History is to most people simply the collection of facts and dates of events past; the battles, the revolutions, and the people who shaped the world in which we live in today. But not everyone can know the whole of all of the historic facts, but people can know for instance that Washington was the "Father of the nation", and that Lincoln freed the slaves. These simple statements in themselves are histories, small, not very complex, but history nonetheless. But history is not just the simple collection of facts, but rather it is the summary of those facts into a cohesive narrative.
History is not just collected memory, but collective memory that is taught, and is for Nietzsche something that ordered towards a specific end. In the Advantage and Disadvantage Nietzsche makes the claim that history is there for a purpose, that it is put to use to promote "life" and he says they are used in so far as man: 1) "is active and striving" 2) "preserves and admires" and 3) "suffers and is in need of liberation" The three types of history then correspond to these needs or ends, as 1) monumental, 2) antiquarian, and 3) critical histories.
|Christopher Columbus Monument, Washington DC|