That Noble Dream Author(s): Charles A. Beard Reviewed work(s): Source: The American Historical Review, Vol. 41, No.

1 (Oct., 1935), pp. 74-87 Published by: Oxford University Press on behalf of the American Historical Association Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1839356 . Accessed: 23/10/2012 08:09
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Smithtranscend personalities and call forthe mostthoughtful consideration thatthe intelligence of the Association can bringto bear upon them. Smithmakesin theAssociation seemsto be positiveand sharp. had "a noble dream".NOTES AND SUGGESTIONS THAT NOBLE DREAM iN a thought-provoking paperread at thelastmeeting of theAmerican HistoricalAssociationMr. But itis in spirit and declaration challenging as well as descriptive.grouped undertwo banners and thatthere is a gulfbetweenthemwhichcannot be bridged. On the o. Theodore Clarke Smith laid his colleagues undera deep obligation. on whichhistorical the assumptions or to themmayrevealsomeoverarching and perhaps answers hypothesis at least. it might well be acceptedwithoutfurther analysisas openingthe way for an extension ofthought alongthesamelines. discreditable. He insiststhat they must be. unsound. Smith makes a divisionbetweenscholarsaffiliated with the Association.thatimplication in the dichotomy whichhe makes. and in many cases masterly workson Americanhistory. Hist.If it had beenmerely expository. The issuespresented by Mr. Smithto illustrate accuratein everycase as to be beyondamendment in a quest precisely for"objective truth"? Surelythesequestionsare of morethanpassing of the Association and the youngmembers importance.Am. creditable. 74 . monitory as well as narrative. broadlyspeaking. a healingdiffidence. Mr. suggest The division whichMr.' His essayis not only significant for itsintrinsic merits.. XL. Is therein facta deep-seated divisionin the Association? Has a battleline been drawn in such a fashionthat membersmust align themselves on the one side or the other? Is it impossible thatwill reconcile to finda synthesis apparent at leastforthetime or suggest of judgment. it indicates an interest in problems of historiography thathavebeenlong neglected.with which he rangeshimself. 439-449. One group.and producedsound. contradictions a suspension his thesisso being? Are the factsemployed by Mr. Rev.Althoughhe does not say thattheopposilurks tionis ignoble. and weak.neside are the scholarswho have made 1.They stop workis to be done in the future.They concern to for moment invite us to a review fate of the the society.

ofsound.a noble it. interpretation whoresort to an economic those is James by Mr. monofrom "aredominated. Association Historical for theAmerican itwillbe time case. to search for "objective aboveall things desired totheideal on theother sideofthefence opposed Mr. willhavebeen it is founded on which assumptions fortheintellectual ideal. behind interests totheeconomic topenetrate thepageant ofpolitics tries Contruth. this maygo down.Beard: That Noble Dream 75 casesmasterly.method. appears antagonism tions no necessary therefore. mentioned menaces to theold and truefaith. and ideal. andAssociation? dream. of members that and thehopeis expressed with extinction. theideal accepted and later first in Germany to theworld now forobjective of theeffort truth".those and criticism intheir andas rigorous intheir inquiries be as patient may as theold masters andleading. everywhere.Theyarepartial the Among ofhistory. ourflags "with ifnecessary. this ideal.Smith whom puts useful to knowledge whoseeks ofthesearch fortruth?Is thescholar ofourlife unconwith "the today" quandaries wrestling contemporaries of that knowledge?His end maybe different cerned aboutthetruth orbelieve that false canbe history hedoesnotseekfalsehood butsurely thestudent who Norcanitbe saidthat serviceable tothecauseposited. school to disband. and methods. threatened "In that dying". "founded" was Association Historical and theAmerican dream. Andwhoarethemenwhothreaten or to be impartial it necessary whodo not"consider Theyare writers are doctrinaire Especially anddoctrinaire. for hostile totheidealofthesearch thescenes is necessarily who as thescholar he might be as muchinterested in truth ceivably far as method of As history. output "the impressive [1884review" period under the during history works on American ideal-thatpresented by one clear-cut graphto many-volumed work. "readjustment oflight and darkness. history without is simply history" today"ofourlife quandaries light on"the beusedtothrow knowledge parties Herearethecontending tofacilitate andreform". is called "objective that what declared Robinson whoonceflatly Harvey historical that andproposed an object. seemsto involve The dichotomy so presented of theOld Guard Scholars in thepossibility of achievement. andin many creditable. ofscholars ofthis class Theworks . evenfair". or the economic aspects ignores neglects to thenobledream who are placedin opposition scholars goes.In intenoflight useofdocumentation to arise.Theirswas "a nobledream". and of finding the possibility Now we cometo achievement-to 19341." Here thenis a clear-cut beneath taken awayfrom on it. Smith. belief Werethemen truth".

andobservation reproduce in themthesubstances ofthishistory The fifth is that canbe grasped are not rational or intellectual efforts and thatthey selves by purely or permeated byoraccompanied byanything transcendent-God. truth. and viewthisGegenliber sex. political.As practiced. able as a new multiplication 3 Karl Heussi. social.class. of it. The fourth is that had somestructural organization through inner(pertory as actuality which the historian cangrasp byinquiry haps causal)relations. Thistheory wascanbe disclosed bycritical that history as itactually andcanbe stated as such. impartial andaccurately ordescribe in written history. possible formento divest themselves as itactually the truth ofhistory andregional predilections andtell social. divest himself ofalltaint ofreligious.It condemns history sweeping dogmasin the recorded itoutofdoors.We encounter moredifficult to fathom thanintentions of thehuman the questions which rundeeply intothenature mind. hope. andhavenotyet As developed turies 2 If thehistorian would be nothcould do this. is notoften so ofobjective To be surethetheory history materialism. concanbe known as objective study. Smithi's nobledream. . Butis it many particular truths andon large bodies of all race. his splendid was? Can Mr.2 ofobjects andcandescribe itas itobjectively and writis that ofresearch thehistorian can. tains Thefirst is that history (general certain elements andassumptions.economic.at leastforthepurposes philosophical. and aesthetic moral.political. reflects anyobject to withstrict somewhat as themirror impartiality. which themultitudinous events ofhisitis heldup. The taskof writing and periods could ing leftforposterity To thatextent students wouldhave no workbefore themexcept be definitively discharged.sex.76 Notes and Suggestions Here we encounter something stating theobjective truth of history. ofestablished facts. itignores andthrows problems philosophy andtheologians which havewrestled ofmind with for cenphilosophers settled toeverybody's satisfaction. ofscholarship to grasp substance ofhistory as actuality. spirit. orofanyperiod) the orseries ofobjects outside hasexisted as an object himand changing separated from mind ofthehistorian (a Gegenliber in time). pp. The second canface andknowthis object is that thehistorian The third orseries existed. or methods.3 and implications butsuchare thenature fully stated.Die Krisisdes Historismus (Tiibingen. of an age would be as unthinktreatment thatof readingthe masters. and thepower on ofcompetence canagree history Beyond doubt. A new historical table. scholars objectively.be realized in fact? Thatis thefundamental issueat stake. interests. ings.1932). of history and of humanpowers This theory is one of themost of theories.thenso faras he coversthepast there of countries thehistory to do. 1-21.

1929). mystery the impenetrable du hastmichaus dem Nichtsgerufen.impartially.Hier liegeich vordeines faltiger. graspGod's handiwork an seinemAussersten -Hieroglyphe. of empiricism. He opposedthe philosophic to grasp the schemeentire-and at the who boldlyattempted thinker as. had been.craft. p. mystery.or itself to be. by a kind of Pantheismus. intoHistoricism and. in history." 4 Friedrich Die Idee der Staatsra'son (Munich. Croce.History: tiumnondatur.In history.. positivism. Meinecke.it is nonetheless even thoughit denies philosophy. philosophy to the growthof thishispowerfully AlthoughRanke cointributed had been. He doubtlessbelievedthat he was had been. "wie eine heilige und bewahrt". documents. critical the studyof from as it actuallyhad been.I921). as it actually history and claimedto be writing torical theory.Beard: That Noble Dream 77 it takeson (it maybe well to AnglicizeHistorismtis). 469 ff. as it actually and saythathe had written tiality he could writeof popes in a mannerpleasing to both Catholicsand Protestants of the upper classes. He did not thinkthatman could know God as history.4History was "der Gang Gottesin der Welt". of historiography. and dimly in humanaffairs thatman could see "God's finger" imagined as Ranke conceivedit. "an institution it affirmed and man-madepower?5 of false claims. But he did not openlyemploythisbeliefin selectrevelation as it actuallyhad the factsof history "objectively" ing and arranging but he been." Yet he fain would write history. aufgefasst down before Ranke flunghimself In thetruespirit of Lutheranpiety. was it a combination How could Ranke avoid thatquestionand yeteven claimto be writing as it actuallywas? history to knowingRanke as he actuallywas or his I make no pretensions 5 Benedetto and Practice itsTheory (New York. so enclosed in Thrones Stufen. pp. If sound and appealing. conto itsempirical he did notin factfollowthelogic of his procedure of Hegel-that powerful methoid clusion. "Ter- .3d ed. God stoodthere. Did he realize of thepopes as it actually tellingthishistory in the Jesuit objectionthatRanke his claim? There is starkvalidity of the story:Was the papacyactuallywhat avoided the chiefactuality of theSon of God made man". history. in some strangemanner. if not materialism. Ranke could writehistory. 300."a same time Ranke conceivedhistory of God". all the implications to its purelyexperiential which limitshistory at least thatrationalism an all-embracing aspects. Einer und Dreiof things:"Allgewaltiger.He rejected positive proclaimed written philosophy. For example. and stillwas controlled with a majesticair of imparcertainly.

ifthere is democracy in history it is notsubjective. and so has necessarily its place in history and givesits colouras it should. adhere strictly to your method. After the July Revolution Ranke favored a confederate lawagainst thepolitical press andpolitical literature-a that proposition must havepleased Metternich andGentz. You arethoroughly consistent..Shortly afterward he declared: "I deny thecharge. unaware that hemight be writing from thepoint ofviewoftheconservative reaction in Europe? If he never thecriterion applied to himself. . Rankealsorejoiced in theevents of 1870-I871 "as thevictory of conservative EuropeovertheRevolution"." Is itpossible that whowas quickto discover Ranke. . successfully avoiding anyhistorical writing that offended themost conservative interests in theEuropeof hisowntime. whoopened their archives to him. andarealways true toit. the "impartial" historian proved to be a bulwark forPrussian authoritarianism-against which so many "impartial" historians in theUnited States wrote vigorously in 1917-i9i8. Rankeexpressed thehopethat it wouldnot makeBancroft angry.He oncesaidto George Bancroft: "I tellmyhearers. DeWolfeHowe. then he was 6 Historische XCIII. In directing the Historisch-Politische Zeitschrift he chosea waybetween French constitutionalism and that extreme Prussian conservatism which not to wouldyield a point democratic aspirations. I 83. Whether Rankewas fully conscious ofwhathe was doinghimself. Zeitschrift. subideasin Bancroft's jective was totally ofthefact writings. 78.But records areavailable to establish thefact that he did notabstain entirely from those hotpolitical controversies which are supposed to warpthepure thought oftheempirical historian. showing that he couldnotcompletely separate hispolitical from hishistorical conceptions.6After theMarch upheaval of 1848Rankecamevigorously to the support ofFrederick William IV in resistance to popular demands for a constitution basedon democratic On thisoccasion principles. that your is thebest history bookever written from thedemocratic point ofview. hewasabletoseethat other historians were writing from someangleof vision. Rankemaybe correctly characterized as one of themost "partial" historians produced bythenineteenth century. I908).7 Bancroft was notcertain thatthiswas "high praise". 7 M. it carry outinmany directions butin all with fidelity.78 Notes and Suggestions motives in writing thekindofhistory he choseto write. . Persistently neglecting socialand economic interests in history. A."9 In making thisstatement. Life and Letters of GeorgeBancroft (New York. II. butobjective as they sayhere.

and in the writings forinstance.withmature wisdom.They did thislong before Ranke'sformula and challenged a hostof critical fell upon it duringthe openingyearsof the thinkers twentieth century.as Mr. 24. Tiubingen.p. itisduetohistory as itwastorecord that the conception wassubjected all alongtoa running fire ofcriticism byGermanhistorians.the detailed. Gesammelte Schriften. citing Ernst Troeltsch. On Ranke's substitution of UniversalHistory forthe Philosophy of Henri S& remarks:"Conception. depuisque l'horizonde l'historien elargi. 20-2i. qui. it is notquite in line withthefacts in thecase to saythatit was "everywhere" creed accepted.. Leaving asidethepenetrating skepticism of Schopenhauer (who certainly was no mean thinker) and thecritiqueof Eugen Diihring. If. Pendingthedetermination ofthishistorical fact byresearch. And if the Ranke formula or theory of history was acceptedin the UnitedStates oftheAmerican bymembers as Mr.Paris. Did Mr. and partialstudents appearedupon the scene? Surelythe creedwas never drawn up and signedby all faithful members. to historical 8 Heussi.Beard: That Noble Dream 79 doubly "partial" and utterly devoid ofanysense for reality and humor. and Lamprecht.. Bernheim.Was itin reality adoptedas theofficial in thegood old daysbefore of theAssociation ignoble.Smith says. De)-Historismlis und seineProbleme (Vol. sues of the HistorischeZeitschrift. In factMr.but manyGermanscholars earlywentbehind its validity. doctrinaire. s'est singulieremnent pauvre. pp. the"objective" method ofRanke andhisschool was"accepted everywhere". Whetherthe majority wereacquaintedwiththe philosophical discussion thathad long raged arounditand threw themselves positively on theRankesideseemsto. nous paraitde pensee assez History. one item in thestory maybe cited-thepresidential addressdelivered at theopenoftheAmerican ingsession Historical Association in I884 byAndrewD.1933). III. notwanting at thattimehistorians Technik "die in naiver. selbstgewisser ihreHistorietrieben. White. ohne zu ahnen. Ranke was yetliving. Hence judgment shouldbe suspended. the verified. he did not.an welchentheoretischen Abgriunden sie sichbewegten". thedocumented-andthephilosophical. 1922). White commithimself or the Association to Historicism or theRanke formula?Emphatically. be a statistical problem notyetsolved.we findsearching of examinations in theearlyisthe theory and logicof Historicism by Germanscholars of Droysen.8There were OttokarLorenz. even bythose "vonFach". White. Smithstates. aujourd'hui.recognized bothsides of historiography: of theproblem the special.." Scieence et phlilosophiede l'histoire (2d ed. Historical Association. as any membercan discoverby reading again that noteworthy address. .He said categorically: "While thegreatvalue of specialinvestigations acknowledging .

he said neartheclosei of his address. daries Adamswas also oncePresident Henry of theAmerican Historical Association. "These as they difficulties". White declared that tobe attheannual meetings oftheAssociation there ought a session or or sessions dealing withspecial studies. Buckle. itisnot toomuch tosaythat highest the ineffort and thenoblest result toward whichthese special historical in a vestigations leadis thephilosophical synthesis ofall special results large.scholarship lamented byMr. Mr."9 . Whiteclosedwithan exordium in linewiththethought laterexpressed by James Harvey Robinson. ina passage wellworthy ofmeditation."Thisis asking historians todo whatJames Harvey to bear"on thequanRobinson suggested: bring historical knowledge ofourlifetoday". White. Smith. He recognized thedangers ofthelatter-"looseness andvagueness"-but thought that theconsideration ofboth aspects ofhistory wojuld contribute to a sounder development ofeach. for on theother and social future totheopening up ofa better political thenation atlarge. whoseidealMr. "a confederationlikethis-ofhistorical scholars . philosophy ofhistory". hasplaced observation at thefoot oftheladder. justice-loving spirit.White warned us. driving ofgoingdown"with toconsider thefrightful alternative hisadherents and thought of Adamslimit thefunction Did Henry ourflags flying". see in theuse of history as an instrument of "socialcontrol" theperils to. On thecontrary. wrote to hiscolwhich Henry Adams."theAssociation must meet Nor did thefirst President.go Notes and Suggestions knowledge inindividual nations. ought to elicit mostvaluable work inboith fields andphilosophical]. Mr. 49-72. Andrew D. Smith putson theother sideof thefence hisfrom "a nobledream". He cannot be placedamong inwhohaverecently those thecircle andthreatened vaded ofthepurefaith theAssociato destroy ofa noble Mr.Mr."Certainly". ) American I. truth-loving. Papers. and also a session and the sessions "devoted to general history. theRankeformula." "Bearing onthis point. value-free tory.Smith and extinction tion by"thefinal dream". thehistory ofcivilization."In thisspirit Mr. Association.White proposed no neutral. andtocontribute power[special tothehealthful and fully development on theonehandofmanas man. . to Historicism. Historical arise. and philosophical method at thesummit. discovery next aboveit. or neutrality in the thehistorian forces?Members whocareto knowbefore faceoflife's exigent they a of the of discussion read the in must letter takesides theory history as President oftheAssociation.

dating us. pp. colleague One more now which oftheschool ideals" to the"high H. cratic . theendof his. thestate.Near it as "natural" Mr. says.10There leagues challenge wouldlooklikeand thedevastating ofhistory a science what or labor. expository.willoccupy totheir true generation. Osgoodregarded reprehensible. vires?His response tobe ultra himorappeared offended ofgreat up in themidst grew "Menofmygeneration He saidineffect: to institurned and ourinterest debates and institutional constitutional and arisen now have questions economic Profound tutional history.Osgoodwas. wasmore His ambition tostand himself Did he imagine ofhistory. Mr. in "mayat anytime they that hiscolleagues and warned and thought. pp. I920).Osgoodhadbeenoneof a moment. it wouldmaketo thechurch. 17-23. bydoctrinaire tobe threatened seems Did impersonal. oftheyounger students interest this deeming Farfrom ofhistory.as Mr. L. How many that question answering at in Europe Historicism toward ofthecritical attitude thedevelopment answerfor after II4? Materials andespecially ofthecentury. under or 'No'. themage. Osgoodas holding Mr. inTheDegradation Reprinted 1894. ourlimitations.Judging ing thatqueryare notavailable such meetings andtheprograms ofannual Review Historical American exploration havereceived scant little consideration.. aspects about certain could.Beard: That Noble Dream 8i toconsider themembers he invited as longagoas i894. Mr. writers. it I askedhim whether of the Constitution Economic Interpretation waspositive. theturn by thefilesof the either. hostile of influences forthesuppression known to has referred Mr. Smith was? as it actually history to be writing himself Mr. issues philosophical ofAmerican historians slight bythewritings andexamination. Dogma(NewYork.Osgoodimagine as besthe to tellthetruth.revealing uponall ourwork. which economy in Western a crisis predicted foresight. Notfor theZeitgeist? outside him witha copyof my I presented after and shortly my masters. Annual Report. think oftheolder didin fact members other generation How many in Mr. property. enclosed and convictions the assumptions their way through The datafor and accept it wholeheartedly? Smith's "nobledream" carefully watched arenotat hand." aspects with economic selves and proper. tofind be compelled years fifty thenext the worldhas ever organizations of the mostpowerful thepressure to itssafety". 'Yes' an answer. lies that handof time me of theheavy lifehe spoketo. part themost andfor analytical. He sought limited.Smith maybe mentioned. I25 if. amazing with Adams. Judging involved in the to the intellectual problems has beengiven attention oftheDemo10Ibid.

ture bearsonlya fewevidences forconappliedto whatpasses havebeenmercilessly and verification anddocumentation.it is now appropriateto inquire whether the Ranke formulais valid in itself. In thesevolumesis presented and its theory Ranke the of in the rejection thought whichculminated as Historicism. eclecticism from as distinguished thought. or tacit assumptions. ofingenuous level saveonthe procedure any of skepticism If engines of itsfruits. evidence ings. Somecountervailing therule. The historian That is his sole recourse. Those American may findguidance natureof the European revoltagainstHistoricism in Heussi. Can the human mind was? as it actually. and who careto examinethehistory students Europe. Die Krisis des in Croce. turedealingwiththisconception in of high competence by scholarsand thinkers its rejection character.History:its Theoryand Practice. of the past thatlies beyondhis is not an observer 2. The idea thathistory is acceptedas the commonhistorian the mind of the contemporary senseview. outside took place in the past as actuality i. maybe cited.If there andmany-volumed graphs and anyfearless in theUnitedStates. intopreliminary inquiry wide-reaching literahistorical convictions. workscitedby Heussi as supporting and in thenumerous Historismus. mindsand hearts of historical deliberate. He cannotsee it objectively must "see" the actualityof history and compounds. activities their respecting impression that under labor didnot of them thata largenumber is good reasonforthinking was. discoverand statethe "objectivetruth"of history literaof thevoluminous summation Space does not admiteven a brief if not its delusive and demonstrating. It maybe thatthe to prove wouldseemmerely exceptions that in thegoodold daysimagilned scholars ofAmerican portion major actually it as truth of history objective the andknow coulddiscover they is not some groundsforholdingthatHistoricism Having indicated creed of the as the official and neverhas been "acceptedeverywhere" American Historical Association. themediumof documentation. At thispointonlya bare outlineof the argument propositions: following in the maybe given. theselection ofsubjects.but there . through andpowers. choice hasbeenanyrealsearching works.82 Notes and Suggestions of monoand theconstruction offacts.veryinadequately. formulation but it is possible. structive in theAmerican farand wideenough has notspread newsof thefact uponitsproceedimpression tomakea profound Association Historical but the no doubt. of historical the development evidence. The historian sees his testtubes as thechemist own time.

Geschichte als Sinngebung des Sinnlosen. no matter howzealously "theidealoftheeffort for objective truth".circumstance. "transcendency is always transcendency.doesnotbring tothe partial documentation with which heworks a perfect andpolished neutral mind in which thepast streaming through themedium ofdocuis mirrored mentation as it actually was. 7. of time. orfaithful hemay be in hisprocedures. 6.Beard: That Noble Dream 83 3. predilections. Lessing partial documentation. is purehypothesis. Any overarching hypothesis or conception employed to give coherence andstructure topast events inwritten hist-ory is an interpretation ofsomekind. examination events tobe discovered a partial through in his shows as Th. andsince both documentation andresearch arepartial. is notknown orknowable. region. orabout it. To realize thesignificance ofthis. something transcendent. In most caseshe makes a partial selection or a partial reading ofthepartial record ofthemultitudinous events withwhichhe is and personalities involved in the actuality dealing. an effort to describe thebattle to say nothing of theRoman of theNapoleonic warsor thehistory Empire. The documentation (including monuments and otherrelics) withwhich thehistorian mustworkcovers onlya partof theevents andpersonalities that makeup theactuality ofhistory. it is only necessary to consider of Leipzigalone.as distinguished. interests. ofnature. History as it actually facts of was. of course from particular is pursued history. In other words multitudinous events and personalities escapetherecording of documentation. or segment. as Heussisays. itfollows that thetotal actuality is notfactually knowable to anyhistorian. 5. place. The events andpersonalities nature involve ofhistory intheir very in ethical andaesthetic mere events are considerations. They not physics and chemistry inviting neutrality on thepartof the"observer" 8. In very fewcasescanthe historian be reasonably surethathe has assembled all thedocuments ofa given period. or ofmatter". The ideathat there was a complete and actualstructurization of ofthe in thepast. culture. No amountof . And as Crocesays. Whatever actsofpurification thehistorian mayperform he yetremains a creature human. historian seeking toknow thepast. 4. The 9. Not only is thedocumentation partial. judicial. whether itbe thought ofas that ofa God or ofreason. Sincethehistory of anyperiod embraces all theactualities involved. however laborious.

interpretation theeconomic nonewill is. lutetruth. was cannot be known. to fear havelessreason and general in particular after truth Seekers theguiseofthe under comes that anyhistory haveto fear they it than A bookenIt bearsitsownwarning. as Hisand itselaboration ii. If thewordbe taken. as Crocesays. truth" the"objective find. ofhistory. Does. and thehumanmind-thepastas it actually things-documentation in a manner however. or conception construction. Is thestudent out and ordering searching ofpartisanin thesense more partial. intoa neutral ofthem or either Turner Jackson of mathechoice and arrangement of topics. Surely It certainly ofhistory? doesnotcover all theevents in itsscope. and purpose or."as ofhistory. buthe cannot for. Interpretation An Economic titled butitserves offacts. advance or The MatingoftheConThe Formation oftheConstitution titled hencean interof facts. Is it "the thanpartial it couldbe otherwise that contend is taken If thewordinterpretation of history? interpretation correct" hypothesis historical other any itnor neither then "explanation". nottheabsotobe-a version. aspects out and orders searches historian for as anyother truth be as zealous in hissearch maypossibly who his facts in his way. an economic interpretation. or Historicism. IO. powers The historian's thought. economic of life. theupshot concerning at theoutset the"ideal violate openandavowed. Intotheselection witha "me" will enter. organization and-an is a selection bookon history. tobe expected. itactually formulaRanke ofthe ofan antithesis tothevalidity Now wecome it that in thesense Is. oftheeffort objective and interests events.A bookentelling notice on thereader.84 Notes and Suggestions could have made AndrewD. of philosophy clarification conscious or acknowledgment. Whiteintoa Frederick renunciation mirror. tomean of in thenature that on theground canbe regarded as validand final. confession without surreptitiously. who The historian for truth"?Not necessarily. linguistic under admissible equally economic an then of his subject. and organization is also a selection stitution thereader or conception pretation butit doesnotadvise of somekind. thewriter's to meansimply usage. The validity of theRankeformula by conand rejected contradictions by internal toricism is destroyed He maysearch arelimited. Panke formula other likeevery oftheConstitution. whatitprofesses is merely interpretation of history. an economic interpretation seeks .it partial. himwhatto expect. It mayenter historian's thespecific terials. was". temporary or write it. version.

Smith's than that theformation interpretation and adoptionoftheConstitution was "a contest between sections in the ending of straight-thinking victory national-minded menovernarrower and . Yet I freely paytribute to theamazing range of Marx's scholarship and thepenetrating character ofhisthought. from Karl Marx. Greek. He read. Butthat doesnotmeanthat anyeconomic interpretation ofhistory must be usedforthepurposes which Marxsetbefore himself. andthePolitics ofAristotle-as wellas thewritings of Marxhimself. as Mr. Italian.at least. Gerbesides man. English. whoassumes that he can knowthepastas it actually hasbeen? Not necessarily. It may wellbe usedforopposite purposes. thetreatises ofLocke. formulas. Marx-Number thewritings oftheFathers ofthe Republic. buthe helped tomake he may have history. He notonlyinterpreted as everyone doeswho history. possessing thehallmark ofthescholar. of course. In fact suchan interpretation oftheConstitution is lessliableto invite a surge offeeling Mr. It maybe appropriate to remind those whomay be inclined totreat Marxas a mere revolutionary or hotpartisan that he was more thanthat.French. butso faras I am concerned. It hasbeen. however much Marx's onemaydislike personal views. theworks ofDanielWebster. At leastthecontemporary to look student.Smith alleges. Did theeconomic interpretation ofhistory. Latin. and Russian. He mayconceivably viewthestructure ofclasses. andconflicts as coldly andimpartially as anydisciple ofRankethat the American Historical Association has furnished. andMachiavelli. It maybe again. onecannot deny to himwideand deepknowledge-and a fearless and sacrificial life.He was a doctor ofphilosophy from a German university.his native tongue. Hence. He wasa student ofGreek and Latinlearning.Beard: That Noble Dream 85 ship. projects. He was widely readin contemporary and economic history thought. myconception of theeconomic interpretation of history restsupon documentation olderthanKarl X oftheFederalist. their ideologies. or moredoctrinaire thanthehistorian.In other words there is nothing in thenature ofan economic ofhistory interpretation that compels theinterpreter to takeanypartisan or doctrinaire viewofthestruggle ofinterests. in theMarxian speakfor theories"?I cannot others. Possibly known something. writes anyhistory. trying andimpartially ofhistoriogcoldly in thefield andthinkers on thought raphy. have "itsorigin. Hobbes. maylearna little bit. Or it maybe employed as thebasisforimpartiality and inaction on the ground that a conflict ofmere material of cannot be a matter interests concern to virtue itself.

and perhapst'hrows some light upon the subject.The effort to graspat the totality . hurried and cursory. to exclusive omniscience pretensions knowhistory as it actually was can longescapethecorroding skepticism thatsearchand thought bringto it. T'hephilosophic as AndrewD. if not greater than. to splitovertwo abs'olutes. An economicinterpretation does not inquire whether men were straight-thinking or crooked-thinking. It inquires notintotheir powersof mindor virtues.theyare as follows: The formula of Ranke and its extension as Historicism do not and have neverformed an official creedfortheAssociation. to the "noble dream"by Nor are the othercreedsplaced in antithesis Mr. Monographic ployed studies mustbe promoted. and writings done on the assumption that history "wie es eigentlich gewesenist" can be known and expoundedby historians. mustalso receive theconsideration required forall constructive workin historical writing. Whitewarned theAssociation.From AndrewD. The task beforethe AmericanHistoricalAssociationseems to be otherthan that of deepeninga division artificially something made. specialstudies. Smith'sconclusions. White down to the present momenttherehave been members who have believedthat the widerand deeperphilosophic questionsinvolvedin the interpretationof history shouldbe considered as havingan importance equal to. on witheverincreasing zeal.86 Notes and Suggestions iiiore local opponents".But thisis not enough. intohistoriography. Smithdeemedofficial. All theengines ofcriticism. It is notnecessary sociation or group.to feelthata war to thehiltis or without. and publication of archives mustbe carried preservation. largeor small. The collection. but intothenatureand effects of theirsubstantial possessions. so vigorously used by theGermanschool. What conclusions. and verification. fortheynow lie amid the ruinsof theirown defeat. formembers of theAmericanHistorical Association? In myopinion. It askshow it happenedthatsomemen werenational-minded otherswere local-minded.may be drawnfromthisexcursion.It pushestheinquiry one stepfurther thanhe and does.the consideration of documentation. one or theother mustgo down with.The Ranke and formula creedoftheAssociation and Historicism are nottheofficial ought not to be. sideof historiography. mustbe emall of with thepowers intelligence available. It is undesirable to invitethe Asforanymember. on and thatt'he "flying colors". They shouldnot be. Nor is it necessarily in conflict with Mr.however fraction. then. No schoolthatmakes thatclaimsto or exclusivevirtue. authentication.

not bersof theAmericanHistoricalAssociation immortal gods. Whence he came. in thediverse of historical to be foundin thedeclarations before already ionsof theworldat large. slipsoff the stagenine yearslater. brought nearer will be humanbeings. The distinction actuality and the"objective" method bythescientific facts thatmaybe established are to be dispelled. our intention neutralmind by declaring acquirethecolorless.and apparently vanishes. In thenature historical facts We do not as actuality. of therange mustbe abandoned. and culturalin the mostgeneralsense of the term. This meansa widening ing1( it to earth hitherto neglected-ecoof searchbeyondpoliticsto include interests nomic. to the process thescholarwill come nearer Certainly by thisbroadening betweenparticular of history as it has been. Newv AN EFFORT TO IDENTIFY JOHN WHITE IN observing thethree hundred and fiftieth anniversary ofthefoundingofthefirst Englishcolony within thelimits ofwhatis now theUnited thequestionof theidentity States. of which selection and the the loring assumptions upon organization theyproceedupon some of things proceed. BEARD. Milford. and procedures dealingwiththe assumptions history?What kinds do we thinkwe are doing when we are writing ofphilosophies or interpretations are open to us? Whichinterpretations are actuallychosenand practiced? And why? By what methodsor facts and bewildering processes can we hope to bringthemultitudinous of history intoany coherent and meaningful whole? Throughthe dismaybe of suchquestions thenobledreamof thesearchfortruth cussion butin theend thememnotextinguished.the thatwill control. CHARLES A.racial.and in theworksof historians us? Insteadof waging a war. of history concerning thesubstance assumptions to do so. ifillusions of history mustbe maintained. and patterns patterns-interests materials. and its culturalinterests the mind by admitting Ratherdo we clarify or intrudeupon. is thetaskof exbecauseso generally Stillmorepressing. .sex. truth neglected. followedby victory we need or defeat. of John Whiteonce morearises.JohnWhite Adams: Effortto identify 87 even thoughthedreamof bringof history mustand will be continued. to provideforthe Association's a sectionor sections annual meetings What of historiography.Under whatformulas of historical selection and organization patterns are of controlling is it possible to conceive history?What types opinwriters. He appears in thepageantofAmericanhistory abouttheyear1584. to realization.