Bret Hackenson


Historical interpretation is the process by which historians analyze historical evidence and craft an explanation of the past. This essay explores unique interpretations of history, including Haskell Fain’s approach to history as science, George M. Trevelyan’s belief in history as education, Karl Marx’s historical materialism, and Alexis de Tocqueville’s comparative history. Comparing each of these approaches reveals that although historians may disagree on how history should be interpreted, each interpretation offers unique insights into historical questions that some historians might not have considered. This condition helps provide complete answers to these historical questions by considering all interpretations, whether they be history as science or education, as materialism or comparisons, or even those not discussed here.

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