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Word Count: 680
History can be utilised as a guidance of social behaviour education a verification of self-identity a means of understanding the development of present society an indication of human potential and providing cultural context to society However the argument also exists that there is no useful purpose for history By contrasting the perceptions of history and its function a concept of the uses of history can be derived The historian John Tosh claims that history tells us most of what we need to know about the future The idea that history can educate humans is reinforced by believers of God and the Bible where the Ten Commandments provide a guideline on how life should be lived Through retelling events passed and the people within these events a parameter is drawn on human behaviour For example Eugene Khoo a history student relates Jesus died on the cross as a sacrifice for human sins In making this ultimate sacrifice and through his behaviour on Earth he is the ideal person Although humans can never be perfect we can strive to be perfect and good by learning from example In this sense history is able to provide answers on how to live for the future by governing social behaviour Another aspect of history is historical materialism where Marx interpreted human history as a progression from lower to higher forms of production according to Tosh Marx himself goes further to explain It is not the consciousness of men that determines their existence but on the contrary their social existence that determines their consciousness1 This theory was apparent during the Industrial Revolution where new technologies and innovations dramatically improved eg use of steel and iron instead of wood and steam engines and power replacing coal-based engines The requirements for maximized efficiency within society during the 19th Century demanded the technological change and therefore it occurred In this instance history was utilized as a means for the development of society
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