Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Does History Repeat Itself?

I don't really know if history repeats itself, but I'm constantly surprised by how the issues today are so similar to issues in the past.

While researching my current work in progress, I came across this fascinating speech by President Harding, given after World War One had ended.

There's a lot of talk in his speech about America should stand in relation to other countries, how involved we should be, etc. Very interesting stuff.

Do you ever read past presidential speeches? What kind of research are you interested in and do you think history repeats itself?

Jessica Nelson


  1. Hi Jessica! I hear that adage about history repeating itself quite often. Perhaps we should say that issues repeat themselves. After experiencing the huge losses that war inevitably brings, it's pretty natural to pull back and lick one's wounds. I think that's what happened in the US following WWI. Prior to the Great War, technological advancements heralded a bright new age. The war showed how technology could be turned into horrific agents of destruction. Coupled with the losses from the influenza pandemic, which spread continent to continent due to the movements of soldiers, it was natural to pull back and reassess. Perhaps we're experiencing a similar sentiment now.

  2. Christine, wow, you're so knowledgeable! I think you're right about the issues repeating. Great comment!

  3. Hi Jessica:

    I just wrote a post on this topic a day ago.

    “Knowing the past does not prevent humans from repeating the mistakes of the past. Humans all too often simply believe that knowing the past will make the next time different. So the past keeps repeating itself over and over but only in different variations.”

    I think history will always repeat itself. If nature did not repeat itself, nothing would make sense and there would be no laws of nature.

    I’d rather read Roman history for lessons. But I must say as a someone with a teaching minor in history that Harding is the most like the current president. Teapot Dome is going to look like a two bit burglary when all the facts come out. Just mark my word. : )


  4. Yes, it does. Repeat itself, I mean.
    And that's why you should pay attention to what our forefathers did before to learn how to endure and conquer what lays ahead.

    I can't say I read past speeches or declarations but I pick here and there the people's ways, costumes, traditions and lessons and it helped through life.

    That's why Love Inspired Romances are so special and meaningful. Like the chinese saying "To know the road ahead, ask those coming back."; you can learn so much from and with them, their examples and their wisdom and choices.

  5. Hi Vince,
    I'll have to go check out your post! Interesting insights. I didn't realize Harding was similar to the current president but I though his speech intriguing. Thanks for the comment!

  6. Teresa, I completely agree. I love talking with people who are older, have more experience, etc because I want to learn from them so like you said, I can conquer and endure things. :-) Thank you for the comment!

  7. WWII and the Nazi takeover of Germany are never far from my mind. Probably because my dad fought in that war, and hubby and I lived in Germany. We went to Dachau and my heart broke for mans inhumanity to man during that time.

    Growing up, I read anything and everything I could find about the Holocaust. We don't see many new books about that time period, which is a shame, IMHO. The stories I read made the the plight of the Jews and the many Christians who were incarcerated all too real.

    Some of the things happening today mirror Hitler's climb to power. We must always be vigilant and aware of what's going on in the world in order to perserve freedom and ensure that our beloved country remains the home of the free and the land of the brave.

  8. Hi Debbie! I've always had an interest in the Holocaust too, starting with fiction I read at a young age. I'm sure we'll see fiction starting to pop up with WW2 and the Holocaust in it, but I'd like to see it in the MG and YA books, while hearts and values are so impressionable.
    I can't imagine going to Dachau...*hugs*

  9. I spelled your name wrong. lol Sorry about that!

  10. Spelling is never a problem with me! :)

    Are you going to RWA? Hope so!

  11. I don't believe history repeats inself, but people sure make the same mistakes over and over again. It seem each generation must learn the hard way.

  12. History is so fascinating. I love to study it and learn from it because I believe it CAN repeat itself. I, too, was fascinated (in a stunned horror kind of way) with the fact that humans could do what they did to other living breathing humans during Hitler's reign. The depravity and evil during that time period was something I had a hard time comprehending. But if you look all over the world, you will find similar things going on. Such as human trafficking, slavery, child labor, the diamond mines in South Africa, etc. It may end in one part of the world, but there's always something to take its place. And will be until Jesus comes back! :). Anyway, thanks for a great thought provoking post, Jessica.

  13. No, Debby, I'm not going. :-( Wish I was!!!

    Pat, the hard way is right, unfortunately.

    Hi Lynnette, that is so very true. It's really hard to know what is going on right now with child trafficking and feel powerless to change it. Like you said, if it's not one thing, it's another. Very sad...

  14. We must all be thinking along the same lines. I did my personal blog on history a couple of days ago. I love to study history. I especially like to read biographies. I was thinking about history because of all the historic things we saw on our recent cruise on the Baltic. When you see the opulence of the Russian Czars, you understand why there was a revolution--same when you see the palaces in France. I went to Berlin with a group of Jewish people. That was an interesting experience.

  15. I think history can repeat itself, but only as a result of the choices people make. In regard to our country, I think some of the problem is that our leaders have the knowledge but not necessarily the understanding or wisdom of the end result of the choices they make. They seem to think that making the same choices that have failed in the past will give them a different result.

    I find that our forefathers and the patriots in the first century of America's existence had much more wisdom than many of those who serve in our government this day and age. I read occasionally from "God's Promises for the American Patriot", and I read this 1852 quote from Daniel Webster:

    "If we and our posterity shall be true to the Christian religion, if we and they shall live always in the fear of God, and shall respect His commandments, if we and they shall maintain just moral sentiments and such conscientious convictions of duty as shall control the heart and life, we may have the highest hopes of the future fortunes of our country...

    But if we and our posterity reject religious instruction and authority, violate the rules of eternal justice, trifle with the injunctions of morality, and recklessly destroy the political constitution which holds us together, no man can tell how sudden a catastrophe may overwhelm us, that shall bury all our glory in profound obscurity."

    Tell me that man didn't have wisdom...he's reading America's mail for 2012.

    And Vince, I think you're spot on with your comments in regard to Harding and the current administration.

  16. There are certainly times when you wish that it would not. There are lots of heavy thoughts to ponder here.

  17. It is interesting to think about, for I think history does repeat itself. If nothing else, there are parallels throughout the ages. People are people and sin is sin, so I think this has a lot to do with it. Thanks for the link and for sharing your thoughts!

  18. My hubby and I saw a Time magazine cover from the 70's a few months ago and the three big headlines were : the price of gas, the Middle East, and unemployment. Hmm...some things really don't change. LOL


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