Define the terms Conservative, Liberal and Marxist History and then illustrate the importance of each in the study of History.
History has been understood differently by different people. While some have understood it as the study of the past events, others have defined it as a record of human actions which have occurred in the past.1 However the variety of definitions, it should be pointed out that history does not constitute everything that happened in the past. Only those past activities which have had a bearing on the present are what may qualify to be worth history.2 Just as there are many definitions of history, so are there many branches of history. This essay is meant to define and illustrate the importance of three of the braches of history. These include Conservative, Liberal and Marxist History. The essay is organized in two parts. The first part will
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Marxist historians advocate for a radical transformation of the economic and social conditions by removing capitalist relations. This would have to be done through a violent revolution. An example of radical historians is Paulo Freire who championed the cause of the oppressed in his book, ‘Pedagogy of the Oppressed’.11 In this book, he campaigned for the liberation of the poor who had been oppressed by the dominant classes.
Having discussed the three branches of history in detail, the essay will now focus on the importance of each of these branches in the study of history. Merely defining the concepts without illustrating their relevance can render futile the need to understand them (branches) in the study of history. It should be noted from the onset that while all the branches discussed may have their faults or inadequacies, they all are very relevant in the study of history. Many a time, historians align themselves with one of the many branches, and this reflects in their works.
The importance of Conservative History can never be overemphasized. What is life without tradition? No society would be what it is today without the contribution of past values and traditions. Though arguable, it could be true to assert that the world has evolved into what it is today because of the good values of the past. It is for this reason that caution ought to be taken to ensure that societies and politics remain immune to temptations to