The longue durée (French pronunciation: [lɔ̃ɡ dyʁe] ; English: the long term) is an expression used by the French Annales School of historical writing to designate their approach to the study of history. It gives priority to long-term historical structures over what François Simiand called histoire événementielle ("evental history", the short-term time-scale that is the domain of the chronicler and the journalist), concentrating instead on all-but-permanent or slowly evolving structures, and substitutes for elite biographies the broader syntheses of prosopography. The crux of the idea is to examine extended periods of time and draw conclusions from historical trends and patterns.
François Joseph Charles Simiand was a French sociologist and economist best known as a participant in the Année Sociologique. As a member of the French Historical School of economics, Simiand predicated a rigorous factual and statistical basis for theoretical models and policies. His contribution to French social science was recognized in 1931 when, at the age of 58, he was elected to the faculty of the Collège de France and accepted the chair in labor history.
A chronicle is a historical account of facts and events arranged in chronological order, as in a time line. Typically, equal weight is given for historically important events and local events, the purpose being the recording of events that occurred, seen from the perspective of the chronicler. This is in contrast to a narrative or history, which sets selected events in a meaningful interpretive context and excludes those the author does not see as important.
A journalist is a person who collects, writes, or distributes news or other current information to the public. A journalist's work is called journalism. A journalist can work with general issues or specialize in certain issues. However, most journalists tend to specialize, and by cooperating with other journalists, produce journals that span many topics. For example, a sports journalist covers news within the world of sports, but this journalist may be a part of a newspaper that covers many different topics.
The longue durée is part of a tripartite system that includes short-term événements and medium-term conjunctures (periods of decades or centuries when more profound cultural changes such as the industrial revolution can take place).
The approach, which incorporates social scientific methods such as the recently evolved field of economic historyinto general history, was pioneered by Marc Bloch and Lucien Febvre in the Interwar period. The approach was carried on by Fernand Braudel, who published his views after becoming the editor of Annales in 1956. In the second part of the century, Braudel took stock of the current status of social studies in crisis, foundering under the weight of their own successes, in an article in 1958, "Histoire et sciences sociales: La longue durée". Among the works which Braudel remarked on as examples of the longue durée was Alphonse Dupront's study of the long-standing idea in Western Europe of a crusade, which extended across diverse European societies far beyond the last days of the actual crusades, and among spheres of thought with a long life he noted Aristotelian science. In the longue durée of economic history, beyond, or beneath, the cycles and structural crises, lie "old attitudes of thought and action, resistant frameworks dying hard, at times against all logic." Braudel also stressed the importance of slow-changing geographic factors, like the constraints placed by the natural environment upon human production and communication. In the first volume of The Mediterranean and the Mediterranean World in the Age of Philip II, for example, he described the tension between mountain dwellers and plain dwellers, with their different cultures and economic models, as a basic feature of Mediterranean history over thousands of years.
Economic history is the study of economies or economic phenomena of the past. Analysis in economic history is undertaken using a combination of historical methods, statistical methods and the application of economic theory to historical situations and institutions. The topic includes financial and business history and overlaps with areas of social history such as demographic and labor history. The quantitative—in this case, econometric—study of economic history is also known as cliometrics.
Marc Léopold Benjamin Bloch was a French historian. A founding member of the Annales School of French social history, he specialised in medieval history and published widely on Medieval France over the course of his career. As an academic, he worked at the University of Strasbourg, the University of Paris, and the University of Montpellier.
Lucien Paul Victor Febvre was a French historian best known for the role he played in establishing the Annales School of history. He was the initial editor of the Encyclopédie française together with Anatole de Monzie.
The history of the longue durée that informs Braudel's two masterworkstherefore offers a contrast to the archives-directed history that arose at the end of the 19th century, and a return to the broader views of the earlier generation of Jules Michelet, Leopold von Ranke, Jacob Burckhardt or Numa Denis Fustel de Coulanges.
Jules Michelet was a French historian. He was born in Paris to a family with Huguenot traditions.
Leopold von Ranke was a German historian and a founder of modern source-based history. According to Caroline Hoefferle, "Ranke was probably the most important historian to shape [the] historical profession as it emerged in Europe and the United States in the late 19th century". He was able to implement the seminar teaching method in his classroom and focused on archival research and analysis of historical documents. Building on the methods of the Göttingen School of History, Ranke set the standards for much of later historical writing, introducing such ideas as reliance on primary sources (empiricism), an emphasis on narrative history and especially international politics (Außenpolitik).
Carl Jacob Christoph Burckhardt was a Swiss historian of art and culture and an influential figure in the historiography of both fields. He is known as one of the major progenitors of cultural history. Sigfried Giedion described Burckhardt's achievement in the following terms: "The great discoverer of the age of the Renaissance, he first showed how a period should be treated in its entirety, with regard not only for its painting, sculpture and architecture, but for the social institutions of its daily life as well." Burckhardt's best known work is The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy (1860).
Averil Cameron, in examining the Mediterranean world in late antiquity concluded that "consideration of the longue durée is more helpful than the appeal to immediate causal factors."Sergio Villalobos also expressly took the long view in his Historia del pueblo chileno.
Late antiquity is a periodization used by historians to describe the time of transition from classical antiquity to the Middle Ages in mainland Europe, the Mediterranean world, and the Near East. The popularization of this periodization in English has generally been accredited to historian Peter Brown, after the publication of his seminal work The World of Late Antiquity (1971). Precise boundaries for the period are a continuing matter of debate, but Brown proposes a period between the 3rd and 8th centuries AD. Generally, it can be thought of as from the end of the Roman Empire's Crisis of the Third Century to, in the East, the early Muslim conquests in the mid-7th century. In the West the end was earlier, with the start of the Early Middle Ages typically placed in the 6th century, or earlier on the edges of the Western Roman Empire.
Sergio Villalobos Rivera is a Chilean historian, and Chilean National History Award in 1992. Among his most significant works is the Historia del pueblo Chileno.
Academics often apply Braudel's underlying logic of the longue durée to examine settler colonialism, an imperialistic style of colonization with a fixation on land, not resources. The notion, as outlined by historians, is supported by the claim that Manifest destiny, the impetus to British Imperialism, resulted in the large-scale devastation and destruction of Indigenous peoples in the Americas.
Settler colonialism is a form of colonialism which seeks to replace the original population of the colonized territory with a new society of settlers. As with all forms of colonialism, it is based on exogenous domination, typically organized or supported by an imperial authority. Settler colonialism is enacted by a variety of means ranging from violent depopulation of the previous inhabitants, to more subtle, legal means such as assimilation or recognition of indigenous identity within a colonial framework. Although "the settler-colonial logic of elimination has manifested as genocidal", it is "not invariably" so.
Manifest destiny was a widely held belief in the 19th century United States that its settlers were destined to expand across North America. There are three basic themes to manifest destiny:
Minerva Campion details the nuances of a longue durée view of Amazonian colonization. She asserts that cultural and societal structures of Indigenous peoples in the Amazon fall apart at the hands of missionaries, ecologists, and oil conglomerates throughout history.Historians also identify this pattern in United States history. For instance, American Progress , a 1872 painting by Brooklyn painter John Gast, provides an allegorical representation of U.S. westward expansion. The landscape portrays the east as warm and sophisticated and the west as dark and uncivilized—epitomizing the sense of disdain with which Americans viewed the Indigenous peoples.
American Progress is an 1872 painting by John Gast, a Prussian-born painter, printer, and lithographer who lived and worked most of his life in Brooklyn, New York. American Progress, an allegory of Manifest Destiny, was widely disseminated in chromolithographic prints. It is now held by the Autry Museum of the American West in Los Angeles, California.
Proponents of the longue durée assert that a broader, more macro synthesis of history elucidates long-term patterns and trends that would not otherwise be realized. Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, one of many contemporary historians with expertise in this area, argues that U.S. and European Imperialism laid the foundation for a systemic type of xenophobia and settler colonialism that exists today. She describes settler colonialism as "inherently genocidal."Pablo Mitchell also provides evidence in attempts to support the idea of modern-day settler colonialism; he writes that itinerant preacher Reies Tijerina of New Mexico noted in 1962 that forestland in the northern part of the state had been "illegally taken from the townspeople of the village of Chama" by the U.S. Government, who cited the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo as justification.
For more information on misconceptions of settler colonialism, see: Dominant narrative - history - Indigenous Peoples in North America.
The Annales school is a group of historians associated with a style of historiography developed by French historians in the 20th century to stress long-term social history. It is named after its scholarly journal Annales d'histoire économique et sociale, which remains the main source of scholarship, along with many books and monographs. The school has been highly influential in setting the agenda for historiography in France and numerous other countries, especially regarding the use of social scientific methods by historians, emphasizing social and economic rather than political or diplomatic themes.
Georges Duby was a French historian who specialised in the social and economic history of the Middle Ages. He ranks among the most influential medieval historians of the twentieth century and was one of France's most prominent public intellectuals from the 1970s to his death.
Political history is the narrative and survey of political events, ideas, movements, organs of government, voters, parties and leaders. It is interrelated to other fields of history, especially diplomatic history, as well as constitutional history and public history.
Fernand Braudel was a French historian and a leader of the Annales School. His scholarship focused on three main projects: The Mediterranean, Civilization and Capitalism (1955–79), and the unfinished Identity of France (1970–85). His reputation stems in part from his writings, but even more from his success in making the Annales School the most important engine of historical research in France and much of the world after 1950. As the dominant leader of the Annales School of historiography in the 1950s and 1960s, he exerted enormous influence on historical writing in France and other countries. He was a student of Henri Hauser (1866-1946).
Microhistory is a genre of history writing which focuses on small units of research, such as an event, community, individual, or a settlement. In its ambition, however, microhistory can be distinguished from a simple case study insofar as microhistory aspires to "[ask] large questions in small places", to use the definition given by Charles Joyner. It is closely associated with social and cultural history.
Emmanuel Bernard Le Roy Ladurie is a French historian whose work is mainly focused upon Languedoc in the Ancien Régime, particularly the history of the peasantry. One of the leading historians of France, Le Roy Ladurie has been called the "standard-bearer" of the third generation of the Annales school and the "rock star of the medievalists", noted for his work in social history.
Jacques Le Goff was a French historian and prolific author specializing in the Middle Ages, particularly the 12th and 13th centuries.
The School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences is a French grande école specialised in the social sciences and an associated college of Université PSL.
Saul Friedländer is an Israeli/French historian and currently a professor emeritus of history at UCLA.
Camille-Ernest Labrousse was a French historian specializing in social and economic history.
Narrative history is the practice of writing history in a story-based form. It tends to entail history-writing based on reconstructing series of short-term events, and since the influential work of Leopold von Ranke on professionalising history-writing in the nineteenth century has been associated with empiricism. The term narrative history thus overlaps with the term histoire événementielle ('event-history') coined by Fernand Braudel in the early twentieth century, as he promoted forms of history-writing analysing much longer-term trends.
Alain Corbin is a French historian. He is a specialist of the 19th century in France and in microhistory.
Annales. Histoire, Sciences Sociales is a French academic journal covering social history that was established in 1929 by Marc Bloch and Lucien Febvre. The journal gave rise to an approach to history known as the Annales School. The journal began in Strasbourg as Annales d'histoire économique et sociale; it moved to Paris and kept the same name from 1929 to 1939. It was successively renamed Annales d'histoire sociale, Mélanges d'histoire sociale (1942–1944), Annales. Economies, sociétés, civilisations (1946–1994), and, finally, Annales. Histoire, Sciences Sociales in 1994. In 2013 it began publication of an English language edition, with all the articles translated.
David Nirenberg is an American historian, Dean of the Divinity School, and Deborah R. and Edgar D. Jannotta Distinguished Service Professor of Medieval History and the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago, as well as the former Executive Vice Provost of the University, Dean of the Social Sciences Division, and the founding Roman Family Director of the Neubauer Family Collegium for Culture and Society. He has a particular interest in Christian, Jewish, and Muslim thought in Medieval Europe. In addition to the Committee on Social Thought and the Department of History, he is also appointed in the Divinity School and the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, the Joyce Z. and Jacob Greenberg Center for Jewish Studies, and the College of the University of Chicago.
André Aymard was a French historian, specialising in Ancient Greece, particularly the Hellenistic period.
Peter Schöttler is a German historian working in France and Germany. He was a research director at the Centre national de la recherche scientifique in Paris and teaches now at the Freie Universität Berlin, where he has held an honorary professorship since 2001.
Historical anthropology is a historiographical movement which applies methodologies and objectives from Social and Cultural Anthropology to the study of historical societies. Like most such movements, it is understood in different ways by different scholars, and to some may be synonymous with the history of mentalities, cultural history, ethnohistory, microhistory, history from below or Alltagsgeschichte. Anthropologists whose work has been particularly inspirational to historical anthropology include Emile Durkheim, Clifford Geertz, Arnold van Gennep, Jack Goody, Lucien Lévy-Bruhl, Marcel Mauss and Victor Turner.
Paul Lacombe was a French historian and archivist.