Why history is important

McKayla Mayer, Head Editor

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “history repeats itself” as a justification for dedicating 200 minutes per week specifically learning about the past, but does history really repeat itself? 

Is it truly possible that history has an influence on our present and future? 

We can all agree that people who lived in the past have had a great influence on our present. Issac Newton, who used science to explain gravity, or Martin Luther King Jr., who inspired people to fight for racial equality in America are just two examples. 

These figure’s legacies have shaped people’s perceptions of the world and continue to inspire change and further understanding. In this case, the purpose of learning about these people is to empower other individuals to do the same. 

However, the impact of a historical figure is quite different from learning about how roads greatly advanced Roman society and economics around 27 B.C.

This is because, as students, we don’t see a connection between Roman roads and our day-to-day lives. And yet, in America we built roads that emulated Rome’s because they were the most well-built and efficient roads of their era.

Another example of history that impacts our present without our knowing is European agriculture under the feudal system. 

Over time our way of farming has evolved. The feudal farming system created the idea of crop rotation and planting specific crops like turnips that help nourish the soil. 

These two additions have vastly increased the amount of crops that could be produced and, in turn, increased countries’ populations. Additionally, they are practices we continue to use to help harvest the healthy and delicious foods we enjoy every day during lunch. 

Really, the past impacts so many different parts of our present lives. It has consistently inspired innovation for the betterment of society and for subsequent generations. 

So why is it important to learn about history? Well, it’s because history surrounds us every single day, influencing lives and paving the way to a better future.