Why History Matters

Why does history matter?

Examining the past to better understand the present?
Encouraging informed and active citizenship?
Developing the skills to weigh an argument?


If you type ‘why history matters’ into a search engine, you will find a wealth of books and articles on the subject. We have listed a small sample of these in the references section. The aim of this resource area is to encourage reflection on this fundamental question that underlies our study of history.

Commentators have a range of views and ideas and those explored below are some of those most often presented as good reasons to read, study and teach history. We hope they provide a useful way of stimulating reflection and class debate!

Winston Churchill In The Second World War, Churchill at the microphone in the Cabinet Office making his 'VE Day' broadcast to the nation that the war with Germany had been won, 8 May 1945. (Photo by Major Horton/ IWM via Getty Images)