On the Moral Dimension of History

“[T]he great lessons of history will not fail to make themselves felt by any attentive reader… We greatly mistake the [purpose] of the story if it does not on the whole make for broader views, for truer humanitarianism, for higher morals, personal and communal – in a word, for better citizenship in the fullest and broadest meaning of the term.

Indeed, to attain the plane of the best citizenship, historical studies are absolutely essential. No one can have a competent judgment reading the affairs of his own country without such studies; no one is a fair judge of the political principles of the part he supports or the one that he opposes who has not prepared himself by a study of the political systems of the past.”

Excerpted from: The Historians' History of the World: Prolegomena; Egypt, Mesopotamia edited by Henry Smith Williams, Volume 1, 1907. (29)

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