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The essence of History in people’s lives

Updated on January 1, 2015

A step by step guide into History

History is derived from the Greek word ioropia, meaning enquiry-knowledge acquired through investigation. It refers to the study of past and how it relates to human beings. Therefore, people learn history for various economics, political and socio-economic reasons.

History helps to inspire people. It provides them with biographies of other people who were just ordinary but went a step ahead and did amazing things that completely changed their lives, and those of others. It’s from these stories that we are inspired to be people of purpose, to think bigger and be people who desire to make a positive difference in life. History also assists us in making good decisions. Through learning history, we learn various mistakes that were done by other people and, therefore, try to avoid them. For example, nations learn the impact of both socialism and capitalism from history. Countries that were based on communism lagged behind in terms of development as compared to those which adopted capitalism. All this we learn from history and helps us in making wise decisions. History also helps us to understand and cherish our cultures. By reading historical stories like the age set systems in many African countries, the different traditional rituals, stages of passage, the division of labor among the different age groups, and how they helped to unify our communities among other social activities, history helps us learn what constitutes our societies.

Historical heroes

In their written articles, both Zinn and Loewen present the truth about history and try to avoid the foretold lies. For example they do not underplay previous explorer’s achievements. They explain why Christopher Columbus was not the first person to discover the Americas by pointing out clearly that other continents had already reached the Americas before 1492, and that even if Christopher Columbus had never sailed, other Europeans would soon have reached the Americas. From this it becomes clear that Columbus’s voyage was not the first but the last “discovery” of the Americas. Here Zinn and Loewen help us know our society very, its past and help us connect to the present.

The controversy in real history and what historical books tell us

Our history textbooks complicate our histories in that they don’t show us the real picture of what really happened by the take sides. As Loewen says, “Textbooks are often muddled by the conflicting desires to promote inquiry and to indoctrinate blind patriotism” (Loewen 6).he also argues that textbooks also keep students in the dark about the nature of history. Many history textbooks provide learners with biased information. For example textbooks tell us that natives were a primitive people, while they were just as developed as Europeans and even the earlier settlers learnt a lot from them. Even the concept of democracy came from the Iroquois, a native community.

My readings and studies in this class has differed from the ways in which these topics have been portrayed as compared to previous classes in that, the information I get from this class is neither biased nor distorted. This class presents information as it should be without sidelining in one direction.


When W.E.B. DuBois says that by us skimming “over the bad parts or our history we begin to lose their value as “incentive and example.” He tries to show the disadvantage of using undistorted information. When history shows us only the good things and avoids the bad things of our history, we don’t get a chance to reflect on our mistakes and we shall keep repeating them. Some consequences that we suffer from this are that, we keep on repeating mistakes that were done before since they are not highlighted in our history.

In conclusion, history should be presented as it is without distortion. Distorting or altering history kills its originality and substance.

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Carkl Max and History in social stratification

Carl Marx, in his book, The Communist Manifesto identifies two groups of people in the society: the rich and the poor. Marx identifies the rich (bourgeoisie) as those people who have all what they need in life. These rich people attain high living standards at on the expense of the poor. The rich controlled the factors of production. Max had it in mind that one day the capitalist system, which was very oppressive, would end. People would embrace communism, where there would be justice for the poor. In today’s world, Marxist Philosophy of communism is widely applied in manufacturing. The philosophy is used to formulate labour laws that prevent employees from being exploited by the rich (owners of manufacturing plants). In addition, workers have joined unions and trade organization that facilitate reforms. Through collective bargaining and use of strikes, workers have gone a step ahead in achieving a lot in the industrial and business sectors. Therefore, the above-mentioned ideas serve to illustrate how philosophies are relevant to manufacturing in today’s world.


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    • Daniel Avedon profile imageAUTHOR

      Musembi Daniel Nduva 

      3 years ago from Texas

      Thank you HSchneider. I love History too. Have you ever heard of the saying that "the past speaks again?". Definitely, that's what history can do. It positively transforms people's lives. However, my fear is that teachers nowadays teach it as a mere subject. They fail to realize that its applicability is ,made to influence how we make decisions that impact our lives. Thank you.

    • profile image

      Howard Schneider 

      3 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey

      Wonderful Hub, Daniel and you are spot on. History is vital to people's lives even if they do not realize it. What has gone on in the world's past influences our societies. It is important to study it and learn from it. I love reading about history and biographies.

    • Daniel Avedon profile imageAUTHOR

      Musembi Daniel Nduva 

      3 years ago from Texas

      I really believe that people can perfect their future decision after considering their past mistates


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