• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Why, if at all, is History important to society?

Extracts from this document...


Why, if at all, is History important to society? ?Every human being at every stage of history or pre-history is born into a society and from his earliest years is moulded by that society.?[1] History in turn moulds society creating a sense of national unity. Therefore it can be argued that history is vital to the individual, creating a sense of self and unity with the nation. Joyce Appleby, Lynn Hunt and Margaret Jacob support this view arguing ?History and historical evidence are so crucial to a people?s sense of identity.?[2] This need for identity and the natural curiosity of humans has led to the development of history and an interest in our past. It is argued by some historians that the past repeats itself. Therefore it is important to study history to prevent mistakes in the past from being repeated, it provides the roots for certain ideas, laws, customs and political ideas. Helping people make sense of how things came to be today and how the past has moulded the present. However it is also seen by some historians that the developing age has changed too dramatically to repeat itself and that ?history does not repeat itself. ...read more.


They focus on the victories of the nation in history such as in wars and its successes rather than its flaws, failures and mistakes in history. Hitler?s fascism took this to the extreme as he indoctrinated the German people into believing that Nazi Germany was superior to other countries. Fascism also uses history to justify its negative actions. An example of this would be Mussolini?s fascist dictatorship as he used Italy?s previous loss in the war with Abyssinia, over emphasising the humility of it, to declare war again during his reign. Stating that Italy could not fully regain its national pride until the Abyssinians had been defeated. This use and manipulations of history is obviously, very damaging to society. Hobsbawm supports this emphasising the damaging effects ?bad history? can have on society ?Our studies can turn into bomb factories?[16] Marwick argues there is a ?social necessity for history?[17] however Jordanova argues that ?Public history is popular history?[18] suggesting that the history understood by General society many not be entirely truthful but popularised history, history that may ?promote particular interests.?[19] These may be the interests of the government, trying to maintain a position of strength and power or may be the interests of the people, trying to prevent panic. ...read more.


Carr, What is History? Pg. 25 [2] Joyce Appleby, Lynn Hunt, Margaret Jacob, Telling the Truth about History. Pg. 5 [3] Max Beerbohm, http://www.activehistory.co.uk/historical_quotations.htm [4] Joyce Appleby, Lynn Hunt, Margaret Jacob, Telling the Truth about History. Pg. 1 [5] G.R. Elton, The Practice of History. Pg. 1 [6] Arthur Marwick, The New Nature of History. Pg. 10 [7] John Tosh, The Pursuit of History. Pg. 2 [8] Mark Twain, http://www.activehistory.co.uk/historical_quotations.htm [9] George Orwell, http://www.activehistory.co.uk/historical_quotations.htm [10] Ibid. [11] Eric Hobsbawm, On History. Pg. 6 [12] Ibid. Pg. 6 [13] Arthur Marwick, The New Nature of History, Pg. 31 [14] John Tosh, The Pursuit of History. Pg. 3 [15] Eric Hobsbawm, On History. Pg. 86 [16] Ibid. Pg. 7 [17] Arthur Marwick, The New Nature of History, Pg. xii [18] Ludmilla Jordanova, History in Practice, Pg. 126 [19] Ibid. Pg. 137 [20] Isaiah Berlin, History and Theory, The Concept of Scientific History, Pg. 1 [21] Ludmilla Jordanova, History in Practice, Pg. 193 [22] Joyce Appleby, Lynn Hunt, and Margaret Jacob, Telling the Truth about History, Pg. 5 [23] Lawrence Stone, History and Post-Modernism, Pg. 217-18 [24] J.H. Plumb, , http://www.activehistory.co.uk/historical_quotations.htm [25] John Tosh, The Pursuit of History. Pg. 3 [26] Ibid. Pg. 3 [27] Arthur Marwick, The New Nature of History, Pg. 32-33 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree 2000-2099 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree 2000-2099 essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Is History a Nightmare

    5 star(s)

    Simultaneously, Liberalism offers a network of political arrangements that satisfy thymos or the desire for recognition. In this respect, liberal democracy is naturalized and posited as the inevitable 'end-point' of history.6 History far from a 'nightmare' is a dream, a dream occasionally woken up from only to inevitably go back to sleep.

  2. History Extension Major Work Postmodernism . It is the feature of postmodernism and ...

    This modernist style has in more recent times evolved to become "minimalism". Modernism began in 1890 replacing the Romantic era. It was influenced by new waves of thought such as Karl Marx, Charles Darwin and Sigmund Freud. Modernists believed that by rejecting the traditional ways of thought they could discover radical new ways of expression and thought.

  1. What did the Cronulla riot of December 2005 and its aftermath reveal about Australian ...

    which were still fresh in the minds of people, there was also the case of a gang rape attack which occurred in Sydney by a group of Lebanese men on Australian women which occurred in throughout August and September of 2000.13 Many residents blamed Middle Eastern people for crimes in

  2. Decision Points by George W. Bush and A Journey by Tony Blair. Are political ...

    will face a far greater threat in the future."8 Later, the US Congress passed the "Iraq Liberation Act" by a large majority, making the removal of Saddam a top US priority. Bush suggests that Saddam continuously rejected any opportunity afforded to him that would have avoided war and his subsequent removal.

  1. To what extent were ethnic tensions the primary cause of the Rwandan genocide?

    independence until 1912 following several invasions by the German Army along with the Tutsi military. The inhabitants of Bakiga thus held a strong resentment not only towards their European colonizers but also against southern Rwandans in general. Tellingly, Habyarimana came from this area, and his Mouvement R�publicain National pour la D�mocratie et le D�veloppement (MRND)

  2. The main issues in Indigenous Australia

    This was the recognition of the Indigenous people as the original inhabitants of Australia, but did not contain exactly how many rights they had. That is why the Keating Government introduced the Native Title Act in 1993.5 This was one step forward for equal rights for the Indigenous people.

  1. What is the purpose of a museum? Answer with reference to at least three ...

    To the people in question, these items were of little value or even rubbish yet today, they are priceless. A further purpose of museums is to enable people have a visual representation of history, museums act as a channel in which the public can

  2. What does the celebration of heroes reveal about attitudes to the past?

    Heroes in antiquity were subject to change because of stories being told by word-of-mouth but from this period on with the records of history, these stories could become more ridged, though, of course, still subject to change and manipulation. Perhaps one of the most revealing heroes to affect attitudes to

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work