Every action and decision we make today is a reflection on what happened at another point of our lives. We do not effect history nearly as much as it affects us. It would be impossible to make progress without memory of what has been accomplished in the past. Our species would have died out immediately without our ability to remember history. Every species must evolve in unison with the world around it, if it cannot change the way it moves or what it eats quickly enough it simply becomes extinct. Therefore everything we do today, is a reflection on our history.
The development of technology requires historical perspective. An example of an invention that required history would be the wagon. The only possible way humanity could have invented the wagon was because the wheel had already been discovered. If the wagon was never invented, we would have no way of reaching a car. Take any invention or discovery that we find important, and one can relate it to thousands of inventions that were made afterwards. All of these creations would be lost if we did not have history. If we could not remember what we did the day before, we would be caught in a reoccurring cycle that would not allow us to progress.
The progress that we have made since the development of early civilizations is astounding. Using history we can track the progress and help us understand why a country or state is the way it is. For instance, to understand why India treats its people differently based on gender and race we must first look at the history of India. For the majority of India’s existence (when it was first established to around 25 years ago), India has followed the Caste System. The Caste system contains 5 classes that one must move through to reach Brahman (their god who has infinite forms). If someone was at the very bottom of the Caste system they were classified as an Untouchable.
Untouchables were typically those with the darkest skin tone. Who preformed the nastiest of jobs that others would not accept. They were so disrespected that they were forced to clang two wooden sticks together to alert others they were coming, so that they could avoid them. These untouchables were lower then slaves and servants. Current day India has dismissed the Caste system, however these untouchables still exist. After becoming more aware of India’s history, it is easier to understand why India is what it is today. We found this subject of studying how a civilization came to be and how we looked at the civilization so important we came up with a name for it; historiography.
Historiography is the study of the way we study history. The way we have studied and interpreted history over in the past has mainly differed based on religion and location. For example if one were born into a Christian family and adopted Christian belief, one would probably believe that 2,000 years ago Jesus was sent down to Earth to die and thus save the human race. However, if one was born into a different religion, the timeline and events they believe occurred are likely to be different. The field of Historiography would also look into bias historical writing, and determining what is true.
False history can be created accidentally or purposefully. The only way we can know what happened in the past is by what information survived. For instance if someone wrote a book or script explaining that they had conquered a small neighboring civilization when in fact they did not. And archaeologists and historians could not find any contradicting evidence, than we would believe that was true. It would be very interesting if someday we discovered that an event that was taken to be historical fact turned out to be bias information.
The possibility is uncovering bias history is certainly possible. For we only know a very small portion of history, there are many gaps that we do not yet or will never understand. And that is the reason that motivates people to study history, to fill in those gaps. Every person should know where they came from, and it is very disconcerting if someone does not. Because it is our history that makes us who we are today. This cycle has been in place ever since the existence of humanity. It has created every part of every one of us, our morals, values, and personality. Without personal and cultural history we would have no individual qualities to set us apart. We are nothing without history.
Note: The main problem I had with this essay is that I was not writing from concrete information. Throughout the essay I didn’t feel like I correctly answered the question. I would probably do better with a different question, however when choosing I decided taking on the challenge.