What is the importance of generalization of sources?

Generalizations are inherent in the very arrangement of presenting historical facts. The historian collects the data of the past and arrange it in chronological sequence. Where upon its meaning would emerge or reveal itself. In other languages, the historian‘s task is only to test the validity of data or to certify their authenticity, and not to interpret it, i.e., generalize in relation to it.

The selection of a particular topic or emphasize on a particular topic is followed automatically or purposely according to the historical nature of the research. Therefore, every historian selects the material need to be highlighted. Furthermore, it is not even a question of selection of facts, for even that assumes that facts are lying before the historian, in a plate as it were. In reality, the historian has to search for them, and that assumes some principle of selection.

Second, gathered facts have to be arranged and grouped. Both involve explanation and causation, motivation and impact. In other languages, analysis is vital to history as a discipline. In reality, except in a very limited sense, information becomes information only as a result of a generalization. For instance, a zamindar, or a peasant, or a slave, or a capitalist looks like an information, but is the result of a generalization.

The British referred to the medieval era as an era of Muslim rule, ancient India as Hindu rule implying the generalization that the religion of the ruler decides the nature of the rule. But they did not describe their own rule as Christian rule because this message directly gets spread with the inherent generalization made by them with the division of the history on the basis of religion. The emphasis in history on parliamentary speeches would imply that these were the chief determinants of politics and government policies. Recorded facts are, in any case, already the products of the generalization in the minds of persons who recorded them. This is also true of what and why sure statistics were gathered. Even today, the facts accounted by newspapers are the result of the generalizing minds of the reporters, editors, and owners of newspapers.

1) They enable the historian to draw inferences and set up chains of causation and consequence or effect. In other languages, they enable him to analyze, interpret, and explain his date.

2) The generalizations lead the historian to see for new facts and sources. Quite often new sources can be properly grasped only through new generalizations.

3) Generalizations help a student of history whether in the case of an essay, a tutorial, a research paper or a book. Generalizations also enable him to discover out which of his notes are important and relevant to the theme or subject matter of his research.

4) Generalizations lead historians to highlight issues for discussion and debate and to start procedures of fruitful discussion in the middle of them. Some would agree with the generalizations presented in another historian‘s work and discover new guides for research and thinking in them.

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