The Importance of History

IntiMayo - Soldotna, Alaska
Entered on March 31, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

I have always been fascinated with history. It is my favorite subject in school and always has been. Perhaps it’s because my dad is the history teacher at my high school. When I am older, I plan to be a historian, but I haven’t decided on the who, what, when, or where. I haven’t even decided on the college I plan on attending. What I do know is that I believe history is the answer to the future.

When I was younger I would tear pages and maps out of National Geographic and other magazines, about wars and other historical things that caught my eye, and hang them on my bedroom walls. By the time I was in sixth grade they covered every wall in my room. My parents then made me take them down. I did so in a sad sort of way, and only then did they realize my passion for history. As a freshmen history class is not offered at my school. I have been “history deprived” all year long, and it’s showing in my grades.

I have been a 3.8 to a 4.0 student all my life and I now find myself at a 3.5 to about 3.7, depending on if I am involved in a sport or not. I think that history is extremely important; it lets us know what to do and what not to do when running a civilization or if on a battlefield commanding soldiers. One example of the importance of history is when Napoleon was expanding his empire he invaded many neighboring countries when he was still fighting others which ultimately led to his defeat in the battle of Waterloo. If he had taken a look at history he would have seen that when controlling a vast empire it is unwise to start a war against another country, until defeating the one that he is fighting at the time. The list goes on and on. In school many people hate history. They say, “Why do we have to learn about it? When am I ever going to use it?” I look at these people and think how silly my classmates are. No one realizes that they may have to use history every day. For example, if a farmer has a choice of planting a crop in two different soils, he will choose the nutrient rich soil because people know from history that plants live best in nutrient rich soil.

I am not saying that others have to like history, but why not? It’s not that bad. At least pay attention in class so humans don’t keep making the same mistakes over and over again. Believe it or not we make the same mistakes often. For instance when will people learn that one country can’t control the entire world? If people paid attention in history class and learned from other’s mistakes, the world would be a much nicer and easier place to live in.