MEANING AND CONCEPT OF HISTORY
History is commonly referred to as the record and narrative description of past events; it is also defined as the study of events of the past leading to the present and anticipating the future. The study of history is an attempt to reconstruct such events that happened in the past.
History covers everything about the activities of man, in any environment, all over the world from the ancient time to the present. This includes relating with his fellow man, the natural environment and the economic, political, social and religious activities he engaged in the past. This is why we study the political, economic, social and religious activities of man in the past.
In the study of history, there are three important things to understand. These are: Man, natural environment and time.
- Man is at the centre of history. All we study in history is about man. History started with the creation of human beings. It is man that makes history and without man there cannot be history.
- The natural environment is also very important because it is where man finds himself and carries out all his activities. It is also the environment that determines the kind of activities and lifestyle of man. The environment includes physical, natural, lands, water bodies, forests, mountains and the social environment.
- Time is also important in history because all events in history because all events in history because all events in history do not happen at the same time. It is through time that we distinguish the periods events occurred. It is all the activities of man over a period of time e.g. 5, 10, 20, 30 or 100 years that produce history. This is why in the study of history; historians make use of dates like the 1804 Sokoto Jihad and 1960 Nigeria’s independence. This makes us know when events happened and their sequence.