Law "Legal concept" redirects here. Lady Justice, a symbol of justice. She is depicted as a goddess equipped with three items: a sword, symbolising the coercive power of a court; scales, representing an objective standard by which competing claims are weighed; and a blindfold indicating that justice should be impartial and meted out objectively, without fear or favor and regardless of money, wealth, power or identity. Law is a term which does not have a universally accepted definition, but one definition is that law is a system of rules and guidelines which are enforced through social institutions to govern behaviour. Laws can be made by legislatures through legislation (resulting in statutes), the executive through decrees and regulations, or judges through binding precedents (normally in common law jurisdictions). Private individuals can create legally binding contracts, including (in some jurisdictions) arbitration agreements that exclude the normal court process.
Recorded history Recorded history or written history is a historical narrative based on a written record or other documented communication. Recorded history can be contrasted with other narratives of the past such as mythological or oral traditions. For world history, recorded history begins with the accounts of the ancient world around the 4th millennium BC, and coincides with the invention of writing. For some regions of the world, written history is limited to a relatively recent period in human history. The interpretation of recorded history often relies on historical method, or the set of techniques and guidelines by which historians use primary sources and other evidence to research and then to write accounts of the past. Prehistory Sumerian inscription in monumental archaic style, c. 26th century BCE Protohistory refers to the transition period between prehistory and history, after the advent of literacy in a society but before the writings of the first historians. Historical accounts
Economic history Development as a separate field Treating economic history as a discrete academic discipline has been a contentious issue for many years. Academics at the London School of Economics and the University of Cambridge had numerous disputes over the separation of economics and economic history in the interwar era. Cambridge economists believed that pure economics involved a component of economic history and that the two were inseparably entangled. Those at the LSE believed that economic history warranted its own courses, research agenda and academic chair separated from mainstream economics. In the initial period of the subject's development, the LSE position of separating economic history from economics won out. In the US, economic history has for a long time been regarded as a form of applied economics. History of socialism History of capitalism Since 2000, the new field of "History of Capitalism" has appeared. Relationship between economics and economic history
American Civil War The American Civil War was one of the earliest true industrial wars. Railroads, the telegraph, steamships, and mass-produced weapons were employed extensively. The mobilization of civilian factories, mines, shipyards, banks, transportation and food supplies all foreshadowed the impact of industrialization in World War I. It remains the deadliest war in American history, resulting in the deaths of an estimated 750,000 soldiers and an undetermined number of civilian casualties.[N 2] One estimate of the death toll is that ten percent of all Northern males 20–45 years old, and 30 percent of all Southern white males aged 18–40 died. From 1861 to 1865 about 620,000 soldiers lost their lives. Causes of secession Slavery To settle the dispute over slavery expansion, Abolitionists and proslavery elements sent their partisans into Kansas, both using ballots and bullets. States' rights Main article: States' rights Sectionalism and cotton trade Status of the states, 1861. Territories Protectionism Ft.
Linguistics In the early 20th century Ferdinand de Saussure distinguished between the notions of langue and parole in his formulation of structural linguistics. According to him, parole is the specific utterance of speech, whereas langue refers to an abstract phenomenon that theoretically defines the principles and system of rules that govern a language. This distinction resembles the one made by Noam Chomsky between competence and performance, where competence is individual's ideal knowledge of a language, while performance is the specific way in which it is used. In classical Indian philosophy of language, the Sanskrit philosophers like Patanjali and Katyayana had distinguished between sphota (light) and dhvani (sound). In the late 20th century, French philosopher Jacques Derrida distinguished between the notions of speech and writing. Nomenclature Variation and Universality Lexicon The lexicon is a catalogue of words and terms that are stored in a speaker's mind.
Historian Herodotus was a Greek historian who lived in the 5th century BC; one of the earliest historians whose work survives. A historian is a human who studies and writes about the past and is regarded as an authority on it. Historians are concerned with the continuous, methodical narrative and research of past events as relating to the human race; as well as the study of all history in time. If the individual is concerned with events preceding written history, the individual is a historian of prehistory. Although "historian" can be used to describe amateur and professional historians alike, it is reserved more recently for those who have acquired graduate degrees in the discipline. Some historians, though, are recognized by publications or training and experience. "Historian" became a professional occupation in the late nineteenth century as research universities were emerging in Germany and elsewhere. Objectivity History analysis Historiography Main article: Historiography
Dilemma of determinism The dilemma of determinism or standard argument against free will is an argument that there exists a dilemma between determinism and its negation, indeterminism, in that both are purported to undermine the possibility of free will. The argument for the dilemma combines two arguments about the relationship between the concepts of free will and determinism. One argument claims that strict determination of our actions would mean they were completely necessitated by past events beyond our present control, and that this would be logically incompatible with the concept of free will. Responses to the challenge posed by the dilemma vary. History of the argument Questions of determinism and freedom go back farther than the Stoics and Chrysippus. The dilemma faced by Chrysippus was described by Plutarch: On the one hand, Chrysippus advocated the existence of 'fate', but also argued that not everything that is fated is necessary. Views Derk Pereboom's version:
Geography Geography (from Greek γεωγραφία, geographia, lit. "earth description") is a field of science dedicated to the study of the lands, the features, the inhabitants, and the phenomena of the Earth. A literal translation would be "to describe or write about the Earth". The first person to use the word "geography" was Eratosthenes (276–194 BC). Four historical traditions in geographical research are spatial analysis of the natural and the human phenomena (geography as the study of distribution), area studies (places and regions), study of the man-land relationship, and research in the Earth sciences. Nonetheless, modern geography is an all-encompassing discipline that foremost seeks to understand the Earth and all of its human and natural complexities - not merely where objects are, but how they have changed and come to be. Geography has been called "the world discipline" and "the bridge between the human and the physical science". Introduction Branches Physical geography Geomatics
Historiography Historiography refers to both the study of the methodology of historians and the development of "history" as a discipline, and also to a body of historical work on a particular subject. Scholars discuss historiography topically – such as the "historiography of the British Empire," the "historiography of early Islam", or the "historiography of China" – as well as different approaches and genres, such as political history or social history. Beginning in the nineteenth century, with the ascent of academic history, a body of historiographic literature developed. The extent to which historians are influenced by their own groups and loyalties—such as to their nation state—is a much debated question. The research interests of historians change over time, and in recent decades there has been a shift away from traditional diplomatic, economic and political history toward newer approaches, especially social and cultural studies. Terminology Premodern history Hellenic world
History of capitalism Max Weber's model of capitalist development. The history of capitalism can be traced back to early forms of merchant capitalism practiced in Western Europe during the Middle Ages. It began to develop into its modern form during the Early Modern period in the Protestant countries of North-Western Europe, especially the Netherlands and England. Traders in Amsterdam and London created the first chartered joint-stock companies driving up commerce and trade, and the first stock exchanges and banking and insurance institutions were established. Since 2000 the new scholarly field of "History of Capitalism" has appeared, with courses in history departments. It includes topics such as insurance, banking and regulation, the political dimension, and the impact on the middle classes, the poor and women and minorities. Origins of capitalism Crisis of the 14th century Map of a medieval manor. This arrangement was shaken by the demographic crisis of the 14th century. Precedents
A Brief Overview of the American Civil War Abraham Lincoln (National Archives) The Civil War is the central event in America's historical consciousness. While the Revolution of 1776-1783 created the United States, the Civil War of 1861-1865 determined what kind of nation it would be. The war resolved two fundamental questions left unresolved by the revolution: whether the United States was to be a dissolvable confederation of sovereign states or an indivisible nation with a sovereign national government; and whether this nation, born of a declaration that all men were created with an equal right to liberty, would continue to exist as the largest slaveholding country in the world. Northern victory in the war preserved the United States as one nation and ended the institution of slavery that had divided the country from its beginning. The event that triggered war came at Fort Sumter in Charleston Bay on April 12, 1861. But the real fighting began in 1862. For three long years, from 1862 to 1865, Robert E.