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The Handbook of Historical Linguistics defines history has "inquiry, knowledge acquired by investigation."¹ More practically, history is the study of the past. This umbrella term refers to past events as well as the discovery, collection and presentation of information about these events.  Typically, historical data is studied in the context of how it relates to humans but it can also include cosmic, geologic and organic history. 

BrainMass has detailed sections on Prehistory, Ancient History, Middle Ages, Early Modern, North American and World History. Please explore these sections of the site for more information and solutions pertaining to these subjects.

History provides the only extensive materials available to us to study the human condition, helping us to understand change and how the society we live in came to be. The subject provides us with a framework with which to view our lives and our communities in a broader context. In a mere 15 thousand years, humans went from hunting and gathering to create such improbabilities as the printing press, the Constitution, the airplane and the Internet. The journey is extraordinary and the world humans live in and consume today, from the 99 cent double cheeseburger to the electricity that powers homes can only be properly understood and appreciated with a thorough and broad understanding of the history of our species.

While history also helps us understand and contextualize the world around us, an understanding of it is also necessary to help generate real, effective change in any aspect of our social structure. Whether it is righting past wrongs, changing current injustices or improving current systems of governance, education, etc...,understanding how these systems and institutions came to be is essential. 


1. Joseph, B & Janda, R. (2005). The Handbook of Historical Linguistics. Wiley-Blackwell.

Categories within History


Postings: 2

Prehistory refers to any history before humans began the practice of recording history.

World History

Postings: 567

World History is a field of historical study that examines history from a global history.