Changing the Course of History

Money, empires, and religions led to widespread cooperation across the globe because they were all universal things that everyone in the world could understand. With money, it encouraged more trade and cooperation between people. It also established a common way to measure the worth of products, which made trade easier between different peoples. The monetary system paved the way for empires to be forged as the people within the empire used a common measure of trade. With the establishment of empires, leaders could spread and claim more people to join. Even if those who were conquered by an empire such as the Roman Empire, they would eventually assimilate and become a Roman themselves, making the empire bigger and people more cooperative. By incorporating more people into an empire it led to the spread of religion. What kept people from leaving an empire was sharing a common belief in a myth or story (i.e. the story of Christ, The Buddha, etc.). 

Harari sees value in studying history because we learn more about how we ended up where we are. By understanding how we as a species got here, we open up many possibilities for what the future holds. It’s also a good idea to know the background of an event to get an idea for why what happened did so. This is great for studying the history of science and technology. Many cases in history in these subjects show that the progression of science and tech happened when humans changed the course of history. Oftentimes, new science and tech are discovered because humans needed a way to improve their lives, and that new discovery changed how history progressed. 

2 thoughts on “Changing the Course of History

  1. I agree that the study of history is a very important tool in looking toward the future as things have often happened before. This understanding is however very limited. The study of history only shows us a foggy view of the future and we must decide how to proceed. The major limiting factor in relying on history to predict the future is that while it shows us the many options that have occurred and may occur in this situation it cannot tell us what will happen. The study of history helps us in that it shows us more paths that we can take but never all the paths that are available and if we are to use history to guide our decisions will that not lead to more of the same. History shows us the paths but we may need to sometimes ignore the presented paths to truly end up somewhere new.


  2. It is easy to see money, empires, and religion as three different elements that control the world. In your blog, you brought up something really interesting and different by linking all three together. Money paved the way for empires, which spread religion as they grew. Connecting these three imagined powerful aspects of society is an essential part of understanding the evolution of humanity. Different event might have happened at different times in history, but they are all related in one way or another. One event might have caused or influenced another important event. As you said in your post, history is more about the HOW. How everything happened the way it did and how we are where we are today.


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