Historical revisionism

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In historiography, historical revisionism is the reinterpretation of orthodox views on evidence, motivations, and decision-making processes surrounding a historical event. Though the word "revisionism' is sometimes used in a negative way, constant revision of history is part of the normal scholarly process of writing history.[citation needed]


Scholarly process

Pulitzer Prize winning historian James McPherson, writing for the American Historical Association, described the importance of revisionism:

Those historians who work within the existing establishment and who have a body of existing work from which they claim authority, often have the most to gain by maintaining the status quo. This can be called an accepted paradigm, which in some circles or societies takes the form of a denunciative stance towards revisionism of any kind. However, the historian and philosopher of science, Thomas Kuhn, pointed out that in contrast to the sciences, in which there tends to be (except in times of paradigm shift) a single reigning paradigm, the social sciences are characterized by a "tradition of claims, counterclaims, and debates over fundamentals."[2] Historian David Williams describes the resistance to the advocates of a more inclusive United States history that would include the roles of women, African Americans, and the labor movement:

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