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Frequently Asked Questions...

What is the difference between traditional history and revisionist history?

Traditional history and revisionist history. I'm confused on what each one is. I understand that revisionist history is when a scholar or a professor gives there view point and opinion on a historical event (or so I believe) but what is traditional history? Is that the bias history that one learns during childhood saying that George Washington is the greatest president of all time and things like that?

Best Answer...


They're relative terms, but 'traditional' history is the history on a certain topic that has been accepted and taught and believed accurate for a long time (decades or even 100's of years). 'Revisionist' history is where someone has taken that traditional history and recently (in the current day or in the last 10 years) and 'revised' (changed) it. This could be done for good reasons...maybe the traditional history that was accepted for decades or 100 years on a topic was found to be inaccurate, or maybe new information was learned recently. More often however it's done for a 'bad' reason where the long time traditional history is changed 'revised' in the current day to go along with the revisor's current day political, profit, prejudice, political correctness etc. agenda.
As a rule of thumb scholars don't accept 'revised' history unless it goes through a lot of peer review, all it's facts hold up, and the author of the changes doesn't have some current day agenda motive.