Recently, I had to write a custom essay about the American Constitution. I was charged with describing the intent and communication methods of the framers of my nation’s foremost legal document, and how it relates to contemporary society. In truth, this is the sort of writing that I enjoy most, as it involves history, one of my passions, and literary analysis, which can be very interesting, depending upon what is being analyzed.
History and Those That follow…
My love of history comes from the feeling of continuity that develops with study. I can imagine the events of the past as I walk in the same buildings and along the same streets as those that I have read about in books. I am among those who believe the maxim “those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it”, most often attributed to George Santayana, a Spanish writer and philosopher born in 1863.
I appreciate that quote because I look for patterns in people and events that took place in times prior to help my own to provide understanding of contemporary events. Regardless of the specifics of any given situation, undoubtedly, a very similar situation occurred at some point in the past that correlates and can help to provide understanding and context when considering the current scenario.
To illustrate, current global politics and conflicts are more similar than unique when considered against the events of the past. Islamic State and the Syrian conflict is merely the most recent entry into the longstanding history of conflict and turbulence in the Middle Eastern portion of the globe. Arguments concerning trade imbalances and currency manipulation are not that dissimilar from disputes that arose over trade routes hundreds of years ago.
Understanding that, sometimes, the more things change (with regard to technology or specific political context) the more they stay the same can help to place events from the past on an equal footing with current events. There is more in common with these happenings than is different. Looking to what has taken place in the past gives greater perspective to what is happening now.
Literary analysis is simply another part of history, assuming that you are examining documents from the past. Looking at the Constitution of the United States in comparison to the writings of governments that are emerging or reorganizing today is relevant because the issues of sovereignty are not dependent on technology or the current political climate. Examining these custom writings shows that the struggles are much the same, and that the desires of Americans in the late nineteenth century are largely the same of those who struggle for independence today.
Looking to the writings of the past provides an experience as rich as exploring the pyramids of Egypt. Both allow you to walk in the footsteps of those who have come before you, and to experience a taste of the immortality that their work has given to them. Reading and writing about the past helps to understand the world that surrounds me, and gives me guidance in deciding my own actions as I make decisions similar to those who have come before me.