Why Do We Need to Study History?


There’s no doubt that living in the present is important for us and individuals and as a society. It’s what moves us forward and progresses the human race to the next level. It’s not unheard of that students also align with this way of thinking, which causes students to think that studying history isn’t important, because it doesn’t affect them now. This common misconception about the study of history that students have can actually have real-time effects on how things will turn out in the future and our human experience.

Students often fail to see the importance because the subject material isn’t relevant to them. They understand only the part of history that they are living, and often stay stuck there. But there is much to learn not only about the world around us, but also about ourselves as an individual and as a society. 

So why EXACTLY is it important to study history? 

Times are a’changin’ 

In order to answer this question, bored history students should take a look around them in the present day – what their life is like now, and compare it to another time in the past. Studying the history of the world helps see the difference how life was in the past in comparison to now. Without certain things happening in the past, we may not have had certain inventions or systems that exist today. It’s important to understand this change so that we as a society may move towards a greater goal or avoid mistakes that others have made in the past. They say that change is the only constant, so it must be equally as important to understand how things can change. 

Take for example the history of the United States. American history has shaped lots of the modern world’s technological and political landscapes. The idea of capitalism started very small, and in fact it has changed the way we look at products and businesses altogether. It helped propel the industrial age into a brand new era of merchants overseeing not only the sale of items, but the production and the individuals working, allowing full control. Today, capitalism has completely taken over in the USA and even pushes political regimes to create new laws. 

This is just a small sample of how history can translate to the world we live in now. 

See life from another point of view

The things we know and understand today can be quite different from person to person. One may think that the invention of the internet is the greatest thing to happen to humans, whereas someone else may think that it is plumbing and septics. By reading and studying history, we can examine exactly how people thought and how they got to these inventions. There was a need that needed to be filled; scientists and inventors worked around the clock to provide answers. 

Now, when we look at running tap water, we can have a bit more appreciation for how this all works: where do we get this water; who cleans it; how does it work. Our appreciation for these seemingly everyday and simple things can grow through history, and can even motivate people to create new inventions and solve new problems. Our understanding of the world becomes deeper and richer and can make our lives just that much better. 

Learn from our mistakes 

In a nutshell, history allows us to take a look into our past and see what could have been done differently. People have regrets naturally, if you were to do something different in the past, would it have made a difference now? Professional historians have analyzed endless scenarios and what the hypothetical outcome would be, and weigh those decisions. No one is perfect, and no system is perfect as well. But people try to perfect what has been done, and improve on it based on the mistakes made previously. 

Currently around the world, we are dealing with a widespread pandemic. COVID-19, or the coronavirus, has ravaged countries and communities and put a great deal of stress on the world. This isn’t the first pandemic the world has had to deal with, but it is definitely one of the more serious ones. The world has battled with malaria, leprosy, smallpox and even influenza. 

History shows that pandemics also shape history – the plague, AIDS/HIV and the Spanish Flu had major impacts on the rest of the world. In the 19th century, there were several different cholera pandemics, even though a vaccine was found. 

So what does this have to do with history? Well, for starters, finding a cure for these pandemics can come from these situations in the past – what were the causes and the symptoms of these pandemics is useful information for creating vaccines. Another thing to add is that we can study how people interacted with each other to prevent the spread of the disease and contain it better.

Right now, we are inside on a nationwide quarantine in order to prevent and slow down the spread of COVID-19. The actions in the past led the world to this solution; less interaction, less chances of contracting the virus. In many ways, this has proven effective, but only time will tell if it was effective enough. 

History is important

Whether you study it or not, history will always be made; history is inescapable. You don’t need to have a good understanding of history to know that life continues on and history is being made. What’s important is understanding that history matters to the world, and studying it can enlighten you on how things came to be. Learning history isn’t just another subject, we learn it to understand much of what is going on. It helps us reminisce about the good times we’ve had, and keeps our minds off of the present just for a little bit. 

Whether you’re reading about the ancient Egyptians, or how World World 2 actually ended, history remains an integral part of education – as it teaches us more than just dates and names. It allows us to study ourselves, as a human species and to improve on what we are doing today. If you need help with your history homework, head to Assignment Expert for all your history needs! 

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