Why do we study history: Answer Historian Jerry H. Bentley


World history is essential to understanding humanity’s evolution throughout time and to understanding diverse cultures and societies. In the article titled “Why Study World History?” by Jerry H. Bentley, the author brings up three reasons to convince readers why he believes this is true. Bentley states that studying world history is the best way to explore the past, expose students to cultural differences, and develop rationality and awareness. These reasons, along with my own reason, explain why we study history and that world history is a subject worthy of study.

Why is it important to learn history

The first argument presented is that the study of world history clarifies understanding of the relationship between societies and nations in a larger context. And we can get a detailed answer to the question: why do we study history, and why is it important for us. The author gives the example of the American Civil War and states that the war was an important part of America’s history and founding. However, in a broader perspective, it has played a role in world history. The war allowed France to expand its influence in Mexico and stimulated the expansion of cotton production, which contributed to the growth of the country’s economy. An event at any time and place can set off a chain reaction that can affect many communities at once, so I agree with Bentley in his first rationale.

His second argument is that studying world history creates students that are more accustomed to the many differences and diversity of cultures and societies in the world. He explains the well-known fact that some people cannot tolerate differences, which creates many issues, occasionally resulting in war and mass destruction. I agree with the judgment that we should clearly ask, why do we learn history, I think this is important in our time. Studying world history will establish that difference is not bad, and society will be more accommodating to differences in everyday and diplomatic interactions. I agree with Bentley on this because we live in a society filled with narrow-minded ideas, which can affect future generations and the mindsets they grow up with. These beliefs are very detrimental to everyone, including the believers themselves.

Why study history?

The author’s third and final argument is that learning world history contributes to forming good judgment and wisdom, more specifically cognitive skill, intellectual flexibility, and judgment, successively creating well-rounded individuals. He explains that traits can be developed by analyzing historical situations from multiple perspectives and understanding someone’s actions based on an individual’s experiences and history is the most relevant answer to the question of why is history important to learn. I agree with this explanation because interpreting someone else’s point of view would help people understand each other and their cultures. Disagreements are caused by opposing perspectives, so comprehending these views would create a better compromise.

Along with what Bently said, I believe that studying world history lets students explore inspiring stories about people pruning their goals. Tales about people such as Rosa Parks or Martin Luther King Jr. are well known in the United States, but there are more figures throughout history that are under-appreciated. Also an important resource for studying are history essays examples which are so often studied by students and young graduate students of US universities. People such as Chairil Anwar, an Indonesian poet who rebelled against the occupying Japanese government at that time, and Ching Shih, a Chinese woman who became the most successful pirate lord in history after taking over her husband’s fleet. Studying world history would expose students to many more inspiring and motivating figures in diverse circumstances from all over the world throughout time.


All in all, I agree with Jerry H. Bentley’s three reasons from his article, “Why Study World History?” He explains that the study of world history using the research paper history example clarifies the relationship between societies in the larger world, reveals differences and diversity, and develops the qualities necessary to create a well-rounded human being. Along with these reasons, world history reveals influential, encouraging figures from different societies and situations.