Ability to access records in the history object/table for each object or at least the last modified date

Minimum I'd like to access the last modified date for each object's record. Would be better if there was an ability to query the history object in it's entirety. I have a complex app, growing more complex by day, along with multiple programs hitting the api's. Updating the front end logic and back end to insert a last updated record in a table where you already have this information is asine in my opinion. Why have us reinvent the wheel when it can be exposed as Read/Only. We're continuously calling GETS to grab all the objects records instead of grabbing a subset of records based on last modified date.