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The Oxford History of Historical WritingVolume 4: 1800-1945$
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Stuart Macintyre, Juan Maiguashca, and Attila Pók

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199533091

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199533091.001.0001

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The Intellectual Foundations of Nineteenth-Century ‘Scientific’ History

The Intellectual Foundations of Nineteenth-Century ‘Scientific’ History

The German Model

(p.41) Chapter 2 The Intellectual Foundations of Nineteenth-Century ‘Scientific’ History
The Oxford History of Historical Writing

Georg G. Iggers

Oxford University Press

This chapter notes that the beginning of a new scientific history was started by Barthold Georg Niebuhr with his critical examinations of the surviving texts of Roman history. This was then developed further for the modern period by Leopold von Ranke. This chapter further points out that Ranke, the first honorary member of the American Historical Association and honoured as the ‘father of scientific history’, clarified that the Rankean approach to history meant a historiography based on a strict reconstruction of the past, on the facts as they appeared through a critical examination of the sources, avoiding any moral judgments or any recourse to theory with a commitment to strict objectivity.

Keywords:   scientific history, Barthold Georg Niebuhr, Leopold von Ranke, Rankean approach, history, historiography

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