What is History?
History is the study of change and development in society over time. The study of history enables us to understand how past human action affects the present and influences our future, and it allows us to evaluate these effects. So, history is about learning how to think about the past, which affects the present, in a disciplined way. History is a process of enquiry. Therefore, it is about asking questions of the past: What happened? When did it happen? Why did it happen then? What were the short-term and long-term results? It involves thinking critically about the stories people tell us about the past, as well as the stories that we tell ourselves (Department of Basic Education, 2011, p.8).
Whenever you tackle a history topics always think of three key factors which even today affect the world and how we view it.Those factors are economical, social and political.
Looking at grade ten topic of Songhai Kingdom, concentrating on economy was due to trade and the demand of salt and later slavery, economy ventures change because of what is needed and what the world is evolving to, town and cities. economy plays a major role in the changing society and world. thus affecting positions of countries, standards of dynasties and kingdoms.
Political aspects plays a major role in the development, allies and even stagnation of one’s country e.g in the soviet union in the era of Brezhnevian Stagnation was a period of negative economic, political, and social effects. another example which is close to home and popular is Zimbabwe. Stagnation happens because of unchanging leadership or an unmoving economical development even underdeveloped society due to lack of education, housing, employment. Holding on to cultural norms and fear of moving on, influences the political sphere and ruling of the country.
The social aspect in history is by looking how people lived how those specific events affected them. looking at the masses, marginalized groups, women, men and children. Looking specifically at the damage or distinction of that historical event. Analyzing how Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) affected different races, how it connected to peoples emotions. and what where the effects of it within people in South Africa and across.
Remember to classify your reading, understand it and also group it to this three factors for better understanding. History is a chain everything connects to something.