How Historians Study the Past

How Historians Study the Past

Historians always have a sense of the past which helps them to reinforce their beliefs and identity. They believe that the human species relies more on experience as opposed to the instinct to survive. Therefore, it is of profound importance that every individual is conscious of the past. However, to maintain their identity, historians study the past in a unique way which defines their profession. Historians study past events by adopting eyes of the past, assessing the gulf between past and current ages, using periodization to measure distance, and studying female exploitation. THIS IS A SAMPLE ORDER YOUR PAPER NOW

One of the ways through which historians conduct their study involves adopting the eyes of the past. This entails reconstructing events that happened in the past to understand them better. In this regard, the historians reconstruct aspects such as atmosphere and the past ages’ mentality to make meaning to their experiences. As a result, historians can understand why people in the past behaved the way they did by adopting their eyes and making judgments that are based on past people’s standards. This method is ideal for historical recreation and helps historians to perceive past experiences wholly and understand them as if they were physically present.

Historians also put into consideration the gulf between the past and present ages. Historians understand that time alters the way people think and behave. Therefore, they do not just assume that people who lived in the past thought and acted as we do. For example, the current age is different from that of the past regarding material possessions, mentalities, priorities, values, and fears. Today’s generation, for instance, is fascinated by nature but most of

the past communities feared forests and mountains. For historians, understanding these differences is crucial as it makes the past less alien. Due to time, some of the events that were common in the past may appear strange but historians aim to achieve familiarity.

Historians also use periodization to measure the past distance. This entails aspects such as labeling by century, recognizing centenaries, and marking time. The most common way of marking time is using the “modern label.” Up to 19th century, the term was used to refer to all events that happened after the decline of the Roman Empire. However, modern historians use the word modern in a narrower context to mean the period characterized by industrialization and mass society. These labels are essential to historians as they inform them of historical differences and aid in interpretation. For instance, if one historian uses the term medieval times, another one can interpret the time being referred to easily. Thus, historians can use the labels to explain specific times in history which enhances their understanding.

Historian female feminists also study the history of past women who succeeded in their fields. However, their focus is not on women who operated smoothly in male-dominated fields such as Elizabeth I. Instead, they are interested in women who faced sexual and economic exploitation but still fought for their space. They are also interested in the effects of patriarchy.in past societies and how various women resisted it. The study of this history is vital to women in understanding the significance of their sex and destroying stereotypes.

Historians study the past in a unique way which sets them apart from the other professions. They adopt the eyes of the past when analyzing history and also study the differences between past and current ages. Again, they are interested in historical times which they measure by periodization. Regarding historian feminists, the primary focus is usually on female exploitation in the past. THIS IS A SAMPLE ORDER YOUR PAPER NOW


Tosh, John. The pursuit of history: Aims, methods and new directions in the study of history. Routledge, 2015.

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