The importance of studying history

Essay by jrp March 2009

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the year Is 5000 and the study of history, especially the study of world history has completely disappeared , no longer are students hunched over volumes and volumes of books trying their best to understand the world of the past. Instead the concept has been completely forgotten about, at this same time Germany has been on the move. Had anyone read the signs and known any of the worlds history it would be clear to them we were headed toward another holocaust; Jews forced into camps, mass graves being discovered. Similarly America has invaded Vietnam again, but no one knows, without anyone studying history to them it’s a new occurrence. With no one there to warn the world of the past transgressions and mistakes the world is doomed to repeat every last one of its’ mistakes.

While I certainly hope that nothing like that will ever happen, it’s certainly a possibility if the world gives up on history.

The old saying of we study our past to prevent the same mistakes in the future , is the best possible defense and reason to study any type of history.

A course like this, one that examines not only what happened but also the people behind in and what they believe in is an invaluable tool in understanding the world. It opens your eyes to what others believe in and more importantly why they act the way they do. A course like this can teach us all how we need to act when we are around other people from different customs and religions, ways to avoid offending them and more importantly it can potentially show us how we can make allies out of anyone. The current United States is an excellent example of this.

The country that we call home, the United States of America, is a cultural melting pot. In this one country we have people from all over the world, from Asia to New Zealand, we have everyone here. While this makes America an amazing place to live it also raises some possible problems. if everyone was ignorant of each others cultures and traditions our great country would be in a state of constant turmoil. Our government would have no support among the people, we would become a laughing stock in international affairs. We would no influence anywhere in the world, any army that we could possibly raise wouldn’t be able to accomplish anything, other than getting their butts handed to them. Without a common understanding and acceptance that comes from studying a location and its’ people nothing would ever be accomplished.

Take for example the suez canal and all of the other canals just like it all over the world, if we or someone else in the world knew nothing of the culture of the peoples who controlled them the out some would be disastrous. Before we know it they would have the canales shut down prohibiting anyone from using them there by disrupting if not destroying international trade and commerce. not to mention fueling hostilities that would eventually erupt into full blown wars and blood feuds and eventually race wars. Working together and understanding each other is the only way the world can succeed and prosper. If countries were not willing to help each other just think how different the world would be today.

In retrospect the US invading Vietnam wasn’t the best idea in the world but it happened. But only would help of our allies. If Thailand was not willing to let us have bases in their country then there was no way we would have been able to fight in north Vietnam. There are other events like that scattered all throughout our history. But if countries didn’t bother to learn anything about each other alliances and treaties could never be formed, and terms like global communities would never have been coined.

While speaking of alliances things today would be very different in America if we didn’t have one with China. There’s no denying that our country is going through a tough time right now, and with out China’s support it would be a lot tougher, their economic support is invaluable to us. But if we were not willing to learn anything about them and their past, even if we haven’t been the most accepting and at times down right interfering with them things would be a lot different then they are right now.

As a country we have come so far and been through so much most of our history has been great but a lot of it would be devastating if it were to ever happen again. Without the study of history especially world history we would only repeat every mistake that we have made. Our country would be in ruins, our government a joke, our allies gone, and it would just be one big cycle. A never ending hell. The study of history prevents us from making the same mistakes and at the same time allows us to see new problems in different ways. We can use our knowledge of past conflicts to develop old mistakes as Dr. Phil always says “the best indicator of future behavior, is past behavior.”This was an opinion based question there for there where no books used