Gilderhus’ thesis is that historical consciousness developed over the course of 500 years from the 14th to the 19th Centuries.

He begins his paper with the Renaissance, and the work by some to revive the old spirits of the Roman empire.

Gilderhus then discusses the Protestant Reformation and shows the way that both Catholics and Protestants used history to try and give their cause support. Both sides used historical arguments to try and dissuade their opponents.

With the Enlightenment came a new wave of historians, and Gilderhus examines Voltaire’s works. Throughout all the ages Gilderhus highlights the presence of God in historical works. With the Enlightenment, philosophers shied away from religion and examined more of man’s importance in the World.

History gained academic discipline in the 19th Century, and that is where Gilderhus examines why, and how. He mentions the many works of the Roman empire completed in the 19th Century, and how history as we know it today, began to appear in the ways of citations and such. Gilderhus finishes with works in the United States and Marxist texts.

Gilderhus’ conclusion is that history has gone through many avenues in those 500 years. There was romanticism, nationalism, philosophy, science, and form throughout the centuries, until finally coming to history as it is known today.



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