The Importance Of History Comparison Essay

739 words - 3 pages

The essays that were studied the closest were the one by Peter Stearns and the one by Jack Betterly. Both men seem to be qualified on the basis that they were both history teachers in their lifetimes. Because of this they both appear to be writing to teachers and students in their essays. Both of these teachers are also trying to persuade the reader to want to study history. However, that is where the similarities end for these two essays end as they both want you to believe in two different concepts in studying history. Stearns writes that history is a study of the past while Betterly writes history is the study of the present. History should be studiedStearns's essay states that history is a study of the past. He states, "Why study history? The answer is because we virtually must, to gain access to the laboratory of human experience." Stearns likes to think that history offers a 'storehouse' of information about people and societies. This means that one can learn and understand what has happened in the world. It is also closely followed by his second point. He is correct; is the past causes the present. So in order to understand what is currently happening in the present, you have to know what was done before you. At the conclusion of his essay Stearns writes about how the uses of history are varied. These uses can become marketable or merely just to survive on the planet. He also says that some history depends on personal taste. If by that he means history can be edited in and out to suit ones ideas, then that is not right. Uses for personal taste can distort or even completely leave out some history. For example, if at a school, the students learned nothing about a particular point in history because of the ideals of the school, would this benefit the students? No, it would not."The Creation of History" by Jack Betterly takes on history in a very different manner. Betterly writes that history is not a study of the past. He believes that the past does not exist, but only that the present is here and from...

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