National history

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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 In the GDR the term “territorial history” was used because the states had been replaced by districts , so that a term between state and regional history arose.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).


Web links

Wikisource: Magazines (national history)  - sources and full texts