What is history?

What is history? How do we study it? Why does it matter?

Sourced from wisconsinhistory.org

So what is this thing called history? It is a search for the truth.  It is a social science which aims to document the human experience through its writings and recorded actions.  It is a discourse of humanity with historians as its commentators.  History falls under the category of “social science”, but yet it is not exact.

So Why Study History?

The who, what, when, where, are most often set in stone.  Occasionally there are facts that are debatable, but why and how are not always so succinct.  Of course, events and facts in history are set in stone and need to be accurately studied.  But to understand their impacts  history’s true nature.  Through evidence and support you can begin to construct the frame work of the question “How did we get here?” After that question is answered, a historian may be able to ask “Where do we go from here?”  While no one can predict the future, we can look to the past and see similar problems and view them with an academic mind we can find a solution because of an appreciation of history.  Everyone has some bias, but it is a historians’ job to look at the past and see how its effect has rippled throughout time with appreciation for fact not opinion.

We study history because we can get a sense of our culture.  We can look to history to better understand ourselves and the struggles that our ancestors have faced and overcame.  In turn, we can better understand human nature.  There are other fields of social science such as sociology, and psychology that also deal with the nature of humanity.  I won’t discount these other fields of study.  But at the end of the day, we find that the people that have been written on the pages have a lot more in common with us than we thought.  When we flip through a history book, we can see a part of ourselves between the pages.

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About jerseyjourneyer

I can never stay in one place for too long at a time. A New Jersey native, I'm on the move and always looking for new places to go and places to see. A student of history and public relations I am writing this blog for New Jerseyans, and those who might have certain assumptions about this state. I don't think anything personifies this state quite like this. During the New Jersey Hall of Fame induction, Bruce Springsteen said something I believe many New Jerseyans can get behind. "(Like Danny DeVito) We are small but mighty."
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