History in a general sense means anything that has happened. In a narrower sense history is the development of humanity , which is why of human history is spoken (in marked contrast to natural history ). In this context, history is sometimes synonymous with past uses. In addition, history also means looking at the past in memory, and in the telling of history . Researchers who are the historians devote called historians .

Finally, one designated by history as a school subject and story , signaling the end of the past and gives an overview of events in the world, state, regional, people, politics, religion and culture.


If you look at history as past, we can distinguish the following areas:

The history of the universe : it is of astronomers , astrophysicists, geologists, biologists and other scientists considered ( Big Bang , cosmology , geology , natural history ), not by historians. This also relates to the emergence of Homo sapiens.
The history of man: This is a development that cultural factors included. Man has always changed his environment in order to adapt to their needs. This kind of story is the subject of archeology , anthropology and social geography . Periods for which there are no written sources, as prehistory , periods with very few (mostly non-native) written sources as early history known.
The history of man since the invention of writing (in the 4th millennium BC).

Only in this third story, the narrowest region is the subject of historiography with its specific method, because only about written documents that is tangible, that man from the experienced itself as his story and how he has acquired these. The focus of the study of history, exploring (Greek history) of the past, there are the springs.

It is necessary to distinguish between history as an event and the awareness of history , the image of the past, which is reflected on the one hand in the way the historical figures, on the other hand are in the research and presentation due to the existing traditions is for the viewer to grasp the the action tries (see historiography and history of history ). This subsequent historical knowledge is based on the remains and traditions .

Such knowledge, however, is never completely objective, but depend on the historical situation, the perspective of the observer and the available sources. Enforce a particular perspective to other perspectives (and the attempt multiperspectivity enable) is for the politics of history.

By contrast, history teaching the task of facilitating access to key areas of history and a multidimensional sense of history to allow.

The teaching of history is the attempt of the practical implementation of history teaching. Ideally, content should not only as the findings of the science of history, but at least even the beginnings of historical-critical methods skills are taught – this the more so as the mediated in school history knowledge in itself is just a reconstruction always, can lay no claim to truth.

A history of access to the various areas of history and national histories of gives the portal: History . Access to specific subject matters of history allow the various disciplines of the science of history .
Definition attempt

Over history, there is both the philosophy and the science of history, a number of general glossary, such as these:

Wilhelm von Humboldt : “The goal of the story can only be represented by the realization of the idea of humanity.”
Johann Gustav Droysen : “What is happening in their daily, by any wise done as history or wanted. Only a certain way of looking at what happened again, turns business history. ”
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel : history is “progress in the consciousness of freedom” – “the unfolding of the nature of God in a special, specific element”
Karl Jaspers : “We speak of the history of nature and of human history. Common to both is an irreversible process of time . But both are different in meaning and essence. The story is the nature of their self-unaware. It is a mere happening, that knows it not, but by the only white man. Awareness and intent is not a factor in this event. It is therefore a temptation in our usual categories of natural thought, to look at the story itself even after the analogy of natural phenomena. ”
Golo Mann : “Every story has two components: what happened, and who sees what happened from his place in the period studied and understood. Not only correct new factual findings, the old, the knower itself is changing. The past lives and varies in light of new experiences and issues. ”
The task of historiography: Leopold von Ranke : “One of the history, the office of judging the past, of instructing the present for the benefit of future years, given; such high offices under overcomes current attempt is not: he wants to say just how it actually was. ”

Definitions could be given to countless others. So reveals the problem to general definition of history. All definitions listed here suggest something essential. However, they are all imbued with the subjective perspective of those that prepare them. That’s not much different conceivable, since the owners of each other historical perspective to judge from. In addition, the question of a definition of history to the question of tasks and purposes of history. It turns out that the historiography of power relations and thus is dependent on political interests. Clearly occurs in the light of the historical description and interpretation of national history in their walk. The political environment, for example by monarchy, dictatorship or democracy ever make different assumptions and perspectives in terms of history. This raises the problem of the historical truth . There is no historical truth in itself, but only an interpretation of the sources from the individual perspective (location, time, interest, friend / enemy …). In the year 5000 will be – assuming the same source level – a different picture of history than today.
approaches and functions of history

Gordon A. Craig said in 1981 in M√ľnster (Westphalia) : [1]

“History is not” an exact science “- it is a humanistic discipline. My main subject is people, and history, as Thucydides said a long time ago. Their studies of circumstances, but by people in circumstances Whoever forgets that because he is in love with his own particular field of interest or intrigued by the model-building activities and ideal types of the behaviorists, can only be described as stupid. ”

– Gordon A. Craig

Scientific approaches
Leopold von Ranke was one of the founding fathers of modern historians, who sought to the greatest possible objectivity when playing the story.

History can either be researched scientifically, on the other hand is sometimes suggested to consider the presentation of the results and relationships as an artistic activity. The historian is to explain to the reader on a comprehensive, objective and convincing way the course of events and their causes and effects. The philosophy of history tried the course of action in a broader context, a view of history bring. This is largely the approach of the humanities . Significant evaluation criteria and tools here are the chronology and periodization .
The study of the history of nature or the earth is of course of the science run. It’s mainly about making the natural history or the history of the Earth to understand on the basis of scientific knowledge methods.
Another approach called historiography metry , which attempts to describe temporal events in a metric index.

History as a construction

The study of history also discusses the question of how far, designed by their view of the past is ever able to replicate the actual past. This not only refers to the impossibility to represent historical situations and processes in their entirety or totality, but is also linked to doubts in their sources (quite apart from the fakes) together. While in the 19th Century was trying to harmonize conflicting statements from different sources as far as possible, you find yourself starting today more because of past facts is gone frequently and finally unrekonstruierbar. Known example of this change is the presentation of the coronation of Charlemagne as emperor in Rome, which is described in the papal sources other than the sources that have arisen north of the Alps. While in this case the Nichtrekonstruierbarkeit is given conflicting sources generally accepted today, it is from sources which there is no differing or independent of their representation, a much debated question of whether the image is drawn on the basis of these sources from the past not a construction that is has to do with the real events too little or possibly nothing. Here, the trial of Jesus, or the background of the Constantinian turn serve as an example. On the one hand, the question is discussed whether the attempted reconstruction in such cases should not be omitted as well, on the other hand, if such a distinction between “real” and “reconstructed” actually has any sense, and if not, the maxim is sufficient that that reconstructed history as long corresponds to reality, require a correction to new insights.
Historical reconstruction by linguistic means

But the quest for scientific reconstruction of history is – if only because of the linguistic determination of their service – not without constructing shares. The raw material of history, the whole of the past, can only be made visible and understandable by designation, assessment and spiritual order in the medium of language. Thus is history. (Also) the product of the historian and the besinnenden itself to the past people “Only to the extent that reflection takes place and is articulated, there is history. Outside this range, only the present is no depth dimension and dead material. ” [2]
Artistic approaches

By the presentation of the story can be seen as an artistic object, it is vice versa for artistic or literary processing of historical topics, without primarily a scientific research interest exists. For example, the drama are Wallenstein by Friedrich von Schiller , or Torquato Tasso by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe literary works on the basis of historical material without being understood simultaneously as historical works in the scientific sense can.
In addition to the literary approaches, there are forms of artistic engagement with history in the visual arts , especially in the history paintings , sometimes in monumental forms as in the case of the Peasants’ War Panorama .

Politics of History
House of History in Bonn

Specifically directed by the political interests representation of history is the subject of the politics of history , which is also operated by some historians actively. Historical policy serves to influence the general opinion in society. She has. Depending on the political system historically typical impact on history teaching and history of education The center of the politics of history are varied. To the related terms

There are also forms of historical knowledge through museum education and entertainment through to Histotainment (such as medieval markets), a spectrum that ranges from didactic knowledge to mere entertainment, and also to be found in many combinations.

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