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History as a Story

History, as a school subject, is often seen as a series of facts and dates and not much else. Rome was founded in 753, the Magna Carta was signed in 1215, in 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue...dates and events and some key details to remember if you want to pass the essay portion of the test.

I always found trying to learn that way difficult and hard to remember. You cram for a test and then it all goes blank as soon as you hand the thing in. Then for the next test, you're starting from the scraps that you remember and the notes you found crumpled in the bottom of your backpack. History is more than a timeline, more than just dates and events. That's a quick way of showing it, and useful in its place, but the best way to view history is as a story. Like any other good story, events happen for reasons, and every action has consequences. For instance, why were the Nazis able to rise to power quickly despite being so obviously out there? Look to the Treaty of Versailles for piece (though not the entirety) of the answer.

The reasons and consequences aren't always logical, but human nature is definitely not logical. You learn a lot about people from looking at the past, both on a large and small scale. History is a complex and interesting subject, just like a good book series, with many different threads and even themes woven into the tale. What makes it truly fascinating is that the events in this story happened to people who lived and breathed just like you and I.