Past and Present: Why History Matters

How can Churchill and his archive help us to understand why history matters?

The aim of this section is to encourage reflection and discussion among historians and teachers on the question of ‘Why History Matters’. In the process we hope that teachers might find some of the ideas and examples explored useful in convincing their students about how and why history is useful.

If you type ‘why history matters’ into a search engine you will not have any trouble finding articles and books on this subject. We have listed a small sample in the references section. Although different commentators emphasise different aspects of the issue of why history matters, they all see the following things as important.

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)