What are the 12 Branches of History?

History is a broad term that is used to refer to the study of the past. There is a lot of information to cover, but in a nutshell, history is about how humans have changed and how the world has moved. History is an interesting subject because it is about a lot of different things, and people study it in different ways. This article will be giving an overview of the 12 main branches of history.

What are the 12 Branches of History?

The 12 branches of history are the following:

  • Political History
  • Social History
  • Economic History
  • Religious History
  • Diplomatic History
  • Art History
  • Food History
  • Science and Medicine History
  • Cultural History
  • Women’s History
  • Environmental History
  • World History

What is History?

History is the study of the past. It includes stories about the world’s past and the people who lived in it. The word “history” comes from the Greek word “historia” which means “inquiry, investigation, knowledge gained by research”.

History can also be defined as the study of past events and their causes and consequences. It is the story of how people, governments, and societies have changed over time. 

It is important to know what has happened in the past so that we can understand how things came to be the way they are today. It is also important to remember history so that we don’t repeat the same mistakes. We have to learn from history and not just rely on it.

Here are the 12 branches of history and their definition:

Political History

Political history is the study of the development of political ideas, institutions, and practices. It has been an important subject since ancient times. 

Today, political history is typically divided into three major categories: the study of the state, the study of society, and the study of the individual.

Social History

Social history is the study of how people live and interact with one another in society. It focuses on social change, the causes of social change, and the historical context in which these changes take place. 

Social history often includes the study of past cultural practices in relation to the present day. The main goal of social history is to understand how society and social relations have changed over time.

Economic History

Economic history is the study of how economies evolve over time. Economic historians study the ways that economies change and grow. The economic history of a country is usually divided into three time periods: 

  • Pre-Industrial
  • Industrial
  • Post-Industrial

The first period is the pre-industrial period which is when a country was primarily agricultural and had little or no industry. The industrial period is when a country began to develop manufacturing and other industries. 

The last period is the post-industrial period which is when a country has developed its industrial base to the point where industry and services are the most important factors in the economy.

Religious History

Religious history is the study of religious beliefs, practices, and institutions over time. It is usually considered to start with the earliest known historical records of a particular religion and end with the present day. 

This includes all religions, spiritual traditions, and religious movements. It is often used as a way to explore how religion has changed or evolved over time.

Diplomatic History

Diplomatic history is the study of international relations, the process of international negotiation, and the history of diplomacy. It is often considered the mother of all history because it deals with the interactions between different cultures and different nations. 

Diplomatic history often takes a more academic perspective than regular history. Diplomatic historians usually use primary sources to study events and draw conclusions about these events.

Art History

Art history is the study of art and its impact on society. Art history is an interdisciplinary academic field that incorporates philosophy, anthropology, art history, archaeology, art criticism, and aesthetics. The term is generally used to refer to the history of Western art but it is also studied in non-Western cultures.

Food History

Food history is the study of how food has changed over time. It is the study of how food has been produced, distributed, and consumed in the past. 

Food history is usually connected to economic, social, and cultural changes. It is a field that combines aspects of food science, anthropology, and sociology.

Science and Medicine History

Science and Medicine History is the study of how science and medicine have evolved. It includes the study of how scientific discoveries were made, and how they were applied to medicine and society. 

This field is considered to be a subset of the history of science, a broader field that includes the history of technology, mathematics, and natural sciences. 

Many scientists and physicians who have made significant contributions to medicine and science have been studied in this field. The goal of Science and Medicine History is to understand how scientific and medical knowledge has been created, disseminated, and transformed over time.

Cultural History

Cultural history is a branch of historical studies that focuses on the study of past human cultures. It includes the study of material culture, such as archaeology, art history, architecture, material culture, and material culture studies. 

Cultural history has traditionally been seen as an important part of social history because it examines how people think about themselves and the world they live in. It also examines how people make sense of their own lives through the objects they create.

Women’s History

Women’s history is the history of women, from their role in human society to their experiences and contributions to culture. Women’s history is often divided into three eras: ancient, medieval, and modern. 

The most important contributions made by women in the ancient era were in the fields of religion and philosophy. Women also helped establish education systems for both boys and girls in the medieval era. 

In the modern era, women’s contributions include being a part of political movements such as the suffragettes and the feminist movement.

Women’s history is a broad and diverse field with many different areas of study, including gender studies, women’s health, and feminist theory. 

Women’s history is important because it reveals how women have been treated throughout time and how they have overcome obstacles to succeed.

Environmental History

Environmental history is the study of how people have interacted with the environment over time. The history of environmental change is often traced by examining the natural resources and natural environments that humans have utilized in order to survive and develop. 

This has been done by looking at how human beings interact with their natural environment and the consequences that have followed.

World History

World history is the study of the development of human society. It examines the changes in human societies, institutions, and cultures over time. 

The study of world history has three primary objectives: to understand the nature of human societies, to provide a framework for interpreting the past, and to develop a sense of global identity.


History is the inquiry of what has happened in the past. It is a record of all of the events that have occurred throughout history and the people who made them happen. History is also an important part of learning about the world.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): what are the 12 branches of history

What is the first known book of history? 

The first known textbook of history is the “Historia” by Herodotus. 

Who is the father of History?

The father of history is generally thought to be Herodotus, the first historian. Herodotus was born in the year 484 BC in Halicarnassus.

Who was the first female writer? 

The first woman to ever write a work of fiction was Sappho, a Greek poet who lived around 600 BC. She was the first to write poetry in the form of a collection of love poems called The Ancient Greek Poems. Sappho’s poetry was considered scandalous because it was written by a woman and it explored themes such as lesbianism, rape, and menstruation.


Collingwood, R. G., & Collingwood, R. G. (1994). The idea of history. Oxford University Press on Demand.

Oakeshott, M. (2004). What is history?: and other essays (Vol. 1). Imprint Academic.

100 Branches of Biology from A to Z: All Branches – Leverage Edu. Retrieved from https://leverageedu.com/blog/branches-of-biology/ 

What are the 12 Branches of History? | Life Persona. Retrieved from https://www.lifepersona.com/what-are-the-12-branches-of-history