History Glossary

  1. Annales, Annales ‘School’
    • Annales is the historical journal founded in 1929 by Lucien
    • Febvre and Marc Bloch, and given a new lease of life after 1945 when it was
    • associated with the prestigious Ecole Des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales
    • (to give the institution its most recent name. Annales, the journal, and
    • the ‘school’ loosely associated with it, and the Ecole, are characterised above
    • all by an insistence that history should make use of the discoveries of the
    • social sciences and incorporate social science methods. The approach (which in
    • fact is far more diverse than usually assumed) has been described as structural
    • functionionalist, and certainly Annales historians, strongly influenced
    • by structuralism in anthropology, place great emphasis on what they perceive to
    • be underlying structures in history.
  2. Arts
    • in British universities a Faculty of Arts usually includes such subjects as
    • English (or Literature), Philosophy, Art History, and also History. Sometimes
    • ‘The Arts’ connotes these various disciplines; on other occasions it means the
    • ‘creative’ arts – that is to say, painting, poetry, sculpture and so on.
  3. Assimilationist
    the view that history should be assimilated to the methods of the natural sciences.
  4. Autonomous
    • when applied to history means that history is not part of literature, or the
    • sciences, or of cultural studies, but has its own specialist methodology.
  5. Capitalism
    • used in a general way by historians to describe the kind of economic system that has
    • existed for at least the last 100 or 200 years in ‘the West,’ very definitely
    • from the time of industrialisation, and with respect to important elements,
    • since the commercial developments of the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth
    • centuries. In Marxist discourse there is a more precise meaning, Marxism
    • postulating that capitalism is the social order, which succeeds feudalism,
    • having overthrown it, and is now, in the contemporary period, subject to
    • overthrow by working class or socialist revolution.
  6. Class
    • as generally used by historians, it means the broad aggregations of families and individuals into
    • which modern societies divide, these aggregations falling into a rough
    • hierarchy according to the wealth, influence, power or whatever possessed
    • individuals within each aggregation, and generally characterised by common
    • lifestyles, patterns of behaviour and so on. Such historians would see
    • classes as coming into existence only in, say the later eighteenth century,
    • under the impetus of industrialisation and the political upheavals of the
    • time. Marxists however, apply the term to all periods of history, and in a
    • precise technical way. According to Marxism a person’s class is determined by
    • their relationship to the dominant mode of production, and in every ‘stage’
    • of history one class will dominate – for example the bourgeois, or
    • capitalist, class in the age of capitalism.
  7. Class consciousness
    • this is a specifically
    • Marxist term and occurs, or is alleged to occur, when member of a class
    • become aware of the way in which their interests are in conflict with those
    • of another class and are prepared to take action in pursuit of their
    • interests.
  8. Comparative history
    • history which, by fixing on like or analogous institutions or practices in different
    • countries, produces comparisons and contrasts between these countries.
Card Set
History Glossary
from Palgrave