why do you take history? (what makes you interested to it?
The key word in history is story. The stories we tell ourselves are the way we make sense of our world.
Please note that filletofspam began his answer, in which he explains how bogus American History classes in USA high schools are, by telling you the *history* of those classes. It's true that history - like science, or literature, or any other topic - is always subject to different opinions, and sometimes to outright distortion. It is nevertheless essential to our understanding of ourselves or of anything else.
What is memory, Jenndue, and why is it important? Do you need to understand the course of your own life, how you came to be who and where you are? Does the presence or absence of that understanding make any difference to how you might see your life unfolding in the future?
History similarly helps us to understand who we are, where we have been, and where we might go, collectively. This is true for us as a nation (US history, etc.), and for any other social group we may identify with, like women's history, Asian or Asian-American history, immigrant history, working class history, in my case Jewish history. It is also true for any phenomenon we want to understand deeply, from the history of ideas or the history of war to the history of popular culture or fashion.
It is important that people know the truth about the past, because the past influences the present and the present will influence the future in the same way. So from knowing about the past, you might find out what you can do in the present in order to change the future in the way you want it to....
Basically, it is important that people know the truth about the past anywhere in the world, because it gives them a chance to stop repeating the same stupid mistakes all over again.
But then, history is what people say about the past. History is NOT the truth about the past. History is the sum of current, politically desired opinions on the past.
What incidents are important and what incidents are unimportant changes with the author of the history book. The contents of no other "scientific" subject have undergone greater changes than the contents of history. No other subject has got more diversity in teaching than history.
While physics and chemistry is equal throughout the world, history can be completely different on the other side of any border.
IDK.... The truth is the biggest lie anyone ever told.
High school American history classes became mandatory after the Korean war. Politicians were rather upset with the actions of soldiers who when facing a hopeless situation surrendered instead of fighting "to the last drop of blood." It was decided that these young men were were reluctant to die for their country because they didn't know what they were fighting for. History classes to teach young men about the proud traditions and all the men who fought and died before them were meant to inspire young men to be better soldiers and citizens.
This is the reason why American history is so whitewashed in public school history classes. It is meant to indoctrinate rather than educate. I was rather amazed in college history about the amount of distortion, half-truths, and omissions in high school Am history.
While it is true that history is distorted and as filletofspam pointed out the distortion does leech into science. History does provide a teaching aide to the next generation evolving from overall changes, progression, and lack thereof from one generation to the next. As far as distortions go, it is due to those who studied history who raise the question of fact or fiction writings. For instance we learned there was more to the story of the "crazy" red Indians vs white man. Segregation, slavery is looked at as less popular, then once accepted. As far as the distortions go....history and the study of, reveals truths that are interwoven into the fabric tapestry that begin to take shape. Making it a more visible guide to current generations, making their history.
It's the study of the past? I think history is important because studying the events of the past give us an understanding of how the world came to be. Also, by learning about the causes and effects of events in the past, people can learn better ways to deal with things in the present and future. I take history because I have to. I'm in AP US History this year, and I'm not very interested.
History is always written by the winner.
There is plenty of diversity in science classes. There are schools that teach that the Earth is thousands rather than billions of years old, that the cosmos was created in a week, that man walked with dinosaurs, that mankind was designed rather than evolving, that global warming is a socialist hoax etc.
Uhm... only in USA, Afghanistan, Myanmar, Saudi Arabia and like ilk... All the civilized countries in the world basically agree on the grand unified school of standard opinions.
A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots. Said by Marcus Garvey
So you can be proud :)