Why Study History?

Pages: 4 (603 words) Published: February 21, 2010
Why Study History?

The introductions for the topic “what is history”, one written by Edwin Fenton and the

other by Peter N. Stearns each depicts why history is something essential and worth

studying and the significance of history as how events from the past impacts

the behaviour of individuals and changes in society. From the point of view of the

introduction written by Peter N. Stearns on the importance of history, he demonstrates

examples such as how history allows us to understand change and the society we live in

developed, the importance of history in our own lives, and how history contributes to

moral understanding. He provides numerous examples regarding the benefits of history

such as demonstrating how rates of alcoholism from the past allows us to realize

why the variations of rates for alcoholism to change and occur and establishes trends in

alcoholism as how addiction evolved into a social problem. He also signifies how history

can be of great importance in our own lives as discovering the ways people constructed

their ways of life previously contributes to another perspective human life and society.

He also suggests reasons on which why history proves identity, contributes to good

citizenship, and individual skills a student can develop when learning history. Some

examples he presents in his introduction includes encouraging habits of mind which are

vital for responsible public behaviour and how historical data provides a basis for

understanding how a family has interacted with larger social change. Peter N. Stearns’

concluding response to “Why study history?” are to gain human experience, acquiring

useable habits of mind basic data which affects our own lives, the development of

“salable” skills, and the ability of interpretation.

The introduction that Edwin Fenton presents proposes that history is incomplete and

many developments that we desire to know of can never be known....
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