Recently, I asked an online message board that I frequent a simple question: “If you can go back in time and change one event in history. What would you change and how would you go about changing it?”
Here are some of the responses I have received:
“I think I would have to go back to the pinnacle point in history to extinguish the birth of Christianity, for ever since in the name of God has killed more people and wiped out entire beliefs and cultures as it did not fit the goal of the Church. To this day it still creates division and prejudice in people continues & fuels wars and lays down an assortment of judgemental ideals.”
-scrooge of Better Photo School
“For a lot of significant personal events its hard for me to say I’d change it, because I learned something that has helped me be who I am today.”
-Paul of Blogging Teacher
“I think I’d change Columbus’ “discovery” of America.
So many bad things happened as a result of it for so many people, that I often believe America (both the land and it’s original inhabitants) would have been better off if he’d just gotten lost instead.”
-Treacle of Confessions of a Lingerie Addict
“I would change the Emperor Constantine’s late conversion to Christianity which indirectly laid the foundations of countless historical conflicts. Reckon we could save a few hundred million lives by that little change.”
-StumbleRum of Link Bait Writing
“Events in our past shape us for who we are today. I don’t like to live with regrets in my life, so I try to minimize them as much as I can. I don’t regret anything in my past. It’s over with. If we didn’t live through the difficult times, maybe we wouldn’t be as resilient as we are today. So, I wouldn’t change anything, either.”
-Karen of A Meaningful Existence
“You never know what wonderful things in this world were brought to be as the result of some horrible thing happening. Take out the horrible things, and you may very well take out some things you wouldn’t want to be without.”
-Shawn of Ninja Blog Setup
“Genocide – that it never happened and the concentration camps in Europe never wiped out so many people, regardless of their political, or family heritage.”
“As said before there are so many and ALL of them are excellent choices. I have always been curious as to how things might have been had JFK not been assasinated. Would he have been re-elected? I can only guess that most likely he would have and who would have followed him as President? What course would the USA taken in that case?”
“I wouldn’t change one event in history per se, rather I would increase the likelihood of us learning from history and avoiding making the same mistakes in the future. There is a saying that goes something like, ‘stupidity isn’t making a mistake, stupidity is failing to learn from that mistake’.
The reason why I wouldn’t change an isolated event in history is because each event teaches us something important for the present and the future. ie, the National Socialists’ ability to enter into German government in the aftermath of the Great Depression shows us that extremist political views can become popularised by economic turmoil. If, say, the British government wants to put a stop to the BNP’s increasing popularity, it should be more accountable and transparent regarding the state of the UK economy, that way the electorate won’t go looking elsewhere for answers.
To increase our ability to learn lessons from history, I would make sure that we actually had more of an appetite for analysing historical events from an early age. I would try and counter its reputation as a boring school subject by teaching students different types of history early on. That way they’ll hopefully see that history isn’t just all dates and names. I would introduce them to economic history, social history, political history, cultural history etc and hopefully they would find a type of history they really enjoy and that will help them to like history in general.”
I turn it over to you. Do not over think the question. It is not meant to be specific.Â “If you can go back in time and change one event in history. What would you change and how would you go about changing it?”Email This Post Print This Post