historical method

noun
the process of establishing general facts and principles through attention to chronology and to the evolution or historical course of what is being studied.

Origin:
1835–45

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World English Dictionary
historical method
 
n
a means of learning about something by considering its origins and development

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Example sentences
He had a rigor of historical method that was seldom matched, a keen sense of
  historical significance, and was a superb writer.
The historical method of research was used for this paper.
In conducting this research, the historical method was used.
The historical method of temporizing these fractures has been to place a distal
  femoral or proximal tibial skeletal traction pin.
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