Why Does History Matter?

September 12, 2021
Students

A common misconception of History is that it is boring and not relevant to today. Tutor House however, believes that there is more to History than that. To us, History is an inescapable part of our lives and a worthwhile subject to study, and here’s why you should believe that too. 

What do we really mean when we say ‘history’?

To put it simply, History is the study of the past. However, just because History is about the past doesn’t mean it isn’t relevant in today’s world. It can offer us insight into the way the world works and even help us better understand ourselves. Of course, there are many different types of History; there is Social, Political and Economic History to name a few. Each branch explains events in different ways, helping us understand complicated ideas and situations in the past and present. We must also ask what counts as History. Does prehistory count? Then what about recent events? There is a general idea that events in the last twenty years are too fresh to look at properly from a historical point of view. However, studying the past can massively help people in the present.

Understand yours and the world's identity

In the global world in which we live, understanding different countries and cultures is more important than ever, and looking at history is a fantastic way to do this. For example, understanding how the modern state of China has formed allows you to better understand the role of the Chinese State in the country, something which would help enormously in the worlds of business or diplomacy. It helps us understand our position in the world and how we have formed relations with different nations.  History also helps us gain a better grasp of current events, after all, history allegedly “repeats itself”. This isn’t very hard to disagree with when we look at recent situations, such as those in Afghanistan. Are we repeating the mistakes many nations have made in Afghanistan and what impact will these decisions make on our future? How far back can we see how events of today are affected by the actions of yesterday? This principle not only applies to huge events, but also to our own identity. Personal identity can often be affected by the historical actions or our forefathers, and not just by our own behaviours. Therefore, we can look at history to better improve ourselves and gain a sense of belonging.

Find inspiration

Aside from acquiring a deeper understanding of ourselves and the world around us, being interested in History can enrich your life in several other ways which you might not expect. With a little historical knowledge, activities such as reading or travelling can be much more exciting. Paris is a wonderful city for everyone, but it is even better for those who understand the French Revolution and the incredibly important events which have happened there - walking across the Place de la Concorde it is easy to not realise that this is where the King was executed in 1793! History is everywhere in our cities, books, films, and TV shows, showing how ingrained it is in our society. As well as exciting you, history can inspire too. Thinking about past hardships of people such as Nelson Mandela or Martin Luther King, Jr. can help you endure difficult times. Or perhaps the work of a great painter, like Matisse, can inspire you creatively with your own work! As Martin Luther King, Jr. once said; "We are not makers of history. We are made by history."

What does History actually teach us?

Not only is History fun and eye-opening for your understanding of the world, but studying it also helps you to gain a versatile set of highly practical skills. This makes it an incredibly popular subject to study both at school and at university. Writing essays can be challenging, but the time you spend perfecting your technique can really set you up for a successful career in writing, perhaps as a journalist or a lawyer. Studying History also helps students develop their debating skills, making them masters at taking in information through reading or listening and expressing their ideas eloquently. To get top marks in History you also need to show original thought and creativity, two skills which employers value very highly. As well as this, your historical knowledge and passion may make you the perfect person to work in a Museum, Art Gallery, or even as a History teacher in a school, the possibilities are endless.

To sum it all up…

History may not be for everyone, but hopefully after reading this, you can understand why history remains one of the most popular and important areas of study in the modern world. By seeing the impact of our past actions in our present, we can learn from it and prepare better for the future. "A generation which ignores history has no past and no future." - Robert Heinlein.


Want help with your History studies?

At Tutor House, we have highly skilled & experienced History tutors to keep you inspired, so you can reach your full potential in your studies. Contact our team who will help find you your perfect History tutor today.

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Sadiyah Zaman

Sadiyah is our Content Writer and Tutor Manager, who loves everything creative, having studied architecture and linguistics at university. She has previously worked as an English language teacher in both the UK and Italy and is passionate about equal education for everyone.

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