History is peppered with events that have changed the course of our world, but how much did we really take from them?
They say that if you don’t know history, you’re bound to repeat it. But does knowing what happened change the way we deal with things? I don’t think so.
The Fall of Rome led to the commencement of the Dark Ages – some of the worst times in Western history – and, yet, few know the extent of the damage, even though it still resonates today. What we should have learnt from that fateful day in AD 476, when the Goths ransacked Rome, is that no power is invincible. Yet, to this day, the world’s superpowers feel that they can dictate how things should be done, regardless of whom they step on.
The Peasants’ Revolt of 1381 was really a sign of the times. Fresh from the massacre of the Black Death and with around three quarters of the population dead, English peasants were, for the first time, able to call the shots and ask for higher wages. What ensued is history, but what this should have taught us is that there is always a breaking point and, treating human beings unfairly, will only push them to rebel – as has happened again and again over the centuries.
The Suffragette Movement, which saw women fight for their right to vote, should have taught us two things: first, that the right to vote is something that should be cherished and never ignored and second, that no group of people should ever have to fight for their fundamental right to be equal to everyone else.
The Holocaust showed us how low human beings can go out of hate and how primitive we still are as a race. In fact, don’t be fooled by all the technologically advanced equipment that was used. Cold-blooded and systematic murder is worse than any animalistic feature we may still possess. What’s worse is that if the massacre of six million Jews (on top of thousands of Roma people, Catholics, homosexuals and members of the clergy) was not enough to teach us that hatred based on race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, sexual orientation or skin colour is bad, then I don’t know what will.
9/11 was a sad day in American history, particularly because it was the first attack on American soil from a foreign country. It should have also been an eye opener for the rest of the world, as it showed us how easily our lives can change in the blink of an eye.
Do you agree with James’s theories? Are there other events from history we should have learnt more from? Let us know in the comments’ section below.