The following study deals with “the whig interpretation of history” in what I conceive to be the accepted meaning of the phrase. At least it covers all that is. [All footnotes are editorial; relevant online materials: Butterfield Papers at the Cambridge University Library; E. Royle, The “Whig” Interpretation of History and its. His most widely known work is still The Whig Interpretation of History. saw the publication of the book Butterfield is most associated with. Less a book than.

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Relativistic to the core. Man on His Past: Undoubtedly Butterfield said some stupid things about the political situation in the s and made some misjudgements — but he was hardly alone in this, and, if one wants an example of a card-carrying Nazi sympathiser, one need look no further than Arthur Bryant.

In calling for historians to present the complexity of history rather than a simplified chain of consequences, Butterfield hits the mark.

Jul 05, Miles Smith rated it liked it Shelves: Liberty in the modern world. The Whig Interpretation did not refer to Whig politicians, but to the 19th-century interpretation of history as one long triumphant march of progress. Kenyon, The History Men 2nd ed.

Retrieved from ” https: Of course not; there were some very good people who just had wrong ideas. Obama made that the house she lives in was built by slaves.

This book was read for a class, and I was intrigued by it from almost the first page. Jan 21, Douglas Wilson rated it it was ok Shelves: Reading this book was like watching someone put five coats of high gloss paint on a rotten board.


Herbert Butterfield

September Index Preface 1. It is the essence of what we mean by the word “unhistorical”. The Art of the Historian 6. Refresh and try again. At the time however, its merits were enough to convince the Master of Peterhouse to elect Butterfield to a History Fellowship alongside Ot and Paul Vellacott. Butterfield found the Whig interpretation of history objectionable, because it warps the past to see it in terms of the issues of the present and attempts to squeeze the contending forces of the past into a form that reminds us of ourselves.

This is imposing a 21st century view of equality onto a people group several generations back. Trivia About The Whig Interpre Back to 6 Thus, the arch-Tory Bishop Stubbs is seen as one of the great Whig historians on this interpretation. The historians who look at it from the Protestant, progressive, “19th Century gentleman” viewpoint are defined by Professor Butterfield as butterfiekd Whig historians.

Eliohs – Butterfield – The Whig Interpretation of History – Contents

Butterfiedl, his extreme aversion to drawing any moral lessons or even allowing any teleological purpose to the study of history seem to me not only questionable practice but impossible to accomplish. The Whig interpretation of history is always “present looking”; in other words, how does history support what the present “good.

One of my favorites.

He also wrote interpretstion how simple pick-and-choose history misses the point, “Very strange bridges are used to make the passage from one state of things to another; we may lose sight of them in our surveys of general history, but their discovery is the glory of historical research. Aug 28, Vicky P rated it it was amazing Shelves: The work, The Historical Novelhas not aged well. Excellent analysis of Whig history–that is, defining the past in terms of the present.


Mar 07, Becky Snow rated it it was amazing. Butterfield wanted his history to be evocative, the story of how people wrestled with moral dilemmas in order to reach and carry their decisions. Moral Judgements in History. Nevertheless, Butterfield achieved a vaunted double first, and won the Le Bas prize, the winner of which saw their essay published by the Cambridge University Press.

At the same time, Butterfield’s early works emphasized the limits of a historian’s moral conclusions, histor history can do anything it is to remind us that all our judgments are merely relative to time and circumstance.

Butterfield examines how this view of history not only does a great disservice to the advancement of human knowledge but serves only to bolster the self-important delusions of the modern age. Carr in What is History?

Nov 14, Allan Williams rated it really liked it Shelves: We are all of us exultant and unrepentant whigs.

The Whig Interpretation of History by Herbert Butterfield

One of the principal proponents of Whiggish history was Thomas Macaulay author of a celebrated, multivolume, History of England from the Accession of James IIthe first two volumes of which were issued in Butterfield’s book, The Whig Interpretation of Historybecame a classic for history students and is still widely inteprretation.

Less a book than a lengthy essay, The Whig Interpretation of History is a curious affair. Butterfield’s book is a seminal corrective of the bad habits of two generations of Anglo-American historians in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

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