American historiography has seen growing shifts that equate to changing historical interpretations in academia. Historians need to focus on the aspects of “social history” to present the layers within the context of a historical event. These layers allow for an in-depth analysis rather than an individual narrative. This “history from below” approach provides comparable data and presents the analysis within quantitative history.1 Sarah Maza in Thinking About History states, “every time we reframe part of the historical picture to take account of another set of people, the whole image changes.”2 It is fascinating to take this approach, and it is valid to the stories of all, rather than only particular groups. The changing ideologies of slaves, women, and/or the LGBTQ+ community are ever-evolving as more scholarship is presented. The perceptions of how certain people were treated create new interpretations of new information explained. Historians have led the vital question of “where” regarding the analysis. The “where” plays a critical component because geographies create nationalistic emotions and responses. Historians have allowed the populace and academia to understand “the many aspects of the past that are either neglected or distorted if we confine ourselves to national contexts.”3 The “what” of history revolves around the “who.” As Maza states, “History is about human beings.”4 There is no denying this notion. We have to conceptualize these individuals, but on the other token, we also must inquire into their activities. Whether they reacted to the weather and their environment, these notions are just as essential to study and understand. Much of history has focused on male elites dominating the narrative, where in recent memory, more minorities and women are presented within scholarship.

Footnotes

  1. Sarah Maza, Thinking about History, Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 2017, 17.
  2. Maza, Thinking About History, 44.
  3. Maza, Thinking About History, 51.
  4. Maza, Thinking About History, 83.

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