What History Was, Is, and Will Be: Crash Course European History #50 | Summary and Q&A

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August 28, 2020
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What History Was, Is, and Will Be: Crash Course European History #50

TL;DR

History has evolved from a focus on God's work and monarchs to a broader study of ordinary people and everyday life, with an emphasis on understanding power dynamics and recognizing bias.

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Questions & Answers

Q: How has the study of history evolved over time?

The study of history has evolved from a focus on significant events dictated by God's work and monarchs to include a broader understanding of everyday life and the experiences of ordinary people. Oral histories and personal memories are now valued as important sources of information.

Q: What role did the professionalization of historical teaching and writing play in the evolution of history?

The professionalization of historical teaching and writing, particularly in universities, led to the development of the seminar method and strict standards of truth and objectivity. This enhanced the legitimacy of historical research and helped establish history as a profession.

Q: How has the understanding of power in history changed?

In older historical understandings, power was primarily seen as the direct force exerted by kings or rulers. However, in modern times, power is viewed as participatory and flowing through society. Power operates among everyone, including citizens, soldiers, patients, and even skateboarders, as they interact with systems that have power over them.

Q: Why is revisionism an important part of achieving historical accuracy?

Revisionism allows historians to incorporate new facts and research into the narrative of the past. By revising historical accounts, historians aim to achieve a more accurate understanding of events, challenging biased interpretations and ensuring that the evidence aligns with what is known to be true.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • History has evolved from relying solely on written records to incorporating oral histories and personal memories as valuable sources of information.

  • The study of history began by recording significant events linked to God's work and monarchs, but expanded to include a greater understanding of everyday life and the experiences of ordinary people.

  • Historians started to use objective records to legitimize the nation-state and its historical ties, leading to the professionalization of historical teaching and writing.

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