Carl L. Becker Essay by capital writers

Carl L. Becker
A discussion of the life and theories of the historian Carl L. Becker.
# 28750 | 2,084 words | 6 sources | MLA | 2002 | US
Published on Jul 07, 2003 in History (General)

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This paper examines how Carl L. Becker was one of the most eminent American historians of the early 20th century. It looks at how his long and distinguished career and his impressive list of scholarly monographs alone qualify him as an important figure in the development of historical understanding and how his contributions to historical methodology were equally weighty. It shows how Becker was a progressive historian and how his historical analysis tended to focus on how historical process lead to later development and how these later developments could indeed be seen in the earlier historical precedents. He saw history as defined solely by the store of knowledge that we have about a historical event.

From the Paper:

"Becker's work was typically presented in book format, and, while in his early work, especially, he presented his work in ways that were meant to be scholarly and academic, his work was to have a much broader popular appeal as well. As a progressive historian, much of Becker's concern was in reevaluating history and in occasionally examining social movements that were not culturally dominant in considering how they also affected history. As a result of his interest in action and untold narrative, Becker has a tendency to bias these elements in his later work. Often, he focuses on how events have continued to be significant today, rather than focusing on their unique historical importance of the time. Similarly, he is often willing to privilege the untold history of a movement that had not received what he considered to be a significant enough amount of historical attention over received historical narratives that were commonly accepted."

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