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Leopold von Ranke ">[ˈʀaŋkə]; 21 December 1795 – 23 May 1886) was a German historian and a founder of modern source-based history. According to Caroline Hoefferle, "Ranke was probably the most important historian to shape [the] historical profession as it emerged in Europe and the United States in the late 19th century." He was able to implement the seminar teaching method in his classroom and focused on archival research and analysis of historical documents. Building on the methods of the Göttingen School of History, Ranke set the standards for much of later historical writing, introducing such ideas as reliance on primary sources , an emphasis on narrative history and especially international politics .

Jebens, Adolf - Leopold von Ranke (detail) - 1875.jpg
Portrait of Leopold von Ranke, by Adolf Jebens, 1875
Born (1795-12-21)21 December 1795
Wiehe, Saxony, Holy Roman Empire
Died 23 May 1886(1886-05-23) (aged 90)
Berlin, German Empire
Nationality German
Institutions University of Berlin
Alma mater University of Leipzig

Leopold von Ranke (/ˈrɑːŋkə/; [ˈʀaŋkə]; 21 December 1795 – 23 May 1886) was a German historian and a founder of modern source-based history. According to Caroline Hoefferle, "Ranke was probably the most important historian to shape [the] historical profession as it emerged in Europe and the United States in the late 19th century." He was able to implement the seminar teaching method in his classroom and focused on archival research and analysis of historical documents. Building on the methods of the Göttingen School of History, Ranke set the standards for much of later historical writing, introducing such ideas as reliance on primary sources (empiricism), an emphasis on narrative history and especially international politics (Außenpolitik).

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