Is history a study of progress?
The dark ages are a part of history, before the dark ages there were wondrous civilizations who flourished and prospered and progress was an everyday commodity. Then came the middle ages where progress was a foreign word nobody understood. Then came the age of enlightenment or the age of reason and progress was back in vogue and making progress until a whole bunch of German and French philosophers declared reason too simple, too unsatisfying, too base. With reason, individuals could think for themselves, and there were those, such as Kant, Hume, Rousseau and Marx who didn't much trust leaving everyone to think for themselves, and thought it better we let them do all the thinking for us. Progress took quite a hit with this new philosophical movement, but there are always individuals who, in spite of what collectives might think, will show the world the joys of progress, the benefit to making progress.