"Consensus history," a term coined by the late Johns Hopkins historian John Higham, is commonly used by professional historians to refer to a view of American history that was dominant in the 1950s. Unlike the Progressive historians, such as Charles and Mary Beard, who preceded them, or the New Left historians who followed them, consensus historians saw in the American past more unity than conflict. Willing to posit distinctive national traits, they accepted notions of American exceptionalism and an American character. Some consensus historians, such as Daniel Boorstin, celebrated this unity, while others, such as Richard Hofstadter, lamented it. But they generally agreed on the possibility of writing master narratives about a unitary American people, focused on familiar highlights such as the American Revolution and the Civil War.