Quantitative History was popularized in the 1950’s and 60’s.
Historians took the methods attributed to the social sciences and applies them to historical questions.
This historians moved away from the old research method that relied on records, others research, and historical writing.
History needed to be seen as more than just a sequence of historical events that seemed important.
Statistical data plays an important role in understanding the historical process. Because of this movement, History started to be seen as part of the social sciences. This new distinction challenged historians to search for patterns that would in turn lead to predictions to answer historical questions. And those predictions can be tested by exploring the data.
Humans struggle with many of the same issues and constraints throughout history. Quantitative analysis allows the historian to compare and contrast many different eras and regions. Historical data allows for us to see direct correlation with the past.
Many of the concerns with using statistical data to analyze history, stem from the lack of training historians in using and reviewing data. It takes more training to truly be able to make historical connections using numerical information.
This takes time and has not become a part of the techniques taught in many universities.
We live in an information age and today’s students need to be able to take in vast amounts of information and be able to understand and analyze it
There has been a nationwide push to teach numeracy across the curriculum. Students are asked to analyze data and solve problems.
The use of Quantitative History enables the educator to meet the goal of numeracy across the curriculum and help the kids see how important data can be.