History, Culture and Civilization: What can History Teach us?

History allows us to understand our past which allows us to gain knowledge on our present better (Sussman, 2012). Besides, the subject provides us with insight into our cultures of origin as well as realities which we might be less familiar, thereby increasing cross-cultural awareness and understanding (Hall, 1998). More broadly history enables us to understand different cultures. One can look at past economic and cultural trends and offer a reasonable prediction of what will happen in today’s world. This paper focuses on what history teaches us about culture and civilization.

To begin with, those who fail to learn the lesson from history are doomed to repeat the same mistake repeatedly. We may be wrong to think that things are new  ; everything has a cause and a consequence, it is either a mistake attributed to the direct consequence of the past or repetition of the past (Hall, 1998).As Gopnik puts it “the most tempting lesson history gives is not to tempt it.” History helps us to learn about events and life in general. It is a fact that we far made by history than to make it for ourselves (Gunning, 2016).

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 Moreover, history offers us information about how people and societies behave. It is quite difficult to understand how people and societies operate. Relying exclusively on current data would handicap the effort to learn. Some social scientists tried to formulate theories and laws about human behavior but even those recourses rely on historical information except for in limited, artificial cases in which experiments are devised to determine how people act (Partin, 2014). Consequently, history must serve, however imperfectly as our laboratory and data as evidence in circumstances where we want to figure out why our complex species behave as it does in a societal setting. Thus making this a fundamental reason why we can’t stay away from history.  History offers us an understanding of how the society that we live in came to be.

Equally, people love to hear about their history that is their language and roots; they get to know themselves better, apparently discover new things about themselves and helps make sense of what you are experiencing hence giving it a deeper appreciation (Partin, 2014). Roma has a rich history, rich culture, “barvale” Roma role model who guides them. Knowing our history and culture enables one to construct identity and build a sense of pride about being part of a particular nation. It grants us the opportunity to speak in one language and have a vision about the future.

 Similarly, Civilization is like a series in which you play as a society from the dawn of civilization to the present day and beyond (Sheehan, 2005). In 1991 the first game of civilization was released: since then the series has expanded into five main games with spin-offs and a major release civilization VI which was out in October 2016. The game is free and allows the player to dictate the course of history. Civilization is useful to historians because it helps to understand the perception of history as far as civilization is concerned. Soren Johnson, lead designer of Civilization IV, comments ‘there are a thousand ways to make a game about all of civilization-we only get to make one of them’. The key main themes that have transferred between games in series: civilizations, science, culture, civics, religion, and warfare.

 Besides, games like civilization constitute to historiography (Gunning, 2016). The methods in which history is coded are inherently ideological. In civilization V modeling historical phenomena like cultural diffusion, civic dissent, and the spread of religion, entails making assumptions about the causes and effects of these phenomena. Civilization V distort beyond recognition the observation made by Adam Gopnik in the New Yorker that “history is past and singular and never comes around twice”. History is made a new with each game, yet the history that is made is more theme than variation.

 Above all, historian Joan Scott in classic historiography text claims that “it is not individual being who have experience, but individual being who have constituted through their experience.” She implies that individual experience doesn’t matter, but the institutions- cultural, economic and political that produce conditions of experiences constitute better tools of historical inquiry. Thus civilization V rises on Scott’s challenge by focusing on the institution but not an individual.  In comparison to crusader kings 2 and exemplar of the “great man theory,” civilization v is far more in line with current historiography trends. In Civilization V, to speculate on the individual experience of every person clearly shows how much more produce than chosen our lives are. 

In conclusion, the above discussions point out that history is an important aspect of an individual’s life because it enables the person gain a lot of knowledge. For instance, the person is able to obtain the knowledge on his origin or roots.

Work Cited

Gunning, R. (2016). Can Civilization Teach us about History?.

Hall, P. (1998). Cities in Civilization. 85(3).

Partin, W. (2014). What can Civiliozation Teach us about History.

Sheehan, J. (2005). How do we Learn from History.

Sussman, W. (2012). Culture as History.

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