Why Do We Study History

Topics: South Africa, History, Psychology Pages: 1 (368 words) Published: October 3, 2013
Why Do We Study History
It is said that those who do not learn from the mistakes of the past are doomed to repeat them. History is the analysis and interpretation of the human past that enables us to study continuity and change over time. We study history to learn from our mistakes, to inspire us, and because it provides a sense of identity to understand the collective past which has made us what we are today.

We gain inspiration from studying history. When we learn about all the people in the past that stood by what they believed in we feel inspired. It teaches us that a single individual with great conviction or a committed group can change the world. People like Nelson Mandela fought for something that was bigger than they were. Mandela was an anti-apartheid revolutionary and politician who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. He managed to get a greater meaning out of life and improved his own country while doing it.

Furthermore, history helps us to learn from our mistakes. History is magister vitae, “teacher of life”. History prepares us to live more humanely in the present and to meet the challenges of the future because it provides us with an understanding of human behavior. We can learn from the mistakes of our ancestors and make informed decisions based on them.

History also provides a sense of identity to understand the culture of the collective past that has made us what we are today. The way that people identify and interact with one another is a consequence of history. For example if Hitler had been successful in is campaign of making the perfect Arian super race people like me, who are black, would’ve been wiped out. The main point is that the winners decide history and it is our job to find out the truth. The winner does not always tell the complete historical truth.

In conclusion, history is engaging and compelling. It fulfills our desire to know and understand our ancestors and ourselves. History allows us to...
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