Importance of History

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43. “The most important reason for studying history is not that knowledge of history can make us better people or a better society but that it can provide clues to solving the societal problems that we face today.”

The issue of most important reason for studying history is complex and controversial. While there is no doubt that knowledge of history can give us clues to solve our societal problems, some people may argue that the most important reason to study history is to make us better people or a better society. Both perspectives are important, but overall the advantages of studying history for a better society outweigh the advantages for the clues to solve societal problems.

Knowledge of history satisfies human craving to know our past. All human beings, by nature are curious about their pasts and the events in the past that made them what they are today. Knowledge of past gives an opportunity to learn our mistakes and improve ourselves. For example, the use of nuclear power in the history has edified us about the consequences of using nuclear power, as result all nations are making efforts to destroy the nuclear weapons they have.

Secondly, the knowledge of history can only help us to a certain extent in solving our societal problems. The societal problems, today are very different from what they were in past. With modernization and technological advancement, our societal problems have also advanced. In the past hunting for the food and cooking was a big problem in the society, but today we no longer deal with such issues. Our problems in the society are much more complex and the clues from the past can help little in solving our problems.

Finally, the knowledge of history inspires us to become better every day. Knowing the past is like knowing the change that has occurred and change inspires us to change further for better. The various inventions that have taken place in the history have made our lives better than before in every aspect. For example, the communication network has become better than ever before. May be no on thought before Wright brothers invented plane that a distance of thousand miles can be covered in hours and no one thought that we could exchange data and voice with people thousands of miles away in seconds. Such inventions made in the past imbue us to think something that has never happened before and they help us continuously to make our lives better.

While the issue of most important reason for studying history should be studied carefully, my reason that knowledge of history introduces us to our mistakes and helps us make better people, provides convincing support for my position. Additionally, the inspiration that we get from the knowledge of past is of great importance in the future. Thus, the impact that history has in our lives in making a better society is much more than the clues it gives to solve our societal problems.

Why Study History?
By Peter N. Stearns
People live in the present. They plan for and worry about the future. History, however, is the study of the past. Given all the demands that press in from living in the present and anticipating what is yet to come, why bother with what has been? Given all the desirable and available branches of knowledge, why insist—as most American educational programs do—on a good bit of history? And why urge many students to study even more history than they are required to? Any subject of study needs justification: its advocates must explain why it is worth attention. Most widely accepted subjects—and history is certainly one of them—attract some people who simply like the information and modes of thought involved. But audiences less spontaneously drawn to the subject and more doubtful about why to bother need to know what the purpose is. Historians do not perform heart transplants, improve highway design, or arrest criminals. In a society that quite correctly expects education to serve useful purposes, the functions of history...
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