We explain what history is, the branches into which it is divided and its complementary sciences. In addition, its characteristics, divisions and ending.
History is a branch of Social Sciences whose object of study is the past of humanity , both recent and remote, and which is based on books, references and documentary material of various kinds.
Although History can address any period of the past of human civilization , its area of interest is usually limited to those that took place after the invention of writing , since from then on there is some kind of record of what happened . The notion of history and that of registration are intimately involved.
Traditionally, History has been thought of as one of the humanities , despite the fact that its methods are typical of the Social Sciences. The latter has often led to it being considered a "bridge" between humanistic and social-scientific disciplines.
The word "history" comes from ancient Greek, a language in which it meant "investigation" or "information", derived in turn from jistor , which meant "wise man", "witness" or "judge".
The term "history" has numerous meanings, not all of which refer to the science that studies the past, although all of them have in one way or another to do with it and its interests. For example, the period between the invention of writing and modern times is called "history," just as, in ordinary language , "history" is used more or less synonymously with narrative , whether real or imagined. or for a count of specific events, as in the case of the "clinical history" of Medicine.
According to the specific period of your interest, we can talk about different branches of History, for example:
Scholars of human history, above all, use references, clues, clues and stories contained in different types of support and discourse , such as history books, scientific articles , literary works, religious stories, period chronicles , etc. private diaries, plastic arts, archaeological remains, correspondence, etc. Practically everything has a usable documentary value.
History often uses techniques, knowledge and content from other disciplines such as anthropology , archaeology , architecture , literature , library science, heraldry, linguistics, numismatics, politics and even philosophy , not only as source of historical documents, but of interpretive theories to better explain the human past.
History as a science essentially involves two different aspects that should be distinguished:
Although there is no single way to organize the events of the past, common historians (especially Westerners) tend to classify them as follows:
History as such does not have a defined origin , since it is difficult to establish when man decided to record past events as something to tell to future generations. The truth is that it is said that the Greek Herodotus of Halicarnassus (484-425 BC) was the first proper historian and geographer.
Much debate exists around the "official" History, that is, the one supported by the educational and central organisms of political power, often accused of sinning in their view of ethnocentrism (especially European) and of privileging the history of certain sectors social above others. It is often said that "history is written by the victors".
The “end of History” is a theory by the Japanese Francis Fukuyama from 1992, in which he proposes that History, understood as a long recount of ideological struggles, that is, of attempts to impose one model of humanity on another, has ended with the victory of capitalism over communism and liberal democracy that followed the Cold War of the 20th century. It is a debated and controversial theory today.
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