Romantic Historiography in the Service of Nation‐Building

Monika Baár

in Historians and Nationalism

Published in print February 2010 | ISBN: 9780199581184
Published online May 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191722806 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Historical Monographs

Romantic Historiography in the Service of Nation‐Building

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Chapter 2, ‘Romantic Historiography in the Service of Nation‐Building’, discusses the historians' expectations of historical writing and explores how their ambitions related to those of the representatives of Enlightenment‐style general history and representatives of Romantic national history elsewhere. These goals included the democratization of the content, the democratization of the medium and the democratization of the audience. They sought to write histories in a pragmatic, impartial manner and believed that history was magistra vitae. Relating the five scholars'goals to mainstream developments, the chapter demonstrates that there existed a general blueprint of national history‐writing in this period, one which emphasized the ancient, continuous, unified and unique nature of national history. Lastly, a comparison is undertaken between self‐congratulatory accounts in mainstream historiography and the historians' change‐oriented emancipatory rhetoric.

Keywords: Enlightenment; Romanticism; magistra vitae; impartiality; blueprint of national historiography; antiquity; continuity; unity; uniqueness; democratization

Chapter.  11319 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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