New Viewpoints in American History

New Viewpoints in American History

New Viewpoints in American History

New Viewpoints in American History

Excerpt

Most adult Americans of today gained their knowledge of American history before the present generation of historians had made perceptible progress in their epoch-making work of reconstructing the story of our past in the light of their new studies and investigations. Signs of a renaissance of American historical writing began to be evident as early as the decade of the eighties of the last century. The new interest in historical and social phenomena was shown, for instance, in the founding of the American Historical Association, the American Economic Association, the American Statistical Association and the American Academy of Political and Social Science during that decade, followed shortly after by the formation of the American Political Science Association, the American Sociological Society and the American Society of International Law. American history, which had formerly been envisaged as a record of arid political and constitutional development, began to be enriched by the new conceptions and fresh points of view afforded by the scientific study of economics, sociology and politics. Influences from abroad also played their part, particularly the notable work of John Richard Green, A Short History of the English People (1874), with its revisions and enlargeU+ 00AD ments. Quickened by these new impulses, historians began to view the past of America with broadened vision and to attain the power of seeing familiar facts in new relationships.

The change did not take place overnight. Historical students in the nineties made important contributions toward . . .

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