Essay on Knowing History And Knowing Who We Are By David Mccullough

1019 Words Aug 26th, 2016 5 Pages
In his speech, “Knowing History and Knowing Who We Are,” historian David McCullough demonstrates that it is important to learn and understand history because of its influence on present-day society. McCullough emphasizes that past generations were inexperienced and imperfect, but their improvisational character shaped destiny. Additionally, McCullough mentions the “hubris of the past”; everything that people are doing now, having now, and thinking now is the best it has ever been. Finally, McCullough stresses that today’s citizens cannot understand the decisions made throughout time without learning history to recognize and comprehend the differences between past and present-day attitudes. The Greeks believed that character is destiny, and history justifies this belief. McCullough suggests that in the past, people were not perfect and did not have prior experience in building a society, but their improvisational character shaped future society’s destiny. The founders of this nation knew that the society they had created was no more perfect than they were, but they exhibited great strength and a sense of purpose. For example, McCullough explains that the creators of The Declaration of Independence were young, inexperienced founders of this nation who were improvising to successfully build a nation. None of the founders had prior experience in building nations or in starting revolutions. “[The founders] had no money, no navy, no real army. There wasn’t a bank or bridge in…

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