Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Constitutional Developments

Constitutional Developments
When the officials of the East India Company acquired control over Bengal in 1765 they had little intention of making any innovations in its administration. They only desired to carry on profitable trade and to collect taxes for remission to England .From 1762 to 1772 Indian officials were allowed to function as before but under the overall control of the British governor and British officials. In 1772 the company ended the dual government and undertook to administer Bengal directly through its own set of officials. The East India Company was at this time a commercial body designed to trade with the East. But during the period that elapsed between the Pitt’s India Act (1784) and the Charter Act of 1833 the company was gradually relieved of its long held trading privileges in the east

PRE HISTORY in india

Palaeolithic Age:

To begin with the Palaeolithic Age was also called the old stone age covered the long period from the time the first ancestors of modern human beings started living in the Indian subcontinent from roughly 3 lakh B.C to 8000 or eighth millennium B.C.Archeologists divide it into three phases -the Lower or Early, the middle and the upper Palaeolithic age-according to the nature of the stone tools used by the people.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
(1770 - 1831)

• Romantic nationalism as
a key strand in the
philosophy of Hegel
– argued that there was a
"spirit of the age" or
• that inhabited a particular
people at a particular time,
– and that, when that people
became the active
determiner of history,
• it was simply because their
cultural and political moment
had come.
The Fate of the German Nation
• Hegel, being German, argued that the
Zeitgeist of his age had settled on the
German-speaking peoples
– so Germany had an obligation to shape world
Hegel’s “dialectic”
• History is a progression in which each
successive movement emerges as a solution to
the contradictions inherent in the preceding
– Thesis
– Antithesis
– Synthesis (New Thesis)
– The “end of history” (meaning the point of it all) is to
reach a completely rational state of stasis
• this would be “REALITY.”
• For example:  The French Revolution
– 1. Introduction of real freedom for first time in history
– 2. This absolute novelty is absolutely radical
• a. required an upsurge of violence which could not be stopped
• b. but the object of that violence is gone.
– 3.  The hard-won freedom is consumed by a brutal Reign of
– 4.  History progresses by learning from its mistakes
– 5.  Another spurt of freedom replaces the Reign of Terror:
Napoleon, the Great liberator
– 6.  But Napoleon learned how to be a tyrant to overthrow
tyranny, and so must become a tyrant
– 7.  So Napoleon must fall through a new revolution, etc.11
Hegel’s historical actors
• Hero
• Citizen
• Person
• Victim

Romantic Historiography

Romantic Historiography

• The Romantic Period:

– Reaction to Enlightenment focus on “reason and
– as well as aristocratic social and political norms
– rejection of monarchy in favor of the “hero”
• Identified with the French Revolution and the
later reign of Napoleon and the Napoleonic wars
of conquest (so, 1789 and 1812-ish)
• For historiography, mostly focused on a belief in
the ability of the heroic individual to alter society
and determine the fate of an entire nation.
Romanticism, culturally
• Emphasized the importance of
– Imagination
– Feeling
– Strong emotion
• (trepidation, awe, and horror as aesthetic
• Focus on the artist and the viewer of art as
the arbiter of art rather than the Academy
Inevitability and Fate
• Romantics had a strong belief in historical
and natural inevitability
– the fate of the nation
– the birthright of the nation
– “national character”
Joke about National Character

• In Heaven:
• The Swiss = bankers
• The Germans =
• The Italians = lovers
• The English =  policemen
• The French = cooks
• In Hell:
• The Swiss = lovers
• The Germans =
• The Italians =
• The English = cooks
• The French = bankers
Romanticism and Nature

• Romanticism stressed holding nature in
• Posited that humans who connected with
nature or the natural world (or “natural
fate”) would experience the sublime.

The Romantic Period in Historiography
• Struggle between two opposing forces:
• Rankean empiricism

Giovanni Battista Vico (1668–1744)

Giovanni Battista Vico (1668–1744)

• Neapolitan philosopher, historian, and jurist
• Goal was to recognize in history meaningful
general patterns.
• Vico best-known for verum factum principle
– first formulated in 1710 in De Italorum Sapientia.
• truth is verified through creation or invention and not, as per
Descartes, through observation:
– “The criterion and rule of the true is to have made it.
Accordingly, our clear and distinct idea of the mind cannot be a
criterion of the mind itself, still less of other truths. For while the
mind perceives itself, it does not make itself.”
– SO: history is what the human mind constructs of the
past, NOT the past itself.

Vico’s cycles of History

• Civilizations develop in a recurring cycle
(ricorso) of three ages:
– the divine,
– the heroic,
– and the human.
– In each of these stages, the way that we
communicate shapes the age
Vico’s Divine Age
• Divine Age Language:
– we use metaphor
• God is our father
• we are God’s children
• we are God’s family

Enlightenment Historiography

Enlightenment Historiography


• Giambattista Vico, The New Science
• Edward Gibbon, The Decline And Fall of
The Roman Empire (1776, 1781)
• Leopold von Ranke,”Author’s Preface,” to
The History of the Reformation in
Germany (1839-47)
Approaching Enlightenment
• Classical Historiography
– transition from “storytelling” to use of
documents (especially for Tacitus, who had
access to Roman imperial archives)
– but main focus was on the meaning of Being
Greek (or Athenian, or Roman)

Approaching Enlightenment

• Medieval and Renaissance Historiography
– Dominated by Church history (ecclesiastical
– But with Renaissance, “rebirth” of secular