Historians have different views about what shapes history. Some believe that the material dialectic, or struggle between economic classes, shapes history. Marx believed that the ownership of capital underlies most of the social structures and was reflected in his criticisms of capitalism. The capital-owning class controls production and exploits workers. Others believe that history is the result of purely accidental events. Whatever the view, historians must understand what caused the changes they observe and interpret them.
Historians have a tendency to use different sources when studying the past. The result is often contradictory knowledge. For example, historians can disagree on whether there were apocalypse-like events around the year 1000. The truth about these events is a matter of debate, not consensus. Ultimately, the truth of history will prevail. However, it is important to remember that history is a living conversation that is always changing.
Global history should be broadened by globalization. This includes expanding the geographic range of historical interest. Using a global approach to history requires the historian to understand the selective nature of historical research. Thus, a global history student will likely find classical India’s political system fascinating and the complexity of the Roman Republic’s organization intriguing. The importance of history in globalization should not be overlooked. But if history isn’t told properly, it won’t be as interesting as it is today.
In addition to being multidimensional, the events of the twentieth century are highly complex. They involve thousands of active participants, millions of victims, new institutions, and a variety of ideologies. Historians must work with this complexity to convey the humanity of these events. In addition, they must investigate the extent of the crimes and document the victims’ lived experiences. This requires historians to reflect on their assumptions regarding research, the nature of the human mind, and the nature of explanatory purpose. Nonetheless, historians must always keep these issues in mind when considering what they learned from the events of the twentieth century.
Historians also use non-written sources, such as objects and oral histories, to understand the past. Historians must think about how the events of history occurred in their context and why they happened as they did. To understand the causes and consequences of these events, historians need to understand the actors who played a significant role in them. However, they must keep in mind that all history is the conglomeration of human actions. That is why it is important to consider the actors in history.
Unlike its analytic counterpart, the philosophy of history aims at presenting a comprehensive view of history. It attempts to make sense of historical events and situate them within larger historical processes. The resultant understanding of history can be quite complex. Many philosophers have challenged the fundamental assumptions of history. In addition, historians should be able to evaluate the arguments made by those who believe in it. There are many different philosophies of history, but most of them share some common themes.