Why Study History?

Why Study History?

Why study the struggles that humanity has engaged to arrive at this point in our journey?

History provides various interpretations of the journey.

History is a vital part of a liberal education, which provides depth and breadth of comprehension regarding what being human is about.

History places the struggles into a comprehensible context.

History helps us comprehend change and the dialectic of that change.

We live in the ‘effect’ of a ‘cause’ and we will become the cause of the effect which is the future. History places this cause and effect series into a pattern that facilitates comprehension.

History facilitates insight into human nature.

“History is essential to the traditional objectives of the liberal arts, the quest for wisdom and virtue.”

“There is another reason to study history: it’s fun. History combines the excitement of exploration and discovery with the sense of reward born of successfully confronting and making sense of complex and challenging problems.”
–Frank Luttmer (1996) history.hanover.edu/why.html

And there’s the small matter of not repeating our mistakes!

Well said!


To do that we would have to experience reality rather than study history. That won’t happen so everything will continue to repeat.

Well said Nick. This is the exact thought I expressed in my thread “Definitions of Knowledge and Understanding” about an hour ago. We are becoming telepathic. What a great feeling.

History is simply a report of who we are and
how we got to where we are now.

When you study history, you are simply engaging
in a study of who you are now. You cannot understand
Americans without knowing the Civil war. It may be
the defining moments in U.S. history and we still live
with those actions over 140 years ago.
As a nation, we are simply the results of actions taken in
the past and to understand the present, we must understand
the past.


studying the present is more practical.

Study history to notice similarities in different periods and where they ended up. Study history to try to find its laws. Study history to get a laugh at all the continual repetitions. And maybe you’ll be able to create historical engineering once you can adequately figure out where your current time corresponds.

Now, why study history, but call it social studies? Where’s the logic in that?