What is History?

Essay by adanr262046 September 2005

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History is the study of how the world we live in now has been shaped by the events of

the past. It is a record of human experiences relative to the society in which we live. Our

lives as members of western civilization, have been formed by outstanding institutions,

ideas, and creative works. Without the knowledge of our past we would have little

direction in our society, we can not learn from past mistakes and successes, to put it

bluntly, we learn the past to predict the future.

The majority of the knowledge we gain by studying history is of the political,

economic, and social record of our past. We learn the reasons why certain governments

succeeded and others failed by studying our political record. Issues such as trade and

commerce have existed since the origin of civilization and by studying our economic

record we may learn the solutions to any problems we may come across today.


aspects are too closely related to ever be mentioned in isolation.

Although closely associated with the previous two, one aspect of history which effects

every human being on the planet is our social record. Every culture's traditions have

made some contribution to the society we live in, the art and music of the past have such

obvious descendants in everyday life, especially in the United States, that one can't help

but thinking that people in the past weren't that different than people today.

One of the most important reasons for studying our history is simple self-preservation.

Without certain skills passed down from generation-to-generation, human survival would

be extremely difficult. Skills such as linguistic communication and cartography, are key

to are survival. Maps are a clear record of history, a simple map can show how people

have migrated from various regions across the...