Historiography This paper discusses the six schools of historical thought.

Essay by ThaToastamanHigh School, 11th gradeA+, January 2003

download word file, 4 pages 4.1

Historiography is the study of changing historical interpretations, shifting emphases, and different research methodologies. It is a valuable tool in helping the average student to interpret assumptions made by historians. There are six schools of historical thought, divided into two groups: Domestic and Foreign Policy. The first three are in the domestic school: The Progressives, The Consensus Historians, and The New Left. The foreign policy group consists of The Nationalists, The Realists, and The Radicals.


The first school of domestic historical thought is The Progressives. This school spawned around 1902 and began to fade around 1945. They are named after the progressive reformers of the early 20th century. Their major influences were urbanization and immigration and saw great importance in social sciences. They hoped for the betterment of society and believed the most effective way to accomplish this would be through liberal, democratic, and progressive ideas. They also emphasized the differences between competing classes.

One of the most important periods in progressive historiography was the frontier.

The Consensus Historians are a group of domestic historians that began around 1945 and are still around to this day. They are also referred to as "neo-conservatives". World War II and The Great Depression played a large role in bringing this group to light. They believed that there was no conflict in America and that all Americans shared similar basic ideas. There was some conflicts, but were frivolous compared to the big picture. They discarded the belief in cyclical theories that the Progressive had assembled before them. Their main beliefs were rooted in longevity, durability, common traits, values, and culture. They believe that the nations character was what had kept it stable throughout times of hardship. They also refute the progressives stance on economic issues. They do not believe in extremist political...