Historically recognized angiosperm taxa
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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 approximately 10.7 million as of ...
, ''historia'', meaning "inquiry; knowledge acquired by investigation") is the study and the documentation of the past. Events before the
invention of writing systems An invention is a unique or novelty (patent), novel machine, device, method, composition or process. The invention process is a process within an overall engineering and product development process. It may be an improvement upon a machine or p ...
are considered
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, ...
. "History" is an
umbrella term In 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 m ...
comprising past events as well as the memory, discovery, collection, organization, presentation, and interpretation of these events.
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 and research of past events as relating to the human race; as well as the stu ...
s seek knowledge of the past using
historical sourceHistorical source (also known as historical material or historical data) is original source that contain important historical information. These sources are something that inform us about history at the most basic level, and these sources used as clu ...
s such as written documents, oral accounts, art and material artifacts, and ecological markers. History is also an
academic discipline An academic discipline or academic field is a subdivision of knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity or awareness, of someone or something, such as facts A fact is an occurrence in the real world. The usual test for a statement of fact is ...
which uses
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
to describe, examine, question, and analyze past events, and investigate their patterns of cause and effect. Historians often debate which narrative best explains an event, as well as the significance of different causes and effects. Historians also debate the
nature of history
nature of history
as an end in itself, as well as its usefulness to give perspective on the problems of the present. Stories common to a particular culture, but not supported by external sources (such as the tales surrounding
King Arthur King Arthur ( cy, Brenin Arthur, kw, Arthur Gernow, br, Roue Arzhur) was a Legend, legendary Celtic Britons, British leader who, according to Historians in England during the Middle Ages, medieval histories and Romance (heroic literature), ...

King Arthur
), are usually classified as
cultural heritage Cultural heritage is the legacy of tangible and intangible heritage assetA heritage asset is an item that has value because of its contribution to a nation’s society, knowledge and/or culture. They are usually physical assets, but some countries ...
or
legend A legend is a genre of folklore that consists of a narrative A narrative, story or tale is any account of a series of related events or experiences, whether nonfictional ( memoir, biography, news report, documentary, Travel literature, tra ...

legend
s. History differs from
myth Myth is a folklore genre Folklore is the expressive body of culture shared by a particular group of people; it encompasses the tradition A tradition is a belief A belief is an Attitude (psychology), attitude that something is the ca ...
in that it is supported by
evidence Evidence for a proposition is what supports this proposition. It is usually understood as an indication that the supported proposition is true. What role evidence plays and how it is conceived varies from field to field. In epistemology, evidence ...

evidence
. However, ancient cultural influences have helped spawn variant interpretations of the nature of history which have evolved over the centuries and continue to change today. The modern study of history is wide-ranging, and includes the study of specific regions and the study of certain topical or thematic elements of historical investigation. History is often taught as part of primary and secondary education, and the academic study of history is a
major discipline Major is a military rank of commissioned officer status, with corresponding ranks existing in many military forces throughout the world. Background When used unhyphenated, in conjunction with no other indicators, major is one rank senior to ...

major discipline
in university studies.
Herodotus Herodotus ( ; grc, Ἡρόδοτος, Hēródotos, ; BC) was an Classical Greece, ancient Greek writer, geographer, and historian born in the Greek city of Halicarnassus, part of the Achaemenid Empire, Persian Empire (now Bodrum, Turkey). He ...
, a 5th-century BC
Greek historian Hellenic historiography (or Greek historiography) involves efforts made by Greeks to track and record History, historical events. By the 5th century BC, it became an integral part of ancient Greek literature and held a prestigious place in later Rom ...
, is often considered the "father of history" in the Western tradition, although he has also been criticized as the "father of lies". Along with his contemporary
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 ...
, he helped form the foundations for the modern study of past events and societies. Their works continue to be read today, and the gap between the culture-focused Herodotus and the military-focused Thucydides remains a point of contention or approach in modern historical writing. In East Asia, a state
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
, 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 ...
, was reputed to date from as early as 722BC, although only 2nd-centuryBC texts have survived.


Etymology

The word ''history'' comes from the
Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to by speakers simply as Greek (, ), refers collectively to the diale ...
ἱστορία (''historía''), meaning "inquiry", "knowledge from inquiry", or "judge". It was in that sense that
Aristotle Aristotle (; grc-gre, Ἀριστοτέλης ''Aristotélēs'', ; 384–322 BC) was a Greek philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questio ...

Aristotle
used the word in his ''
History of Animals ''History of Animals'' ( grc-gre, Τῶν περὶ τὰ ζῷα ἱστοριῶν, ''Ton peri ta zoia historion'', "Inquiries on Animals"; la, Historia Animalium, "History of Animals") is one of the major texts on biology by the ancient Gr ...
.''Ferrater-Mora, José. ''Diccionario de Filosofia''. Barcelona: Editorial Ariel, 1994. The ancestor word is attested early on in
Homeric Hymns The ''Homeric Hymns'' () are a collection of thirty-three anonymous ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), gener ...
,
Heraclitus Heraclitus of Ephesus (; grc-gre, Ἡράκλειτος ; , ) was an Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), ...

Heraclitus
, the
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 appropriate article. rect 15 15 985 460 Acropolis of Athens The Acropoli ...

Athenian
ephebes' oath, and in inscriptions (in a legal sense, either "judge" or "witness", or similar). The Greek word was borrowed into Classical Latin as ''historia'', meaning "investigation, inquiry, research, account, description, written account of past events, writing of history, historical narrative, recorded knowledge of past events, story, narrative". ''History'' was borrowed from Latin (possibly via
Old Irish Old Irish (''Goídelc''; ga, Sean-Ghaeilge; gd, Seann Ghàidhlig; gv, Shenn Yernish or ; Old Irish: ᚌᚑᚔᚇᚓᚂᚉ), sometimes called Old Gaelic, is the oldest form of the Goidelic The Goidelic or Gaelic languages ( ga, teangacha ...
or
Old Welsh Old Welsh ( cy, Hen Gymraeg) is the stage of the Welsh language Welsh ( or ) is a Brittonic language of the Celtic language family The Celtic languages ( , ) are a group of related languages descended from Proto-Celtic. They for ...
) into
Old English Old English (, ), or Anglo-Saxon, is the earliest recorded form of the English language English is a West Germanic language of the Indo-European language family The Indo-European languages are a language family A language ...
as ''stær'' ("history, narrative, story"), but this word fell out of use in the late Old English period."history, n." OED Online. Oxford University Press, December 2014. 9 March 2015. Meanwhile, as Latin became
Old French Old French (, , ; Modern French 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 o ...
(and
Anglo-NormanAnglo-Norman may refer to: *Anglo-Normans The Anglo-Normans ( nrf, Anglo-Normaunds, ang, Engel-Norðmandisca) were the medieval ruling class in England, composed mainly of a combination of ethnic Anglo-Saxons, Normans, Bretons, Flemish people, F ...
), ''historia'' developed into forms such as ''istorie'', ''estoire'', and ''historie'', with new developments in the meaning: "account of the events of a person's life (beginning of the 12th century), chronicle, account of events as relevant to a group of people or people in general (1155), dramatic or pictorial representation of historical events (), body of knowledge relative to human evolution, science (), narrative of real or imaginary events, story ()". It was from Anglo-Norman that ''history'' was borrowed into
Middle English Middle English (abbreviated to ME) was a form of the English language English is a West Germanic language of the Indo-European language family The Indo-European languages are a language family A language is a structured sys ...
, and this time the loan stuck. It appears in the 13th-century '' Ancrene Wisse'', but seems to have become a common word in the late 14th century, with an early attestation appearing in
John Gower John Gower (; c. 1330 – October 1408) was an English poet, a contemporary of William Langland William is a popular given name of an old Germanic origin.Hanks, Hardcastle and Hodges, ''Oxford Dictionary of First Names'', Oxford University ...

John Gower
's ''
Confessio Amantis ''Confessio Amantis'' ("The Lover's Confession") is a 33,000-line Middle English Middle English (abbreviated to ME) was a form of the English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in Histor ...
'' of the 1390s (VI.1383): "I finde in a bok compiled , To this matiere an old histoire, , The which comth nou to mi memoire". In
Middle English Middle English (abbreviated to ME) was a form of the English language English is a West Germanic language of the Indo-European language family The Indo-European languages are a language family A language is a structured sys ...
, the meaning of ''history'' was "story" in general. The restriction to the meaning "the branch of knowledge that deals with past events; the formal record or study of past events, esp. human affairs" arose in the mid-15th century. With the
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
, older senses of the word were revived, and it was in the Greek sense that
Francis Bacon Francis Bacon, 1st Viscount St Alban, (; 22 January 1561 – 9 April 1626), also known as Lord Verulam, was an English philosopher and statesman who served as Attorney General for England and Wales, Attorney General and as Lord Chancellor of K ...

Francis Bacon
used the term in the late 16th century, when he wrote about
natural history Natural history is a domain of inquiry involving organisms, including animals, fungus, fungi, and plants, in their natural environment, leaning more towards observational than experimental methods of study. A person who studies natural history ...

natural history
. For him, ''historia'' was "the knowledge of objects determined by space and time", that sort of knowledge provided by
memory Memory is the faculty of the by which or is , stored, and retrieved when needed. It is the retention of information over time for the purpose of influencing future action. If s could not be remembered, it would be impossible for language, r ...

memory
(while
science 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 something that is truth, true. The usual test for a statement of ...

science
was provided by
reason Reason is the capacity of consciously applying logic Logic is an interdisciplinary field which studies truth and reasoning Reason is the capacity of consciously making sense of things, applying logic Logic (from Ancient Greek, Greek ...
, and
poetry Poetry (derived from the 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 popula ...

poetry
was provided by
fantasy Fantasy is a genre of speculative fiction involving Magic (supernatural), magical elements, typically set in a fictional universe and sometimes inspired by mythology and folklore. Its roots are in oral traditions, which then became fantasy lit ...

fantasy
). In an expression of the linguistic
synthetic vs. analytic/isolating dichotomyA synthetic is an artificial material produced by organic chemistry, organic chemical synthesis. Synthetic may also refer to: In the sense of both "combination" and "artificial" * Synthetic chemical or synthetic compress, produced by the process ...
, English like Chinese (史 vs. 诌) now designates separate words for human history and
storytelling Storytelling describes the social and cultural activity of sharing narrative, stories, sometimes with improvisation, theatre, theatrics or embellishment. Every culture has its own stories or narratives, which are shared as a means of entertainmen ...

storytelling
in general. In modern
German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law * German language The German la ...

German
, , and most Germanic and
Romance languages 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 informal sociolects of Latin Latin (, or , ) ...

Romance languages
, which are solidly synthetic and highly inflected, the same word is still used to mean both "history" and "story". ''Historian'' in the sense of a "researcher of history" is attested from 1531. In all
European languages Most languages of Europe belong to the Indo-European language family. Out of a total European population of 744 million as of 2018, some 94% are native speakers of an Indo-European language; within Indo-European, the three largest phyla are '' ...

European languages
, the substantive ''history'' is still used to mean both "what happened with men", and "the scholarly study of the happened", the latter sense sometimes distinguished with a capital letter, or the word ''
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 subject. The historiography of a specific topic covers how historians hav ...

historiography
''. The adjective ''historical'' is attested from 1661, and ''historic'' from 1669.Whitney, W.D.
The Century dictionary; an encyclopedic lexicon of the English language
''. New York: The Century Co, 1889.


Description

Historians write in the context of their own time, and with due regard to the current dominant ideas of how to interpret the past, and sometimes write to provide lessons for their own society. In the words of
Benedetto Croce Benedetto Croce (; 25 February 1866 – 20 November 1952) was an Italian idealist philosopher, historian and politician, who wrote on numerous topics, including philosophy, history, historiography Historiography is the study of the methods o ...
, "All history is contemporary history". History is facilitated by the formation of a "true discourse of past" through the production of narrative and analysis of past events relating to the human race. The modern discipline of history is dedicated to the institutional production of this discourse. All events that are remembered and preserved in some authentic form constitute the historical record.WordNet Search – 3.0
, "History".
The task of historical discourse is to identify the sources which can most usefully contribute to the production of accurate accounts of past. Therefore, the constitution of the historian's archive is a result of circumscribing a more general archive by invalidating the usage of certain texts and documents (by falsifying their claims to represent the "true past"). Part of the historian's role is to skillfully and objectively utilize the vast amount of sources from the past, most often found in the archives. The process of creating a narrative inevitably generates a silence as historians remember or emphasize different events of the past. The study of history has sometimes been classified as part of the
humanities Humanities are List of academic disciplines, academic disciplines that study aspects of human society and culture. In the Renaissance, the term contrasted with Divinity (academic discipline), divinity and referred to what is now called classic ...

humanities
and at other times as part of the
social sciences 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 science of plant life and a branch of biol ...

social sciences
. It can also be seen as a bridge between those two broad areas, incorporating methodologies from both. Some individual historians strongly support one or the other classification. In the 20th century, French
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 and research of past events as relating to the human race; as well as the stu ...
Fernand Braudel Fernand Braudel (; 24 August 1902 – 27 November 1985) was a French historian and a leader of the Annales School. His scholarship focused on three main projects: ''The Mediterranean'' (1923–49, then 1949–66), ''Civilization and Capitalism' ...
revolutionized the study of history, by using such outside disciplines as
economics Economics () is a social science that studies the Production (economics), production, distribution (economics), distribution, and Consumption (economics), consumption of goods and services. Economics focuses on the behaviour and interact ...

economics
,
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, ...
, and
geography Geography (from Ancient Greek, Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of the Earth and Solar System, planets. The first person t ...

geography
in the study of global history. Traditionally, historians have recorded events of the past, either in writing or by passing on an
oral tradition Oral tradition, or oral lore, is a form of human communication Human communication, or anthroposemiotics, is the field dedicated to understanding how human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of prima ...
, and have attempted to answer historical questions through the study of written documents and oral accounts. From the beginning, historians have also used such sources as monuments, inscriptions, and pictures. In general, the sources of historical knowledge can be separated into three categories: what is written, what is said, and what is physically preserved, and historians often consult all three. But writing is the marker that separates history from what comes before.
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 ...
is especially helpful in unearthing buried sites and objects, which contribute to the study of history. Archaeological finds rarely stand alone, with narrative sources complementing its discoveries. Archaeology's methodologies and approaches are independent from the field of history. "Historical archaeology" is a specific branch of archaeology which often contrasts its conclusions against those of contemporary textual sources. For example, Mark Leone, the excavator and interpreter of historical
Annapolis, Maryland Annapolis ( ) is the capital of the U.S. state of Maryland Maryland ( ) is a U.S. state, state in the Mid-Atlantic (United States), Mid-Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia ...
, USA, has sought to understand the contradiction between textual documents idealizing "liberty" and the material record, demonstrating the possession of slaves and the inequalities of wealth made apparent by the study of the total historical environment. There are varieties of ways in which history can be organized, including chronologically,
culturally 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 in ...

culturally
, territorially, and thematically. These divisions are not mutually exclusive, and significant intersections are often present. It is possible for historians to concern themselves with both the very specific and the very general, although the modern trend has been toward specialization. The area called
Big History Big History is an academic discipline which examines history from the Big Bang to the present day, present. Big History resists specialization, and searches for universal patterns or trends. It examines long time frames using a multidisciplin ...
resists this specialization, and searches for universal patterns or trends. History has often been studied with some practical or
theoretical A theory is a rational Rationality is the quality or state of being rational – that is, being based on or agreeable to reason Reason is the capacity of consciously making sense of things, applying logic Logic (from Ancient Greek, G ...

theoretical
aim, but also may be studied out of simple intellectual curiosity.


History and prehistory

The
history of the world Human history, or world history, is the narrative of humanity Humanity most commonly refers to: * Human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposable thumbs, ...
is the memory of the past
experience Experience refers to conscious , an English Paracelsian physician Consciousness, at its simplest, is " sentience or awareness of internal and external existence". Despite millennia of analyses, definitions, explanations and debates by philosoph ...

experience
of ''
Homo sapiens sapiens Human taxonomy is the classification of the human species Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposable thumbs, hairlessness, and intelligence allowing the use of ...
'' around the world, as that experience has been preserved, largely in written records. By "prehistory", historians mean the recovery of knowledge of the past in an area where no written records exist, or where the writing of a culture is not understood. By studying painting, drawings, carvings, and other artifacts, some information can be recovered even in the absence of a written record. Since the 20th century, the study of prehistory is considered essential to avoid history's implicit exclusion of certain civilizations, such as those of
Sub-Saharan Africa Sub-Saharan Africa (commonly called Black Africa) is, geographically, the area of the continent of Africa that lies south of the Sahara. According to the United Nations, it consists of all list of sovereign states and dependent territories i ...

Sub-Saharan Africa
and pre-Columbian America. Historians in the West have been criticized for focusing disproportionately on the
Western world The Western world, also known as the West, refers to various regions, nations and state (polity), states, depending on the context, most often consisting of the majority of Europe, Northern America, and Australasia.
. In 1961, British historian E. H. Carr wrote: This definition includes within the scope of history the strong interests of peoples, such as
Indigenous Australians Indigenous Australians are people with familial heritage to groups that lived in Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continen ...
and New Zealand Māori in the past, and the oral records maintained and transmitted to succeeding generations, even before their contact with European civilization.


Historiography

Historiography has a number of related meanings. Firstly, it can refer to how history has been produced: the story of the development of
methodology Methodology is the study of research methods, or, more formally, "'a contextual framework' for research, a coherent and logical scheme based on views, beliefs, and values, that guides the choices researchers
r other users R, or r, is the eighteenth letter of the modern English alphabet and the ISO basic Latin alphabet The ISO basic Latin alphabet is a Latin-script alphabet A Latin-script alphabet (Latin alphabet or Roman alphabet) is an alphabet that ...
make". It compris ...
and practices (for example, the move from short-term biographical narrative towards long-term thematic analysis). Secondly, it can refer to what has been produced: a specific body of historical writing (for example, "medieval historiography during the 1960s" means "Works of medieval history written during the 1960s"). Thirdly, it may refer to why history is produced: the
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 ...
. As a meta-level analysis of descriptions of the past, this third conception can relate to the first two in that the analysis usually focuses on the narratives, interpretations,
world view A worldview or world-view is the fundamental cognitive Cognition () refers to "the mental action or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses". It encompasses many aspects of intellectual ...
, use of evidence, or method of presentation of other historians. Professional historians also debate the question of whether history can be taught as a single coherent narrative or a series of competing narratives.


Historical methods

The historical method comprises the techniques and guidelines by which
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 and research of past events as relating to the human race; as well as the stu ...
s use
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 and other evidence to research and then to .
Herodotus Herodotus ( ; grc, Ἡρόδοτος, Hēródotos, ; BC) was an Classical Greece, ancient Greek writer, geographer, and historian born in the Greek city of Halicarnassus, part of the Achaemenid Empire, Persian Empire (now Bodrum, Turkey). He ...
of
Halicarnassus Halicarnassus (; grc, Ἁλικαρνᾱσσός ''Halikarnāssós'' or ''Alikarnāssós''; tr, Halikarnas; : 𐊠𐊣𐊫𐊰 𐊴𐊠𐊥𐊵𐊫𐊰 ''alos k̂arnos'') was an city in , in . It was located in southwest , on an advantageous ...
(484 BC) has generally been acclaimed as the "father of history". However, his contemporary
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 ...
() is credited with having first approached history with a well-developed historical method in his work the ''
History of the Peloponnesian War The ''History of the Peloponnesian War'' is a historical account of the Peloponnesian War (431–404 BC), which was fought between the Peloponnesian League (led by Sparta) and the Delian League (led by Classical Athens, Athens). It was written by ...
''. Thucydides, unlike Herodotus, regarded history as being the product of the choices and actions of human beings, and looked at
cause and effect Causality (also referred to as causation, or cause and effect) is influence by which one event, process, state or object (a ''cause'') contributes to the production of another event, process, state or object (an ''effect'') where the cause is ...
, rather than as the result of divine intervention (though Herodotus was not wholly committed to this idea himself). In his historical method, Thucydides emphasized chronology, a nominally neutral point of view, and that the human world was the result of the actions of human beings. Greek historians also viewed history as cyclical, with events regularly recurring. There were historical traditions and sophisticated use of historical method in ancient and medieval
China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere ...

China
. The groundwork for professional historiography in
East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia, which is defined in both Geography, geographical and culture, ethno-cultural terms. The modern State (polity), states of East Asia include China, Japan, Mongolia, North Korea, South Korea, and Taiwan. ...

East Asia
was established by the
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 Bang and ruled by the House of Liu. Preceded by the short-lived Qin dynas ...

Han dynasty
court historian known as
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
(145–90 BC), author of the ''
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
'' (''Shiji''). For the quality of his written work, Sima Qian is posthumously known as the Father of
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 ...
. Chinese historians of subsequent dynastic periods in China used his ''Shiji'' as the official format for historical texts, as well as for biographical literature.
Saint Augustine In religious belief, a saint is a person who is recognized as having an exceptional degree of holiness Sacred describes something that is dedicated or set apart for the service or worship of a deity A deity or god is a supernatural being ...

Saint Augustine
was influential in
Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus Christ. The words ''Christ (title), Christ'' and ''Christian'' derive from the Koi ...
and
Western thought Western philosophy refers to the philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, existence, knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity, awareness, or understanding of s ...
at the beginning of the medieval period. Through the Medieval and
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
periods, history was often studied through a
sacred Sacred describes something that is dedicated or set apart for the service or worship of a deity; is considered worthy of spiritual respect or devotion; or inspires awe or Reverence (emotion), reverence among believers. The property is often as ...
or religious perspective. Around 1800, German philosopher and historian
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (; ; 27 August 1770 – 14 November 1831) was a German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For cit ...
brought
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 a more
secular Secularity, also the secular or secularness (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through t ...
approach in historical study. In the preface to his book, the ''
Muqaddimah The ''Muqaddimah'', also known as the ''Muqaddimah of Ibn Khaldun'' ( ar, مقدّمة ابن خلدون) or ''Ibn Khaldun's Prolegomena'' ( grc, Προλεγόμενα), is a book written by the Arab historian Ibn Khaldun Ibn Khaldun (; a ...
'' (1377), the Arab historian and early sociologist,
Ibn Khaldun Ibn Khaldun (; ar, أبو زيد عبد الرحمن بن محمد بن خلدون الحضرمي, ; 27 May 1332 – 17 March 1406) was an Arab The Arabs (singular Arab ; singular ar, عَرَبِيٌّ, : , Arabic pronunciation: , plural ...
, warned of seven mistakes that he thought that historians regularly committed. In this criticism, he approached the past as strange and in need of interpretation. The originality of Ibn Khaldun was to claim that the cultural difference of another age must govern the evaluation of relevant historical material, to distinguish the principles according to which it might be possible to attempt the evaluation, and lastly, to feel the need for experience, in addition to rational principles, in order to assess a culture of the past. Ibn Khaldun often criticized "idle
superstition A superstition is any belief or practice considered by non-practitioners to be irrational or supernatural, attributed to fate or magic (supernatural), magic, perceived supernatural influence, or fear of that which is unknown. It is commonly ap ...
and uncritical acceptance of historical data." As a result, he introduced a
scientific method The scientific method is an empirical Empirical evidence for a proposition is evidence, i.e. what supports or counters this proposition, that is constituted by or accessible to sense experience or experimental procedure. Empirical evidence ...

scientific method
to the study of history, and he often referred to it as his "new science". His historical method also laid the groundwork for the observation of the role of
state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina, Un ...
,
communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power o ...

communication
,
propaganda Propaganda is communication that is primarily used to Social influence, influence an audience and further an Political agenda, agenda, which may not be Objectivity (journalism), objective and may be selectively presenting facts to encourage a pa ...
and
systematic bias Systematic may refer to: * Something related to systematics Biology, Biological systematics is the study of the diversification of living forms, both past and present, and the Correlation and dependence, relationships among living things through ...
in history,H. Mowlana (2001). "Information in the Arab World", ''Cooperation South Journal'' 1. and he is thus considered to be the "father of historiography" or the "father of the philosophy of history".S.W. Akhtar (1997). "The Islamic Concept of Knowledge", ''Al-Tawhid: A Quarterly Journal of Islamic Thought & Culture'' 12 (3). In the West, historians developed modern methods of historiography in the 17th and 18th centuries, especially in France and Germany. In 1851,
Herbert Spencer Herbert Spencer (27 April 1820 – 8 December 1903) was an English philosopher, biologist Francesco Redi, the founder of biology, is recognized to be one of the greatest biologists of all time A biologist is a professional who has speciali ...

Herbert Spencer
summarized these methods: By the "rich ore" Spencer meant scientific theory of history. Meanwhile,
Henry Thomas Buckle Henry Thomas Buckle (24 November 1821 – 29 May 1862) was an English historian, the author of an unfinished ''History of Civilization'', and a strong amateur chess player. He is sometimes called "the Father of Scientific History". Early life a ...
expressed a dream of history becoming one day science: Contrary to Buckle's dream, the 19th-century historian with greatest influence on methods became
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
in Germany. He limited history to “what really happened” and by this directed the field further away from science. For Ranke, historical data should be collected carefully, examined objectively and put together with critical rigor. But these procedures “are merely the prerequisites and preliminaries of science. The heart of science is searching out order and regularity in the data being examined and in formulating generalizations or laws about them.” In the 20th century, academic historians focused less on epic nationalistic narratives, which often tended to glorify the nation or great men, to more objective and complex analyses of social and intellectual forces. A major trend of historical methodology in the 20th century was a tendency to treat history more as 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 branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist o ...

social science
rather than as an
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
, which traditionally had been the case. Some of the leading advocates of history as a social science were a diverse collection of scholars which included
Fernand Braudel Fernand Braudel (; 24 August 1902 – 27 November 1985) was a French historian and a leader of the Annales School. His scholarship focused on three main projects: ''The Mediterranean'' (1923–49, then 1949–66), ''Civilization and Capitalism' ...
, E. H. Carr,
Fritz Fischer Fritz Fischer (5 March 1908 – 1 December 1999) was a German historian best known for his analysis of the causes of World War I. In the early 1960s Fischer advanced the controversial thesis that responsibility for the outbreak of the war rested ...
,
Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie Emmanuel Bernard Le Roy Ladurie (born 19 July 1929) is a French historian whose work is mainly focused upon Languedoc in the ''Ancien Régime File:Prise de la Bastille.jpg, The ''Storming of the Bastille'' on 14 July 1789, later taken to mark th ...
,
Hans-Ulrich Wehler Hans-Ulrich Wehler (September 11, 1931 – July 5, 2014) was a German left-liberal 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 w ...
,
Bruce Trigger Bruce Graham Trigger (June 18, 1937 – December 1, 2006) was a Canadian Canadians (french: Canadiens) are people identified with the country of Canada. This connection may be residential, legal, historical or cultural. For most Canadians, ...
,
Marc Bloch Marc Léopold Benjamin Bloch (; ; 6 July 1886 – 16 June 1944) was a French historian. He was a founding member of the Annales School of French social history. Bloch specialised in medieval history In the history of Europe The ...

Marc Bloch
,
Karl Dietrich Bracher Karl Dietrich Bracher (13 March 1922 – 19 September 2016) was a German political scientist and historian of the Weimar Republic and Nazi Germany. Born in Stuttgart, Bracher was awarded a Ph.D. in the classics by the University of Tübingen in 194 ...
,
Peter Gay Peter Joachim Gay ( né Fröhlich; June 20, 1923 – May 12, 2015) was a German-American historian, educator, and author. He was a Sterling Professor of History at Yale University Yale University is a private Ivy League The Ivy League ...
,
Robert Fogel Robert William Fogel (; July 1, 1926 – June 11, 2013) was an American economic historian and scientist, and winner (with Douglass North Douglass Cecil North (November 5, 1920 – November 23, 2015) was an American economist known for his wor ...
,
Lucien Febvre Lucien Paul Victor Febvre (, ; 22 July 1878 – 11 September 1956) was a French 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, metho ...
and
Lawrence Stone Lawrence Stone (4 December 1919 – 16 June 1999) was an English historian of early modern Britain, after a start to his career as an art historian of English medieval art. He is noted for his work on the English Civil War and the history of mar ...
. Many of the advocates of history as a social science were or are noted for their multi-disciplinary approach. Braudel combined history with geography, Bracher history with political science, Fogel history with economics, Gay history with psychology, Trigger history with archaeology while Wehler, Bloch, Fischer, Stone, Febvre and Le Roy Ladurie have in varying and differing ways amalgamated history with sociology, geography, anthropology, and economics. Nevertheless, these multidisciplinary approaches failed to produce a theory of history. So far only one theory of history came from the pen of a professional Historian. Whatever other theories of history we have, they were written by experts from other fields (for example, Marxian theory of history). More recently, the field of digital history has begun to address ways of using computer technology to pose new questions to historical data and generate digital scholarship. In sincere opposition to the claims of history as a social science, historians such as
Hugh Trevor-Roper Hugh Redwald Trevor-Roper, Baron Dacre of Glanton, (15 January 1914 – 26 January 2003) was an English historian. He was Regius Professor of Modern History at the University of Oxford , mottoeng = Psalm 27, The Lord is my light , estab ...
,
John Lukacs John Adalbert Lukacs (; Hungarian: ''Lukács János Albert''; 31 January 1924 – 6 May 2019) was a Hungarian-born American historian who wrote more than thirty books, including ''Five Days in London, May 1940'' and ''A New Republic''. He was a p ...
,
Donald Creighton Donald Grant Creighton (1902–1979) was a Canadian historian whose major works include ''The Commercial Empire of the St-Lawrence, 1760–1850'' (first published in 1937), a detailed study on the growth of the English merchant class in relation t ...
,
Gertrude Himmelfarb Gertrude Himmelfarb (August 8, 1922 – December 30, 2019), also known as Bea Kristol, was an American historian. She was a leader of conservative interpretations of history and historiography. She wrote extensively on intellectual history, ...
and
Gerhard Ritter Gerhard Georg Bernhard Ritter (6 April 1888, in Bad Sooden-Allendorf – 1 July 1967, in Freiburg) was a nationalist-conservative German historian, who served as a professor of history at the University of Freiburg from 1925 to 1956. He studied un ...
argued that the key to the historians' work was the power of the
imagination Imagination is the ability to produce and simulate novel objects, sensations, and ideas in the mind The mind is the set of faculties responsible for mental Phenomenon, phenomena. Often the term is also identified with the phenomena themselves. ...

imagination
, and hence contended that history should be understood as an art. French historians associated with the Annales School introduced quantitative history, using raw data to track the lives of typical individuals, and were prominent in the establishment of
cultural history Cultural history combines the approaches of anthropology Anthropology is the of ity, concerned with , , , and , in both the present and past, including . studies patterns of behaviour, while studies cultural meaning, including norms and va ...
(cf. '' histoire des mentalités''). Intellectual historians such as
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 ...
,
Ernst Nolte Ernst Nolte (11 January 1923 – 18 August 2016) 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 writes ...
and George Mosse have argued for the significance of ideas in history. American historians, motivated by the civil rights era, focused on formerly overlooked ethnic, racial, and socio-economic groups. Another genre of social history to emerge in the post-WWII era was ''Alltagsgeschichte'' (History of Everyday Life). Scholars such as Martin Broszat, Ian Kershaw and Detlev Peukert sought to examine what everyday life was like for ordinary people in 20th-century Germany, especially in the Nazi Germany, Nazi period. Marxist historiography, Marxist historians such as Eric Hobsbawm, E. P. Thompson, Rodney Hilton, Georges Lefebvre, Eugene Genovese, Isaac Deutscher, C. L. R. James, Timothy Mason, Herbert Aptheker, Arno J. Mayer and Christopher Hill (historian), Christopher Hill have sought to validate Karl Marx's theories by analyzing history from a Marxist perspective. In response to the Marxist interpretation of history, historians such as François Furet, Richard Pipes, J. C. D. Clark, Roland Mousnier, Henry Ashby Turner and Robert Conquest have offered anti-Marxist interpretations of history. Feminism, Feminist historians such as Joan Wallach Scott, Claudia Koonz, Natalie Zemon Davis, Sheila Rowbotham, Gisela Bock, Gerda Lerner, Elizabeth Fox-Genovese, and Lynn Hunt have argued for the importance of studying the experience of women in the past. In recent years, postmodernism, postmodernists have challenged the validity and need for the study of history on the basis that all history is based on the personal interpretation of sources. In his 1997 book ''In Defence of History'', Richard J. Evans defended the worth of history. Another defence of history from post-modernist criticism was the Australian historian Keith Windschuttle's 1994 book, ''The Killing of History''. Today, most historians begin their research process in the archives, on either a physical or digital platform. They often propose an argument and use their research to support it. John H. Arnold (historian), John H. Arnold proposed that history is an argument, which creates the possibility of creating change. Digital information companies, such as Google, have sparked controversy over the role of internet censorship in information access.


Marxian theory

The Marxist philosophy, Marxist theory of historical materialism theorises that society is fundamentally determined by the ''material conditions'' at any given time – in other words, the relationships which people have with each other in order to fulfill basic needs such as feeding, clothing and housing themselves and their families. Overall, Karl Marx, Marx and Friedrich Engels, Engels claimed to have identified five successive stages of the development of these material conditions in Western Europe. Marxist historiography was once orthodoxy in the Soviet Union, but since the collapse of communism there in 1991, Mikhail Krom says it has been reduced to the margins of scholarship.


Potential shortcomings in the production of history

Many historians believe that the production of history is embedded with bias because events and known facts in history can be interpreted in a variety of ways. Constantin Fasolt suggested that history is linked to politics by the practice of silence itself. He also said: “A second common view of the link between history and politics rests on the elementary observation that historians are often influenced by politics.” According to Michel-Rolph Trouillot, the historical process is rooted in the archives, therefore silences, or parts of history that are forgotten, may be an intentional part of a narrative strategy that dictates how areas of history are remembered. Historical omissions can occur in many ways and can have a profound effect on historical records. Information can also purposely be excluded or left out accidentally. Historians have coined multiple terms that describe the act of omitting historical information, including: “silencing,” “selective memory,” and erasures. Gerda Lerner, a twentieth century historian who focused much of her work on historical omissions involving women and their accomplishments, explained the negative impact that these omissions had on minority groups. Environmental historian William Cronon proposed three ways to combat bias and ensure authentic and accurate narratives: narratives must not contradict known fact, they must make ecological sense (specifically for environmental history), and published work must be reviewed by scholarly community and other historians to ensure accountability.


Areas of study


Periods

Historical study often focuses on events and developments that occur in particular blocks of time. Historians give these Periodization, periods of time names in order to allow "organising ideas and classificatory generalisations" to be used by historians. The names given to a period can vary with geographical location, as can the dates of the beginning and end of a particular period. Century, Centuries and decades are commonly used periods and the time they represent depends on the Calendar era, dating system used. Most periods are constructed retrospectively and so reflect value judgments made about the past. The way periods are constructed and the names given to them can affect the way they are viewed and studied.


Prehistoric periodisation

The field of history generally leaves prehistory to archaeologists, who have entirely different sets of tools and theories. The usual method for periodisation of the distant Prehistory, prehistoric past, in archaeology is to rely on changes in material culture and technology, such as the Stone Age, Bronze Age and Iron Age and their sub-divisions also based on different styles of material remains. Here prehistory is divided into a series of "chapters" so that periods in history could unfold not only in a relative chronology but also narrative chronology. This narrative content could be in the form of functional-economic interpretation. There are periodisations, however, that do not have this narrative aspect, relying largely on relative chronology, and that are thus devoid of any specific meaning Despite the development over recent decades of the ability through radiocarbon dating and other scientific methods to give actual dates for many sites or artefacts, these long-established schemes seem likely to remain in use. In many cases neighbouring cultures with writing have left some history of cultures without it, which may be used. Periodisation, however, is not viewed as a perfect framework, with one account explaining that "cultural changes do not conveniently start and stop (combinedly) at periodisation boundaries" and that different trajectories of change are also needed to be studied in their own right before they get intertwined with cultural phenomena.


Geographical locations

Particular Geography, geographical locations can form the basis of historical study, for example, continents, Country, countries, and City, cities. Understanding why historic events took place is important. To do this, historians often turn to
geography Geography (from Ancient Greek, Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of the Earth and Solar System, planets. The first person t ...

geography
. According to Jules Michelet in his book ''Histoire de France'' (1833), "without geographical basis, the people, the makers of history, seem to be walking on air." Weather patterns, the water supply, and the landscape of a place all affect the lives of the people who live there. For example, to explain why the ancient Egyptians developed a successful civilization, studying the geography of Egypt is essential. Egyptian civilization was built on the banks of the Nile River, which flooded each year, depositing soil on its banks. The rich soil could help farmers grow enough crops to feed the people in the cities. That meant everyone did not have to farm, so some people could perform other jobs that helped develop the civilization. There is also the case of Environmental determinism, climate, which historians like Ellsworth Huntington and Ellen Churchill Semple cited as a crucial influence on the course of history. Huntington and Semple further argued that climate has an impact on racial temperament.


Regions

* History of Africa begins with the first emergence of modern human beings on the continent, continuing into its modern present as a patchwork of diverse and politically developing nation states. * History of the Americas is the collective history of North and South America, including Central America and the Caribbean. ** History of North America is the study of the past passed down from generation to generation on the continent in the Earth's northern and western hemisphere. ** History of Central America is the study of the past passed down from generation to generation on the continent in the Earth's western hemisphere. ** History of the Caribbean begins with the oldest evidence where 7,000-year-old remains have been found. ** History of South America is the study of the past passed down from generation to generation on the continent in the Earth's southern and western hemisphere. * History of Antarctica emerges from early Western theories of a vast continent, known as Terra Australis, believed to exist in the far south of the globe. * History of Eurasia is the collective history of several distinct peripheral coastal regions: the Middle East, South Asia, East Asia, Southeast Asia, and Europe, linked by the interior mass of the Eurasian steppe of Central Asia and Eastern Europe. ** History of Europe describes the passage of time from humans inhabiting the European continent to the present day. ** History of Asia can be seen as the collective history of several distinct peripheral coastal regions, East Asia, South Asia, and the Middle East linked by the interior mass of the Eurasian steppe. *** History of East Asia is the study of the past passed down from generation to generation in East Asia. *** History of the Middle East begins with the earliest civilizations in the region now known as the Middle East that were established around 3000 BC, in Mesopotamia (Iraq). *** History of India is the study of the past passed down from generation to generation in the Sub-Himalayan region. *** History of Southeast Asia has been characterized as interaction between regional players and foreign powers. * History of Oceania is the collective history of Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. ** History of Australia starts with the documentation of the Makassar trading with Indigenous Australians on Australia's north coast. ** History of New Zealand dates back at least 700 years to when it was discovered and settled by Polynesians, who developed a distinct Māori culture centred on kinship links and land. ** History of the Pacific Islands covers the history of the islands in the Pacific Ocean.


Military

Military history concerns warfare, strategies, battles, weapons, and the psychology of combat. The "new military history" since the 1970s has been concerned with soldiers more than generals, with psychology more than tactics, and with the broader impact of warfare on society and culture.


Religious

The history of religion has been a main theme for both secular and religious historians for centuries, and continues to be taught in seminaries and academe. Leading journals include ''Church History (journal), Church History'', ''The Catholic Historical Review'', and ''History of Religions (journal), History of Religions''. Topics range widely from political and cultural and artistic dimensions, to theology and liturgy. This subject studies religions from all regions and areas of the world where humans have lived.


Social

''Social history'', sometimes called the ''new social history'', is the field that includes history of ordinary people and their strategies and institutions for coping with life. In its "golden age" it was a major growth field in the 1960s and 1970s among scholars, and still is well represented in history departments. In two decades from 1975 to 1995, the proportion of professors of history in American universities identifying with social history rose from 31% to 41%, while the proportion of political historians fell from 40% to 30%. In the history departments of British universities in 2007, of the 5723 faculty members, 1644 (29%) identified themselves with social history while political history came next with 1425 (25%). The "old" social history before the 1960s was a hodgepodge of topics without a central theme, and it often included political movements, like Populism, that were "social" in the sense of being outside the elite system. Social history was contrasted with political history, intellectual history and the history of Great Man theory, great men. English historian G. M. Trevelyan saw it as the bridging point between economic and political history, reflecting that, "Without social history, economic history is barren and political history unintelligible." While the field has often been viewed negatively as history with the politics left out, it has also been defended as "history with the people put back in".


Subfields

The chief subfields of social history include: * Black history (disambiguation), Black history * Demographic history * Ethnic history * Gender history * History of childhood * History of education * History of the family * Labor history (discipline), Labour history * LGBT history * Rural history * Urban history ** American urban history * Women's history


Cultural

Cultural history replaced social history as the dominant form in the 1980s and 1990s. It typically combines the approaches of anthropology and history to look at language, popular cultural traditions and cultural interpretations of historical experience. It examines the records and narrative descriptions of past knowledge, customs, and arts of a group of people. How peoples constructed their memory of the past is a major topic. Cultural history includes the study of History of art, art in society as well is the study of images and human visual production (iconography).


Diplomatic

Diplomatic history focuses on the relationships between nations, primarily regarding diplomacy and the causes of wars. More recently it looks at the causes of peace and human rights. It typically presents the viewpoints of the foreign office, and long-term strategic values, as the driving force of continuity and change in history. This type of ''political history'' is the study of the conduct of International relations#History, international relations between states or across state boundaries over time. Historian Muriel Chamberlain notes that after the First World War, "diplomatic history replaced constitutional history as the flagship of historical investigation, at once the most important, most exact and most sophisticated of historical studies." She adds that after 1945, the trend reversed, allowing social history to replace it.


Economic

Although economic history has been well established since the late 19th century, in recent years academic studies have shifted more and more toward economics departments and away from traditional history departments. Business history deals with the history of individual business organizations, business methods, government regulation, labour relations, and impact on society. It also includes biographies of individual companies, executives, and entrepreneurs. It is related to economic history. Business history is most often taught in business schools.


Environmental

Environmental history is a new field that emerged in the 1980s to look at the history of the environment, especially in the long run, and the impact of human activities upon it. It is an offshoot of the environmental movement, which was kickstarted by Rachel Carson's ''Silent Spring'' in the 1960s.


World

World history is the study of major civilizations over the last 3000 years or so. World history is primarily a teaching field, rather than a research field. It gained popularity in the United States, Japan and other countries after the 1980s with the realization that students need a broader exposure to the world as globalization proceeds. It has led to highly controversial interpretations by Oswald Spengler and Arnold J. Toynbee, among others. The World History Association publishes the ''Journal of World History'' every quarter since 1990. The H-World discussion list serves as a network of communication among practitioners of world history, with discussions among scholars, announcements, syllabi, bibliographies and book reviews.


People's

A people's history is a type of historical work which attempts to account for historical events from the Populism, perspective of common people. A people's history is the history of the world that is the story of mass movements and of the outsiders. Individuals or groups not included in the past in other type of writing about history are the primary focus, which includes the Disfranchisement, disenfranchised, the oppression, oppressed, the poverty, poor, the Nonconformist (Protestantism), nonconformists, and the otherwise forgotten people. The authors are typically on the left and have a socialist model in mind, as in the approach of the History Workshop Journal, History Workshop movement in Britain in the 1960s.


Intellectual

Intellectual history and the history of ideas emerged in the mid-20th century, with the focus on the intellectuals and their books on the one hand, and on the other the study of ideas as disembodied objects with a career of their own.


Gender

Gender history is a subfield of History and Gender studies, which looks at the past from the perspective of gender. The outgrowth of gender history from women's history stemmed from many non-Feminism, feminist historians dismissing the importance of women in history. According to Joan W. Scott, “Gender is a constitutive element of social relationships based on perceived differences between the sexes, and gender is a primary way of signifying relations of power”, meaning that gender historians study the social effects of perceived differences between the sexes and how all genders utilize allotted power in societal and political structures. Despite being a relatively new field, gender history has had a significant effect on the general study of history. Gender history traditionally differs from women's history in its inclusion of all aspects of gender such as masculinity and femininity, and today's gender history extends to include people who identify outside of that binary. LGBT history deals with the first recorded instances of same-sex love and sexuality of Ancient history, ancient civilizations, and involves the history of lesbian, gay, Bisexuality, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) peoples and cultures around the world.


Public

Public history describes the broad range of activities undertaken by people with some training in the discipline of history who are generally working outside of specialized academic settings. Public history practice has quite deep roots in the areas of historic preservation, archival science, oral history, museum curatorship, and other related fields. The term itself began to be used in the U.S. and Canada in the late 1970s, and the field has become increasingly professionalized since that time. Some of the most common settings for public history are museums, historic homes and historic sites, parks, battlefields, archives, film and television companies, and all levels of government.


Historians

Professional and amateur historians discover, collect, organize, and present information about past events. They discover this information through archaeological evidence, written primary sources, verbal stories or oral histories, and other archival material. In list of historians, lists of historians, historians can be grouped by order of the historical period in which they were writing, which is not necessarily the same as the period in which they specialized. Chroniclers and annals, annalists, though they are not historians in the true sense, are also frequently included.


Judgement

Since the 20th century, Western historians have disavowed the aspiration to provide the "judgement of history".Curran, Vivian Grosswald (2000) ''Herder and the Holocaust: A Debate About Difference and Determinism in the Context of Comparative Law'' in F.C. DeCoste, Bernard Schwartz (eds.) ''Holocaust's Ghost: Writings on Art, Politics, Law and Education'
pp. 413–415
The goals of historical judgements or interpretations are separate to those of Judgment (law), legal judgements, that need to be formulated quickly after the events and be final.Curran, Vivian Grosswald (2000) ''Herder and the Holocaust: A Debate About Difference and Determinism in the Context of Comparative Law'' in F.C. DeCoste, Bernard Schwartz (eds.) ''Holocaust's Ghost: Writings on Art, Politics, Law and Education'
p. 415
A related issue to that of the judgement of history is that of collective memory.


Pseudohistory

Pseudohistory is a term applied to texts which purport to be historical in nature but which depart from standard Historical method, historiographical conventions in a way which undermines their conclusions. It is closely related to deceptive Historical negationism, historical revisionism. Works which draw controversial conclusions from new, speculative, or disputed historical evidence, particularly in the fields of national, political, military, and religious affairs, are often rejected as pseudohistory.


Teaching


Scholarship vs teaching

A major intellectual battle took place in Britain in the early twentieth century regarding the place of history teaching in the universities. At Oxford and Cambridge, scholarship was downplayed. Professor Charles Harding Firth, Oxford's Regius Professor of history in 1904 ridiculed the system as best suited to produce superficial journalists. The Oxford tutors, who had more votes than the professors, fought back in defence of their system saying that it successfully produced Britain's outstanding statesmen, administrators, prelates, and diplomats, and that mission was as valuable as training scholars. The tutors dominated the debate until after the Second World War. It forced aspiring young scholars to teach at outlying schools, such as Manchester University, where Thomas Frederick Tout was professionalizing the History undergraduate programme by introducing the study of original sources and requiring the writing of a thesis. In the United States, scholarship was concentrated at the major PhD-producing universities, while the large number of other colleges and universities focused on undergraduate teaching. A tendency in the 21st century was for the latter schools to increasingly demand scholarly productivity of their younger tenure-track faculty. Furthermore, universities have increasingly relied on inexpensive part-time adjuncts to do most of the classroom teaching.


Nationalism

From the origins of national school systems in the 19th century, the teaching of history to promote national sentiment has been a high priority. In the United States after World War I, a strong movement emerged at the university level to teach courses in Western Civilization, so as to give students a common heritage with Europe. In the U.S. after 1980, attention increasingly moved toward teaching world history or requiring students to take courses in non-western cultures, to prepare students for life in a globalized economy. At the university level, historians debate the question of whether history belongs more to social science or to the humanities. Many view the field from both perspectives. The teaching of history in French schools was influenced by the ''Nouvelle histoire'' as disseminated after the 1960s by ''Cahiers pédagogiques and Enseignement'' and other journals for teachers. Also influential was the Institut national de recherche et de documentation pédagogique, (INRDP). Joseph Leif, the Inspector-general of teacher training, said pupils children should learn about historians' approaches as well as facts and dates. Louis François, Dean of the History/Geography group in the Inspectorate of National Education advised that teachers should provide historic documents and promote "active methods" which would give pupils "the immense happiness of discovery." Proponents said it was a reaction against the memorization of names and dates that characterized teaching and left the students bored. Traditionalists protested loudly it was a postmodern innovation that threatened to leave the youth ignorant of French patriotism and national identity.


Bias in school teaching

In several countries’ history textbooks are tools to foster nationalism and patriotism, and give students the official narrative about national enemies. In many countries, history textbooks are sponsored by the national government and are written to put the national heritage in the most favourable light. For example, in Japan, mention of the Nanking Massacre has been removed from textbooks and the entire Second World War is given cursory treatment. Other countries have complained. It was standard policy in communist countries to present only a rigid Marxist historiography. In the United States, textbooks published by the same company often differ in content from state to state. An example of content that is represented different in different regions of the country is the history of the Southern United States, Southern states, where Slavery in the United States, slavery and the American Civil War are treated as controversial topics. McGraw-Hill Education for example, was criticised for describing Africans brought to American plantations as "workers" instead of slaves in a textbook. Academic historians have often fought against the politicization of the textbooks, sometimes with success. In 21st-century Germany, the history curriculum is controlled by the 16 states, and is characterized not by superpatriotism but rather by an "almost pacifistic and deliberately unpatriotic undertone" and reflects "principles formulated by international organizations such as UNESCO or the Council of Europe, thus oriented towards human rights, democracy and peace." The result is that "German textbooks usually downplay national pride and ambitions and aim to develop an understanding of citizenship centered on democracy, progress, human rights, peace, tolerance and Europeanness."Simone Lässig and Karl Heinrich Pohl, "History Textbooks and Historical Scholarship in Germany," ''History Workshop Journal'' Issue 67, Spring 2009 pp. 128–12
online at project MUSE
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See also


Methods

* Auxiliary sciences of history * Archival research * Bibliography * Computational history * List of history journals * Popular history


Topics

* Historiography of Argentina * Atlantic history * Historiography of Canada * Classics ** Greek historiography *** Historiography of Alexander the Great ** Roman historiography *** Historiography of the fall of the Western Roman Empire * Historiography of the Cold War *
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 ...
* Historiography of the French Revolution ** Annales School, in France * Historiography of Germany ** Bielefeld School, in Germany * Historiography of early Islam * Historiography of Japan * Middle Ages ** Dark Ages (historiography) ** Historiography of the Crusades * Historiography of Switzerland * Historiography in the Soviet Union * Historiography of the United States ** Frontier Thesis * Historiography of the United Kingdom ** Historiography of Scotland ** Historiography of the British Empire * World history * Historiography of the causes of World War I * Historiography of World War II


Other themes

* List of history awards * History of the book * Historiography of science * Subaltern Studies, Regarding post-colonial India * Whig history, History portrayed as the story of continuous progress


References


Further reading

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External links


Best history sites .net

BBC History Site

Internet History Sourcebooks Project
See also Internet History Sourcebooks Project. Collections of public domain and copy-permitted historical texts for educational use
The History Channel Online

History Channel UK
{{Authority control History, Humanities Main topic articles