You are probably familiar with the expression, "The more things change, the more they stay the same." Studying the history of world civilizations helps you realize ancient origins are relevant to today's issues. They affect the way in which people, ideas and things are connected. Understanding fascinating patterns of world civilizations and history's bearing upon current events helps you comprehend contemporary world affairs.
The insight acquired from reviewing observations from previous eras offers you a bigger picture: how dominant civilizations strongly shaped other societies. When you look at some of the oldest and most powerful cultures in many territories, you recognize historical episodes with deep roots. These events often led to -- and still help determine -- important topics headlining today's news. For example, modern political structures and the expansion of traditional religious beliefs can be traced to fundamental historical sources. These same systems of ideas and principles persist and transform world civilizations now. Since ancient Muslims emigrated from the Mecca region of Saudi Arabia, they've maintained an actual state of war with a litany of other tribes. Even today, Muslims fight against groups to preserve their beliefs in various regions of the world.
To take part and play a part in the world, you must have a basic understanding of the past global foundations of modern beliefs. This awareness includes political and social organizations and geographical relations. History increases your appreciation of the origins of hostilities and conflicts that resulted in, and sometimes still ignite, present disputes. Studying the Roman Empire shows how a civilization can rise to prominence and fall. This decline results from social and political issues including external factors. The pattern of a civilization's rise and fall can be attributed to many other world communities.
If you do not investigate the history of world civilizations, including how events happened in the past, you run the risk of repeating similar errors. Examination of historically similar issues provides a device to face problems and hopes that challenge the world now. The information you gain from history helps you find answers to current global difficulties. For example, despite America's loss in the Vietnam War, the U.S. attempts to direct the activities of Middle East today, using method similar to those that failed in the 1960s and 1970s.
Cynthia Smith, history professor at the University of Hawaii, suggests that by studying history and comparisons, you acquire knowledge of what worked, what didn't and why. The history of world civilizations makes you realize a bygone era's essential and sometimes unpleasant lessons. You achieve wisdom from awareness that yields positive outcomes. An example of comparative history is the assassination of John F. Kennedy and Abraham Lincoln, two tragic events separated by nearly 100 years. Each former congressman fought for civil rights and was admired by many -- but hated by those opposing their political views. Also comparatively, Pearl Harbor and 9/11 attacks both unified a patriotic nation. While individual effects of the U.S. territorial attacks may differ, both surprise tragedies remain defining moments in American history.
- Laulima: History 151 -- World Civilizations; Cynthia Smith; 2012
- Nova Online: Why Do We Teach and Study "Western Civilization" or World Civilization, or why study any History?; C.T. Evans; 2012
- Al-Islam: The Battles of Islam; 2014
- The Progress Report: Parallels Between Iraq War and Vietnam War Are Piling Up; April 2004
- School for Champions: Similarities Between the Assassinations of Kennedy and Lincoln (1860s and 1960s); Ron Kurtus; November 2006
- Ventura County Star: 9/11 and Pearl Harbor Are Similar, But Impacts Are Different; Michael Collins; September 2011
Graham Farnsworth is a journalist who published two novels. He produced KET news seven years, and tutored for University of Kentucky Athletics. Farnsworth has 13 college years: Journalism B.A. (and UK Graduate School); Management Masters (University of Phoenix); and enrolled Master of Arts in Teaching (University of the Cumberlands).