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A historian is a person who studies and writes about the past and is regarded as an authority on it. Historians are concerned with the continuous, methodical narrative and research of past events as relating to the human race; as well as the study of all history in time. If the individual is concerned with events preceding written history, the individual is a historian of
prehistory Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history Human history, or world history, is the narrative of Human, humanity's past. It is understood through archaeology, anthropology, genetics, and linguistics, ...
. Some historians are recognized by publications or training and experience.Herman, A. M. (1998). Occupational outlook handbook: 1998-99 edition. Indianapolis: JIST Works. Page 525. "Historian" became a professional occupation in the late nineteenth century as research universities were emerging in Germany and elsewhere.


Objectivity

During the ''
Irving v Penguin Books and Lipstadt ''David Irving v Penguin Books and Deborah Lipstadt'' is a case in English law English law is the common law List of national legal systems, legal system of England and Wales, comprising mainly English criminal law, criminal law and Civil la ...
'' trial, it became evident that the court needed to identify what was an "objective historian" in the same vein as the
reasonable person In law, a reasonable person, reasonable man, or the man on the Clapham omnibus The man on the Clapham omnibus is a hypothetical ordinary and reasonable person, used by the courts in English law English law is the common law List of nation ...
, and reminiscent of the standard traditionally used in English law of "
the man on the Clapham omnibus The man on the Clapham omnibus is a hypothetical ordinary and reasonable person, used by the courts in English law English law is the common law List of national legal systems, legal system of England and Wales, comprising mainly English crimi ...
". This was necessary so that there would be a legal benchmark to compare and contrast the scholarship of an objective historian against the illegitimate methods employed by
David Irving David John Cawdell Irving (born 24 March 1938) is an English author and Holocaust denier who has written on the military and political history of World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW ...

David Irving
, as before the ''Irving v Penguin Books and Lipstadt'' trial, there was no legal precedent for what constituted an objective historian. Justice Gray leant heavily on the research of one of the expert witnesses, Richard J. Evans, who compared illegitimate distortion of the historical record practiced by
Holocaust denier Holocaust denial is the act of denying the Nazi genocide of Jews in the Holocaust. Holocaust deniers make one or more of the following false statements: *Nazi Germany's Final Solution was aimed only at Expulsions and exoduses of Jews, deportin ...
s with established historical methodologies. By summarizing Gray's judgment, in an article published in the ''
Yale Law Journal The ''Yale Law Journal'' (YLJ) is a student-run law review A law review (or law journal) is a scholarly journal An academic or scholarly journal is a periodical publication in which scholarship relating to a particular academic discipline ...
'', Wendie E. Schneider distils these seven points for what he meant by an objective historian: Schneider uses the concept of the "objective historian" to suggest that this could be an aid in assessing what makes a historian suitable as expert witnesses under the
Daubert standard In United States federal law, the ''Daubert'' standard is a rule of evidence regarding the admissibility of expert witness An expert witness, particularly in common law countries such as the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great ...
in the United States. Schneider proposed this, because, in her opinion, Irving could not have passed the standard Daubert tests unless a court was given "a great deal of assistance from historians". Schneider proposes that by testing a historian against the criteria of the "objective historian" then, even if a historian holds specific political views (and she gives an example of a well-qualified historian's testimony that was disregarded by a United States court because he was a member of a feminist group), providing the historian uses the "objective historian" standards, they are a "conscientious historian". It was Irving's failure as an "objective historian" not his right-wing views that caused him to lose his libel case, as a "conscientious historian" would not have "deliberately misrepresented and manipulated historical evidence" to support his political views.


History analysis

The process of historical analysis involves investigation and analysis of competing ideas, facts, and purported facts to create coherent
narrative A narrative, story or tale is any account of a series of related events or experiences, whether nonfiction Nonfiction (also spelled non-fiction) is any document A document is a written Writing is a medium of human communication Comm ...

narrative
s that explain "what happened" and "why or how it happened". Modern historical analysis usually draws upon other social sciences, including
economics Economics () is a social science Social science is the branch A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a bran ...

economics
,
sociology Sociology is a social science Social science is the branch The branches and leaves of a tree. A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the scie ...
,
politics Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, or other forms of Power (social and political), power relations between individuals, such as the distribution of res ...

politics
,
psychology Psychology is the scientific Science () is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity or awareness, of someone or something, such as facts A fact is an occurrence in the real world. ...

psychology
,
anthropology Anthropology is the scientific study of human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most abundant and widespread species In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, ...
,
philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about Metaphysics, existence, reason, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of mind, mind, and Philosophy of language, language. Such questio ...

philosophy
, and
linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying ...

linguistics
. While ancient writers do not normally share modern historical practices, their work remains valuable for its insights within the cultural context of the times. An important part of the contribution of many modern historians is the verification or dismissal of earlier historical accounts through reviewing newly discovered sources and recent scholarship or through parallel disciplines like
archaeology Archaeology or archeology is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis Analysis is the process of breaking a complexity, complex topic or Substance theory, substance into smaller parts in order to gain a better underst ...
.


Historiography


Ancient

Understanding the past appears to be a universal human need, and the telling of history has emerged independently in civilizations around the world. What constitutes history is a philosophical question (see
philosophy of history Philosophy of history is the philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about existence Existence is the ability of an entity to interact with physical or mental reality Reality ...
). The earliest chronologies date back to
Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of Western Asia situated within the Tigris–Euphrates river system, in the ...

Mesopotamia
and
ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt was a civilization  A civilization (or civilisation) is a that is characterized by , , a form of government, and systems of communication (such as ). Civilizations are intimately associated with additional char ...

ancient Egypt
, though no historical writers in these early civilizations were known by name. Systematic historical thought emerged in
ancient Greece Ancient Greece ( el, Ἑλλάς, Hellás) was a civilization belonging to a period of History of Greece, Greek history from the Greek Dark Ages of the 12th–9th centuries BC to the end of Classical Antiquity, antiquity ( AD 600). This era wa ...
, a development that became an important influence on the writing of history elsewhere around the Mediterranean region. The earliest known critical historical works were '' The Histories'', composed by
Herodotus of Halicarnassus Herodotus (; grc, Ἡρόδοτος, ''Hēródotos'', ; BC) was an ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. ...
(484 – c. 425 
BCE Common Era (CE) is one of the year notations used for the Gregorian calendar The Gregorian calendar is the used in most of the world. It was introduced in October 1582 by as a modification of the , reducing the average year from 365.2 ...
) who later became known as the "father of history" (
Cicero Marcus Tullius Cicero ( ; ; 3 January 106 BC – 7 December 43 BC) was a Ancient Rome, Roman statesman, lawyer, scholar, philosopher and Academic skepticism, Academic Skeptic, who tried to uphold optimate principles during crisis of ...

Cicero
). Herodotus attempted to distinguish between more and less reliable accounts and personally conducted research by travelling extensively, giving written accounts of various
Mediterranean The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Western Europe, Western and Southern Europe and Anatolia, on the south by North Africa ...
cultures. Although Herodotus' overall emphasis lay on the actions and characters of men, he also attributed an important role to divinity in the determination of historical events.
Thucydides Thucydides (; grc-gre, Θουκυδίδης ; BC) was an Athenian , image_skyline = File:Athens Montage L.png, center, 275px, alt=Athens montage. Clicking on an image in the picture causes the browser to load the app ...
largely eliminated divine causality in his account of the war between Athens and Sparta, establishing a rationalistic element that set a precedent for subsequent Western historical writings. He was also the first to distinguish between cause and immediate origins of an event, while his successor
Xenophon Xenophon of Athens (; grc, Ξενοφῶν Xenophon of Athens (; grc-gre, Ξενοφῶν, , ''Xenophōn''; – 354 BC) was an Athenian , image_skyline = File:Athens Montage L.png, center, 275px, alt=Athens monta ...

Xenophon
( – 355 BCE) introduced autobiographical elements and character studies in his
Anabasis Anabasis (from Greek ''ana'' = "upward", ''bainein'' = "to step or march") is an expedition from a coastline into the interior of a country. Anabase and Anabasis may also refer to: History * ''Anabasis Alexandri ''The Anabasis of Alexander'' ...
. The Romans adopted the Greek tradition. While early Roman works were still written in Greek, the ''Origines'', composed by the Roman statesman
Cato the Elder Marcus Porcius Cato (; 234–149 BC), also known as Cato the Censor ( la, Censorius), the Elder and the Wise, was a Roman soldier, senator The Curia Julia in the Roman Forum ">Roman_Forum.html" ;"title="Curia Julia in the Roman Forum">Curia ...
(234–149 BCE), was written in Latin, in a conscious effort to counteract Greek cultural influence.
Strabo Strabo''Strabo'' (meaning "squinty", as in strabismus Strabismus is a condition in which the eyes do not properly align with each other when looking at an object. The eye that is focused on an object can alternate. The condition may be pre ...

Strabo
(63 BCE –   CE) was an important exponent of the Greco-Roman tradition of combining geography with history, presenting a descriptive history of peoples and places known to his era.
Livy Titus Livius (; 59 BC – AD 17), known in English as Livy ( ), was a historian. He wrote a monumental history of and the Roman people, titled , covering the period from the earliest legends of Rome before the traditional founding in 753 BC th ...
(59 BCE – 17 CE) records the rise of
Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, Italy).svg , map_caption = The te ...

Rome
from
city-state A city-state is an independent sovereign Sovereign is a title which can be applied to the highest leader in various categories. The word is borrowed from Old French Old French (, , ; Modern French French ( or ) is a Romance la ...
to
empire An empire is a "political unit" made up of several territories and peoples, "usually created by conquest, and divided between a dominant center and subordinate peripheries". Narrowly defined, an empire is a sovereign state called an empire and w ...

empire
. His speculation about what would have happened if
Alexander the Great Alexander III of Macedon ( grc-gre, Αλέξανδρος}, ; 20/21 July 356 BC – 10/11 June 323 BC), commonly known as Alexander the Great, was a king (''basileus ''Basileus'' ( el, βασιλεύς) is a Greek term and title A title ...

Alexander the Great
had marched against Rome represents the first known instance of alternate history. In
Chinese historiography Chinese historiography is the study of the techniques and sources used by historians to develop the recorded history of China The earliest known written records of the history of China date from as early as 1250 BC, from the Shang dynasty ...
, the ''
Classic of History The ''Book of Documents'' (''Shūjīng'', earlier ''Shu King'') or ''Classic of History'', also known as the ''Shangshu'' ("Esteemed Documents"), is one of the Five Classics The Four Books and Five Classics () are the authoritative books of ...
'' is one of the
Five Classics The Four Books and Five Classics () are the authoritative books of Confucianism in China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, world ...
of
Chinese classic texts Chinese classic texts or canonical texts () or simply dianji (典籍) refers to the Chinese texts which originated before the imperial unification by the Qin dynasty The Qin dynasty, or Ch'in dynasty in Wade–Giles Wade–Giles () i ...
and one of the earliest narratives of China. The ''
Spring and Autumn Annals The ''Spring and Autumn Annals'' or ''Chunqiu'' is an ancient Chinese chronicle that has been one of the core Chinese classics Chinese classic texts or canonical texts () or simply dianji (典籍) refers to the Chinese texts which originated ...
'', the official chronicle of the State of Lu covering the period from 722 to 481 BCE, is among the earliest surviving Chinese historical texts arranged on annalistic principles.
Sima Qian Sima Qian (; ; ) was a Chinese historian of the early Han dynasty#REDIRECT Han dynasty The Han dynasty () was the second Dynasties in Chinese history, imperial dynasty of China (202 BC – 220 AD), established by the rebel leader Liu B ...

Sima Qian
(around 100 BCE) was the first in China to lay the groundwork for professional historical writing. His written work was the ''
Shiji The ''Records of the Grand Historian'', also known by its Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and depe ...

Shiji
'' (''
Records of the Grand Historian The ''Records of the Grand Historian'', also known by its Chinese name ''Shiji'', is a monumental history of ancient China and the world finished around 94 BC by the Western Han Dynasty official Sima Qian after having been started by his father ...

Records of the Grand Historian
''), a monumental lifelong achievement in literature. Its scope extends as far back as the 16th century BCE, and it includes many treatises on specific subjects and individual biographies of prominent people and also explores the lives and deeds of commoners, both contemporary and those of previous eras. Christian historiography began early, perhaps as early as Luke-Acts, which is the
primary source In the study of history History (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its populatio ...

primary source
for the
Apostolic Age Christianity in the 1st century covers the formative history of Christianity The history of Christianity concerns the Christian religion, Christian countries, and the Church with its various denominations, from the 1st century to the pr ...
. Writing history was popular among Christian monks and clergy in the
Middle Ages In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe since the beginning of ...
. They wrote about the history of Jesus Christ, that of the Church and that of their patrons, the dynastic history of the local rulers. In the
Early Middle Ages The Early Middle Ages or Early Medieval Period, sometimes referred to as the Dark Ages, is typically regarded by historians as lasting from the late 5th or early 6th century to the 10th century. They marked the start of the Middle Ages ...
historical writing often took the form of
annals Annals ( la, annāles, from , "year") are a concise historical History (from Ancient Greek, Greek , ''historia'', meaning "inquiry; knowledge acquired by investigation") is the study and the documentation of the past. Events before the History ...
or
chronicle A chronicle ( la, chronica, from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its pop ...

chronicle
s recording events year by year, but this style tended to hamper the analysis of events and causes. An example of this type of writing is the
Anglo-Saxon Chronicle The ''Anglo-Saxon Chronicle'' is a collection of annals in Old English Old English (, ), or Anglo-Saxon, is the earliest recorded form of the English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoke ...
s, which were the work of several different writers: it was started during the reign of
Alfred the Great Alfred the Great (848/49 – 26 October 899) was king of the West Saxons This is a list of monarchs of Wessex until 886 AD. For later monarchs, see the List of English monarchs. While the details of the later monarchs are confirmed by a numbe ...

Alfred the Great
in the late 9th century, but one copy was still being updated in 1154.
Muslim Muslims () are people who follow or practice Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", ...

Muslim
historical writings first began to develop in the 7th century, with the reconstruction of the Prophet
Muhammad Muhammad ibn AbdullahHe is referred to by many appellations, including Messenger of Allah, The Prophet Muhammad, Allah's Apostle, Last Prophet of Islam, and others; there are also many variant spellings of Muhammad, such as Mohamet, Mohammed, ...

Muhammad
's life in the centuries following his death. With numerous conflicting narratives regarding Muhammad and his
companions
companions
from various sources, scholars had to verify which sources were more reliable. To evaluate these sources, they developed various methodologies, such as the '' science of biography'', ''
science of hadith :''Matn leads here. For Lebanese regional district, see Matn District Matn ( ar, قضاء المتن, '), sometimes spelled Metn, is a district (''qadaa'') in the Mount Lebanon Governorate of Lebanon, east of the Lebanon's capital Beirut. The ...
'' and ''
Isnad Hadith studies ( ar, علم الحديث ''ʻilm al-ḥadīth'' "science of hadith", also science of hadith, or science of hadith criticism or hadith criticism) consists of several religious scholarly disciplines used by Muslim scholars in the ...
'' (chain of transmission). They later applied these methodologies to other historical figures in the Islamic civilization. Famous historians in this tradition include Urwah (d. 712),
Wahb ibn Munabbih Wahb ibn Munabbih ( ar, وهب بن منبه) was a Yemen ) , image_map = File:Yemen on the globe (Yemen centered).svg , map_caption = , image_map2 = , capital = Sana'a (''Houthi takeover in Yemen, De jure'')Aden (Temporary capital Yemeni ...
(d. 728),
Ibn Ishaq Muḥammad ibn Isḥāq ibn Yasār ibn Khiyār commonly known as Ibn Ishaq (, ; 704–767) was an 8th-century Muslim historian :''This is a subarticle of Islamic scholars, List of Muslim scholars and List of historians.'' The following is a list ...

Ibn Ishaq
(d. 761),
al-Waqidi Abu `Abdullah Muhammad Ibn ‘Omar Ibn Waqid al-Aslami (Arabic language, Arabic ) (c. 130 – 207 Islamic calendar, AH; c. 747 – 823 Anno Domini, AD) was a historian commonly referred to as al-Waqidi (Arabic: ). His surname is derived from his ...
(745–822),
Ibn Hisham Abu Muhammad 'Abd al-Malik bin Hisham ibn Ayyub al-Himyari al-Mu'afiri al-Baṣri ( ar, أبو محمد عبدالملك بن هشام ابن أيوب الحميري المعافري البصري; died 7 May 833), or Ibn Hisham, edited the biog ...
(d. 834),
Muhammad al-Bukhari Muḥammad ibn Ismā‘īl al-Bukhārī ( fa, , ‎) (19 July 810 – 1 September 870), commonly referred to as Imam al-Bukhari or Imam Bukhari, was a Persians, Persian Ulama, Islamic scholar who was born in Bukhara (the capital of the Bukhar ...
(810–870) and Ibn Hajar (1372–1449).


Enlightenment

During the
Age of Enlightenment The Age of Enlightenment (also known as the Age of Reason or simply the Enlightenment); ger, Aufklärung, "Enlightenment"; it, L'Illuminismo, "Enlightenment"; pl, Oświecenie , "Enlightenment"; pt, Iluminismo, "Enlightenment"; es, link= ...
, the modern development of historiography through the application of scrupulous methods began. French ''
philosophe The ''philosophes'' (French for "philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy. The term ''philosopher'' comes from the grc, φιλόσοφος, , translit=philosophos, meaning 'lover of wisdom'. The coining of the term has bee ...
''
Voltaire François-Marie Arouet (; 21 November 169430 May 1778), known by his ''nom de plume A pen name, also called a ''nom de plume'' () or a literary double, is a pseudonym A pseudonym () or alias () (originally: ψευδώνυμος in Greek) is a ...

Voltaire
(1694–1778) had an enormous influence on the art of history writing. His best-known histories are ''The Age of Louis XIV'' (1751), and ''Essay on the Customs and the Spirit of the Nations'' (1756). "My chief object," he wrote in 1739, "is not political or military history, it is the history of the arts, of commerce, of civilization – in a word, – of the human mind." He broke from the tradition of narrating diplomatic and military events, and emphasized customs, social history, and achievements in the arts and sciences. He was the first scholar to make a serious attempt to write the history of the world, eliminating theological frameworks, and emphasizing economics, culture, and political history. At the same time, philosopher
David Hume David Hume (; born David Home; 7 May 1711 NS (26 April 1711 OS) – 25 August 1776) Cranston, Maurice, and Thomas Edmund Jessop. 2020 999999 or triple nine most often refers to: * 999 (emergency telephone number) 250px, A sign on a beach ...

David Hume
was having a similar impact on history in
Great Britain Great Britain is an island An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habitat that is surrounded by a dramatically different habitat, such as water. Very small islands such as emergent land features on atoll An atoll (), ...

Great Britain
. In 1754, he published the ''
History of England England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotland to its north. The Irish Sea lies northwest of England and the Celtic Sea to the ...
'', a six-volume work that extended from the Invasion of Julius Caesar to the Revolution in 1688. Hume adopted a similar scope to Voltaire in his history; as well as the history of Kings, Parliaments, and armies, he examined the history of culture, including literature and science, as well.
William Robertson
William Robertson
, a Scottish historian, and the
Historiographer Royal Historiographer Royal is the title of an appointment as official chronicler or historian of a court or monarch. It was initially particularly associated with the French monarchy, where the post existed from at least 1550, but in the later 16th and 1 ...
published the ''History of Scotland 1542 - 1603'', in 1759 and his most famous work, ''The history of the reign of
Charles VCharles V may refer to: * Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, german: Karl V, it, Carlo V, nl, Karel V, la, Carolus V (24 February 1500 – 21 September 1558) was Holy Roman Emperor The Holy Roman Emperor, originally and offici ...

Charles V
'' in 1769. His scholarship was painstaking for the time and he was able to access a large number of documentary sources that had previously been unstudied. He was also one of the first historians who understood the importance of general and universally applicable ideas in the shaping of historical events. The apex of Enlightenment history was reached with
Edward Gibbon Edward Gibbon (; 8 May 173716 January 1794) was an English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval Eng ...

Edward Gibbon
's, monumental six-volume work, ''
The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire ''The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire'' is a six-volume work by the English historian Edward Gibbon Edward Gibbon (; 8 May 173716 January 1794) was an English historian, writer and Member of Parliament. His most importan ...
'', published on 17 February 1776. Because of its relative objectivity and heavy use of
primary source In the study of history History (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its populatio ...

primary source
s, at the time its methodology became a model for later historians. This has led to Gibbon being called the first "modern historian". The book sold impressively, earning its author a total of about £9000. Biographer
Leslie Stephen Sir Leslie Stephen (28 November 1832 – 22 February 1904) was an English author, critic, historian, biographer, and mountaineer, and father of Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell. Life Sir Leslie Stephen came from a distinguished intellectual famil ...
wrote that thereafter, "His fame was as rapid as it has been lasting."


19th century

The tumultuous events surrounding the
French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) was a period of radical political and societal change in France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a spanning and in the and the , and s. Its ...

French Revolution
inspired much of the historiography and analysis of the early 19th century. Interest in the 1688
Glorious Revolution The Glorious Revolution of November 1688 ( ga, An Réabhlóid Ghlórmhar; gd, Rèabhlaid Ghlòrmhor; cy, Chwyldro Gogoneddus), the invasion also known as the ''Glorieuze Overtocht'' or Glorious Crossing by the Dutch, was the deposition of ...
was also rekindled by the
Great Reform Act The Representation of the People Act 1832 (also known as the 1832 Reform Act, Great Reform Act or First Reform Act) was an Act of Parliament of the United Kingdom The Parliament of the United Kingdom is the supreme legislative body ...
of 1832 in
England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotland to its north. The Irish Sea lies northwest of England and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. E ...

England
.
Thomas Carlyle Thomas Carlyle (4 December 17955 February 1881) was a Scottish Scottish usually refers to something of, from, or related to Scotland, including: *Scottish Gaelic, a Celtic Goidelic language of the Indo-European language family native to Sco ...

Thomas Carlyle
published his magnum opus, the three-volume '' The French Revolution: A History'' in 1837. The resulting work had a passion new to historical writing.
Thomas Macaulay Thomas Babington Macaulay, 1st Baron Macaulay, (25 October 180028 December 1859) was a British historian and Whig (British political faction), Whig politician. He is considered primarily responsible for introducing the Western education system ...
produced his most famous work of history, '' The History of England from the Accession of James the Second'', in 1848. His writings are famous for their ringing prose and for their confident, sometimes dogmatic, emphasis on a progressive model of British history, according to which the country threw off superstition, autocracy and confusion to create a balanced constitution and a forward-looking culture combined with the freedom of belief and expression. This model of human progress has been called the Whig interpretation of history. In his main work ''Histoire de France'', French historian
Jules Michelet Jules Michelet (; 21 August 1798 – 9 February 1874) was a French historian and an author on other topics whose major work was a history of France and its culture. His aphoristic style emphasized his anti-clerical Anti-clericalism is oppositio ...

Jules Michelet
coined the term
Renaissance The Renaissance ( , ) , from , with the same meanings. is a period Period may refer to: Common uses * Era, a length or span of time * Full stop (or period), a punctuation mark Arts, entertainment, and media * Period (music), a concept in ...

Renaissance
(meaning "Re-birth" in
French language French ( or ) is a Romance language The Romance languages, less commonly Latin or Neo-Latin languages, are the modern languages that evolved from Vulgar Latin Vulgar Latin, also known as Popular or Colloquial Latin is a range of inf ...

French language
), as a period in Europe's cultural history that represented a break from the Middle Ages, creating a modern understanding of humanity and its place in the world. The nineteen-volume work covered French history from
Charlemagne Charlemagne ( , ) or Charles the Great ( la, Carolus Magnus; 2 April 748 – 28 January 814) was King of the Franks The Franks—Germanic-speaking peoples that invaded the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century—were first led by i ...

Charlemagne
to the outbreak of the
Revolution In political science Political science is the scientific study of politics Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions in groups, or other forms of power relations between individuals, suc ...

Revolution
. Michelet was one of the first historians to shift the emphasis of history to the common people, rather than the leaders and institutions of the country. Another important French historian of the period was
Hippolyte Taine Hippolyte Adolphe Taine (21 April 1828 – 5 March 1893) was a French critic A critic is a professional who communicates an assessment and an opinion of various forms of creative works such as Art criticism, art, Literary criticism, literatur ...

Hippolyte Taine
. He was the chief theoretical influence of French naturalism, a major proponent of
sociological positivism Positivism is a philosophical theory that states that "genuine" knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity, awareness, or understanding of someone or something, such as facts ( descriptive knowledge), skills (procedural knowledge), or objects ( ...
and one of the first practitioners of
historicist Historicism is an approach to Explanation, explaining the existence of Phenomenon, phenomena, especially social and cultural practices (including ideas and beliefs), by studying their history, that is, by studying the process by which they came abo ...
criticism. Literary historicism as a critical movement has been said to originate with him. One of the major progenitors of the history of
culture Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior and Norm (social), norms found in human Society, societies, as well as the knowledge, beliefs, arts, laws, Social norm, customs, capabilities, and habits of the individuals i ...
and
art Art is a diverse range of (products of) human activities Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposable thumbs, hairlessness, and intelligence allowing the use ...

art
, was the Swiss historian
Jacob Burckhardt Carl Jacob Christoph Burckhardt (25 May 1818 – 8 August 1897) was a Swiss historian of art and culture and an influential figure in the historiography of both fields. He is known as one of the major progenitors of cultural history. Sigfrie ...
Burckhardt's best-known work is ''
The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy ''The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy'' (german: Die Cultur der Renaissance in Italien) is an 1860 work on the Italian Renaissance by Swiss historian Jacob Burckhardt. Together with his ''History of the Renaissance in Italy'' (''Die Geschic ...
'' (1860). According to
John Lukacs John Adalbert Lukacs (; HungarianHungarian may refer to: * Hungary, a country in Central Europe * Kingdom of Hungary, state of Hungary, existing between 1000 and 1946 * Hungarians, ethnic groups in Hungary * Hungarian algorithm, a polynomial tim ...
, he was the first master of cultural history, which seeks to describe the spirit and the forms of expression of a particular age, a particular people, or a particular place. By the mid-19th century, scholars were beginning to analyse the history of institutional change, particularly the development of constitutional government.
William Stubbs William Stubbs (21 June 182522 April 1901) was an English historian A historian is a person who studies and writes about the past and is regarded as an authority on it. Historians are concerned with the continuous, methodical narrative a ...

William Stubbs
's ''Constitutional History of England'' (3 vols., 1874–78) was an important influence on this developing field. The work traced the development of the English constitution from the Teutonic invasions of Britain until 1485, and marked a distinct step in the advance of English historical learning.
Karl Marx Karl Heinrich Marx (; 5 May 1818 – 14 March 1883) was a German philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, M ...

Karl Marx
introduced the concept of
historical materialism Historical materialism is a Historical method, methodology to understand human societies and their development throughout history, arguing that historical changes in social structure are ultimately driven by the struggles and conflicts unleashe ...
into the study of world-historical development. In his conception, the economic conditions and dominant modes of production determined the structure of society at that point. Previous historians had focused on the cyclical events of the rise and decline of rulers and nations. Process of nationalization of history, as part of
national revival National revival or national awakening is a period of ethnic self-consciousness that often precedes a political movement for national liberation but that can take place at a time when independence is politically unrealistic. In the history of Euro ...
s in the 19th century, resulted with separation of "one's own" history from common
universal history A universal history is a work aiming at the presentation of a history History (from Greek , ''historia'', meaning "inquiry; knowledge acquired by investigation") is the study of the past. Events occurring before the invention of writing syst ...
by such way of perceiving, understanding and treating the past that constructed history as history of a nation. A new discipline,
sociology Sociology is a social science Social science is the branch The branches and leaves of a tree. A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the scie ...
, emerged in the late 19th century and analyzed and compared these perspectives on a larger scale.


Professionalization in Germany

The modern academic study of history and methods of historiography were pioneered in 19th-century German universities.
Leopold von Ranke Leopold von Ranke (; 21 December 1795 – 23 May 1886) was a German historian ( 484– 425 BC) was a Greek historian who lived in the 5th century BC and one of the earliest historians whose work survives. A historian is a person who studies and ...

Leopold von Ranke
was a pivotal influence in this regard, and is considered as the founder of modern source-based
history History (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approxima ...

history
. Specifically, he implemented the seminar teaching method in his classroom and focused on archival research and analysis of historical documents. Beginning with his first book in 1824, the ''History of the Latin and Teutonic Peoples from 1494 to 1514'', Ranke used an unusually wide variety of sources for a historian of the age, including "memoirs, diaries, personal and formal missives, government documents, diplomatic dispatches and first-hand accounts of eye-witnesses". Over a career that spanned much of the century, Ranke set the standards for much of later historical writing, introducing such ideas as reliance on
primary source In the study of history History (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its populatio ...

primary source
s (
empiricism In philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about Metaphysics, existence, reason, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of mind, mind, and Philosophy of language, l ...
), an emphasis on
narrative history Narrative history is the practice of writing history in a story-based form. It tends to entail history-writing based on reconstructing series of short-term events, and ever since the influential work of Leopold von Ranke on professionalising histor ...
and especially international politics ('' aussenpolitik''). Sources had to be hard, not speculations and rationalizations. His credo was to write history the way it was. He insisted on primary sources with proven authenticity.


20th century

The term
Whig history Whig history (or Whig historiography) is an approach to historiography Historiography is the study of the methods of historians in developing history as an academic discipline, and by extension is any body of historical work on a particular su ...
was coined by
Herbert Butterfield Sir Herbert Butterfield (7 October 1900 – 20 July 1979) was an English historian and philosopher of history, who was Regius Professor of Modern History and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge. He is remembered chiefly for a shor ...
in his short book ''The Whig Interpretation of History'' in 1931, (a reference to the British
Whig Whig or Whigs may refer to: Parties and factions In the British Isles * A pejorative nickname for the Kirk Party The Kirk Party were a radical Presbyterian faction of the Scotland, Scottish Covenanters during the Wars of the Three Kingdoms. ...
s, advocates of the power of
Parliament In modern politics and history, a parliament is a legislative A legislature is an assembly Assembly may refer to: Organisations and meetings * Deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind of ...
) to refer to the approach to historiography that presents the past as an inevitable progression towards ever greater
liberty Broadly speaking, liberty is the ability to do as one pleases, or a right or immunity enjoyed by prescription or by grant (i.e. privilege). It is a synonym for the word freedom Freedom, generally, is having the ability to act or change withou ...

liberty
and
enlightenment Enlightenment, enlighten or enlightened may refer to: Age of Enlightenment * Age of Enlightenment, period in Western intellectual history from the late 17th to late 18th century, centered in France but also encompassing: ** Midlands Enlightenment ...
, culminating in modern forms of
liberal democracy Liberal democracy, also referred to as Western democracy, is the combination of a liberal Liberal or liberalism may refer to: Politics *a supporter of liberalism, a political and moral philosophy **Liberalism by country *an adherent of a L ...
and
constitutional monarchy A constitutional monarchy, parliamentary monarchy, or democratic monarchy is a form of monarchy in which the monarch exercises his authority in accordance with a constitution and is not alone in deciding. Constitutional monarchies differ from ...
. In general, Whig historians emphasized the rise of
constitutional government A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles A principle is a proposition or value that is a guide for behavior or evaluation. In law, it is a rule Rule or ruling may refer to: Human activity * The exercise of political ...
, personal freedoms, and
scientific progress upright=1.14, alt=Painting depicting a woman draped in white robes flying westward across the land with settlers and following her on foot, John Gast, ''American Progress'', Progress is the movement towards a refined, improved, or otherwise de ...
. The term has been also applied widely in historical disciplines outside of
British history The British Isles The British Isles are a group of islands in the North Atlantic off the north-western coast of continental Europe Mainland or continental Europe is the contiguous continent of Europe, excluding its surrounding is ...
(the
history of science The history of science covers the development of science Science (from the Latin word ''scientia'', meaning "knowledge") is a systematic enterprise that Scientific method, builds and Taxonomy (general), organizes knowledge in the form of ...

history of science
, for example) to criticize any
teleological Teleology (from and )Partridge, Eric. 1977''Origins: A Short Etymological Dictionary of Modern English'' London: Routledge, p. 4187. or finalityDubray, Charles. 2020 912 Year 912 ( CMXII) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will disp ...
(or goal-directed), hero-based, and
transhistorical Transhistoricity is the quality of holding throughout human history, not merely within the frame of reference of a particular form of society A society is a Social group, group of individuals involved in persistent Social relation, social int ...
narrative. Butterfield's antidote to Whig history was "...to evoke a certain sensibility towards the past, the sensibility which studies the past 'for the sake of the past', which delights in the concrete and the complex, which 'goes out to meet the past', which searches for 'unlikenesses between past and present'." Butterfield's formulation received much attention, and the kind of historical writing he argued against in generalised terms is no longer academically respectable. The French Annales School radically changed the focus of historical research in France during the 20th century by stressing long-term social history, rather than political or diplomatic themes. The school emphasized the use of quantification and the paying of special attention to geography. An eminent member of this school,
Georges Duby Georges Duby (7 October 1919 – 3 December 1996) was a French historian who specialised in the social and economic history of the Middle Ages In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and col ...
, described his approach to history as one that
relegated the sensational to the sidelines and was reluctant to give a simple accounting of events, but strived on the contrary to pose and solve problems and, neglecting surface disturbances, to observe the long and medium-term evolution of economy, society, and civilisation.
Marxist historiography Marxist historiography, or historical materialist Historical materialism, also known as the materialist conception of history, is a Historical method, methodology used by Scientific socialism, scientific socialist and Marxist historiography, M ...
developed as a school of historiography influenced by the chief tenets of Marxism, including the centrality of social class and economic constraints in determining historical outcomes. Friedrich Engels wrote ''The Condition of the Working Class in England in 1844'', which was salient in creating the socialist impetus in British politics from then on, e.g. the Fabian Society. R. H. Tawney's ''The Agrarian Problem in the Sixteenth Century'' (1912) and ''Religion and the Rise of Capitalism'' (1926), reflected his ethical concerns and preoccupations in economic history. A Communist Party Historians Group, circle of historians inside the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB) formed in 1946 and became a highly influential cluster of United Kingdom, British Marxist historiography, Marxist historians, who contributed to history from below and class structure in early capitalist society. Members included Christopher Hill (historian), Christopher Hill, Eric Hobsbawm and E. P. Thompson. World history, as a distinct field of historical study, emerged as an independent academic field in the 1980s. It focused on the examination of
history History (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approxima ...

history
from a global perspective and looked for common patterns that emerged across all cultures. Arnold J. Toynbee's ten-volume ''A Study of History'', written between 1933 and 1954, was an important influence on this developing field. He took a comparative topical approach to independent civilizations and demonstrated that they displayed striking parallels in their origin, growth, and decay. William Hardy McNeill, William H. McNeill wrote ''The Rise of the West'' (1965) to improve upon Toynbee by showing how the separate civilizations of Eurasia interacted from the very beginning of their history, borrowing critical skills from one another, and thus precipitating still further change as adjustment between traditional old and borrowed new knowledge and practice became necessary.


Education and profession

An undergraduate history degree is often used as a stepping stone to graduate studies in business or law. Many historians are employed at universities and other facilities for post-secondary education.Bls.gov : Social Scientists, Other
In addition, it is normal for colleges and universities to require the PhD degree for new full-time hires. A scholarly thesis, such as a PhD, is now regarded as the baseline qualification for a professional historian. However, some historians still gain recognition based on published (academic) works and the award of fellowships by academic bodies like the Royal Historical Society. Publication is increasingly required by smaller schools, so graduate papers become journal articles and PhD dissertations become published monographs. The graduate student experience is difficult—those who finish their doctorate in the United States take on average 8 or more years; funding is scarce except at a few very rich universities. Being a teaching assistant in a course is required in some programs; in others it is a paid opportunity awarded a fraction of the students. Until the 1970s it was rare for graduate programs to teach how to teach; the assumption was that teaching was easy and that learning how to do research was the main mission. A critical experience for graduate students is having a mentor who will provide psychological, social, intellectual and professional support, while directing scholarship and providing an introduction to the profession. Professional historians typically work in colleges and universities, archival centers, government agencies, museums, and as freelance writers and consultants. The job market for new PhDs in history is poor and getting worse, with many relegated to part-time "adjunct" teaching jobs with low pay and no benefits. C. Vann Woodward (1908-1999), Sterling Professor of History at Yale University, cautioned that the academicians had themselves abdicated their role as storytellers:
Professionals do well to apply the term "amateur" with caution to the historian outside their ranks. The word does have deprecatory and patronizing connotations that occasionally backfire. This is especially true of narrative history, which nonprofessionals have all but taken over. The gradual withering of the narrative impulse in favor of the analytical urge among professional academic historians has resulted in a virtual abdication of the oldest and most honored role of the historian, that of storyteller. Having abdicated... the professional is in a poor position to patronize amateurs who fulfill the needed function he has abandoned.C. Vann Woodward, "The Great American Butchery," ''New York Review of Books'' (March 6, 1975
online


See also

* List of historians * Antiquarian * Auxiliary sciences of history * Historiography * Historical revisionism (negationism)


Notes


References

* *


Further reading

* ''The American Historical Association's Guide to Historical Literature'' ed. by Mary Beth Norton and Pamela Gerardi (3rd ed. 2 vol, Oxford U.P. 1995) 2064 pages; annotated guide to 27,000 of the most important English language history books in all fields and topic
vol 1 onlinevol 2 online
* Allison, William Henry. ''A guide to historical literature'' (1931) comprehensive bibliography for scholarship to 1930
online edition
* Barnes, Harry Elmer''A history of historical writing'' (1962) * Barraclough, Geoffrey. ''History: Main Trends of Research in the Social and Human Sciences,'' (1978) *Bentley, Michael. ed., ''Companion to Historiography'', Routledge, 1997, pp; 39 chapters by experts * Bender, Thomas, et al. '' The Education of Historians for Twenty-first Century'' (2003) report by the Committee on Graduate Education of the American Historical Association *Breisach, Ernst. ''Historiography: Ancient, Medieval and Modern'', 3rd edition, 2007, * Boia, Lucian ''et al.'', eds. ''Great Historians of the Modern Age: An International Dictionary'' (1991) * Cannon, John, et al., eds. ''The Blackwell Dictionary of Historians''. Blackwell Publishers, 1988 . *Gilderhus, Mark T. ''History and Historians: A Historiographical Introduction'', 2002, *Iggers, Georg G. ''Historiography in the 20th Century: From Scientific Objectivity to the Postmodern Challenge'' (2005) * Kelly, Boyd, ed. ''Encyclopedia of Historians and Historical Writing''. (1999). Fitzroy Dearborn * Kramer, Lloyd, and Sarah Maza, eds. ''A Companion to Western Historical Thought'' Blackwell 2006. 520pp; . * Todd, Richard B. ed. ''Dictionary of British Classicists, 1500–1960'', (2004). Bristol: Thoemmes Continuum, 2004 . * Woolf D. R. ''A Global Encyclopedia of Historical Writing'' (Garland Reference Library of the Humanities) (2 vol 1998
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