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He dismisses democracy is a step backward. His uses a three-stage approach: the status quo is the "thesis", the challenge to it as represented by Socrates, Christianity, and Luther is the "antithesis" with the outcome being a synthesis at a higher stage of development of freedom. Karl Marx followed the Hegelian dialectic method, but inverting it to make material factors especially economic factors superior to virtual forces.

In his conception, the economic conditions and dominant modes of production determined the structure of society at that point. In his view five successive stages in the development of material conditions would occur in Western Europe. The first stage was primitive communism where property was shared and there was no concept of "leadership". This progressed to a slave society where the idea of class emerged and the State developed. Feudalism was characterized by an aristocracy working in partnership with a Church and the emergence of the Nation-state. Capitalism appeared after the bourgeois revolution when the capitalists or their merchant predecessors overthrew the feudal system and established a market economy , with private property and Parliamentary democracy.

Marx then predicted the eventual proletarian revolution that would result in the attainment of socialism , followed by Communism , where property would be communally owned. Barthold Georg Niebuhr — became Germany's leading historian of Ancient Rome and a founding father of modern scholarly historiography. By Niebuhr was inspiring German patriotism in students at the University of Berlin by his analysis of Roman economy and government. Niebuhr was a leader of the Romantic Era and symbol of German national spirit that emerged after the humiliating defeat Of the German Army by Napoleon at Jena in But he was also deeply rooted in the classical spirit of the Age of Enlightenment in his intellectual presuppositions, his use of philological analysis, and his emphasis on both general and particular phenomena in history.

He emphasized use of the techniques that philologist had used to study ancient documents, stressing that historical research had to be based primarily on primary sources. Leopold von Ranke at Berlin was the pivotal influence in this regard, and was the founder of modern source-based history.

Specifically, he implemented the seminar teaching method in his classroom, and focused on archival research and analysis of historical documents.

Beginning with his first book in , the History of the Latin and Teutonic Peoples from to , Ranke used an unusually wide variety of sources for a historian of the age, including "memoirs, diaries, personal and formal missives, government documents, diplomatic dispatches and first-hand accounts of eye-witnesses".

Over a career that spanned much of the century, Ranke set the standards for much of later historical writing, introducing such ideas as reliance on primary sources , an emphasis on narrative history and especially international politics aussenpolitik. His credo was to write history the way it was.


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He insisted on primary sources with proven authenticity. Ranke also rejected the 'teleological approach' to history, which traditionally viewed each period as inferior to the period which follows. In Ranke's view, the historian had to understand a period on its own terms, and seek to find only the general ideas which animated every period of history. In and at the behest of the Prussian government, Ranke founded and edited the first historical journal in the world, called Historisch-Politische Zeitschrift.

Across Europe, the nationalization of history took place in the 19th century, as part of national revivals in the 19th century. Historians emphasize the cultural, linguistic, religious and ethnic roots of the nation, leading to a strong support for their own government on the part of many ethnic groups, especially the Germans and Italians Italians. It had a profound impact on Germany, providing strong widespread intellectual support for the unification achieved in Johann Gustav Droysen — moved from his original interest in Rome to the history of Prussia, He was perhaps most influential for his consideration of the nature of historiography, making a strong case for the autonomy of history regardless of the growing prestige of the sciences.

Karl Lamprecht was the most controversial historian in Germany around His great goal was to fashion on all-embracing, scientific cultural history of the German nation, challenged the Rankean policies that had become governing tenets of German historiography. Wilhelm Dilthey — was a historian, psychologist, sociologist, and philosopher, who held Hegel's Chair in Philosophy at the University of Berlin. Is best known for his philosophy of history, whereby he distinguished the humanities from the physical sciences. A lifelong concern was to establish a proper theoretical and methodological foundation for the "human sciences" e.

He suggested that all human experience divides naturally into two parts: that of the surrounding natural world, in which "objective necessity" rules, and that of inner experience, characterized by sovereignty of the will, personal responsibility for one's actions, an ability to subject everything to reasoning and to protect one's own autonomy. Historians used his approach to rebuff arguments that history was not fully "scientific. In religious history, Adolf von Harnack — and Ernst Troeltsch — were highly influential well beyond Germany. Harnack's history of early Christianity gave a liberal Protestant interpretation.

Troeltsch's explored the sociology of Christian believers, which he based on the sociology of Max Weber. A major historiographical debate about the German history concerns the Sonderweg , the alleged "special path" that separated German history from the normal course of historical development, and whether or not Nazi Germany was the inevitable result of the Sonderweg. Proponents of the Sonderweg theory such as Fritz Fischer point to such events of the Revolution of , the authoritarianism of the Second Empire and the continuation of the Imperial elite into the Weimar and Nazi periods.

Opponents such as Gerhard Ritter of the Sonderweg theory argue that proponents of the theory are guilty of seeking selective examples, and there was much contingency and chance in German history. In addition, there was much debate within the supporters of the Sonderweg concept as for the reasons for the Sonderweg , and whether or not the Sonderweg ended in Was there a Sonderweg?

Winkler says:. For a long time, educated Germans answered it in the positive, initially by laying claim to a special German mission, then, after the collapse of , by criticizing Germany's deviation from the West. Today, the negative view is predominant.

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Germany did not, according to the now prevailing opinion, differ from the great European nations to an extent that would justify speaking of a 'unique German path. Fritz Fischer — was best known for his analysis of the causes of World War I.

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He put forward the controversial thesis that responsibility for the outbreak of the war rested solely with Imperial Germany. That set off a long debate that reverberates into the 21st century. He has been described by The Encyclopedia of Historians and Historical Writing as the most important German historian of the 20th century.

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Fischer argued that Germany had a policy of deliberately provoking war during July and that during the war Germany developed a set of annexationist war aims similar to those of Adolf Hitler during the Second World War. Fischer also claimed that German elites had wanted war since as early as Historian John Moses stated in his work The Politics of Illusion that "No serious German historian today can venture to pit himself against the evidence compiled by the Fischer school.

Fischer's ideas were welcomed by historians in communist East Germany where Fritz Klein considered Fischer's views to be uncontroversial. Oswald Spengler — published The Decline of the West Der Untergang des Abendlandes , in two volumes in and , covering all of world history. The book was widely translated and carried the pessimistic implication that Western Civilization was now in irreversible decline, a timely theme in the aftermath of the horrors of the Great War.

These additional online resources from the U. Holocaust Memorial Museum will help you learn more about the Holocaust and research your family history. The Holocaust Encyclopedia provides an overview of the Holocaust using text, photographs, maps, artifacts, and personal histories. Research family history relating to the Holocaust and explore the Museum's collections about individual survivors and victims of the Holocaust and Nazi persecution. This reference provides text, photographs, charts, maps, and extensive indexes.

Back to Results New Search. Smith, Jr. Series Routledge studies in modern European history ; 11 Routledge studies in modern European history ; Format Book. Published New York : Routledge, c Includes bibliographical references p.

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Locale Germany. Language English. External Link Electronic version s available.