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Inspirational Quotes About History…And The Future

Our only fault as mankind is that we are prone to repeating our mistakes, and these history quotes will open your eyes to stories of generations past.

Our history has a big impact on us and understanding it can benefit us in many different ways. For you to understand how and why our present world is the way it is, you have to look to history for answers.

Having knowledge of our history allows us to understand where we are coming from, which in turn allows us to understand our present. It not only reveals the past, but it also helps us create a better future.

An understanding of the successes and failures of the past is important if we are to grow and make progress going forward. If we do not learn from our past mistakes, we are bound to repeat them.

When you have knowledge of history, you’ll be able to make more sense of the current world. Studying past economic and cultural trends can help you predict what will happen next in today’s world. It can also allow you to understand why some rules exist in today’s world.

To open your eyes to stories of the past, below is our collection of inspirational, wise, and helpful history quotes, history sayings, and history proverbs, collected from a variety of sources over the years.

History Quotes To Get You Inspired By Legends Of The Past

1. “History is the interpretation of the significance that the past has for us.” – Johan Huizinga

2. “History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.” – Maya Angelou

3. “The lovers of romance can go elsewhere for satisfaction but where can the lovers of truth turn if not to history?” – Katharine Anthony

4. “We are not makers of history. We are made by history.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

History Quotes To Get You Inspired By Legends Of The Past

5. “No volume of history is insignificant, even the worst chapters. Especially the worst chapters.” – Terri Guillemets

6. “History is a kind of introduction to more interesting people than we can possibly meet in our restricted lives; let us not neglect the opportunity.” – Dexter Perkins

7. “If you don’t know history, then you don’t know anything. You are a leaf that doesn’t know it is part of a tree. ” ― Michael Crichton

8. “A generation which ignores history has no past – and no future.” –  Robert A. Heinlein

9. “You don’t change the course of history by turning the faces of portraits to the wall.” – Jawaharlal Nehru

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10. “If you think you have it tough, read history books.” – Bill Maher

History quotes to open your eyes to stories of the past

11. “More and more, I tend to read history. I often find it more up to date than the daily newspapers.” – Joe Murray

12. “The writing of histories – as Goethe once noted – is one way of getting rid of the weight of the past…. The writing of history liberates us from history.” – Benedetto Croce

13. “Fellow citizens, we cannot escape history.” – Abraham Lincoln

14. History is a mighty drama, enacted upon the theatre of times, with suns for lamps and eternity for a background.” – Thomas Carlyle

15. “History can bring luck: this is what we can call optimism.” – Stephane Hessel

History quotes to open your eyes to stories of the past

16. “History is a symphony of echoes heard and unheard. It is a poem with events as verses.” – Charles Angoff

17. “History maketh a young man to be old, without either wrinkles or gray hairs; privileging him with the experience of age, without either the infirmities or inconveniences thereof.” – Thomas Fuller

18. “History is a relentless master. It has no present, only the past rushing into the future. To try to hold fast is to be swept aside.” – John F. Kennedy

19. “History is a guide to navigation in perilous times. History is who we are and why we are the way we are.” – David McCullough

20. “If you want to understand today, you have to search yesterday.” – Pearl Buck

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History quotes to inspire and teach

21. “History is the action and reaction of these two, nature and thought – two boys pushing each other on the curbstone of the pavement.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

22. “History is a gallery of pictures in which there are few originals and many copies.” –  Alexis de Tocqueville

23. “The history of the past is but one long struggle upward to equality.” – Elizabeth Cady Stanton

24. “The great eventful Present hides the Past; but through the din Of its loud life hints and echoes from the life behind steal in.” –John Greenleaf Whittier

25. “History is a cyclic poem written by time upon the memories of man.” – Percy Bysshe Shelley

History quotes to inspire and teach

26. “A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.” – Marcus Garvey

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27. “History is not a burden on the memory but an illumination of the soul.” – Lord Acton

28. “Historical investigation has for its aim to fix the order and character of events throughout past time and in all places. The task is frankly superhuman.” – George Santayana

29. “People are trapped in history, and history is trapped in them.” –James Baldwin

30. “History is merely a list of surprises. It can only prepare us to be surprised yet again.” – Kurt Vonnegut

History quotes that will enrich your life

31. “History never looks like history when you are living through it.” – John W. Gardner

32. “History in general is a collection of crimes, follies, and misfortunes among which we have now and then met with a few virtues, and some happy times.” – Voltaire

33. “History is the transformation of tumultuous conquerors into silent footnotes.” – Paul Eldridge

34. “History balances the frustration of “how far we have to go” with the satisfaction of “how far we have come.” It teaches us tolerance for the human shortcomings and imperfections which are not uniquely of our generation, but of all time.” – Lewis F. Powell, Jr.

35. “Fear not for the future, weep not for the past.” – Percy Bysshe Shelley

History quotes that will enrich your life

36. “Psychology keeps trying to vindicate human nature. History keeps undermining the effort.” – Mason Cooley
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37. “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.” ― Mark Twain

38. “I can’t change history, I don’t want to change history. I can only change the future. I’m working on that.” – Boris Becker

39. “History is philosophy teaching by examples.” – Thucydides

40. “The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.” ― George Orwell

Inspirational quotes about history

41. “Knowledge of history frees us to be contemporary.” – Lynn White, Jr.
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42. “Neither the life of an individual nor the history of a society can be understood without understanding both.” – C. Wright Mills

43. “No modern idea has affected history more than the passion of nationalism.” – Charles R. Poinsatte

44. “The historian has been the hearth at which the soul of the country has been kept alive.” – John Morley

45. “The game of history is usually played by the best and the worst over the heads of the majority in the middle.” – Eric Hoffer

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46. “Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” – George Santayana

inspirational quotes about history

47. “In history, a great volume is unrolled for our instruction, drawing the materials of future wisdom from the past errors and infirmities of mankind.” – Edmund Burke

48. “A nation that forgets its past can function no better than an individual with amnesia.” ~ David McCullough

49. “Study history, study history. In history lies all the secrets of statecraft.” – Winston Churchill

50. “History knows that it can wait for more evidence and review its older verdicts; it offers an endless series of courts of appeal, and is ever ready to reopen closed cases.” – William Stubbs

More history quotes and sayings

51. “History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.” – Winston S. Churchill

52. “Letting go means to come to the realization that some people are a part of your history, but not a part of your destiny.” – Steve Maraboli

53. “And the whole world watched, and history remembered.” – Casey McQuiston

54. “I was alive when the Dead Sea was just a lake that was feeling a little poorly.” – Cassandra Clare

55. “We’ll be remembered more for what we destroy than what we create.” – Chuck Palahniuk

56. “History, like love, is so apt to surround her heroes with an atmosphere of imaginary brightness.” – James Fenimore Cooper

57. “Study the past if you would define the future.” – Confucius

58. “History, is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake.” – James Joyce

59. “History is a set of lies agreed upon.” – Napoleon Bonaparte

60. “Those who do not move, do not notice their chains.” – Rosa Luxemburg

Did you enjoy these history quotes?

Having knowledge of our history allows us to learn from our mistakes and avoid repeating them in the future. It gives us a chance to understand where we came from so we can create a better future.

When you look at history, you’ll know where you came from, get a better understanding of society today, understand what causes change, and get inspired to take action in your life. Hopefully, the quotes above have inspired you to learn from your past.

Which of these history quotes resonated with you best? Do you have any other favorite quotes to add? Feel free to share with us in the comment section below.

Norbert Juma, Lead Editor
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1 Comment
  1. D Hall

    May 25, 2021 at 7:22 PM

    These are terrific! I love the wide array of authors. Thank you!

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