Most Important Concepts in History

Succeeding in history requires students to think about history in new and challenging ways. Real history is more rigorous and challenging than simply knowing what happened in the past or learning to recall facts from the past. It is important for history students to start thinking and doing things as historians; else, they can also seek for history helpers from online sites such as Famedwritings. You must learn to search for information and evidence, read extensively and examine historical sources, such as documents, images and artifacts. More importantly, history students must be prepared to ask difficult questions and think critically. You must be willing to question the validity of evidence, challenge existing knowledge and evaluate the arguments of others. One of the first steps toward thinking like a historian is to learn some key historical concepts. Like most other disciplines, history uses its own concepts, skills, terminology and approaches to thinking.

Significance is the relative importance or value of something. Evaluating historical significance boils down to choosing which things are more important than others. Historical significance is a critical concept because it shapes what we study and the conclusions we reach. Those who design history courses, for example, choose to focus on certain people, places and events because they consider them to have greater significance than others. History teachers emphasize certain topics or pieces of evidence because of their perceived significance. Historians, when they form conclusions and arguments, will conclude that certain people, events or factors had more impact or influence on the past than others. Identifying historical significance can sometimes appear easy.

Change is probably the most important of all historical concepts. Exploring, explaining and evaluating change is a universal focus for those who study or work in history. When investigating the past, most historians focus not on a specific moment in time but on how society changed and evolved over a longer period. Human societies are never static: all are undergoing some form of change, however minor or unnoticeable it might be. One of the aims of a historian is to identify, describe and explain this process of change. They seek to find out the conditions and factors that caused change. They try to identify how change affected the society in question.

Continuity is the opposite of change: it is where things stay more or less the same. Historians are interested in change but are mindful that not everything changes. Even during a period of great upheaval, some institutions, traditions and values will remain constant. The rise of a new monarch or political leader might bring significant change, though the political system itself may remain the same. A revolution might hope to create a new society but it may not change the way that people think or behave. Revolutionary leaders might rebel against oppressive governments, only to end up using similar methods themselves. Continuity can be important because it provides a nation or society with stability and consistency, allowing it to hold together and keep functioning. Continuity also shows us how difficult it can be to change some attitudes and human behaviors.