There are six schools of thought in historical study, each with its own unique perspective and focus. These schools are nationalism, Marxism, New History, postmodernism, social history, and feminist history.
Nationalism is the belief that a nation is defined by its shared history, culture, and values. This school of thought emphasizes the importance of national identity and pride. The United States is an example of a country whose historiography is shaped by nationalism.
Marxism is a school of thought that focuses on the economic and social factors that shape history. This perspective highlights the role of class conflict and economic change in shaping historical events.
The New History is a school of thought that emerged in the late 20th century. This perspective emphasizes the importance of social and cultural factors in history. New historians often use interdisciplinary approaches to examine history.
Postmodernism is a school of thought that challenges traditional ideas about history. This perspective emphasizes the role of power, knowledge, and language in shaping our understanding of the past.
Social history is a school of thought that focuses on the everyday lives of ordinary people. This perspective highlights the role of work, family, and leisure in shaping historical events.
Feminist history is a school of thought that emphasizes the experiences and perspectives of women in history. This perspective highlights the ways that gender has shaped historical events.
Historiography is the study of shifting historical viewpoints, emphasis changes, and various research techniques. It’s a useful device for assisting non-specialists in understanding the assumptions made by historians. There are six schools of historical thought, classified into two categories: Domestic and Foreign Policy. The Progressives, Consensus Historians, and New Left are among the first three in the domestic school. The Nationalists, Realists, and Radicals make up the foreign policy group.
The Progressives were the first school of thought and they believed that history should be studied in order to improve the present. They were interested in social reform and cleaning up government corruption. The Consensus Historians came next and they agreed with the Progressives that history should be used to improve the present, but they believed that there was a fundamental consensus among all Americans.
The New Left was the third group in the domestic school and they rejected both the Progressives and the Consensus Historians. They believed that history should be used to empower people who have been forgotten or left out by traditional historians.
The Nationalists were the first group in the foreign policy school and they believed that history should be used to promote nationalism. The Realists were the second group and they believed that history should be used to promote international cooperation. The Radicals were the third group and they believed that history should be used to promote revolution.
The Progressives are the first branch of domestic historical thinking. This movement emerged in 1902 and began to lose momentum in 1945. They were named after early 20th century progressive reformers. Their primary influences were urbanization and immigration, and they placed a premium on social science studies. They sought for social progress and thought that liberal, democratic, and progressive ideas would be the most effective way to achieve it.
The second school is The Marxist school which began in the mid-19th century and is continuing today. They are based on the ideas of Karl Marx who believed that history was a struggle between economic classes. This battle would eventually lead to communism. This school has greatly influenced socialist and communist thought around the world.
The third school is The Annales school which began in 1929 and is continuing today. It is named after the French historical journal, Annales d’histoire économique et sociale. This school focuses on long-term trends rather than individual events. They also place a great emphasis on geography, climate, and demography.
The fourth school is The New Social History which began in the 1960s and is continuing today. This school is a reaction to the Marxist school and focuses on history from the bottom up instead of the top down. They believe that history is made by everyday people and not just those in power.
The fifth school is The Postmodernist school which began in the 1970s and is continuing today. This school is a reaction to the Annales school and challenges many of their assumptions. They believe that history is subjective and can never be known definitively.
The sixth and final school is The Quantitative school which began in the 1960s and is continuing today. This school uses statistical methods to analyze historical data. They have been very influential in fields such as economics, demography, and sociology.
The Consensus Historians are a group of American historians who began in the 1940s and are still active today. They are also referred to as “neo-conservatives.” WWII and The Great Depression helped to bring this movement into the light. They thought that there was no conflict in America, and that all Americans shared similar fundamental principles.
They wrote history with the purpose of creating a consensus amongst Americans. Major works by this group include The American People: A History by Frederick Lewis Allen and The Social Order of a Frontier Community by Robert C. Lynd.
The New Left Historians are group of historians that criticize the Consensus school for not being critical enough of America’s past. They came to light in the 1960s during the Civil Rights Movement. This group is made up of mostly Marxists who believed that class conflict was the most important force in history.
They wrote history with the purpose of changing America’s future. Major works by this group include The Other America: Poverty in the United States by Michael Harrington and Who Built America? Work, Culture, and Society in the Making of the American Working Class by Joyce Appleby, et al.
The Neo-Progressives are a group of historians that emerged in the 1970s. They were similar to the New Left in that they were also critical of America’s past, but they differed in their belief that America was moving forward and making progress. They wrote history with the purpose of continuing this progress. Major works by this group include The American Promise: A History of the United States by James L. Roark and The Americans: The Democratic Experience by Daniel J. Boorstin.
The Post-Modernists are a group of historians that came to light in the 1980s. They are characterized by their rejection of traditional historical methods and their focus on interpretation. They believe that history is too complex to be reduced to simple cause and effect and that there is no such thing as objective history. Major works by this group include The Invention of Tradition by Eric Hobsbawm and The Cultural Turn: Selected Writings on the Postmodern, 1983-1998 by Frederic Jameson.
The New Historians are a group of Israeli historians that emerged in the 1980s. They are best known for their revisionist accounts of the Arab-Israeli conflict. They challenged the traditional Zionist narrative of Israel’s founding and instead argued that Israel was founded through a process of colonization. Major works by this group include The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, 1947-1949 by Benny Morris and From Time Immemorial: The Origins of the Arab-Jewish Conflict over Palestine by Joan Peters.
The Cliometricians are a group of historians that emerged in the 1980s. They are characterized by their use of quantitative methods to study history. They believe that history can be explained through numbers and that trends can be identified through data analysis.