Essay on Historical Methods: Discussion Board

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655 words
Harvey Mudd College
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According to history, human beings began to tell and write stories from time immemorial. Historical writers are known to have based their theoretical work upon the world events such as the world war. As green and Troup claim it is indeed true that they analyzed events in the history then filtered information and wrote it down. In the twentieth century, several events were the pivot to many historical theories that are still read and appreciated to date. In such a way this paper focuses on different pivotal moments in the twentieth century that shaped historical theories such as the one presented by green and coup

World war one significantly influenced the development of the historical theories. It was until world war one that historians lost their confidence about the future of westernisation. By the time the war ended, the entire world was changed, and the development of history was shattered. However, some historians reacted to the issues and used made use of the war and the aftermath in diverse ways in their writing. For example, Oswald, a German writer concluded that the world history followed the growth and decay procedure regarding succession of civilization. Consequently, most historians attempt to find partners in human civilisation they began working with limited questions (Popkin, 2016). However, all was not lost as the guilt of the war controversy caught up with most of the historical writers, and they decided to challenge the objective of the interwar period. Therefore, this action led to the making of some of the most famous historians during those decades such as Charles Beard. Following the war-guilt controversy and the ideal challenge, some of the historians concluded that historical writing was biased thus they needed focus on what they believe in.

Another pivotal moment in the 20th century that shaped historical theories is the founding of the Annales school. As stated earlier by the end of the world war one most of the historians had lost hope and confidence that was passed to them by their predecessors in the nineteenth century (Popkin, 2016). Most historians downed their tool and abandoned their goals to embrace the changed in their nation during the war. Those who opted to stay had to conform to the intense pressure of the newly imposed guidelines in their work. To reinstate normality among the historians that was lost during the interwar period, a scholarly movement was established known as Annales school movement in France.

The annals school significantly influenced historians all over the world as it was an open and flexible approach, unlike the strict guidelines that were dictated by the nineteenth-century scholarship. This innovative approach paves the way for a rather economic and social history compared to the political history which they were confined to. Consequently, Bloch and FebVre urged historians to dig deeper in terms of evidence which they drew their ideas on, an act which meant that historian was now free to use physical artefacts as evidence in addition to written documents. In as much as Bloch and FebVre were concerned with their innovative approach, they still embraced the Marxist tradition, but they did not feel obliged to fit this ideological framework (Popkin, 2016). They were some shortcoming realized through this movement such as reduced interest in history. However, this movement was particularly important in the liberating historians from an excessive political and war concern in history.

A lot of things were overlooked back in the history, but through several moments especially in the 20 century a lot of stuff changed. 20th century describes a period where historian lost hope in their scholarly duty and regained their will to give rise to some of the most respected historians. The war guilt controversy and the Annales school are just but a few of the pivotal moment that forever shaped historical writing whose impact is felt even today.



Popkin, J. D. (2016). From Herodotus to H-Net: The Story of Historiography. Oxford University Press.


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