Historians who write in aristocratic ages are inclined to refer all occurrences to the particular will and character of certain individuals; and they are apt to attribute the most important revolutions to slight accidents. They trace out the smallest causes with sagacity, and frequently leave the greatest unperceived. Historians who live in democratic ages exhibit precisely opposite characteristics. Most of them attribute hardly any influence to the individual over the destiny of the race, or to citizens over the fate of a people; but, on the other hand, they assign great general causes to all petty incidents.
—Alexis de Tocqueville,
Democracy in America
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, conservative governments in both the United States and the United Kingdom invested heavily in programs to redefine the study of history and to redraft the curricula for...