The Idea of Mapping Out American Historiography

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The general topic that is being covered this week is the idea of mapping out American Historiography. Historiography is the study of the general trends historians focus on, about a topic during a given time period. As we had been discussing in the past couple of weeks, historians and people in general have a bias or preference for a topic or a causality of an event. This is true for the book American History Now by Eric Foner and Lisa McGirr. These authors compile the general trends of American History from Colonial America to Present Day events. For the general topic of the American Revolution and the Early Republic it was dominated by historians similar to Carr’s ideas. These were large themes in history and a select few individuals that influenced history and were influenced by that history. These people would be George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, and John Adams called the Founding Fathers. There was a shift away from Carr’s ideas to Evan’s study of culture and larger society. “More and more people who were once ignored by scholars now seem worthy of attention…” (p.24 Foner). These groups of people would include Native Americans, African Americans, Women, and poor Whites. I believe that this move is very important to understand the whole story of the American Revolution. The Revolution was not fought by a couple of people; the majority of the people living in the thirteen colonies played a role-one side or the other. Even large groups of Europeans living in Europe played a vital role during the founding of this nation. As historians we need to keep adding multiple perspectives to understand the whole story. The next large theme that is discussed in the Foner book is the Age of Jackson or what the book c... ... middle of paper ... ...w it relates to large groups of people and societies. Overall, we will continue to see changes in the study of history based on the general consensus of society and the individual historian’s focus and bias. For the topics of American Revolution and the Early Republic we will see a focus on more characters and different groups of people. For Jacksonian America, we will see a focus on individual topics and events that counter the notion that during this time everyone got better and improved. For the study of Slavery, the Civil War, and Reconstruction, we will see the continue debate on the influence of slavery, who defeated the south, and what did the civil war create, based on individual’s culture background and their view of the government. Lastly, for capitalisms it will be large themes of different countries economies and what type of economic system they have.

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