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Historiography of the United States

historiography of the united states
The historiography of the United States refers to the studies, sources, critical methods and interpretations used by scholars to study the history of the United States While history examines the interplay of events in the past, historiography examines the secondary sources written by historians as books and articles, evaluates the primary sources they use, and provides a critical examination of the methodology of historical study


  • 1 Organizations
  • 2 Pre 1800
  • 3 1780-1860
    • 31 Ramsay
    • 32 Hildreth
    • 33 Bancroft
    • 34 Creating and preserving collective memory
  • 4 Colonial and Revolution
    • 41 Imperial School
    • 42 Progressive historians
    • 43 Republicanism
    • 44 Atlantic history
  • 5 Turnerian School
  • 6 Beardian School
  • 7 Slavery and black history
  • 8 Civil War
    • 81 Lost Cause of the Confederacy
  • 9 Cold War
  • 10 Social history
    • 101 Women's history
    • 102 Urban history
  • 11 Teaching
  • 12 Prominent historians working in the US
    • 121 Historians born before 1900
    • 122 Historians born in the 20th century
  • 13 American historians working in US on non-US topics
  • 14 Notes and references
  • 15 Further reading


Historians have formed scores of scholarly organizations, which typically hold annual conferences where scholarly papers are presented, and which publish scholarly journals In addition, every state and many localities have their own historical societies, focused on their own histories and sources

1889 AHA officers

The American Historical Association AHA is the oldest and largest society for professional historians in the US Founded in 1884, it promotes historical studies covering all continents and time periods, the teaching of history, and the preservation of and access to historical materials It publishes The American Historical Review five times a year, with scholarly articles and book reviews1

While the AHA is the largest organization for historians working in the United States, the Organization of American Historians OAH is the major organization for historians who study and teach about the United States Formerly known as the Mississippi Valley Historical Association, its membership comprises college and university professors, as well as graduate students, independent historians, archivists, museum curators, and other public historians2 The OAH publishes the quarterly scholarly journal Journal of American History In 2010 its individual membership was 8,000 and its institutional membership 1,250, and its operating budget was approximately $29 million3

Other large regional groups for professionals include the Southern Historical Association, founded in 1934 for white historians teaching in the South It now chiefly specializes in the history of the South In 1970 it elected its first black president, John Hope Franklin The Western History Association formed in 1961 to bring together both professional scholars and amateur writers dealing with the West Dozens of other organizations deal in specialized topics, such as the Society for Military History and the Social Science History Association

Pre 1800edit

During the colonial era, there were a handful of serious scholars—most of them men of affairs who wrote about their own colony They included Robert Beverley 1673–1722 on Virginia, Thomas Hutchinson 1711–1780 on Massachusetts, and Samuel Smith on Pennsylvania The Loyalist Thomas Jones 1731–1792 wrote on New York from exile4


Mercy Otis Warren

The historiography of the Early National period focused on the American Revolution and the Constitution The first studies came from Federalist historians, such as Chief Justice John Marshall 1755–1835 Marshall wrote a well-received four-volume of biography of George Washington that was far more than a biography, and covered the political and military history of the Revolutionary Era Marshall emphasized Washington's virtue and military prowess Historians have complimented his highly accurate detail, but note that Marshall—like many early historians—relied heavily on the Annual Register, edited by Edmund Burke5 Mercy Otis Warren 1728–1814 wrote her own history favoring the Jeffersonian perspective stressing natural rights and equality She emphasized the dangers to republicanism emanating from Britain, and called for the subordination of passion to reason, and the subsuming of private selfishness in the general public good6


David Ramsay 1749–1815, an important Patriot leader from South Carolina, wrote thorough, scholarly histories of his state and the early United States Trained as a physician, he was a moderate Federalist in politics Messer 2002 examines the transition in Ramsay's republican perspective from his History of the American Revolution 1789 and his biography of Washington 1807 to his more conservative History of the United States 3 vol 1816–17, which was part of his 12-volume world history7 Ramsay called on citizens to demonstrate republican virtues in helping reform and improve society A conservative, he warned of the dangers of zealotry and the need to preserve existing institutions O'Brien 1994 says Ramsay's 1789 History of the American Revolution was one of the earliest and most successful histories It located American values within the European Enlightenment Ramsay had no brief for what later was known as American exceptionalism, holding that the destiny of the new nation United States would be congruent with European political and cultural development8


Richard Hildreth 1807–1865, a Yankee scholar and political writer, wrote a thorough highly precise history of the nation down to 1820 His six-volume History of the United States 1849–52 was dry and heavily factual—he rarely made a mistake in terms of names, dates, events and speeches His Federalist views and dry style lost market share to George Bancroft's more exuberant and democratic tomes Hildreth explicitly favored the Federalist Party and denigrated the Jeffersonians He was an active political commentator and leading anti-slavery intellectual, so President Lincoln gave him a choice diplomatic assignment in Europe9


George Bancroft United States Secretary of Navy c 1860

George Bancroft 1800–1891, trained in the leading German universities, was a Democratic politician and accomplished scholar, whose magisterial History of the United States, from the Discovery of the American Continent covered the new nation in depth down to 178910 Bancroft was imbued with the spirit of Romanticism, emphasizing the emergence of nationalism and republican values, and rooting on every page for the Patriots His masterwork started appearing in 1834, and he constantly revised it in numerous editions11 Along with John Gorham Palfrey 1796–1881, he wrote the most comprehensive history of colonial America Billias argues Bancroft played on four recurring themes to explain how America developed its unique values: providence, progress, patria, and pan-democracy "Providence" meant that destiny depended more on God than on human will The idea of "progress" indicated that through continuous reform a better society was possible "Patria" love of country was deserved because America's spreading influence would bring liberty and freedom to more and more of the world "Pan-democracy" meant the nation-state was central to the drama, not specific heroes or villains12

Bancroft was an indefatigable researcher who had a thorough command of the sources, but his rotund romantic style and enthusiastic patriotism annoyed later generations of scientific historians, who did not assign his books to students Furthermore, scholars of the "Imperial School" after 1890 took a much more favorable view of the benign intentions of the British Empire than he did1314

Creating and preserving collective memoryedit

In 1791 the Massachusetts Historical Society became the nation's first state historical society; it was a private association of well-to-do individuals with sufficient leisure, interest, and resources for the society to prosper It set a model that every state followed, although usually with a more popular base and state funding15 Archivist Elizabeth Kaplan argues the founding of a historical society begins an upward spiral with each advance legitimizing the next Collections are gathered that support publication of documents and histories These publications in turn give the society and its topic legitimacy and authenticity The process creates a sense of identity and belonging16 The builders of state historical societies and archives in the late 19th and early 20th century were more than antiquarians—they had the mission of creating as well as preserving and disseminating the collective memories of their communities The largest and most professional collections were built at the State Historical Society of Wisconsin in Madison by Lyman Draper 1852–1887 and Reuben Gold Thwaites 1887–1913 Their massive collection of books and documents became and remain a major scholarly resource for the graduate program in history at the University of Wisconsin17 Thwaites disseminated materials nationally through his edited series, especially Jesuit Relations' in 73 volumes, Early Western Travels in 32 volumes, and Original Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition in eight volumes, among others

At the national level, major efforts to collect and publish important documents from the revolutionary era were undertaken by Jonathan Elliott 1784–1846, Jared Sparks 1789–1866, Peter Force 1790–1868 and other editors18

The military history of the Civil War especially fascinated Americans, and the War Department compiled and published a massive collection of original documents that continues to be heavily used by scholars19 The Official Records of the War of the Rebellion appeared in 128 large volumes published between 1881 and 1901 It included military and naval records from both sides, as well as important documents from state and national governments20

Colonial and Revolutionedit

Imperial Schooledit

While most historians saw the colonial era as a prelude to the Revolution, by the 1890s the "Imperial School" was interpreting it as an expression of the British Empire The leaders included Herbert L Osgood, George Louis Beer, Charles M Andrews and Lawrence Henry Gipson Andrews, based at Yale, was the most influential21 They took a highly favorable view of the benefits achieved by the economic integration of the Empire22 The school practically died out by 1940, but Gipson published his fifteen-volume history of The British Empire Before the American Revolution 1936–70 and won the 1962 Pulitzer Prize in History2324

Progressive historiansedit

Progressive historians such as Carl L Becker, Arthur M Schlesinger, Sr, Vernon L Parrington, and Charles A Beard downplayed the Patriot grievances of the 1760s and 1770s as rhetorical exercises that covered the greed of smugglers and merchants who wanted to avoid taxes Schlesinger argued the false propaganda was effective: "The stigmatizing of British policy as 'tyranny,' 'oppression' and 'slavery, had little or no objective reality, at least prior to the Intolerable Acts but ceaseless repetition of the charge kept emotions at fever pitch"25 The Progressive interpretation was dominant before 1960, as historians downplayed rhetoric as superficial and looked for economic motivations26


Main article: Republicanism in the United States

In the 1960s and 1970s, a new interpretation emerged that emphasized the primacy of ideas as motivating forces in history rather than material self-interest Bernard Bailyn, Gordon Wood from Harvard formed the "Cambridge School"; at Washington University the "St Louis School" was led by JGA Pocock They emphasized slightly different approaches to republicanism27

The new discovery was that the colonial intellectual and political leaders in the 1760s and 1770s closely read history to compare governments and their effectiveness of rule28 They were especially concerned with the history of liberty in England, and the rights Englishmen, which they claimed were the proper heritage of the colonists These intellectuals were especially influenced by Britain's "country party" which opposed the Court Party that actually held power Country party relied heavily on the classical republicanism of Roman heritage; it celebrated the ideals of duty and virtuous citizenship in a republic It drew heavily on ancient Greek city-state and Roman republican examples29 The Country party roundly denounced the corruption surrounding the "court" party in London centering on the royal court This approach produced a political ideology Americans called "republicanism", which was widespread in Americaby 177530 "Republicanism was the distinctive political consciousness of the entire Revolutionary generation"31 JGA Pocock explained the intellectual sources in America:32

Revolutionary Republicanism was centered on limiting corruption and greed Virtue was of the utmost importance for citizens and representatives Revolutionaries took a lesson from ancient Rome, they knew it was necessary to avoid the luxury that had destroyed the Empire33 A virtuous citizen was one that ignored monetary compensation and made a commitment to resist and eradicate corruption The Republic was sacred; therefore it is necessary to served the state in a truly representative way, ignoring self-interest and individual will Republicanism required the service of those who were willing to give up their own interests for a common good According to Bernard Bailyn, "The preservation of liberty rested on the ability of the people to maintain effective checks on wielders of power and hence in the last analysis rested on the vigilance and moral stamina of the people" Virtuous citizens needed to be strong defenders of liberty and challenge the corruption and greed in government The duty of the virtuous citizen become a foundation for the American Revolution34

Atlantic historyedit

Since the 1980s a major trend has been to locate the colonial and revolutionary eras in the wider context of Atlantic history, with emphasis on the multiple interactions among the Americas, Europe and Africa35 Leading promoters include Bernard Bailyn at Harvard,36 and Jack P Greene at Johns Hopkins University37

Turnerian Schooledit

Main article: Frontier Thesis Frederick Jackson Turner

The Frontier Thesis or Turner Thesis, is the argument advanced by historian Frederick Jackson Turner in 1893 that the origin of the distinctive egalitarian, democratic, aggressive, and innovative features of the American character has been the American frontier experience He stressed the process—the moving frontier line—and the impact it had on pioneers going through the process In the thesis, the frontier established liberty by releasing Americans from European mind-sets and ending prior customs of the 19th century38 The Turner thesis came under attack from the "New Western Historians" after 1970 who wanted to limit western history to the western states, with a special emphasis on the 20th century, women and minorities39

Beardian Schooledit

The Beardians were led by Charles A Beard 1874–1948, who wrote hundreds of monographs, textbooks and interpretive studies in both history and political science The most controversial was An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of the United States 1913, which indicated that the founding fathers who wrote the Constitution in 1787 were motivated more by the fate of financial investments than anything idealistic He wrote:

The overwhelming majority of members, at least five-sixths, were immediately, directly, and personally interested in the outcome of their labors at Philadelphia"40

Beard's most influential book, written with his wife Mary Beard, was the wide-ranging and bestselling The Rise of American Civilization 1927 It had a major influence on a generation of American historians Prominent Beardian historians included C Vann Woodward, Howard K Beale, Fred Harvey Harrington, Jackson Turner Main, and Richard Hofstadter in his early years41 Similar to Beard in his economic interpretation, and almost as influential in the 1930s and 1940s was literary scholar Vernon Louis Parrington42

Beard was famous as a political liberal, but he strenuously opposed American entry into World War II, for which he blamed Franklin D Roosevelt more than Japan or Germany This isolationist stance destroyed his reputation among scholars By about 1960 they also abandoned his materialistic model of class conflict Richard Hofstadter concluded in 1968:

Today Beard's reputation stands like an imposing ruin in the landscape of American historiography What was once the grandest house in the province is now a ravaged survival43

However the New Left in the 1960s adopted a neo-Beardian model, as expressed at the University of Wisconsin by a number of scholars, most notably William Appleman Williams in The Tragedy of American Diplomacy 1959 The idea was that material advantage, especially foreign markets for surplus goods, was more of a motivating force in foreign affairs than was spreading liberty to the world44

Slavery and black historyedit

Wes Brady, ex-slave, Marshall, Texas, 1937 This photograph was taken as part of the Federal Writers' Project Slave Narrative Collection

The history of slavery originally was the history of the government's laws and policies toward slavery, and the political debates about it Black history was a specially promoted very largely at predominantly black colleges The situation changed dramatically with the coming of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s Attention shifted to the enslaved humans, the free blacks, and the struggles of the black community against adversity45

Peter Kolchin described the state of historiography in the early 20th century as follows:

During the first half of the twentieth century, a major component of this approach was often simply racism, manifest in the belief that blacks were, at best, imitative of whites Thus Ulrich B Phillips, the era's most celebrated and influential expert on slavery, combined a sophisticated portrait of the white planters' life and behavior with crude passing generalizations about the life and behavior of their black slaves46

Historians James Oliver Horton and Lois E Horton described Phillips' mindset, methodology and influence:

His portrayal of blacks as passive, inferior people, whose African origins made them uncivilized, seemed to provide historical evidence for the theories of racial inferiority that supported racial segregation Drawing evidence exclusively from plantation records, letters, southern newspapers, and other sources reflecting the slaveholder's point of view, Phillips depicted slave masters who provided for the welfare of their slaves and contended that true affection existed between master and slave47

The racist attitude concerning slaves carried over into the historiography of the Dunning School of Reconstruction era history, which dominated in the early 20th century Writing in 2005, the historian Eric Foner states:

Their account of the era rested, as one member of the Dunning school put it, on the assumption of “negro incapacity” Finding it impossible to believe that blacks could ever be independent actors on the stage of history, with their own aspirations and motivations, Dunning et al portrayed African Americans either as “children”, ignorant dupes manipulated by unscrupulous whites, or as savages, their primal passions unleashed by the end of slavery48

Beginning in the 1930s and 1940s, historiography moved away from the “overt” racism of the Phillips era Historians still emphasized the slave as an object Whereas Phillips presented the slave as the object of benign attention by the owners, historians such as Kenneth Stampp emphasized the mistreatment and abuse of the slave49

In the portrayal of the slave as victim, the historian Stanley M Elkins in his 1959 work “Slavery: A Problem in American Institutional and Intellectual Life” compared the effects of United States slavery to that resulting from the brutality of the Nazi concentration camps He stated the institution destroyed the will of the slave, creating an “emasculated, docile Sambo” who identified totally with the owner Elkins' thesis was challenged by historians Gradually historians recognized that in addition to the effects of the owner-slave relationship, slaves did not live in a “totally closed environment but rather in one that permitted the emergence of enormous variety and allowed slaves to pursue important relationships with persons other than their master, including those to be found in their families, churches and communities”citation needed

Robert W Fogel and Stanley L Engerman in the 1970s, through their work Time on the Cross, portrayed slaves as having internalized the Protestant work ethic of their owners50 In portraying the more benign version of slavery, they also argue in their 1974 book that the material conditions under which the slaves lived and worked compared favorably to those of free workers in the agriculture and industry of the time This was also an argument of Southerners during the 19th century

In the 1970s and 1980s, historians made use of archaeological records, black folklore, and statistical data to describe a much more detailed and nuanced picture of slave life Relying also on 19th-century autobiographies of ex-slaves known as slave narratives and the WPA Slave Narrative Collection, a set of interviews conducted with former slave interviews in the 1930s by the Federal Writers' Project of the Franklin D Roosevelt administration, historians described slavery as the slaves experienced it Far from slaves' being strictly victims or content, historians showed slaves as both resilient and autonomous in many of their activities Despite their exercise of autonomy and their efforts to make a life within slavery, current historians recognize the precariousness of the slave's situation Slave children quickly learned that they were subject to the direction of both their parents and their owners They saw their parents disciplined just as they came to realize that they also could be physically or verbally abused by their owners Historians writing during this era include John Blassingame Slave Community, Eugene Genovese Roll, Jordan, Roll, Leslie Howard Owens This Species of Property, and Herbert Gutman The Black Family in Slavery and Freedom51

Important work on slavery has continued; for instance, in 2003 Steven Hahn published the Pulitzer Prize-winning account, A Nation under Our Feet: Black Political Struggles in the Rural South from Slavery to the Great Migration, which examined how slaves built community and political understanding while enslaved, so they quickly began to form new associations and institutions when emancipated, including black churches separate from white control In 2010, Robert E Wright published a model that explains why slavery was more prevalent in some areas than others eg southern than northern Delaware and why some firms individuals, corporations, plantation owners chose slave labor while others used wage, indentured, or family labor instead52

Civil Waredit

Main article: American Civil War § Memory and historiography

The Civil War has generated an unusually large historiography In terms of controversy, historians have long debated the causes of the war, and the relative importance given to nationalism and sectionalism, slavery, and economic issues Nationalism dominated historiography from the late 19th century and the 1920s, especially as reflected in the work of James Ford Rhodes In the 1920s, the Beardian school Identified an inevitable conflict between the plantation-based South and the industrial Northeast When the agrarian Midwest sided with the Northeast, war resulted In the 1930s, numerous arguments were made that the war was not inevitable, that was caused by a failure of the political system to reach a compromise53

Since the 1960s, the emphasis has been very largely on slavery as the cause of the Civil War, with the anti-slavery element in the South committed to blocking the expansion of the slave system because it violated the rights of free white farmers and workers Southerners responded to this as an intolerable attack on their honor, their economic needs for expansion, and the constitutional states' rights54

Lost Cause of the Confederacyedit

Main article: Lost Cause of the Confederacy

The Lost Cause is a set of historical beliefs, strongest in the white South, which endorses the virtues of the ante-bellum South and embodied a view of the Civil War as an honorable struggle to maintain those virtues while downplaying the actual role of slavery55 The Lost Cause was widely taught in schools across the South In the late 19th century became a key part of the reconciliation process between North and South around 1900, thereby reuniting the white South with the mainstream national interest The Lost Cause became the main way that White Southerners commemorated the war The United Daughters of the Confederacy by 1900 became the major organization promoting the Lost Cause Historian Caroline E Janney states:

Providing a sense of relief to white Southerners who feared being dishonored by defeat, the Lost Cause was largely accepted in the years following the war by white Americans who found it to be a useful tool in reconciling North and South56 The Lost Cause belief has several historically inaccurate elements These include claiming that the reason the Confederacy started the Civil War was to defend state's rights rather than to preserve slavery, or claiming that slavery was benevolent, rather than cruel

Cold Waredit

Main article: Historiography of the Cold War John Lewis Gaddis speaks to US Naval War College NWC faculty in 2012

As soon as the "Cold War" began about 1947 the origins of the conflict between the Soviet Union and the West became a source of heated controversy among scholars and politicians57 In particular, historians have sharply disagreed as to who was responsible for the breakdown of Soviet-US relations after the Second World War; and whether the conflict between the two superpowers was inevitable, or could have been avoided Historians have also disagreed on what exactly the Cold War was, what the sources of the conflict were, and how to disentangle patterns of action and reaction between the two sides58 With the opening of the archives in Moscow and Eastern Europe after 1990, most of the pressing issues have been resolved

The "orthodox" school dominated American historiography from the 1940s until it was challenged by New Left historians in the 1960s It places the responsibility for the Cold War on the Soviet Union and its expansion into Eastern Europe Thomas A Bailey, for example, argued in his 1950 America Faces Russia that the breakdown of postwar peace was the result of Soviet expansionism in the immediate postwar years Bailey argued Stalin violated promises he had made at Yalta, imposed Soviet-dominated regimes on unwilling Eastern European populations, and conspired to spread communism throughout the world America responded by drawing the line against Soviet aggression with the Truman Doctrine, and the Marshall Plan

The "revisionist" school, originally formed at the University of Wisconsin by William Appleman Williams, and was reflected in his The Tragedy of American Diplomacy 1959 Williams suggested America was just as bad as the Soviets because it had always been an empire-building nation, and forced capitalism upon unwilling nations Revisionists emphasized Soviet weaknesses after 1945, said it only wanted a security zone, and was mostly responding to American provocations59

The seminal "post-revisionist" accounts are by John Lewis Gaddis, starting with his The United States and the Origins of the Cold War, 1941–1947 1972 and continuing through his study of George F Kennan: An American Life 2011 Gaddis argued that then neither side bore sole responsibility," as he emphasized the constraints imposed on American policymakers by domestic politics Gaddis criticized revisionist scholars, particularly Williams, for failing to understand the role of Soviet policy in the origins of the Cold War60 Ernest May concluded in 1984, "The United States and the Soviet Union were doomed to be antagonists There probably was never any real possibility that the post-1945 relationship could be anything but hostility verging on conflict Traditions, belief systems, propinquity, and convenience all combined to stimulate antagonism, and almost no factor operated in either country to hold it back"61

Social historyedit

Main article: Social history

Social history, often called the new social history, is the history of ordinary people and their strategies of coping with life It includes topics like demography, women, family, and education It was a major growth field in the 1960s and 1970s among scholars, and still is well represented in history departments In two decades from 1975 to 1995, the proportion of professors of history in American universities identifying with social history rose from 31% to 41%, while the proportion of political historians fell from 40% to 30%62

The Social Science History Association, formed in 1976, brings together scholars from numerous disciplines interested in social history and publishes Social Science History quarterly63 The field is also the specialty of the Journal of Social History, edited since 1967 by Peter Stearns64 It covers such topics as gender relations; race in American history; the history of personal relationships; consumerism; sexuality; the social history of politics; crime and punishment, and history of the senses Most of the major historical journals have coverage as well

Social history was practiced by local historians as well as scholars, especially the frontier historians who followed Frederick Jackson Turner, as well as urban historians who followed Arthur Schlesinger, Sr65 The "new" social history of the 1960s introduced demographic and quantitative techniques However, after 1990 social history was increasingly challenged by cultural history, which emphasizes language and the importance of beliefs and assumptions and their causal role in group behavior66

Women's historyedit

See also: History of women in the United States

Women's history and closely related topics in gender history have become a major field since the 1970s6768

The field had been almost totally neglected in academic history departments before 1970 Apart from individual women, working largely on their own, the first organized systematic efforts to develop women's history came from the United Daughters of the Confederacy UDC in the early 20th century It coordinated efforts across the South to tell the story of the women on the Confederate home front, while the male historians spent their time with battles and generals The women emphasized female activism, initiative, and leadership They reported that when all the men left for war, the women took command, found ersatz and substitute foods, rediscovered their old traditional skills with the spinning wheel when factory cloth became unavailable, and ran all the farm or plantation operations They faced danger without having menfolk in the traditional role of their protectors69 Historian Jacquelyn Dowd Hall argues that the UDC was a powerful promoter of women's history:

UDC leaders were determined to assert women's cultural authority over virtually every representation of the region's past This they did by lobbying for state archives and museums, national historic sites, and historic highways; compiling genealogies; interviewing former soldiers; writing history textbooks; and erecting monuments, which now moved triumphantly from cemeteries into town centers More than half a century before women's history and public history emerged as fields of inquiry and action, the UDC, with other women's associations, strove to etch women's accomplishments into the historical record and to take history to the people, from the nursery and the fireside to the schoolhouse and the public square70

The work of women scholars was ignored by the heavily male-dominated history profession until the 1960s, when the first breakthroughs came71 The field of women's history exploded dramatically after 1970, along with the growth of the new social history and the acceptance of women into graduate programs in history departments An important development is to integrate women into the history of race and slavery A pioneer effort was Deborah Gray White's Ar'n't I a Woman Female Slaves in the Plantation South 1985, which helped to open up analysis of race, slavery, abolitionism and feminism, as well as resistance, power, and activism, and themes of violence, sexualities, and the body72 A major trend in recent years has been to emphasize a global perspective73

Urban historyedit

Main article: Urban history

Urban history has long been practiced by amateurs who from the late 19th century have written detailed histories of their own cities Academic interest began with Arthur Schlesinger, Sr at Harvard in the 1920s, and his successor Oscar Handlin The "new urban history" emerged in the 1960s as a branch of Social history seeking to understand the "city as process" and, through quantitative methods, to learn more about the inarticulate masses in the cities, as opposed to the mayors and elites Much of the attention is devoted to individual behavior, and how the intermingling of classes and ethnic groups operated inside a particular city Smaller cities are much easier to handle when it comes to tracking a sample of individuals over ten or 20 years

Common themes include the social and political changes, examinations of class formation, and racial/ethnic tensions74 A major early study was Stephan Thernstrom's Poverty and Progress: Social Mobility in a Nineteenth Century City 1964, which used census records to study Newburyport, Massachusetts, 1850-1880 A seminal, landmark book, it sparked interest in the 1960s and 1970s in quantitative methods, census sources, "bottom-up" history, and the measurement of upward social mobility by different ethnic groups75

Rather than being strictly areas of geographical segmentation, spatial patterns and concepts of place reveal the struggles for power of various social groups, including gender, class, race, and ethnic identity The spatial patterns of residential and business areas give individual cities their distinct identities and, considering the social aspects attendant to the patterns, create a more complete picture of how those cities evolved, shaping the lives of their citizens76 Recent techniques include the use of historical GIS data77


The great majority of leading scholars have been teachers at universities and colleges However, professionalization and the academic advancement system gives priority to graduate-level research and publication, and to the teaching of advanced graduate students Issues regarding the teaching at the undergraduate level or below have been promoted by the associations, but have not become main themes78

American studies was seldom taught in Europe or Asia before the Second World War Since then, American studies has had a limited appeal and typically involves a combination of American literature and some history Europe's approach has been highly sensitive to the changes in the political climate7980

Prominent historians working in the USedit

Historians born before 1900edit

  • Henry Brooks Adams, 1838–1918, US 1800-1816
  • Charles McLean Andrews, 1863–1943, colonial
  • Harry Elmer Barnes, 1889–1958 World wars
  • George Bancroft, 1800–1891, colonial and Revolution
  • Hubert Howe Bancroft, d 1918 West
  • Eugene C Barker 1874–1956, Texas
  • Charles A Beard, 1874–1948, political, economic and social
  • Mary Ritter Beard, 1876–1958, social
  • Samuel Flagg Bemis, 1891–1973 diplomatic
  • Bruce Catton, 1899–1978 Civil War
  • Edward Channing, 1856–1931, political
  • E Merton Coulter, 1890–1981 South
  • Avery Craven, 1885–1980, Civil War
  • Merle Curti, 1897–1997, intellectual, social, peace
  • Angie Debo, 1890–1988, Native American and Oklahoma history
  • WEB Du Bois, 1868–1963 Reconstruction
  • Walter Lynwood Fleming, 1874–1932, Reconstruction
  • Douglas Southall Freeman, Washington, Lee
  • Richard Hildreth, 1807–65 political
  • J Franklin Jameson, editor and archivist
  • Leonard Woods Labaree, 1897–1980 editor of the Benjamin Franklin Papers
  • Dumas Malone, 1892–1986, Jefferson
  • Samuel Eliot Morison, 1887–1976 naval, American colonial
  • Allan Nevins, 1890–1971 political and business; Civil War; biography
  • John Gorham Palfrey, 1796–1881 New England
  • Francis Parkman, Canada, French and Indian wars
  • James Parton, 1822–1891, political biography
  • James Ford Rhodes, 1848–1927 Civil War, Reconstruction, and Gilded Age
  • Theodore Roosevelt, 1858–1919, West, naval
  • George Sarton, 1884–1956, history of science
  • James Schouler, 1839–1920 political
  • Justin Harvey Smith, 1857–1930 Mexican–American War
  • Frederick Jackson Turner, 1861–1932, West, methodology
  • Charles H Wesley, 1891–1987 black history
  • Justin Winsor, 1831–1897, 18th century
  • Carter G Woodson, 1875–1950 black history

Historians born in the 20th centuryedit

  • Gar Alperovitz, b 1936, Cold War
  • Stephen Ambrose, 1936–2002, WW2, US political
  • Joyce Appleby, capitalism, early national
  • Herbert Aptheker, 1915–2003, African American
  • Leonard J Arrington, 1917–1999, Mormons
  • Thomas A Bailey, 1902–1983, diplomacy
  • Bernard Bailyn, b 1922, colonial; Atlantic history
  • K Jack Bauer, 1926–1987, US naval, military, and maritime
  • Michael Beschloss, b 1955, Cold War
  • Ray Allen Billington, 1903–81, Frontier and West
  • David Blight, 1949-, slavery
  • John Morton Blum, 1921–2011, presidents
  • Daniel J Boorstin, 1914–2004, legal, social
  • Paul S Boyer, b 1935, culture
  • Alan Brinkley, b 1949, 20th century
  • David Brody, b 1930, labor
  • James MacGregor Burns, b 1918, World War II, FDR
  • Richard Bushman, b 1931, colonial, Mormons
  • Jon Butler, 1940, religion, colonial
  • Alfred D Chandler, Jr, 1918=2007, business
  • Ron Chernow, b 1949, biography, business
  • Edward M Coffman, b 1929, military
  • Henry Steele Commager, 1902–98, intellectual
  • John Milton Cooper, Woodrow Wilson
  • Lawrence A Cremin, 1925–90, education
  • William Cronon, born 1954, environmental
  • Robert Dallek, b 1934, politics, diplomacy
  • David B Danbom, rural
  • David Brion Davis, b 1927, Slavery
  • Kenneth S Davis, 1912–99, Franklin D Roosevelt
  • Carl N Degler, b 1921, social
  • Bernard DeVoto, 1897–1955, West
  • David Herbert Donald, 1920–2009, Civil War
  • A Hunter Dupree, b 1921, science and technology
  • Stanley Elkins, b 1925, slavery, federalism
  • Joseph J Ellis, b 1943, early Republic
  • Niall Ferguson, b 1964, military, business, economic, imperial
  • David Hackett Fischer, b 1935 American Revolution, cycles
  • Robert Fogel, b 1926, economic, cliometrics, slavery
  • Eric Foner, b 1943, Reconstruction
  • Shelby Foote, 1916–2005, Civil War
  • Elizabeth Fox-Genovese, 1941–2007, South; cultural & social, women
  • John Hope Franklin, 1915–2009, black history
  • Frank Freidel, 1916–1993, Franklin Roosevelt
  • John Lewis Gaddis, b 1941, Cold War
  • Lloyd Gardner, diplomatic
  • John Garraty, 1920–2007, biography
  • Eugene Genovese, b 1930, South, slavery, religion
  • Doris Kearns Goodwin, b 1943, presidential
  • Paul Gottfried, b 1941, conservatism, modern Europe
  • Arnold Hirsch, b 1949, urban, New Orleans, modern
  • Richard Hofstadter, 1916–1970, political; historiography
  • Kenneth T Jackson, b 1939, urban, New York City
  • Merrill Jensen 1905–1980, American Revolution
  • Michael Kazin, b 1948, political
  • George F Kennan, 1904–2005, US and Russia
  • David Kennedy, 20th century
  • Daniel J Kevles, b 1939, science
  • Walter LaFeber, diplomatic
  • Robert Leckie, 1920–2001, American military
  • William Leuchtenburg, American political and legal
  • Leon F Litwack, African-American
  • Walter Lord, American, popular
  • Forrest McDonald, b 1927, early national, presidency, business
  • Pauline Maier, 1938-2013, American revolution
  • William Manchester, 1922–2004, World War II
  • David McCullough, b 1933, presidents
  • William S McFeely, b 1930, Civil War and Reconstruction
  • James M McPherson, b 1936, Civil War
  • D W Meinig, American geography
  • Russell Menard, Colonial, demographic
  • Perry Miller, 1905–1963, intellectual
  • Edmund Morgan, colonial and Revolution
  • David Nasaw, Progressive Era
  • George H Nash, b 1945, conservatism; Herbert Hoover
  • Thomas Paterson, Cold War
  • James T Patterson, 20th-century political
  • Bradford Perkins, US diplomatic
  • Gordon W Prange, World War II
  • Jack N Rakove, US Constitution and early politics
  • Robert V Remini, b 1921, ante-bellum politics
  • Richard Rhodes, nuclear weapons
  • WJ Rorabaugh, 19th and 20th century and frontier
  • Charles E Rosenberg, medicine and science
  • Leila JRupp, feminism
  • Cornelius Ryan, 1920–1974, World War II, popular
  • Thomas J Sugrue, b 1962, urban
  • Arthur Schlesinger, Sr, social, urban
  • Arthur Schlesinger, Jr, Andrew Jackson, New Deal, Kennedys, politics
  • Kathryn Kish Sklar, b 1939, Women's History of the United States
  • Theda Skocpol, Institutions and comparative method; sociological
  • Richard Slotkin, environment & West; literature
  • Henry Nash Smith, 1906–96, cultural, American Studies
  • Jean Edward Smith, b 1932, biography,
  • Richard Norton Smith, b 1953 presidential
  • Kenneth Stampp, 1912–2009, South, slavery
  • Ronald Takaki, 1939–2009, ethnic studies
  • Stephan Thernstrom, b 1934, new social history
  • George Tindall, 1921–2006, South
  • John Toland, 1912–2004, world wars
  • Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, b 1938, Early America
  • Robert M Utley, born 1929, 19th-century American West
  • J Samuel Walker, nuclear energy and weapons
  • Russell Weigley, 1930–2004, military
  • Richard White, b 1947, American West, environmental, Native American
  • William Appleman Williams, 1921–1990 diplomatic
  • Clyde N Wilson, b 1941, 19th-century South
  • Gordon S Wood, b 1933, American Revolution
  • C Vann Woodward, 1908–1999, South
  • Howard Zinn, 1922–2010, People's history

American historians working in US on non-US topicsedit

Research and teaching history in the United States has, of course, included the history of Europe and the rest of the world as well So many topics are covered that is possible only to list some of the outstanding scholars

  • Carl L Becker, 1873–1945, modern Europe
  • Elizabeth A R Brown, b 1932, medieval
  • Geoffrey Bruun 1899–1988, European civilization
  • Louis R Gottschalk, 1899–1975 French Revolution
  • Clarence H Haring, 1885–1960, Latin American
  • Charles H Haskins, 1870–1937, medieval
  • Alfred Thayer Mahan, 1840–1914, naval
  • Lawrence Henry Gipson, 1882–1970, British Empire before 1775
  • William L Langer, 1896–1977, European diplomatic
  • John Lothrop Motley, 1814–1877, Netherlands
  • Lewis Mumford, 1895–1988, urban
  • William H Prescott 1796–1859, Spain
  • Jacques Barzun, b 1907, cultural
  • John Boswell, 1947–1994, Medieval
  • Peter Brown, b 1935 Medieval
  • Christopher Browning, b 1944 the Holocaust
  • Gordon A Craig, born 1913 German, diplomatic
  • Robert Darnton, b 1939 18th-century France
  • Lucy Dawidowicz, 1915–1990 Holocaust
  • Natalie Zemon Davis, b 1928 early modern France, film
  • Trevor Dupuy, 1916–1995 military
  • John K Fairbank, 1907–1991, China
  • Saul Friedländer, b 1932 Holocaust
  • Francis Fukuyama, b 1955 world
  • Peter Gay, psychohistory, Enlightenment, modern Europe
  • John Hattendorf, b 1941 maritime and naval
  • John Whitney Hall, 1916–1997 Japan
  • Victor Davis Hanson, b 1953 ancient warfare
  • Gertrude Himmelfarb, b 1924 19th-century British
  • Hajo Holborn, 1902–1969, Germany
  • Tony Judt, 1948–2010, 20th-century Europe
  • Donald Kagan, b 1932 ancient Greek
  • Paul Kennedy, b 1945 world, military
  • Claudia Koonz, Nazi Germany
  • Thomas Kuhn, 1922–1996, science
  • John Lukacs, b 1924 20th-century Europe
  • Ramsay MacMullen, b 1928 Roman
  • Charles S Maier, b 1939 20th century
  • William McNeill, b 1917 World
  • Arno J Mayer, World War I and Europe
  • George Mosse, German, Jewish, fascism
  • Geoffrey Parker, early modern military
  • Richard Pipes, Russian
  • J G A Pocock born 1924, early modern Europe
  • Nicholas V Riasanovsky, Russian
  • Theodore Ropp, military
  • Carl Schorske, European intellectual
  • Paul W Schroeder, European diplomacy
  • Joan Scott, b 1941 Feminism
  • James J Sheehan, modern German
  • Dennis Showalter, military
  • Timothy D Snyder, World War II
  • Jonathan Spence, b 1936 China
  • Jackson J Spielvogel, world
  • Robert C Tucker, 1918–2010 Stalin
  • Eugen Weber, modern French
  • Gerhard Weinberg, World War II
  • John B Wolf, 1907–1996 early modern French
  • Gordon Wright, 1912–2000 Modern French

Notes and referencesedit

  1. ^ James J Sheehan, "The AHA and its Publics - Part I" Perspectives 2005 432: 5-7 online
  2. ^ Kirkendall, ed 2011
  3. ^ "OAH Treasurer’s Report, Fiscal Year, 2009", Robert Griffith, OAH Treasurer, February 8, 2010 http://wwwoahorg/publications/reports/treasurer09pdf
  4. ^ Michael Kraus and Davis D Joyce, The Writing of American History 3rd ed 1990 ch 3-4
  5. ^ William A Foran, "John Marshall as a Historian," American Historical Review 43#1 1937, pp 51-64 in JSTOR
  6. ^ Lawrence J Friedman and Arthur H Shaffer, "Mercy Otis Warren and the Politics of Historical Nationalism," New England Quarterly 48#2 1975, pp 194-215 in JSTOR
  7. ^ Peter C Messer, "From a Revolutionary History to a History of Revolution: David Ramsay and the American Revolution," Journal of the Early Republic 2002 222: 205-233 Jstor
  8. ^ Karen O'Brien, "David Ramsay and the Delayed Americanization of American History" Early American Literature 1994 291: 1-18 ISSN 0012-8163
  9. ^ Harvey Wish, The American Historian: A Social-intellectual History of the Writing of the American Past 1960 ch 4 online
  10. ^ Harvey Wish, The American Historian: A Social-intellectual History of the Writing of the American Past 1960 ch 5 online
  11. ^ See for online editions
  12. ^ George Athan Billias, "George Bancroft: Master Historian," Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society, 1112: 507-528 2001
  13. ^ N H Dawes, and F T Nichols, "Revaluing George Bancroft," New England Quarterly, 6#2 1933, pp 278-293 in JSTOR
  14. ^ Michael Kraus, "George Bancroft 1834-1934," New England Quarterly, 7#4 1934, pp 662-686 in JSTOR
  15. ^ W D Aeschbacher, "Historical Organization On The Great Plains," North Dakota History, 1967, 34#1 pp 93-104
  16. ^ Elizabeth Kaplan, "We Are What We Collect, We Collect What We Are: Archives and the Construction of Identity," American Archivist 2000 63:126-51 in JSTOR
  17. ^ Amanda Laugesen, "Keeper of Histories: The State Historical Society of Wisconsin Library and Its Cultural Work, 1860-1910," Libraries & Culture, Winter 2004, 39#1 pp 13-35,
  18. ^ Michael Kraus, Writing of American History 2nd ed 1953, pp 89-103, 108-14
  19. ^ Harold E Mahan, "The Arsenal of History: The Official Records of the War of the Rebellion," Civil War History, March 1983, 29#1 pp 5-27
  20. ^ Alice Fahs and Joan Waugh, eds The memory of the Civil War in American culture 2004 p 21-22
  21. ^ Richard Johnson, "Charles McLean Andrews and the Invention of American Colonial History," William and Mary Quarterly 43 1986: 519-41 in JSTOR
  22. ^ Ian Tyrrell, "Making Nations/Making States: American Historians in the Context of Empire," Journal of American History, 86#3 1999, pp 1015-1044 in JSTOR
  23. ^ Richard B Morris, "The Spacious Empire of Lawrence Henry Gipson," William and Mary Quarterly, 24#2 1967: 170–189 in JSTOR
  24. ^ Patrick Griffin, "In Retrospect: Lawrence Henry Gipson's The British Empire before the American Revolution" Reviews in American History, 2003 31#2 pp: 171–183 in JSTOR
  25. ^ Arthur M Schlesinger, Prelude To Independence The Newspaper War On Britain 1764 1776 1957 p 34
  26. ^ Gordon S Wood, "Rhetoric and Reality in the American Revolution," William and Mary Quarterly 23#1 1966, pp 3-32 in JSTOR
  27. ^ Rodgers 1992
  28. ^ Trevor Colbourn, The Lamp of Experience: Whig History and the Intellectual Origins of the American Revolution 1965 online version
  29. ^ H T Dickinson, ed, A companion to eighteenth-century Britain 2002 p 300
  30. ^ Mortimer N S Sellers, American republicanism 1994 p 3
  31. ^ Robert Kelley, "Ideology and Political Culture from Jefferson to Nixon," American Historical Review, 82 June 1977, 536
  32. ^ JGA Pocock, The Machiavellian Moment p 507
  33. ^ Gordon Wood, The Idea of America 2011 p 325
  34. ^ Bernard Bailyn, The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution 1967
  35. ^ Alison Games, "Atlantic History: Definitions, Challenges, and Opportunities," American Historical Review 2006 111#3 pp 741-757 in JSTOR
  36. ^ Bernard Bailyn, Atlantic History: Concept and Contours 2005 online excerpts
  37. ^ Jack P Greene, and Philip D Morgan, eds Atlantic History: A Critical Appraisal 2009
  38. ^ Ray Allen Billington, ed, The Frontier Thesis: Valid Interpretation of American History 1966
  39. ^ Clyde A Milner, et al Trails: Toward a New Western History 1991
  40. ^ Charles Austin Beard 1921 An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of the United States Macmillan p 149 
  41. ^ Ellen Nore, Charles A Beard: An Intellectual Biography 1983
  42. ^ Richard Hofstadter, The Progressive Historians: Turner, Beard, Parrington 1968
  43. ^ Hofstadter, The Progressive Historians 1968, p 344
  44. ^ Robert Schulzinger, ed 2008 A Companion to American Foreign Relations John Wiley & Sons p 7 
  45. ^ August Meier, August, and Elliott M Rudwick, eds Black history and the historical profession, 1915-80 1986
  46. ^ Peter Kolchin, American Slavery: 1619-1877 1993 p 134
  47. ^ James Oliver Horton; Lois E Horton 2006 Slavery and the Making of America Oxford University Press p 8 
  48. ^ Eric Foner 2013 Forever Free: The Story of Emancipation and Reconstruction Knopf Doubleday p xxii 
  49. ^ Kolchin p 135 David and Temin p 741 The latter authors wrote, “The vantage point correspondingly shifted from that of the master to that of his slave The reversal culminated in Kenneth M Stampp's ‘The Peculiar Institution’ 1956, which rejected both the characterization of blacks as a biologically and culturally inferior, childlike people, and the depiction of the white planters as paternal Cavaliers coping with a vexing social problem that was not of their own making”
  50. ^ Kolchin p 136
  51. ^ Kolchin pp 137–143 Horton and Horton p 9
  52. ^ Robert E Wright, Fubarnomics Buffalo, NY: Prometheus, 2010, 83-116
  53. ^ Thomas Pressley, Americans interpret their Civil War 1954
  54. ^ Eric Foner, Free soil, free labor, free men: The ideology of the Republican party before the civil war1971
  55. ^ Gallagher 2000 p 1 Gallagher wrote:

    The architects of the Lost Cause acted from various motives They collectively sought to justify their own actions and allow themselves and other former Confederates to find something positive in all-encompassing failure They also wanted to provide their children and future generations of white Southerners with a 'correct' narrative of the war

  56. ^ Caroline E Janney, "The Lost Cause" Encyclopedia Virginia Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, 2009 accessed 26 July 2015
  57. ^ Jonathan Nashel, "Cold War 1945–91: Changing Interpretations" The Oxford Companion to American Military History John Whiteclay Chambers II, ed, Oxford University Press 1999
  58. ^ Fred Halliday, "Cold War" in The Oxford Companion to the Politics of the World 2001, page 2e
  59. ^ Robert H Ferrell, Harry S Truman and the Cold War Revisionists 2006
  60. ^ Jonathan Nashel, "Cold War 1945–91: Changing Interpretations," in The Oxford Companion to American Military History ed by John Whiteclay Chambers II, 1999
  61. ^ Ernest May, "The Cold War," in The Making of America's Soviet Policy, ed Joseph S Nye, Jr 1984, p 204
  62. ^ Diplomatic dropped from 5% to 3%, economic history from 7% to 5%, and cultural history grew from 14% to 16% Based on full-time professors in US history departments Stephen H Haber, David M Kennedy, and Stephen D Krasner, "Brothers under the Skin: Diplomatic History and International Relations," International Security, Vol 22, No 1 Summer, 1997, pp 34-43 at p 4 2; online at JSTOR
  63. ^ See the SSHA website
  64. ^ See Journal of Social History
  65. ^ Gary Kornblith and Carol Lasser, "More than Great White Men: A Century of Scholarship on American Social History," OAH Magazine of History 2007 21#2 pp 8-13
  66. ^ Lynn Hunt and Victoria Bonnell, eds, Beyond the Cultural Turn 1999
  67. ^ Cornelia H Dayton, and Lisa Levenstein, "The Big Tent of US Women's and Gender History: A State of the Field," Journal of American History 2012 99#3 pp 793–817
  68. ^ Eleanor Amico, ed Reader's Guide to Women's Studies 1997
  69. ^ Gaines M Foster, Ghosts of the Confederacy: Defeat, the Lost Cause and the Emergence of the New South, 1865-1913 1985 p 30
  70. ^ Jacquelyn Dowd Hall, "'You must remember this': Autobiography as social critique" Journal of American History 1998: 439-465 at p 450 in JSTOR
  71. ^ Bonnie G Smith, "Women's History: A Retrospective from the United States," Signs: Journal of Women in Culture & Society, 2010 35#3 , pp 723-747
  72. ^ Jessica Millward, "More History Than Myth: African American Women's History Since the Publication of 'Ar'n't I a Woman'" Journal of Women's History, 2007 19#2 pp 161-167
  73. ^ Mary E Frederickson, "Going Global: New Trajectories in US Women's History," History Teacher, 2010 43#2 pp 169-189
  74. ^ Stephan Thernstrom and Richard Sennett, eds Nineteenth-century Cities: Essays in the New Urban History 1970
  75. ^ Michael Frisch, "Poverty and Progress: A Paradoxical Legacy," Social Science History, Spring 1986, Vol 10 Issue 1, pp 15-22
  76. ^ James Connolly, "Bringing the City Back in: Space and Place in the Urban History of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era," Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, 2002 1#3 pp 258-278
  77. ^ Colin Gordon, "Lost in space, or confessions of an accidental geographer,"International Journal of Humanities and Arts Computing 2011 5#1 pp 1-22
  78. ^ Richard S Kirkendall, ed, The Organization of American Historians and the Writing and Teaching of American History 2011
  79. ^ Trevor Burnard, et al "Teaching in Europe and Researching in the United States" American Historical Review 119#3 2014: 771-779 online
  80. ^ Tibor Frank, "European Perspectives Of United States History Since World War II, Halcyone 01986449 1991, Vol 13, pp 169-179

Further readingedit

  • Amico, Eleanor, ed Reader's Guide to Women's Studies 1997 762pp; advanced guide to scholarship on 200+ topics
  • Cunliffe, Marcus, and Robin Winks, eds Pastmasters: Some Essays on Americans Historians 1969 essays on leading historians of the past by current historians
  • Dayton, Cornelia H; Levenstein, Lisa "The Big Tent of US Women's and Gender History: A State of the Field," Journal of American History 2012 99#3 pp 793–817
  • Foner, Eric, ed The New American History 1997 397pp; 16 essays by experts on recent historiography
  • Foner, Eric, and Lisa McGirr, eds American History Now 2011 440pp; essays by 18 scholars on recent historiography excerpt and text search
  • Garraty, John A, and Eric Foner, eds The Reader's Companion to American History 2nd ed Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014
  • Handlin, Oscar, et al Harvard Guide to American history 1955, methodology and detailed bibliographies
  • Higham, John History: Professional Scholarship in America 1989 ISBN 0-8018-3952-1, the history of the profession
  • Jensen, Richard J "Historiography of American Political History," in Jack Greene, ed, Encyclopedia of American Political History New York: Scribner's, 1984, vol 1 pp 1–25
  • Joranger, Terje Mikael Hasle "A Historiographical Perspective on the Social History of Immigration to and Ethnicity in the United States," Swedish-American Historical Quarterly 2009 60#1 pp 5–24
  • Kirkendall, Richard S, ed The Organization of American Historians and the Writing and Teaching of American History 2011, essays on the history of the OAH, and on teaching main themes
  • Kraus, Michael,and Davis D Joyce The Writing of American History 3rd ed 1990
  • Kulikoff, Allan "A Modest Proposal to Resolve the Crisis in History" Journal of the Historical Society June 2011 11#2 pp 239–263, on the tension between social history and cultural history
  • Link, Arthur, and Rembert Patrick, eds Writing Southern History 1966 502 pp; scholarly essays on historiography of the chief topics
  • Muccigrosso, Robert ed Research Guide to American Historical Biography 5 vol 1988-91; 3600 pages of historiography on 452 prominent Americans
  • Novick, Peter That Noble Dream: The "Objectivity Question" and the American Historical Profession 1988, ISBN 0-521-34328-3
  • Parish, Peter J, ed Reader's Guide to American History 1997, historiographical overview of 600 topics
  • Rutland, Robert, ed Clio's Favorites: Leading Historians of the United States, 1945-2000 University of Missouri Press, 2000 online
  • Samuel, Lawrence R Remembering America: How We Have Told Our Past 2015 covers historians 1920-2015 excerpt
  • Wish, Harvey The American Historian: A Social-intellectual History of the Writing of the American Past Oxford University Press, 1960 online

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