While most answers so far have chosen to say "yes" (to some degree or another), I'll try to present a case for "no" (with a caveat).
Real world history is inherently complicated. It isn't even fully known. We can only attempt to make a best reconstruction, with a lot of effort.
The concept of "History" in most people's mind is not such a best reconstruction, but a biased and simplified view of the world: this includes "most authors". Such a biased and simplified view can often come with misconceptions taken as "foregone conclusions". Thus, there is a real risk of making the author lazy in the worldbuilding process, wherein they simply transfer their biases and simplifications of history onto the fictional/alternate world, and miss out on the opportunity to imagine details within the interactions of the world that could have lead to unique story opportunities.
In my opinion, the the sort of detail that is examined when building a new good fictional world is similar to the sort of detail real life archaelogists and historians have to deal with when interpreting extant records. Nothing is "black or white", nothing is a simple stereotype. A good example of a series that makes this mistake is the The Shadow Campaign series. It is not alternate reality, but it is heavily based on real world "history", with a good dose of the author's unintentional biases. Poor world building.
So, unless you are willing to put in historian level effort into first studying history until the point where your alternate reality diverges, you may be unintentionally hobbling yourself by inherent/assumed biases.