Analysis Of Leopold Von Ranke's The Great Powers

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In Leopold von Ranke’s essay “The Great Powers,” he takes us through particular cases in European history that he believes to be important in understanding the development of history.
More importantly his aim is to do so in a manner that is as concise as possible. Only remembering the general impressions of an observed journey or life itself is akin to reading and studying long works according to Ranke, and while it is acceptable for life or journeys it is not for the study of history. In taking us through chosen event is Europe’s history he not only puts into action his thesis, but we can also see how key elements of his thesis developed along with Europe. Ranke’s thesis was that history should be relayed in such a way that it is both intuitive and analytic so that one can not only remember the general idea, but the particulars because “The particular bears the general within itself” (Ranke, 66). Meaning that, history, as a subject, cannot be limited to a general understanding of events; it is the details of its events that should dictate your understanding. In addition to developing Ranke’s thesis, following the two and a half century period in time of Europe’s development also serves to highlight Ranke’s ideal of the proper subject of history. This proper subject is the national identity that evolved in the face of changing tides of power, more so how and why it came to be important. He begins by following France and its power over the rest of Europe; how it gains it,

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