Why History Matters
...and what you should do about it
You may have heard the saying, "Those who do not understand history are
doomed to repeat it." The United States of America is a very good example of
Consider, for example, the War Between the States. This is widely
misportrayed as a civil war. But it does not meet the definition of a civil war.
In a civil war, insurgents try to take over the means of governing. This war
was, instead, a war of secession. That really matters because if you understand
why the South seceded, you understand why the United States actually lost that
war. And, no, it was not about slavery. Anyone who reads Lincoln's various
speeches and decrees can clearly see that.
Pursuant to this war, Lincoln was assassinated. This thwarted his ability to
resolve the remaining issues and move the nation back toward a lawful federal
government. When Johnson tried to fulfill that plan, he was impeached. This war
was about subverting lawful government and installing a system run by a few
powerful people instead of being run under a system of law. Black Americans who
think somehow the nation won this war need to look at when, in history, lynching
became common. It was after this war, not before. There's much more to this
subject, and it's not our intent to cover it here. We just want to point out
that it's a good example of why history matters.
Do you want to know why there aren't actual elections for federal offices in
the United States, today? Read the biographies of major historical figures, read
the letters they wrote to their contemporaries, and read contemporary records of
events. Then you'll understand. Do you know why Teddy Roosevelt was shot in the
chest? Why the banksters sent not one, but five assassins to kill Andrew
Jackson? Do you know what Kermit and the other Teddy Roosevelt children thought
of FDR and why? Understanding the answers to these questions is only part of the
fundamental knowledge needed to be a properly informed voter in the USA today.
While it's good to know your own nation's history (regardless of what nation
it is--Russia, Germany, Canada, Mexico, etc.), you should also know some history
of other nations. Americans (Mexicans, Canadians, citizens of the USA, and other
American citizens) should know some history of China. But they should know a
great deal of European history. Why is this the case? Because there are lessons
and parallels you can apply to your own situation. You can understand much about
your own culture and about the cultures of people in countries that are
important to today's leading nations.
Understanding ancient history rounds out your intellect and gives you
perspective. What do you know about the Maya? The Roman Empire? Many people are
stuck in a mindset that doesn't permit understanding how things came to be. This
leaves them intellectually stunted. Political analysts often refer to the Roman
Empire today, because they are watching the collapse of the American Empire. Not
long ago, the Soviet Empire collapsed for similar reasons.
How can you become history-literate? You don't need to take a history class
to do that. Well-written histories, and there are many, are quite enjoyable to
read. You can also read personal letters (or facsimiles thereof) written in
various periods. A very good way to get a good dose of historical education is
via the audiobook. Your public library probably has these available for free