History and the Social Sciences, the Longue Durée-Braudel

History and the Social Sciences, the Longue Durée-Braudel

In this article, Braudel discusses the concept of the longue durée. This is method of studying history that developed out of the French Annales School. It means to study history over long periods of time. This is often viewed as economic history, as it is something that can be studied over long periods of time to see how it evolved. When studying this, historians look at the historical connections over time that influenced and caused certain events. It is very different from how hisory is usually viewed.

The opposite of this is the histore événmentielle, which translates to event history. These two methods of study create very different views of history. Event history can cover a very short amount of time such as a single battle while longue durée studies a lifetime of historty. The example that Braudel gives is the Western Europe Crusades.

While this is a very interesting method of studying history, it is not logical. Yes, some history spans lifetimes and has something to measure, but some history is just single events with no connection to something else. The little peices that make up the bigger picture are just as important as the whole picture.


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