present a c.-.-s d .e c he Ci'.il War and its sur-

_::-nii.-:r issues. elson and Roberts indicate that pub-

l_--.'rs "'e. publishing regional textbooks, one version

:-. --::-:.- and another for the torth, and, as a result,
fcecd -.-m ninds of students for more than two generations."

.e so man'.' years of dealing with, and giving in to,

pressures, publishers seem to have become comfortable in

the role They' play. in furnishing textbooks. They remain

cautious and do not produce any highly controversial books

because, as Helson and Roberts point out, they are "well

aware that an onslaught of criticism against a text by a

rightwing or minority group can touch off a chain reaction

among te::tbook selection corumittees and cause sales to drop

.ff in many areas."' Publisners' concern has become so

pointed that, according to :ielson and Roberts, the Amrerican

Te::tbook Publishers Institute [now the Association of

L;merican Publishers] issued a policy directive urging that

"publishers 'must try to avoid statements that might prove

offensive to economic, religious, racial or social groups

or any civic, fraternal, patriotic or philanthropic societies

in the ..*jhole United States.'"'3 Obviously, the publishers

have their hands full trying to avoid offending any of that

multipli c-y of groups.

--'ielszn ad Roberts, p. 26. FIbid., p. 179.

Ibid., : 181.

Alrhoiuc.. -=c':s n ..,a-ishers and selection committees

-: great ial =f damage and cause textbooks to be lost or

.. i.: L. --.ard, mildly stimulating treatments of their

s_-I -= r.:---r, pressure groups' impacts can be seen most

cl-r-_ *..-.e-. they take on an individual author. When such

attacks -'ke place, according to Nelson and Roberts, they

tend tc '-e directed against the "philosophy of the authors."38

The mos- striking example H'elson and Roberts provide of such

attacks :Dncerns the pre-World War II campaign against

"a mild -mannered Columbia University . education pro-

fessor, Dr. Harold Rugg." Dr. Rugg had borrowed money to

finance his dream of a series of social science textbooks

to be used in elementary and high schools and had worked on

the series for over a decade before having his first volume

published. His works "won immediate acclaim from educa-

tors, and schools throughout the nation began adopting

them. 40

At the height of his success, Rugg's books were being

used by almost half of the school systems in the country

and w.Jere topping 289,000 volumes per year in sales. Then

the bottom fell out, because pressure groups decided that

Dr. Rugg :..'as a bit too "pink" to allow him to have any

influe-=: on the children of this country. In less than

six :.=rs3, ?'gc 's sales fell .mcre than 90 percent.

Ib 39 40
ibi... 6. ., 34. Ibid., p. 35.

The att--==:.3 :-.-.i-:iduals e-,pasize, perhaps better

-.. an oc..c-r e::amole, cne commitment of pressure groups

--: ic- :.. ese groups are w..illing to go to any lengths

ni S= ,: prevent a book's being used which the groups

d-_-i.- ..ot in keeping with the ideology of this society,

at iesz not in keeping with their interpretation of that

ideoloc .

S urun a r v

Al-.ough this has been a rather detailed chapter, its

purpose has been quite simple. The chapter has explained

the ideal and the practical manifestations of history as an

intellectual discipline. The chapter has noted that in the

ideal state of history, historians answer questions about

the past by selecting facts which present as accurate a pic-

ture of the past as possible. In discussing more practical

aspeccs of history, it was noted that historians are them-

selves human beings who reflect their own biases and their

own positions in history. It was noted that, in this very

practical state, history helps in the perpetuation of

ideology, especially as It is written in history textbooks

for use in high school American history courses.

a=.-i.-qg drawn a distinction between the ideal and prac-

tical ..:-t ions of historians, several severe limitations

or .: --.' te:-:tbooks were discussed. It was indicated that

a:.-.: of -~::books opaL-ate oc: of an unwary ignorance,

...-. is im. sd on them ir. :ar- b- the medium in which

--.e.- -r= =.-. o in. arz by. their ow-n unconscious biases. In

ii-, _- ..-3s indicated that the practice of relying too

-.z -- :.? .-.:ary sources results in slowing the process

of -.~--..- -he latest scholarship into the minds of school

chi'.ir... Finally, the impact of pressure groups was dis-

cus;ed, with emphasis on the fact that pressure is aimed not

only at textbook authors, but also at selection committees

in the various states and at te>:tbook publishers. With this

background in mind, the survey of the high school American

history te:.:tbooks, as rhetorical discourse, can begin.



I. Identifying the Most Widely Used Te:tbooks, 1920-1969

II. Wars Used in the Study

III. Describing the Data

A. Arguments

B. Ill ustrating the Distribution of Arguments

C. Categories

D. lMovement in the Arguments



Identifying the [ost Widely
Used Textbooks, 1920-1969

Various sources were used to gather information needed

to identify the most widely used high school American history

textbooks for the period 1920-1969. Throughout the history

of American education, studies of textbooks have been car-

ried out for many different purposes. Some of these studies

have been authorized by committees of organization inter-

ested in some aspect of education, while others have been

written by individual scholars interested in specific text-

book content as it relates to educational problems. All of

the studies have at least two things in common: (1) their

authors have a strong desire to be able to generalize from

the results of the studies and have,therefore, tended to use

the most widely used textbooks for their analyses; and

(2) all the studies have tended to be limited in the range

of time covered due, in large part, it seems, to the great

difficulty of obtaiinin information regarding the e::tent of

use ot te::books prior to the time contemporary with the

studies t-=ir.: '..'ritten.

-=- -..-.is scudy w.as designed to cover a specific

-t_-.- ---- :f ---fty years, it became necessary to utilize

S--- -=-- studies limited to shorter spans of time to

bl._-i __= of high school Jnmerican history textbooks which

were ..e .ost widel-, used between the years 1920 and 1969.

The use of these other studies for that purpose was dictated

by the adamant unwillingness on the part of the publishers or

the indust-ry-wide publishing association to divulge informa-

tion which would help in building the list needed.1

A total of seventeen studies of high school textbooks

was used to build the list of most widely used textbooks to

One of the most disappointing encounters was with a
high-ranking official of the Association of American Pub-
lishers. This organization is the industry-wide association
which keeps track of the growth of the industry, provides
publishing houses with a variety of information requested
by them, and provides whatever other services that may be
requested from within the industry. According to the particu-
lar individual contacted, the Association has on hand, or can
obtain, any circulation information one might need for
scholarly purposes. The Association will not release the
information, ho'.:e"er, because it is "classified" by industry
Since such information could be released to scholars
without revealing specific sales figures, some pressure
should be brought to bear on the industry to bring about
release of this information. There are many' legitimate te:-:t-
book studies which need to be carried out, but which cannot
even be attempted without an inordinate amount of unnecessary,
non-academic "busy work" on the part of the scholar. The
publishing industry is, perhaps, understandably protective
about specific sales figures. But, the industry has taken
an e::tre-.e and petty defensive stance on these matters. It
;nould bE relatively simple and non-threatening matter to
Dpr 1.-.1 r-leDase generalized lists of the "most :.idel,
'u-_-." : : in various fields .::d for different time periods.
-:-- -_ ::.rs wil join in an effort to make such lists

udc :.r-.ecrc a documents in this study. Of the

S .-.. 5.-. .s used, t'..;elve ..;ere doctoral dissertations

-= _---2 ,L. -.-rious aspects of the content or organization

o: :.1 :. col .Amnerican history textbooks. The remaining

-S~ecifically, the following seventeen sources were
used to build the list of textbooks to be used as rhetorical
documents in this study: James Edward Ba::ter, Selection and
Censorhipo of Public School Te.-:tbooks (A Descriptive Study)
Ph.D. dissertation (Unrversit,. of Southern -lississippi,
1964); Ray Allen Billington, The Historians' Contribution to
.Ang lo-Ame r i can Misunderstanding (New York: Hobbs, Dorman &
Company, Inc., 1966); The Canada-United States Committee on
Education, A Study of Nlational History Textbooks Used in the
Schools of Canada and the United States (Canada: The American
Council on Education, 1947); Marie Elizabeth Carpenter,
The Treatment of the Iegro in American History School Text-
books (.l'enasha, Wisconsin: George Banta Publishing Company,
1941); June Roediger Chapin, Differentiation of Content in
United Staces History' 'ex:tboo:s, Ed.D. dissertation (Stanford
University, 1963); John Wagner Hanson, An Inquiry into the
Role of Histocy Textbooks in Improling Understanding of Human
Actions, Ph.D. dissertation (Univ-ersity of Illinois, 1953) ;
Leon Hellerman, An Analysis of President Polk's Mexican
Policy in Selected ;American HI!stor,' Te:xtbooks for Secondar-,-
School, Ed.D. dissertacion (ilew York University, 1972) ;
Robert Addison Meredith, The Treatment of United States-
Me::ican Relations in Secondac-y United States Histor,' Text-
books Published Since 1956, Ed.D. dissertation (lew York
Universityy, 1968) Helen N. MeLritt, Certain Social 'lo-e-
ments as Reflected in United States History, Textbooks, Ph.D.
dissertation (Niew York University, 1952) ; Andrew Pelser,
An Analysis of the Treatment Given to Selected Aspects of
Populism and the Populist Part; in uAmerican History High
School Textbooks, Ed.D. dissertation (ilew York University,
1971); Bessie Louise Pierce, Civic Attitudes in uAmerican
School Textbooks (Chicago: Tne Univ.ersity of Chicago Press,
1930); Pierce, Public Opinion and the Teaching of History in
the United States (fie.w York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1926) ; Pobert H.
Ratc iffe, A Critica1 Analysis of the Treatment Given Reore-
sentativ.e Social Science Ideas in Leadinq Ele-.'enth Grade
American History' Te:-:tbooks, Ph.D. dissertation (tlorth.;escern
Uni-er: .. 1970) ; Masamitsu Tam-.sn.-ro, An Analysis of
Sel.ec r-i ::-.acts of United Scates-Japan Relations from 1905
oto = -j?. in Hirjh Schoiol History Te::tbooks of Doth
_~ ._ . d-i-J ssertation (ie. York University, 1972); Ed.D.

.e -i-ie .. -ere books w..hich tended to deal with somewhat

:r:i-r s-ers of te:.:tbooks. Although very few of tne

3-i--= _r--.ed textbooks drawn from more than a si-:-:-ear

p*r_-:. --.e studies did overlap sufficiently to provide a

co. .= Ii.'e list of the entire period being treated by

this studc.

The final list gathered in this manner contained a

total of one hundred eighteen books spread ov.'er the five

decades being focused on in this study. In order to pro'.ide

e-qunl representation to each of the five decades, a decision

was made to decrease the total number of books to fifty and

to distribute that number equally among the five decades.

Then, to produce this final list, ten books were selected

at random from the list of most widely used American history

textbooks for each of the five decades." The fifty books

thus chosen constitute the rhetorical documents for this

study and are labeled as such in the bibliography.

Clarence Benjamin Wadleigh, Jr., Questions in American History
Textbooks as Contributors to Development of Thinking Skills,
Ed.D. dissertation (Stanford Uni.versity, 1969); and Katrina
Yielding, An Evaluation of Selected Secondary School Text-
books in the United States History, Based on an Analysis of
the treatmentt Given the Topic: Go-.ernment In-.ol-.ement in
the Economy, Ed.D. dissertation (Auburn University, 1967).

In actuality, thirteen books per decade were selected
at random. The only feasible '.-ay. to obtain the books was to
oder theM.. through the inter-library loan system. It was
fearL. t'-at not all of the books could be easily located, or
at all _: ---a case of some te:-:tbooks long out of print. As
prote:-. _:-. t inst coming up short, therefore, thirteen books
--: -:--e .ere ordered, with the intention of using the first
---. -_- -:- e *w;ni-ch were obtained.

.-;rs LUse in the Study

I- its erl-y two hundred years of existence, the United

S-s ..as ;-in involved in many wars. Some of them were

:-:.. --.ercan colonists even before they had gained

the-r :-i_-endence. Some of the wars were relatively minor

affairs -.volving the colonists and Indian tribes, while

others -.ere global in scope. Generally, however, nine wars

are ccr-siered to have been the major wars in which the

United states has been involved. Listed chronologically,

they are: the LAmerican Revolution, the War of 1812, the

Mexican-.--Terican War, the Civil War, the Spanish-American

War, World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and the war

in Vietnam.

Of the nine ma]or wars, only seven are treated by this

study. The Civil War is omitted because of its unique

status of being an "in house" struggle. Although some for-

eign powers were involved in helping one or the other of the

two sides, it was, strictly, speaking, not an international

struggle. Furthermore, it was felt that arguments used for

and against this war .'.would be unique to it.

The Vietnam War also '..was omitted from consideration in

this stud'. That .:;ar has been completed since this study

was b-.., 2ithough there is still considerable trouble in-

';ol';i:: ---.pzts to enforce 'he ceasefire. In addition, the

;'ar -.zs : no:r :-..cl 3d during e- ; five decades of the study.

--.s, althou:'. te beg inni;; of the war is mentioned in some


af the te:-:th:c k dra;n fre. :-.a late 1960's, the conclusion

-f zr.e war i :.-:ered in none of the te:-:tbooks surveyed.

.-.llY, .=s felt that there has not been enough time

---- -h-e ze--_efire to permit placing the Vietnam War in its

pr:--:r tersoecci've.

Describing the Data

Ar gq ':i-. :s

i- ,as indicated in Chapter One that the tex:tbooks would

be sur.eyevd to glean from them: (1) all reasons listed by

each text-book for America's entry into each var, (2) all

reasons cited b-y each te::t for withdrawing from each war, and

(3) all cited dissenting arguments against entry into or

withdrawal from each war. Once gathered, these arguments

totaled well over two thousand individual statements. The

final area projected for study--arguments against withdrawal--

did not materialize in the textbooks, although there was

mention of opposition to specific aspects of .-arious trea-

ties. Arguments for and against treaties, however, were not

treated in this study.

For purposes of this study, the statements drawn from

the te:-xtooks generated twenty-one individual arguments.

Only fi.-e of hose arguments were opposed to entering w:,ars.

-r purposess of this study, all of the individual syn-
tl.-_s of ~:.' statements generated by sur-.-eying the textbooks
.,:* be caldi arguments. I is fully recognized that these
.r7--.ents ar-. technically speaking, categories in themselves,
:- he term -e-regory will be reserv-d for groups of argu-
. r.:s which h are similar to each other.

Fourteen syste-.-:: ar::u.s .ee identified in the area of

reasons for e.-.-ering war. Only two arguments for withdrawing

_rr- *.rs ;.*.-re identified,and one of them was unique to the

--.r -f 132. There were, as has been noted, no arguments

agai-.3 wi-.hdrawing from wars.

Following is an illustration of the way statements from

the te::-books were grouped together to form the synthesized

arguments. The four statements used in the illustration

were dr.=-n at random from the many statements encompassed by

the iar;ument, "The enemy encouraged other peoples against

America." The sample statements are from four different

textbooks and deal with two different wars: "The British

also encouraged the Indian chief Tecumseh, who welded to-

gether the Indians of the Northwest under British protection

and gave signs of restlessness presaging a revolt"; "The

arms the defeated tribesmen left behind obviously had been

received from the British. The Americans drew the logical

conclusion that the English were up to their old tricks:

plotting with the Indians against the frontiersmen"; "It was

announced that Germany was planning to join with Japan and

Me::ico in an attack upon our country, and that in the event

of success lex:ico, as a reward for her assistance, was to

recei.'e -ne states of Arizona, INew Mexico, and Te::as"; and

"There .'ere German spies plotcing against and even destroying

;._--.r-ar. I.:dstries, while otner German agents schemed to

i.-:.-:L.e us 17. war with Nexico."

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