Some of the important fields of history are as follows!
Political history deals with kings and his nobles during the earliest times. They were considered the architects of the society and their actions received the prior treatment at the hands of the historians.
Secondly, the main sources of our information for the past history are the court records and the accounts left by courtiers who wanted to flatter their patrons.
There was very little material concerning the common man and even that could not be properly utilised due to difficulty in having an access to the same. However, in modern times most of the historians are not merely contented with the political doings of the leaders and have tended to deal with the whole range of human activities viz, economic, social, intellectual, political and scientific.
Social history primarily devotes to the social life of the people ‘viz’ religion, national economy, morals, manners, foods, dress, art, culture etc. In this history, the political, dynastic and constitutional aspects of history are degraded to the background. In addition to these some historians made an attempt to deal with the general patterns of social development.
The economic history developed only in the nineteenth century during the age of mercantilism. However, after the industrial revolution, a greater attention was paid to the economic history. A detailed study of number of economic institutions was undertaken but no effort was made to relate the economic activities with the life of the society as such. But the German scholars, who were connected with out the relationship between the economic and social institutions e.g., Kovalevsky, Schmoller, Sombart miller etc.
Legal history is another independent branch of history which has grown in the recent times. The historians of legal history devoted themselves to the study of legal development and tried to show how the law adjust itself according to the changing social conditions.
Among the prominent historians of legal history mention may be made of Gumplowicz (in Austria), Geake, Jhering, Brunner, etc. (in Germany) Maitland, Blackstone, Pullock, Laski (etc., in France), etc. The other contributions in the field of legal history are the works, like the codification of the Laws of Manu, the codes of Hummurabi, Napoleonic codes etc.
Diplomatic history can be considered a branch of political history but developed as an independent discipline. In the view of close connections and relations between various members of the international communities, huge body of principles of international laws has grown, which govern the foreign relations of various sovereign states. This study of foreign relations of various
Military history is closely allied with the political history. Though waging of wars is still considered a political activity. In the recent times, the historian makes a detailed study of the causes of war, strategy and tactics of war, organisation of the war machinery including weapons, fighting machine and service condition of the soldiers.
The intellectual history deals with the fundamental ideas and ideologies which is related to the progress of the human mind, the gradual development and improvement of reason, the successive advances of science; the variations of learning and ignorance which are the light and darkness of thinking being, the total destructions and resuscitation of arts and the revolution of the intellectual world. This type of history was produced by the historians like Bagehot, Tarde, Durkheim.
In the recent time the universal or World History has become popular. This type of history as against national or parochial history adopts a broader or a world view point. As the means of transportation and communication developed; the people of different areas have come closer to each other. It is felt that historians must adopt an international point of view viz. H.G. Wells, Fiske, Seeley, Hayes, Keller, Flick, etc. It is felt that it is impossible for any single historian to do justice to such a wide field. Therefore, co-operative ventures have been under taken by the historians like Withelm Oncken, Walter Goetz, Louis Halphen, Henri Berr, etc.