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Why Does History Matter

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Throughout academia, the questions of “why does history matter?”, and “what is the importance of studying history” arise very often by teachers, parents, and peers. The questions may seem exceedingly short and simple but they cannot be answered with simple answers. The complexity and variability of each answer has numerous factors such as background, environment, personal preferences, political alignment, and social status, that must be looked at before being able to fully understand the question and then answer it. There are thousands of quotes that can be used to answer, support and elaborate on the questions, but I find these resonant with me: “Not to know what happened before one was born is always to be a child” (Wineburg 28), “Those who…show more content…
Teachers would ask “Now does anyone like history?” or “Would anyone like to study history when they get older?”. Anytime that those questions were asked very seldom would anyone raise their hand whether it be due to that fact that they were so young and no idea what they wanted to be or that they did not want to be seen as the kid who wanted to study history. But every time we would talk about history, my ears began to perk up more than when we would talk about any other subject. The first quote starts to apply itself here, trying to answer the first question posed: “why does history matter?”. The quote is explaining that not knowing about the past makes you ignorant, as if you were a child. While this is not to be used as an insult but more of a teaching lesson, history is not just the study of names, dates and places but much more than that. It is the study of names, dates, places, culture, diversity, and heritage. The possibilities are endless in terms of what you study with history, and if we fail to study it we are none the more wise, or intelligent than if a child would be trying to understand all of it. The second quote, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” (Santayana) as the saying goes, “kill two birds with one stone”, this quote answers both questions simultaneously. While the questions are so similar, they are both so different. The importance of studying history and why it matters to study
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