Overarching concepts

When looking at a subject like history, it can be tempting to make sweeping generalizations.

Many people have gone down the rabbit hole of forming overarching concepts for history. The next natural step is to retroactively try to make all the historical events fit to such theories.

There are several problems with such an exercise. One of the main problems is that a human social event involving multiple individuals at different points of time and spread out geographically has too many factors influencing it. So any one theory or explanation fails to meet the reality check.

So it is often better to go to the first hand sources and be very rigorous in our study of history.