Thread: Life This Day in History
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Old 02-05-2009, 01:46 PM   #151
Amnorix Amnorix is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jenson71 View Post
Since this is a history thread, I have a histoiography question for everyone:

Is it possible to rank historical events as to their significance?

On one hand, it seems like because everything builds off from the past, it would only be deduced that the most significant thing would be the very first event in human history. There's no WWII without WWI, and no WWI without the half of a dozen or so factors that directly influenced it, and those factors had beginnings and so on. I asked a professor of history this, and she said she wouldn't do rankings, as a historian herself.

On the other hand, it seems obvious that some events are more important than others. Princip shooting the Archduke is a more significant and influential event than say, Babe Ruth being traded to the Yankees, for an extreme example. And this thinking is definitely seeing in this thread, where we list the "more important" events for one particular day in history.

A while back, I got a Times book that I loved and still do today. It ranked the most significant events, in their view, from the past 1000 years. Their top choice was Gutenburg printing the Bible. Is this ranking, and other rankings like it, legitimate?
An interesting question. The problem is that you have to put limitations on things, or else you get into the spiral of ever-increasing consequences of the action. But for Princip's father having an itch in his pants, Princip is never born, therefore he never shoots Ferdinand, therefore there is no WWI, therefore there is no WWII, and compared to that things like D-Day and Stalingrad and Midway are clearly less important because they would not have happened...

Obviously, I'm making decisions about what historical events are "important", every time I post a new day's events in this thread. Nonetheless, I contend that what you suggest is a pointless exercise. The problem is that the further bakc you go, the more significant almost anything becomes as a result of the ever widening consequences of the act. Without Caesar there is no Roman Empire, which affects alot more than when/where the printing press is discovered.
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