Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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National history
(1,052 words)

1. Concept and characteristics

The term “national history” denotes on the one hand the construct of a past context of events that is identified with the destiny of a nation, and on the other hand the historiographic process of describing that context, and thus also to some extent of fabricating it. To preserve the distinction between these two senses, it seems wise to use the term “national myth” to refer to the construct of the past – “myth” here not implying fiction or falsehood, but ra…

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Hirschi, Caspar, “National history”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 25 June 2022 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_024548>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20200128



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