Difference Between History and Social Studies

In the formative years, we are taught various subjects that set a strong foundation for the future. The course curriculum is framed in such a way that the students get to study the fundamentals.

These fundamental aspects are carried forward to advanced modes of study later in their life. No can miss on those basic functionalities of any subject.

There are two important subjects that we are coached from childhood; History and Social Studies. Though these are broader when classified in detail, there are differences between them too.

History vs Social Studies

The main difference between History and Social Studies is, History is a subject that deals with past events while Social Studies is a study of collective features of society. History is a branch of social studies that mainly focuses on historical events and developments from the past while Social studies involve more human activities both in the past as well as in the present.

History vs Social Studies

Both the History and Social studies involve human activities the primary focus of study. The difference lies in the scope and usage of these subjects.


Comparison Table Between History and Social Studies (in Tabular Form)

Parameters of comparisonCapitalismMercantilism
MeaningCapitalism is an economical practice were privately owned enterprises aim at generating profits.Mercantilism is an economical practice that focuses on maximizing profits by increasing exports and minimizing imports.
ObjectiveCapitalism aims at earning profits to expand the business or industry.Mercantilism aims at exporting traded goods.
TariffsUnder capitalism, low tariff rates are imposed.Under mercantilism, high tariff rates are imposed.
World wide acceptanceCapitalism enjoys a worldwide acknowledgment and this economic activity is largely preferred.Mercantilism does not enjoy a worldwide acknowledgment since this economic activity is gradually becoming extinct.
Government interventionCapitalism usually operates without the intervention of the government.Mercantilism mainly accumulates money for the nation while the state controls the economy.


What is History?

History is the branch of study that exclusively deals with past events. History deals with all the human activities that have happened right from ancient times.

This is the branch of study that comes under Social Studies, exclusively deals with human evolution. This branch of study helps us understand how the Planet earth was formed and what happened next.

Primarily, history offers information in the chronological order. A well-structured line of study which deals with human development from various civilizations.

It is not confined to one particular location. It deals with all the places and teaches how the place and people evolved.

Also, history is one branch which also talks about ancient inventions and discoveries. Many artefacts and buildings and architectural styles are also dealt with in an organized pattern.

History remarkably explains how culture and tradition evolved from the past. The cross-cultural attributes are also exclusively dealt within this area of study.

History also amazes with ancient artefacts and events that cannot be imagined in the modern era. The domination of nations over the other, the foreign rule over the motherland can be learned in detail. Ideally, History teaches us how events of evolved in past and why certain things exist as monuments and traditions.


What is Social Studies?

Social Studies is a branch of study that comprehensively deals with human society. It is more generic and one can learn about human activities in the past as well as in the present.

Social Studies can also throw light on how things will be in future too. It is one branch of study that has various other branches interconnected.

Social Studies comprise of

  1. History
  2. Geography
  3. Civic Life
  4. Sociology
  5. Psychology
  6. Anthropology
  7. Archaeology
  8. Economics
  9. Political Science
  10. Social Science

Every branch can be studied evasively and can be a research scholar too. It can be seen that Social Studies is broader than History.

On the whole, Social Studies deals with humans, culture, tradition and activities in various locations. It is necessary not time bound as History but substantiates facts that have happened in the past or present which is of major importance for the development of people.

Broadly deals with lifestyle in different parts of the world at different timelines. It exclusively deals with the standard of living in the form of economics.

The supply and demand aspects are rooted deep inside every area of social studies. The geographical locations, their prominence and their features are widely dealt to understand the other parts of the world too.

Of course, history is a part of social studies that deal with past events.

Main Differences Between History and Social Studies

  1. The main difference between History and Social Science is the scope of the study. History is the study of past events while Social studies are the study of human society on the whole.
  2. History is one of the disciplines that come under Social Studies whereas Social studies have many disciplines imbibed. For E.g. Geography, Economics, Archeology.
  3. History is presented in the sequential order from the beginning of the human evolution while Social studies do not confine to such order.
  4. History deals with places to understand the historical importance while Social Studies enumerates the geographical feature of the place.
  5. History deals only with the past events while Social Studies is not time-bound, it deals with past, present as well as the future.



Both the branch of study is equally important for leading a successful life. It is always good to know what happened in ancient times. The ancient marvels and the people’s valour is worth learning. Social Studies is the study of human activities. It directly deals with the lifestyle of the people.

It is the order of life that one must follow while history gives the order of information that happened in the past. History is good to know while social studies are good to follow. The normal civic life including manners is taught through Social Studies. While ancient traditions and its modified versions can be understood through history.


  1. https://www.jstor.org/stable/1512472
  2. https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2006-07986-023
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