History and Civics – Difference Between History and Civics

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

The major difference between history and civics is that History is a chronological study of past events affecting a nation or people, and the subject of Civics deals with the rights, duties, privileges, or obligations of citizens. It includes society’s attempts at controlling individuals’ rights and responsibilities through organized states and nations.

Difference Between History and Civics PDF

Often clubbed together, History and Civics are subsets of Social Sciences. There is a notable difference between history and civics in the scope and nature of the content. Five subjects, namely History, Geography, Civics, Economics, and Sociology, are closely related since they all deal with human relationships and focus mainly on human beings and their relations with past events, Earth, or society. Let us check the difference between history and civics.

Difference Between History and Civics

Most people associate names and dates with history, such as the Gettysburg Battle and the Declaration of Independence’s signing. Most individuals associate civics with voting and acting as responsible citizens. Let’s look at some of the difference between History and Civics.

Civics teaches us how to engage in our government, while history helps us comprehend the world around us.

History and Civics

Difference Between History and Civics

Points of difference




The scope of History includes a narrative account of past events.

The subject of History objectively examines and analyses the chronology or sequence of events to determine patterns of its effects and cause, thus offering a perspective of the present in the light of the past.

The subject of Civics includes the theoretical and political study of citizenship, its rights, responsibilities, and duties, including a citizen’s engagement in the political process, etc.

Furthermore, it also deals with human rights, political education, disintegration, violence, human resources, etc.


The subject of History has several branches.

These include social history, political history, cultural history, economic history, art history and history of religion.

Furthermore, it can also be classified by topics such as history based on geographical regions, environment, science, music, etc.

Under the study of citizens’ rights, duties, and responsibilities, Civics also deals with the study of civil code and civil law, including the three branches of the government and constitution in relationship with the citizens—legislative, executive, and judicial.

Origin of the term

The term History originates from Greek Historia’, which means knowledge or inquiry obtained by investigation.

The word Civics is derived from the Latin word Civicus and means relating to a citizen.

UPSC Syllabus

Pre-history, Proto-history, Indus Valley Civilization, Megalithic Cultures, Aryans and Vedic period, Mauryan Empire, World Wars, Colonial Rule and Decolonization, British Expansion in India and British Raj, Industrialization, Gupta Era, Mughal Empire, among others.

Political Theory and Indian Politics, Theories of State, Justice, Equality, Human Rights, Democracy, Indian Nationalism, Indian Constitution, Comparative Politics and International Relations, among others.

History and Civics

While we study the Difference Between History and Civics, we should also note that both subjects belong to the broad discipline of Social Studies as the content of both subjects is focused majorly upon human beings and their actions.

While History and Civics are vastly different, the relationship between History and Civics is that they more or less emphasize man’s institutional and group activities, discussing practical, political, and cultural influences, among others.


The study of the past is known as history. The term “history” unites historical occurrences with the memory, discovery, collecting, organization, presentation, and interpretation of data pertaining to all of these occurrences.

  • A variety of historical sources are consulted when historians write about the past.
  • Examples include written records, verbal accounts, ecological traces, ruins from buildings, and tangible items like works of art and artefacts.
  • Understanding the world and how people have interacted is central to history.


Civics, “related to a citizen,” is derived from the Latin term civics. In the end, the word civics comes from the Latin word Civis, which means citizen. Civics usage in English can be connected to actions that impact other residents, particularly when discussing urban growth.

  • Civic education focuses primarily on citizenship’s theoretical, political, and applied attributes and rights and obligations.
  • Civics encompasses the study of governance, civil law, and the civil code.
  • Understanding how the government functions and how citizens can engage in their government is the goal of civics.


Key Difference Between History and Civics

The key difference between History and Civics is that History is the study of historical events, whereas Civics is the study of citizenship and government. History is more concerned with the past, while Civics focuses on the present and future.

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