World history or global history (not to be confused with diplomatic, transnational or international history) is a field of historical study that emerged centuries ago, with leaders such as Voltaire, Hegel, Karl Marx and Arnold J. Toynbee. It examines history from a global perspective. It is not to be confused with comparative history, which, like world history, deals with the history of multiple cultures and nations, but does not do so on a global scale. World history looks for common patterns that emerge across all cultures. World historians use a thematic approach, with two major focal points: integration (how processes of world history have drawn people of the world together) and difference (how patterns of world history reveal the diversity of the human experiences).
Jerry H. Bentley has observed that 'the term world history has never been a clear signifier with a stable referent', and that usage of the term overlaps with universal history, comparative history, global history, big history, macro history, and transnational history, amongst others. World History has often displaced Western Civilization in the required curriculum of American high schools and universities, and is supported by new textbooks with a world history approach. World History attempts to recognise and address two structures that have profoundly shaped professional history-writing:
Thus World History tends to study networks, connections, and systems that cross traditional boundaries of historical study like linguistic, cultural, and national borders. Like other branches of history-writing in the second half of the twentieth century, World History has a scope far beyond historians' traditional focus on politics, wars, and diplomacy, taking in a panoply of subjects like gender history, social history, cultural history, and environmental history.
The International Society for the Comparative Study of Civilizations (ISCSC) approaches world history from the standpoint of comparative civilizations. World History Association (WHA) The study of world history, as distinct from national history, has existed in many world cultures. However, early forms of world history were not truly global, and were limited to only the regions known by the historian. During the Renaissance in Europe, history was written about states or nations. The study of history changed during the Enlightenment and Romanticism. History became an independent discipline. It was not called philosophia historiae anymore, but merely history (historia).Voltaire, in the 18th century, attempted to revolutionize the study of world history. First, Voltaire concluded that the traditional study of history was flawed. These aspects of history were mostly unexplored by his contemporaries and would each develop into their own sections of world history. Above all else, Voltaire regarded truth as the most essential part of recording world history. G.W.F. Hegel developed three lenses through which he believed world history could be viewed. Documents which pertain to Hegel’s Original History are classified by modern historians as primary sources. Hegel termed the lens which he advocated to view world history through as Philosophical History. In order to view history through this lens, one must analyze events, civilizations, and periods objectively. Ferguson’s main contribution to the study of world history was his An Essay on the History of Civil Society (1767). According to Ferguson, world history was a combination of two forms of history. One was natural history; the aspects of our world which god created. The other, which was more revolutionary, was social history. For him, social history was the progress humans made towards fulfilling God’s plan for humanity. Through this lens, Ferguson viewed world history as humanities struggle to reach an ideal society. Henry Home, Lord Kames was a philosopher during the Enlightenment and contributed to the study or world history. In his major historical work, Sketches on the History of Man, Home’s outlined the four stages of human history which he observed. By defining the stages of human history, Homes influenced his successors. World history became a popular genre in the 20th century with universal history. In the 1920s, several best-sellers dealt with the history of the world, including surveys It deepened the post-World War And at several regional associations began a program to help history professors broadened their coverage in freshman courses; world history became a popular replacement for courses on Western Civilization. In related disciplines, such as art history and architectural history, global perspectives have been promoted as well. Reynolds (2007) surveys the relationship between African and world histories, with an emphasis on the tension between the area studies paradigm and the growing world-history emphasis on connections and exchange across regional boundaries. Reynolds sees the relationship between African and world history as a measure of the changing nature of historical inquiry over the past century.
The End of History and the Last Man (1992) Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770–1830), philosopher of world history Patrick Manning, Navigating World History: A History of the Human Community (1963) A History (1983) Peter Stearns, (1936- ) USA; World History in Brief: A Study of History (1934–61); see especially A Study of History. Eric Voegelin (1901–1985) Order and History (1956–85)
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