Sir Winston Churchill spoke truly when he once said: “those that fail to learn from History are doomed to repeat it.”
Human civilization has not appeared so suddenly. It has evolved over thousands of years. It is thus about the past ages that the study of History involves, to enable us, to make sense of the present and to prepare us for the future. For most people, History begins and ends with a collection of events and dates. What is not realized is that if these events and dates are carefully analyzed over a period of time, they will reveal a pattern of development that occurs at regular intervals. Surely many people would have read newspaper articles pointing out a lot of similarities between the economic crash that began in USA in 1929 and the economic debacle that we are experiencing now. These historical developments are influenced by and linked to other developments, namely, cultural, social and economic, that occur in society at the same time. This interaction is important because History cannot be studied in isolation.
A study of History will help a student to build skills that are needed in any discipline, namely research, effective use of evidence to support opinions, writing, as well as, an awareness of alternate opinions and the consequences of choice. History helps a person to develop a broader perspective, so essential for a future global citizen, by removing prejudices and developing an awareness, understanding and tolerance of other cultures. These qualities are important if one has a job where decisions can affect an entire people. It also helps a person to actively participate in their nation’s development.
Our Taking History can lead to careers in Law, Journalism, Civil Administration, Diplomacy, Advertising and Banking, among others.
Our syllabus is international in scope, dealing with important twentieth and twenty first century themes, including a study of the history of medicine and how it impacted upon the general conditions of a country, thus leading to important political decisions being taken. Students are trained to look at original resources, develop their powers of inference and to use their information selectively. Students are also encouraged to look beyond and behind the public images of personalities to have a better understanding of their policies.
For many, History has always been perceived as a subject chosen by students who are academically weak. To refute this assumption, we have had many excellent students of History who have gone on to Harvard, Cambridge, Wharton, the London School of Economics, and MIT, building successful careers for themselves by making full use of the broad range of subjects they studied at St. Mary’s.