What does the expression "changing history" actually mean ?


Forum Staff
Aug 2016
History is the study of change over time, and all history is a transition between what came before and what came after, and most history is evolutionary, not revolutionary - three definitions of history I've picked up over the years. These all suggest that there is a flow to history with directionality and momentum and a certain inertia or resistance to change. On those few occasions when the inertia is overcome and the flow and direction of history is altered it's usually something to take note of. Hitler did not start the Pacific War nor did he bring about the rise of Mussolini. There may have been a WW2 without Hitler. Many of the great changes in the world resulting from the war would not have happened without the war. There may have been a war without Hitler. It was the war that changed the world not Hitler, but we humans do prefer to attribute great events to people, so Hitler gets the blame.