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George Wilhelm Friedrich and the French Revolution Essay

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George Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel was a German Philosopher who was born in Stuttgart in 1770. As a young man, he studied theology, but was also impelled to explore philosophy due to the upheaval of this treacherous time in history. The Reign of Terror and French Revolution had a huge impact on Germany and Europe, and Hegel became caught up in the fervor and outrage of the period and wanted to take a deeper look at the events that were occurring. His look and analysis of the French Revolution is what began his reflection of history.
After graduation from the seminary, Hegel joined the faculty of the University of Jena, the philosophic center of Germany. While there, he wrote Phenomenology of Spirit, his first major book. Hegel left the
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Original historians relied heavily upon the writings of other contemporaries, because it would be impossible for them to have seen everything that occurred at once. Original history is where we get direct accounts of legend, folklore, and traditions because a person would have to have been there to truly know about these. The great advantage that original historians have over the others is that they lived through and were shaped by the events as they unfolded. They can descriptively write about them from their experience, as opposed to a historian writing accounts based on the writings of others hundreds of years later. Hegel said of these historians, “The influences that have formed the writer are identical with those which have moulded the events that constitute the matter of his story. The author’s spirit, and that of the actions he narrates, is one and the same” (www.marxists.org).
The second kind of history described in Hegel's Philosophy of History, Reflective history, is written after the time period being described has passed. These historians endeavor to show connections between and reasons for historical events. Hegel distinguishes four types of Reflective History: Universal, Pragmatic, Critical, and Specialized.
“Universal” history attempts to cover and describe a long period of time and gives an overview of, for example, an entire people or entire nations. This type of history is broad and represents general facts and
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