History is the study of the past, with special attention to the written record of the activities of human beings over time. Scholars who write about history are called historians. It is a field of research which uses a narrative to examine and analyse the sequence of events, and it often attempts to investigate objectively the patterns of cause and effect that determine events. Historians debate the nature of history and the lessons history teaches.A famous quote by George Santayana has it that “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”The stories common to a particular culture, but not supported by external sources (such as the legends surrounding King Arthur) are usually classified as cultural heritage rather than the “disinterested investigation” needed by the discipline of history.
The title page to The Historians’ History of the World
Since historians are observers and participants, the works they produce are written from the perspective of their own time and sometimes with due concern for possible lessons for their own future. In the words of Benedetto Croce, “All history is contemporary history”. History is facilitated by the formation of a ‘true discourse of past’ through the production of narrative and analysis of past events relating to the human race.The modern discipline of history is dedicated to the institutional production of this discourse.
All events that are remembered and preserved in some authentic form constitute the historical record. The task of historical discourse is to identify the sources which can most usefully contribute to the production of accurate accounts of past. Therefore, the constitution of the historian’s archive is a result of circumscribing a more general archive by invalidating the usage of certain texts and documents (by falsifying their claims to represent the ‘true past’).
The study of history has sometimes been classified as part of the humanities and other times as part of the social sciences.It can also be seen as a bridge between those two broad areas, incorporating methodologies from both. Some individual historians strongly support one or the other classification. In modern academia, history is increasingly classified as a social science. In the 20th century, French historian Fernand Braudel revolutionized the study of history, by using such outside disciplines as economics, anthropology, and geography in the study of global history.
Traditionally, historians have recorded events of the past, either in writing or by passing on an oral tradition, and have attempted to answer historical questions through the study of written documents and oral accounts. For the beginning, historians have also used such sources as monuments, inscriptions, and pictures. In general, the sources of historical knowledge can be separated into three categories: what is written, what is said, and what is physically preserved, and historians often consult all three. But writing is the marker that separates history from what comes before.
Archaeology is a discipline that is especially helpful in dealing with buried sites and objects, which, once unearthed, contribute to the study of history. But archaeology rarely stands alone. It uses narrative sources to complement its discoveries. However, archaeology is constituted by a range of methodologies and approaches which are independent from history; that is to say, archaeology does not “fill the gaps” within textual sources. Indeed, Historical Archaeology is a specific branch of archaeology, often contrasting its conclusions against those of contemporary textual sources. Mark Leone, the excavator and interpreter of historical Annapolis in New Jersey (a town on east coast), has sought to understand the contradiction between textual documents and the material record, demonstrating the possession of slaves and the inequalities of wealth apparent via the study of the total historical environment, despite the ideology of “liberty” inherent in written documents at this time.
There are varieties of ways in which history can be organized, including chronologically, culturally, territorially, and thematically. These divisions are not mutually exclusive, and significant overlaps are often present, as in “The International Women’s Movement in an Age of Transition, 1830–1975.” It is possible for historians to concern themselves with both the very specific and the very general, although the modern trend has been toward specialization. The area called Big History resists this specialization, and searches for universal patterns or trends. History has often been studied with some practical or theoretical aim, but also may be studied out of simple intellectual curiosity.
Why are criminal background checks so important? You feel like you have known someone for a long time, so why is it necessary to dig into their past and find things about them that should have been buried long ago.
Because not everybody is honest. If you are living next to a burglar who has committed hundreds of offenses, and is still on parole, would you feel comfortable? Probably not. How about if that person has multiple assault convictions? Even worse, is a registered sex offender?
But how can you go about finding this out? Did you know that arrests, jail time, and convictions are public record? It’s true. All of this is public information and can be obtained rather easily, but you might have to pay for it since a person has to physically maintain a database. There is nothing wrong with that since you can not put a price on safety.
Never assume someone else has done this work already. Not all background checks are created equal. Some have very limited information, some don’t check out of state, and some are missing important details. You need to know this!
By performing your own check, you can be assured that a full search was done, and you can know first hand exactly what this person has been convicted of. Maybe it is nothing, but maybe what was ignored by the employer is a big deal to you, and changes your view.
Your security is worth it. Your family also depends on this. Don’t let problems go unnoticed. Know who you are living around and get this information before it is too late.
“This article is brought to you by Gus Woltmann”.