Alongside the different methods of learning and teaching the subject of History, explained in the article below, there are also sub-categories. Some of the sub-categories include Political history, Diplomatic history, Economic history, and Military history. These sub-categories all pay tribute in their own way to the furtherance of knowledge to our History. They help explore a more in-depth and comprehensive viewpoint to certain topics throughout history, and provide historians more important context to better understand the why? And the how? And look beyond the who and the what.
As a student whom is studying history it is my goal to not be biased to these different sub-categories although I may be interested in one more than another, I understand that these sub-categories work as gears to further my education as a historian. For example an Economic Historian my know all there is to know about his field but he/she could better their knowledge by understanding how their field is impacted by the Political history field to gain context knowledge and look towards the why or how something works.
I personal y find the sub-category of Political history to be most appealing, it seems to have a more humanistic feel to it than the more technical Military, or even Economic histories. The Political history field often begins with topics like the ‘Social Contract’ and looks into time periods like ‘The Enlightenment’. This gives a backbone and a reason for political powers, governments, and even social change throughout history. Looking at philosophes like Jean Jacques Rousseau, and John Locke to understand documents and changes in the political history of the world. Recent political historians look at topics like the United Nations for a more global example, also topics like political administration i.e governments and control.
The topics of History are all interconnected and that is what makes it whole. Without one piece, the clockwork of our history would not tick the same. The more information and context that is used, offers historians a better and bigger picture. I genuinely believe this, and know I will need to work on taking a look from multiple vantage points in history to further my understanding of it no matter what sub-category I favor. To a bigger and better picture.
A simple definition for the word “History” is the study of the past. History has and will always be a part in every individuals learning career, whether small or big. This subject never stops expanding and never stops complicating itself, the more you know the more you seem to question so on and so forth. So how do we learn about history?
At the moment, there are two fundamental ways to look at the learning of our past; Academic History, and Popular History. Breaking such a broad and open subject into two methodologies of learning helps simplify the all-encompassing scope of history and the way we see it today. It is clear to see that at first thought one method of learning comes from a more ‘academic’ stand then the other, hence .Academic History’.
Academic History a method of teaching and learning that utilizes a more scholarly approach then Popular History. Academic History often produces work through a meticulous set of guidelines and procedures. These guidelines include aspects like scholarly sources and the use of accredited or certified facts from professors, professionals etc. Academic History also goes through rigorous editing, and re-editing all for a ‘well-polished’ complete historically ‘true’ product. This would include textbooks, scholarly journal articles and more. The goal of Academic History is to find the closest truth to history possible utilizing all the context and information they have, to conclude a final product of understanding. The importance that this has on the subject of history is that it keeps the field alive and always looking for more information to further the understanding or ‘our’ history.
On the other hand, Popular History is a less formal and more inherited form of history. It is what it sounds like history known, sadly unknown as well, by the people. It is the information you know, not from learning at school or by a teacher, but from; stories, from family. This type of history although it may not be credible by sources, it is just as important as Academic History. It keeps people interested; it speaks to a ‘popular’ audience. It is the phrase “History is His-Story”, passed down from one to another.
These two ways of understanding history are both important to the furtherance of our understanding of our past and our futures understanding. I do understand the large divide in the two academia’s but would like for there to be a more understanding middle ground. Too much of anything is not good, so I believe these two methods should be equally prevalent in education to enable for a larger (popular), and a smart (academic) audience.