Historical apologism is a tendency of some, typically liberal, historians to attempt to apologise for actions in the past, judged by standards of the present. For example, apologising "on behalf of the white race" for slavery in the United States, despite the fact that both the slave-owners and slaves are long since dead, and supporting "compensation" to African-Americans, by virtue of the crimes of another generation.
Historical apologism can be said to violate the principle of justice that a person cannot be blamed for the crimes of their ancestors. Leading law expert Richard Carter described such an idea as "setting an absurd precedent; should the Italians apologise for the actions of the Romans, the Mexicans for the Aztecs?"[Citation Needed]