What is History?

History is not merely the study of the past by learning and relaying non-fictional stories that seem fictional due to the fact that it may be hard to understand and relate to. History, however, is the study of past events and the people and circumstances surrounding those events, and how they all relate to the present. Therefore, history indeed is relatable. If history is indeed, relatable, then it must be important. In turn then, if history is important, then it must be understandable.

We will never know everything that there is to know about the past, because we are limited by the sources we have access to and the approaches that some historians take. This is acceptable, especially in light of the fact that we cannot even know everything there is to know about the present time in which we live in. However, topics on which we have quantitative and qualitative evidence on gives us insight into the events, and the surrounding people and circumstances of these events. With this insight will come some sort of understanding, despite the interpretation of these factors of the past. We must derive some sort of understanding from this insight into the past through primary and secondary sources. Understanding will come through studying these sources with as little bias as possible. Even if the only understanding that comes is that of which supports the historical context, then there is still something to learn and consider from those certain sources. (Galgano, pg. 4)

The importance of history is evident in the fact that there have been numerous peoples and cultures who have lived before us, learning and experiencing much of what we have to go through in relation to ourselves, other peoples and groups, and the world around us. While times have and continue to be subject to change and in some opinions, subject to progress, we can still learn much about life in general through considering past peoples’ mistakes, challenges, and experiences and comparing them to our lives.

In order for history to be relatable, it must have similarities to the present time. All people at all time have had to be born and experience childhood. We all have had to learn things about the world and how to relate to the people around us. We have all had to experience difficulties and hardships, in which we all probably desired to occupy another time in history. Historical events do have similarities with the present day and time in which we need to identify and consider so that we may relate them. Once these separate times are relatable, we can start to better understand not only the past, but our current time as well, as it gives us perspective on certain circumstances we face. (Galgano pg. 1)

History is not only the study of the past, however it is also the study of the circumstances and the people that surround that past and its events as we see it as relatable, understandable and incredibly important.

 

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