Historical methods in Europe and America

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Abstract

This chapter reflects on those historical celebrations of the nation that were produced not merely by market forces and for political expediency. Intellectual developments, which arose in the wake of the Revolution in France (1789–93), ensured the importance of narrating a progressive development of the nation state and documenting it through archival work. Tracing the ideas that inform historical methods – the choice of histories we read, write and study – are fundamentally important, because they reveal how the past was understood by those who lived in it. This chapter opens with Napoleon’s invasion of Prussia, and will address developments in England, the German lands and America, before concluding in Paris on the eve of the Great War.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Cambridge Companion to Nineteenth-Century Thought
EditorsGregory Claeys
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherCambridge University Press
Chapter6
Pages95-122
ISBN (Print)9781107696143
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019

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