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HIST 101 Survey of American History I M01: Discussion 1

Updated: Aug 18, 2022

Process: Students are required to respond at least twice for every Discussion topic: respond to the first question by Wednesday; and to at least one other student's response by Sunday.

Answers must be meaningful and relevant; please do not respond by simply saying "I agree" or "I disagree" without explanation.

Question: Why study history? Does "history repeat itself?"

Note: this assignment is a reflective exercise. There are no right or wrong answers. Please read the Peter Stearns' article (Links to an external site.)for some perspective and refer to his insights in the original post.

Before reading the article, I would have told you it was simply for the grade or credit to move on with my studies. The article even confirmed that it was okay that I felt that way. It talked about how educators think that knowing facts, dates, and historians made us somehow more knowledgeable than someone who did not take hours just to memorize these things. If I am being honest, I was one of those people making flashcards about dates and people that I really couldn't tell you anything about now. Reading the article, it brought up so many valid points that I did not think of. The first three sentences are very strong to me. Peter Stearns stated, "People live in the present. They plan for and worry about the future. History, however, is the study of the past." Every thing that someone does is to better their future.

This can be an individual, the government, or a society as a whole. It is hard for someone to look at history when we are constantly trying to move forward. However, I think it is like that phrase my parents tell me all the time, "Learn from your past." I think that if people or the government would look at the past for what it is rather than just to know random facts, it might be beneficial. We can look at history and apply it to our lives than there would be more purpose than a grade on a transcript. Studying history helps us understand where we came from and why things are done the way they are. It shows us how people functioned and lets it compare it to where we are today. We can almost look at it as an evolution of society or humans.

Do I think history repeats itself? I look at this through a lot of different approaches. History shows the struggle of mankind. There has always and will always be a struggle. I think we have looked at past struggles and learned to use them to fix current problems we may face. I think that some of the struggle is because people are stuck with doing things in the past history. I look at fashion and how the trends slowly cycle. Once one stops wearing something, they say I am so glad that is out of style. Years later, those same people are back wearing them. I think that some history is repeated, but in different forms. There will always be a new minority who is trying to make a stand. For example, two common ones we learn about in history are the rights of African Americans and the rights of woman. Now, we hear a lot about the LQBT community. So to answer the question, I think history repeats itself but in a different form.

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