Over the course of this class, you have been introduced to the study of history. You have learned why it matters as a subject, how historians practice their craft and share their knowledge, and how events are shaped by their larger historical context. By this learning block, you have learned the value of examining historical events for their impact on contemporary issues. We are closing this class by asking you, once again, why is history important?
In learning block 1-2, it was noted that history means different things to different people. In learning block 1-3, you considered why history matters. For years, those who study the past have put forth arguments on why they do what they do. Famous for his sixteenth-century work The Prince, Italian diplomat Niccolò Machiavelli (1882) once stated, “Wise men say, and not without reason, that whoever wishes to foresee the future must consult the past; for human events ever resemble those of preceding times” (p. 422). In this learning block, you will take what you have learned over the course of this term and consider whether or not Machiavelli’s words still ring true today.
Machiavelli, N. (1882). The historical, political, and diplomatic writings (Vols. 1–4) (C. Detmold, Trans.). Boston, MA: James R. Osgood and Company. Retrieved from https://archive.org/stream/diplomaticwritin02machuoft#page/422/mode/2up