Historical Hack: Understanding Cause and Effect

What you’ll learn to do: identify the relationships between historical events, movements, and ideas and differentiate between direct cause and effect versus indirect cause and effect

Historical plaque commemorating the Rochester Woman's Rights Convention at the First Unitarian Church of Rochester, New York, in 1848 approximately two weeks following the first Woman's Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, New York. The plaque was dedicated on the 150th anniversary of the convention. I

Figure 1. A plague on the Downtown United Presbyterian Church of Rochester, which is adjacent to the site of the First Unitarian Church at that time. Colleen Hurst, historian of First Unitarian at that time, initiated the project and designed the plaque to commemorate when a woman presided over a public convention following the Seneca Falls Convention. Consider for a moment all of the events that preceded and then followed this historic occasion. How are those events connected?

In this hack, you’ll learn to better understand the relationship between historical events and examine how historians think about cause and effect. We will examine direct, indirect, and long-term cause and effect situations, and look at how historical events still influence our modern world in ways that are sometimes difficult to see.