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A Study of History Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 52 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of A Study of History.
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The basic premise of A Study of History is that civilizations emerge, grow, break down, and disintegrate according to a consistent, recurrent pattern. Since Toynbee believed that the universe was notchaotic but subject to laws, he argued that those laws must also be observable in human history.

Although A Study of History is a voluminous work, the basic outline of this pattern of laws operating in history is quite simple. A primitive society evolves into a civilization because it successfully responds to a challenge in either the physical or the human environment. This pattern of challenge and response continually recurs because each successfully met challenge generates another challenge, which demands another creative response, and so on. Employing terms taken from Chinese philosophy, Toynbee identifies this as a movement from the state of Yin (rest) to that of Yang (action) and declares it to be one of...

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This section contains 1,138 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the A Study of History Study Guide
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A Study of History from Nonfiction Classics for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.