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Hist 310 Terminology

US History key terminomology

Anachronism A point of view, idea, or practice attributed to a past period when it could not have existed or occurred.
Analysis Close inspection of material-- text, picture, etc.-- designed to reveal broader meaning or clarify a bigger picture.
Assimilation Conform culturally with the mainstream; deny one's native culture in favor of an adopted culture.
Causation How historians explain a particular sequence of historical events, especially with reference to their causes.
Chronology How historians give order, structure, and sequence to the past by assigning units of time, including days, months, years, decades, centuries, etc.
Context The set of circumstances or facts that surround a particular event, situation, etc. Defined by your instructor as the "4 w's".
Culture The customs, language, arts, social institutions, and achievements of a particular people, country, or other community.
Empirical Capable of being verified or disproved by observation or experiment
Evidence Available facts/ information which historians use to support their particular understandings/interpretations of history. Comes in many different varieties, including written documents, photographs, works of art, oral traditions, various physical artifacts
Fact A piece of information about the past generally understood as empirically true, and used as evidence by a historian in support of a conclusion or interpretation. Facts are subject to change if/when more reliable information about them comes to light.
Heritage The cultural or ethnic tradition with which one personally identifies, often a source of pride.
History The selected study of the past based on the interpretation of empirical evidence grounded in fact.
Idiom A language, dialect, or style of speaking peculiar to a people
Interpretation The process by which historians make sense of evidence, and assign meaning to the "facts". The overall explanations which historians give based on their understanding of factual evidence.
Metacognition Awareness and understanding of one’s own thought processes.
Myth A traditional story, esp. one concerning the early history of a people, that projects ideal, heroic, and often fictional qualities onto those people and events, which then symbolize the traditions thought to connect with those living in the present.
Nativism A fear of foreign influences and people, often expressed as a hostile response to immigrants.
Presentism Using the values, opinions, or viewpoints that are specific to one’s present day to understand, evaluate, or critique the actions of people in the past.
Primary, Secondary sources The two basic categories of evidence used by historians to interpret the past.
Primary sources contain historical information that dates to the period being examined, created by the peoples living during that period. These would include written documents, photographs, works of arts, oral traditions, and various physical artifacts from the period.
Secondary sources are those created by individuals at least once removed from the period/events being studied. These would include, for example, your textbook or my lectures.
Talk to the Text The careful reading of historical documents, with special attention to the use of reading strategies that help the reader unlock the deeper meanings of the document.
Created by: ymoseley