Why it’s Important to Know History

Reading about historical methods, one finds that history is a vast and unique topic which is hard to define once we start studying it. When we think about history, it takes us into our past, into previous centuries and millennia. Not only are historians are concerned about the past, but philosophers and artists also deal with the past as they go back to research culture.

History as a subject lacks a comprehensive formation or definition since, Historians might specialize in a particular era or geographic region, for instance, the Ottoman Empire, or Tokugawa Japan, or the years of the Reagan Presidency of the United States. Furthermore, even historians within the same specialty might have different outlooks on the same subject. History is unique in that it attracts a large audience of non-specialist readers who are new to their history. Historians are similar to journalists in that they skillfully organize their material into a narrative form.

Therefore, it is easier to explain history by distinguishing it from other disciplines. In other humanities fields, such as literature, philosophy, and art history, the object of study is more self-contained and unified—for instance: a novel by Austen, a dialogue by Plato, or a sculpture by Michelangelo. It is the same in the physical sciences where scientists test specific theories using examination, observation, and calculation. This does not imply that historians lack a rigorous method of study. The scope of the historical study is, by contrast, extremely broad. To limit the scope of their research, historians usually start with a question about their specific area of study. Peter Mandler states that “history’s ethical value does not reside in neatly packaged ‘lesson’ from the past but in the mind-expanding experience of sorting out complex questions within settings very different from our own” (Maza 8).

The statement implies that the past cannot be grasped or understood all at once with minimal thought. Instead, it takes a great effort of thought that leads outside of our ordinary perception. The author poses the question, “Who are the makers of history?” (Maza 10). The most enduring answer seems to be that the “great men” of history have done the most to shape it. This refers to the leaders, commanders, and rulers of the past who have changed the shape of the society. Abraham Lincoln, Napoleon Bonaparte, and Adolf Hitler are commonly identified as fundamental figures in shaping history. Their successes (and failures) resonate with us because their activities have had a lasting impact, but men alone have not influenced history. “Great women” such as Indira Gandhi, Elizabeth I and Cleopatra were extremely powerful and important leaders in their own right.

The actions of great leaders can change the very face of history, and different eras are often defined by who is in power at a given time. Hence the enduring appeal of interpreting history alongside the biographies of great leaders of humanity. Common people rely on a political leader when it comes to establishing their power in the authority.

Political leaders are the one who takes the decision for the benefit of the people. As a result, the “Great Man” like Napoleon Bonaparte and Nelson Mandela are the products of situations control the power over the influence of their country and its people. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries the dominant mode of historical study was the idea of genius. Through research, historians came up with the idea that the history of a society is determined foremost by genius, whether of the individual or the culture.

Political history, which stretches back to ancient Greece, places special emphasis on the practice of the government, whereas social history, which developed in the 19th century, incorporates ideas and concepts from sociology. Many historians still research the facts which in order to achieve the “scientific” documentation of social history. When an individual collects and compares the data and tracks them in variations, it provides indisputable verification in the way that classifies without expressing evidence.

The authorities over past centuries preserve the track of the condition record the consumption, production that is significant in people’s lives, such as the transaction of birth, marriage, and death. Therefore, readers are familiar with historical stories, it is familiar to us from the past books, popular history, documentaries, and movies. Historical thinking is reading, writing and analyzing these objects whose full meaning can only be attained in the present. It’s not only what we know about the past, but how we know it. History is hard to explain, we cannot travel back to what actually happened, to the world war or the Boston tea party and witness those movements. Examining history enables us to expand on our achievements and learn from error.

However, thinking historically helps us to get closer and perceive the information about the past and to construct what happened and what it meant.

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Why it's important to know history. (2021, May 20). Retrieved August 10, 2022 , from

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