Although historical writing is a profession with a long tradition, history as an academic discipline is strongly related to the development of the nation state in the nineteenth century. Notwithstanding specialisations like e.g. cultural history and social and economic history put less emphasis on the framework of the nation as an entity, the mainstream of historical research in Europe was related to the national past. However, recently, problems with this approach became increasingly visible. The linguistic turn as well as recent debates on the artificial character of the nation contributed to these developments. This article is a plea for a greater emphasis on comparative history, a tradition which already existed in the nineteenth century, but did not belong to the mainstream of historical research.

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Ler Historia
Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication (ESHCC)

van Dijk, H. (2000). Towards a European History. Ler Historia, 41, 77–82. Retrieved from