World History Textbook

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During the Renaissance in Europe, history was written about states or nations. The study of history changed during the Enlightenment and Romanticism. Voltaire described the history of certain ages that he considered important, rather than describing events in chronological order. History became an independent discipline. It was not called philosophia historiae anymore, but merely history (historia). Voltaire, in the 18th century, attempted to revolutionize the study of world history. First, Voltaire concluded that the traditional study of history was flawed. The Christian Church, one of the most powerful entities in his time, had presented a framework for studying history. Voltaire, when writing History of Charles XII (1731) and The Age of Louis XIV (1751), instead choose to focus economics, politics and culture. These aspects of history were mostly unexplored by his contemporaries and would each develop into their own sections of world history. Above all else, Voltaire regarded truth as the most essential part of recording world history. Nationalism and religion only subtracted from objective truth, so Voltaire freed himself for their influence when he recorded history.

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