The country's history or historical geography as a historical discipline operates historiography in a particularly pronounced regional studies perspective. In addition to the history of politics and events , the focus of interest is on the history of settlements as well as the economic and social history of historical landscapes . The approach is a typically German-speaking research tradition that ties in with the federal structures of the Old Reich . Recently, however, attempts have been made to approach comparable regional historical approaches in other parts of Europe.
In contrast to the country's history, which can regional history not by government or quasi-governmental entities defined geographical areas deal with. However, due to the fact that the national borders (“ historical landscape ”) have changed over the centuries, the state's history is not necessarily tied to current state borders. In the GDR the term “territorial history” was used because the states had been replaced by districts , so that a term between state and regional history arose.
The local history (or city history) deals with the past of a place, a village, a city or a regionally defined area.
In Germany , countries in the sense of national history are above all larger political units below the highest state level. In Germany today these are the federal states . Regional historical objects from earlier times are, for example, the member states of the German Empire or the territories of the Holy Roman Empire , but also the member states of the German Confederation . The country's history therefore works methodically and comparatively and establishes the links to the higher political reference level for the respective epoch.
State history with its sub-disciplines is carried out in Germany in particular by the historical commissions of the federal states and numerous state and regional historical associations , often founded in the 19th century , including some transnational, such as the Harz Association for History and Archeology for Lower Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia, or the association for Nassau antiquity and historical research for Hesse and Rhineland-Palatinate. In addition, numerous university-related research institutes for regional history were established before and after the Second World War, such as the Institute for Historical Regional Studies of the Rhineland , the Institute for Historical Regional Studies at the University of Mainz (IGL), the Institute for Historical Research for the State of Lower Saxony and the Institute for Bavarian History or the LWL Institute for Westphalian Regional History . The only new establishment in the new federal states after the fall of the wall was the Institute for Saxon History and Folklore in Dresden. Also important is the Humanities Center for the History and Culture of East Central Europe (GWZO), which was founded in 1995 and deals with the respective national history of the historical landscapes in Germania Slavica .
The most important institution, however, is the General Association of German History and Antiquity Associations , which was founded in 1852 and currently has over 200 member associations (over 150,000 members), which publishes the papers for German national history and annually a "Day of German National History" at changing locations with topics of comparative national history ( Germany and neighboring countries).
- Brage bei der Wieden : Objects and perspectives of the country's history. Conference from November 26th to 27th, 2009 in Braunschweig. In: H-Soz-Kult . December 11, 2009, ( conference report ).
- Werner Buchholz (Ed.): National history in Germany. Inventory - analysis - perspectives. Schöningh, Paderborn / Munich / Vienna / Zurich 1998, ISBN 3-506-71802-9 ( digitized version ).
- Enno Bünz : German regional historical research in the 19th and 20th centuries. In: Anke John (Ed.): Heads. Institutions. Areas. Mecklenburg state and regional history since the 19th century. Schmidt-Römhild, Lübeck 2016, ISBN 3-7950-3757-3 , pp. 17-39.
- Werner Freitag , Michael Kißener , Christine Reinle , Sabine Ullmann (eds.): Handbook of regional history . De Gruyter Oldenbourg, Berlin / Boston 2018, ISBN 3-11-035411-X .
- Heinz Dopsch : Comparative national history in Austria. Reality, Vision or Utopia? In: Journal of the Historical Association for Styria . 91-92, 2000/2001, pp. 53-92.
- Pankraz Fried (ed.): Problems and methods of regional history. WBG, Darmstadt 1978, ISBN 3-534-07080-1 .
- Peter Claus Hartmann : National and regional history in Europe in the past, present and future. In: sheets for German national history . 148, 2012, pp. 277-286.
- Carl-Hans Hauptmeyer (Ed.): State history today. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 1987, ISBN 3-525-33526-1 ( digitized version ).
- Sigrid Hirbodian , Christian Jörg, Sabine Klapp (eds.): Methods and ways of regional history. Thorbecke, Ostfildern 2015, ISBN 3-7995-1380-9 .
- Ludwig Holzfurtner: State history. In: Michael Maurer (Ed.): Outline of the historical sciences. Volume 2: Spaces. Reclam, Stuttgart 2001, ISBN 3-15-017028-1 , pp. 348-414.
- Manfred Jessen-Klingenberg , Jörn-Peter Leppien , Hans F. Rothert : Thoughts on the tasks and responsibilities of the regional historian. In: Communications of the Society for Schleswig-Holstein History , No. 12, 1982, ISSN 2196-3428 , pp. 34-38.
- Mirjam Krönig: National history with and without a country. Historical commissions in West and East after 1945. Meeting from October 26th to 28th 2017 in Tübingen. In: H-Soz-Kult . February 21, 2018, ( conference report ).
- Volker Rödel: From regional history to historical regional studies. Formation and development of a historical special discipline. In: Enno Bünz (Ed.): 100 Years of State History (1906–2006). Leipzig achievements, entanglements and effects. Universitätsverlag, Leipzig 2012, ISBN 3-86583-618-6 , pp. 449-461.
- Andreas Rutz : German national history European. Limits - challenges - opportunities. In: Rheinische Vierteljahrsblätter . 79 vol., 2015, pp. 1–19. ( Digitized version )
- Andreas Rutz: National history in Europe. Traditions - Institutions - Perspectives. In: Werner Freitag u. a. (Ed.): Handbook of regional history. De Gruyter Oldenbourg, Berlin / Boston 2018, pp. 102–126 ( digitized version ).
- Tjark Wegner: Between Region, Nation and Europe. German national history from a European perspective. Conference from November 26th to 28th, 2015 in Tübingen. In: H-Soz-Kult . March 30, 2016, ( conference report ).
- Matthias Werner : German regional historical research in the 20th century. New beginnings, upheavals, perspectives. In: Manfred Groten , Andreas Rutz (Hrsg.): Rheinische Landesgeschichte at the University of Bonn. Traditions - Developments - Perspectives. V&R unipress, Göttingen 2007, ISBN 3-89971-410-5 , pp. 157-178.
- Werner Freitag : Regional history as a synthesis - regional history as a method? (PDF; 145 KB) uni-muenster.de , accessed on January 21, 2019 .
- Wilfried Reininghaus : Present and Future of State History. Reflections on their theory and practice. (PDF; 80.8 KB) lwl.org , accessed on January 21, 2019 .