As you study historical events, you will discover that things do not simply ‘happen’ without reason.
Historical events are caused by things that occurred before them.
Also, historical events create changes that have consequences long after the event is over.
Cause and consequence is a relationship in history between an event, a condition, or a decision (the cause) and the events or results that follow it (the consequences).
Understanding cause and consequence is a key aspect of historical analysis and helps historians to understand how and why things happened in the past.
Every historical event occurred because of a series of events that happened beforehand. Things that directly lead to another event are called ‘Causes’. Some causes occurred immediately before the event began, while others existed for several years before they caused the event.
Just because something occurred before the event does not mean it caused it. A cause is something that is directly related to the event. Another way of thinking about it is to say that the later event would not have occurred if the earlier one had not happened.
Not all causes that lead to a particular historical event are as equally influential as each other. Some causes are more significant than others.
Watch a video explanation on the History Skills YouTube channel:
What earlier events were central to the occurrence of the event under examination?
Every historical event has a flow-on effect upon things that occur after it. Things that occurred because of the event under investigation are called ‘Consequences’.
Such consequences can include impacts upon people, societies, beliefs or any other facet of history.
The more you study history, the more you realise that consequences also become causes for other events.
What later events were the direct result of the event under examination?
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