history coursework and historians

#1
im not sure how history coursework is set out..we've been given sources but have to use historians such as ajp taylor, bullock, and kershaw to write about the source. is ajp taylor and kershaw a structuralist,intentionlist, or opportunist?
my courswork is about czchosovakia

and i forgot..what about shirer?
 
Last edited:

Belisarius

Forum Staff
Jun 2006
10,359
U.K.
#2
im not sure how history coursework is set out..we've been given sources but have to use historians such as ajp taylor, bullock, and kershaw to write about the source. is ajp taylor and kershaw a structuralist,intentionlist, or opportunist?
my courswork is about czchosovakia
That's really for you to determine. From what I recall Sir Ian Kershaw was a bit of both Structuralist and Intentionalist, so no help there. Sorry. Tim Mason has a lot to answer for!:rolleyes:
 
#3
im not sure how history coursework is set out..we've been given sources but have to use historians such as ajp taylor, bullock, and kershaw to write about the source. is ajp taylor and kershaw a structuralist,intentionlist, or opportunist?
my courswork is about czchosovakia

and i forgot..what about shirer?
I don't know anything about Czechoslovakia, but the historians have pretty famous positions.

A. J. P. Taylor = anti-intentionalist / great man history

Ian Kershaw = synthesis (but leaning towards structuralism)

Bullock = opportunist
 
#5
Ok, intentionalism is basically the view that events occur because people want them to. To place that into context, a historian of Nazi Germany with an intentionalist perspective would argue that Hitler wanted and planned for the holocaust and held an iron grip upon Nazi Germany. They argue that Hitler had absolute power in the Third Reich.

A structuralist argues that events are shaped by their surroundings. To place that into context, Hans Momsen, when he described Hitler as a 'weak dictator', was implying that Hitler was the willing slave to circumstance, as opposed to the driving force of change within the Third Reich; the environment shaped the developments within Nazi Germany, as opposed to the will of individuals.[FONT=&quot]

[/FONT] The term opportunist is pretty much self explanatory.[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
 

Black Dog

Ad Honorem
Mar 2008
9,990
Damned England
#6
If it's any help: History coursework (essays or tutorials) are really about reading up on a given subject- source lists are mere pointers to relevant writers and information, unless, of course, the question asks specifically about a particular source, e.g. "Was Daniel Goldhagen right to assign guilt for the Holocaust to Germany as a whole, and not just the Nazi party and SS?". Here, you'd be pretty much obliged to read Goldhagen and any notable critics of his work.

Importantly, though, the idea is to show a firm grasp of all commonly held viewpoints, and it is also vital to offer your own opinion within that context.

The usual layout is to number all of your quotes and footnote them, and at the end of the essay, list your sources, (the books as well as authors).

The joy of a history degree is that it is primarily about ideas. A straight recital of facts (of which there are few that aren't argued about in history) is what's expected at a lower level, whereas homespun ideas without substantiation is what we call Journalism!

Try to get to the bones of the argument: try to understand why and how different viewpoints exist; what are the motives of the author for believing this, and try- most of all- to look for ideas and causes. And- probably the best advice I can give you- answer the question! It's very tempting to wander off, or to panic and wander off, but resist this. And, very very important: enjoy the course!
Good luck
Black Dog
 

Similar History Discussions