Writing History in the Third Republic
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Om Writing History in the Third Republic
Writing History in the Third Republic offers new insight to the historiographical output of French historians between 1860 and 1914, a period often referred to as of positivistic historians or the ecole methodique. Asserting their independence from Germanic influence by emphasising the French element in their work, historians in the period described their approach as methodical and positivistic and maintained that this was a distinctively French way of studying history. A heightened concern with sources, with facts as basis for all true knowledge, and with truth itself were unifying elements of the historiography of those historians now called ecole methodique. The ecole represented the most sophisticated theoretical considerations about history and a method for historical studies in French academia in the late nineteenth century. The purpose of this book is to reassess whether or not this school is legitimately to be seen as having emerged in the Third Republic in response to political developments of nineteenth- century France, or if the so-called methodiques share more in terms of philosophy of history and methodology than previously emphasized by scholars. This book contributes to the debate surrounding the role of history and its method, offering a counter- argument to postmodernist scholars while reassessing the contribution of twentieth-century theorists of history to the history of historiography.