The other day I was talking with Jeff about some of our recent homeschool history lessons from Mystery of History 2*, and how I was sure you could draw an easy line from the Reformation to the American Revolution. He agreed with that quite easily, and it led me to start thinking about other events that have a clear thread connecting them.
As I study history I see connections between events, and how you easily go from one event to another, but so often as we teach history to our kids we end up making history into a series of disconnected stories that don’t go together. They’re often interesting, but they have nothing to do with the other events.
That’s why I’m going to be doing a series of 10 Steps in history to answer the question: Why is history important?
How did we get from point A to point B? How is the Protestant Reformation connected to the American Revolution? How did
Skippio Africanus Cincinnatus lead to Julius Caesar (Jeff though Skippio Africanus was too easy)? How did the fall of the nation of Israel lead to the perfect time for Jesus to be born? How did decisions made by Diocletian lead to Charlemagne? How are epic poetry and archaeology connected? How did Plato lead to Sir Francis Drake?
This is why I’ll always teach history to my kids
If we look at the trends in history, we can see trends in today’s world. If I look at the rise and fall of the Roman empire I look at the rise of populism in the Gracci brothers, and how they got into power by catering to the masses. If I look at our current political candidates, I see two people who are vying for power by catering to the masses.
I want my children to be able to see what has happened and apply it to what is happening. They can’t do that if they don’t know the past.
Going back to my American Revolution example. The men primarily responsible for the American Revolution were well-educated men, and constantly made comparisons to themselves and to events in both Greek and Roman history. They signed their anonymous pamphlets with well-known (at that time) Roman names like Cincinnatus, Publius, and Cato (there are others, but those are more of an idea, than a person).
Imagine what our politics would be like if the American people knew more presidents than Avengers. My only consolation watching this video, they have to take a lot of video to get this three minute clip.
So, over the next several months, I’ll be adding one new post to this series. I’ll probably start with the Reformation to the American Revolution, because it’s what led me to this idea.
Cincinnatus picture: By Herzi Pinki (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Julius Caesar picture: By Georges Jansoone (JoJan) (Own work (own photo)) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons