CONCEPTS OF HISTORY
What is History?
• History is a branch of knowledge concerned with the study of past events.
• History is made up of many people's stories of the past.
• History is the study of the past with special attention to the written record of the activities of human beings over time.
• Scholars who write about history are called historians. It is a field of research, which uses a narrative to examine and analyse the sequence of events, and it often attempts to investigate objectively the patterns of cause and effect that determine events.
• Historians study records of events and prepare new accounts based on their research. These written accounts attempt to explain the causes and effects of events and offer interpretations of them.
• History is more than memory and different from myth. Unlike memory, history is constructed from evidence. Unlike myth, history is subject to critical examination and correction.
• A work of history begins with questions about the past. For example, how were societies formed, governed, or destroyed? How did law, religion, education, and art develop, and how did they influence life? How did people create wealth, and how was it distributed?
• The questions that historians ask always reflect the concerns of the times in which they live. For example, an interest in the popularity of violent entertainment in today's society might lead a historian to study why the ancient Romans found gladiatorial combat exciting. As a result history is never “finished.” There is never a final, complete version that satisfies everyone. There will always be new questions to ask of the past, and historians will always incorporate these questions in the process of creating written history.
SOURCES OF HISTORY
Sources are where historians get their information about what happened in the past. Like the clues at a murder scene for a detective, they provide the facts that support historical arguments and...