Why Does History Matter? Essay

Why Does History Matter? Essay

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Why Does History Matter?
History encapsulates our everyday lives. History is not just about places, dates and individuals, but also about characters and perspectives. As Penelope J. Corfield writes 'When asked 'Why History? ' the answer is that History is inescapable '. Stephen Fry adds 'It is thrilling, absorbing, fascinating, delightful and infuriating, that it is life...It is the story of us had we been born a little earlier ' . History is then a story of us all and where we have come from, by studying it we effectively illuminate our past and bring it to life within our contemporary setting. History is rooted deeply in our culture, on both a national level and at a local, communal level. These histories are displayed in a variety of manners, ranging from lavish museums and old townhouses to almost every form of modern media. It grants us a back story and in doing so gives us meaning. The public appetite for historical television shows, films and fictional novel lends to this fact. Furthermore the educational value of history is vast and the skills learned still remain relevant in an increasingly modern world. History is free to anyone and is completely open to interpretation and investigation, therefore it develops critical thinking skills and forces us to think analytically. This essay will highlight the benefits that history has given us in terms of our rich heritage, its display in museums and the impact of its educational value.

Hertitage holds great importance within our society. The fall of the United Kingdom from its position of being a global superpower has forced us to look inwards at our current role and the impact the British Empire had on world history. This fall from grace coupled with the idea that the ...


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...history to spot economic trends and fluctuations and adjust their business accordingly, thus history has its place in most professional workplaces.

In conclusion it is evident that history surrounds and shapes our environment and way of life. From the streets we walk on to the policies we are governed by, it has created a national and shared identity that is still evolving. Therefore it is impossible to say that history does not matter, for without it we have no background. Sometimes we have to look backwards to inspire us to move forwards. Fry makes clear the point that 'The biggest challenge facing the great teachers and communicators of history is not to teach history itself, nor even the lessons of history, but why history matters '. Corfield believes that in doing this educationalists will 'help their students to develop adaptable and critical minds '.



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