I am a firm believer that history should be a subject we are all passionate about beyond our school years. Here are 5 reasons why:
#1 You can understand people’s attitudes towards certain locations. For example why is the New England state of Massachusetts so expensive? Short answer: Because Massachusetts is more or less the birthplace of the Revolutionary War, in which American colonists gained independence from the British Empire. Therefore since the state of Massachusetts is loaded with historical sites the price tag of property goes up accordingly.
#2 Learn The Meaning Behind Certain Expressions. For example when someone says “you have gone beyond the pale!” what does that really mean? This dates back to the 14th century when part of Ireland was under English rule, and the boundary separating English from the Irish was made of stakes or fences, which was known as the English Pale. To go beyond the Pale was to leave behind the rules of English society which was considered synonymous with the very idea of civilization itself.
#3 Helps Explain Current Conditions of a Particular Country. Take the poverty of Haiti for an example. While there are arguably many factors that have contributed to the financial state of this island nation the Haitian Revolution (1791-1804) plays a major part. Years of war, agricultural devastation, and costly reparations to French slaveholders have done nothing to boost the nation’s early economy.
#4 It is Plain Good Storytelling. If you don’t believe me do a research project of the “War of the Roses”. There are so many characters, scenarios, twists and turns that will thoroughly entertain you at every point. Quite frankly, it has to be true, you can’t make all of that up!
#5 Gives Insight Into What is Popular & Why. Take the decision of what to name a child. Would the average parent name their child Robert or Hreodbeorht? Both are versions of the same name but the name of Robert is much more popular since the Norman conquest of England in 1066. Hreodbeorht, a once popular Anglo-Saxon name, now seems hopelessly foreign. Admittedly 1066 represents a change of culture that is still relevant today.
Ca you think of more benefits to being an ongoing history student? Do you agree with any in this post?
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