Why Study History?

Topics: United States Declaration of Independence, History, Learning Pages: 1 (398 words) Published: September 26, 2011
Why Study History?
Taylor Quesinberry Mod 4 B-Day

In the article “Knowing History and Knowing Who We Are,” David McCullough, well known writer and historian, discussed his beliefs about the importance of studying and teaching history. In the beginning of the article, he says “that nothing ever had to happen the way it happened,” because every little thing these people from the past did, affected and still affects the history and the way we are living now. If even one thing had been different, we may not have the knowledge that we do today. Everyone who has ever lived has been affected, changed, shaped, etc. by other people in the past. McCullough also says that it is unfair for us to judge people in the past for what they did and didn’t do. This is said because in their time they were doing what they thought was best and they weren’t going to know the outcome of it just like the present events that are happening are going to be judged and criticized by future generations. I agree with McCullough’s statement that to be indifferent to history is to be rude to those who have preceded us because we can gather lots of information from the past events and learn from that. If we aren’t willing to learn about the history then how will we ever know? One painting of the signing of the Declaration of Independence is very false and gives us a fake image of how the signing actually occurred. This painting is the one that is viewed by the most Americans which matters since now all of those people think the signing of the Declaration happened one way, when actually it didn’t. One of the most important traits of the American character to McCullough is “being capable of rising to the occasion and exhibiting not just a sense of direction, but a sense of strength.” Lastly, the importance in studying and learning our country’s history is because “it’s a part of the human story and it needs to be seen.” You can’t understand the past unless you read and learn about how the...
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