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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In other words she is a harlot and a hireli Everyone interested in history should read this very short book.

Herbert Butterfield – Wikipedia

Christianity in European History. Master of Peterhouse, Cambridge — Back to 20 Ibid. Diplomatic history was traditionally a fairly dry subject, often consisting of what one clerk said to another. Everyone interested in history should read this very short inteprretation.

Sep 03, Angela Holt rated it it was ok Shelves: It was a rushed work, and contained at least one error of fact that Butterfield had to publicly apologise for.

Retrieved from ” https: Man is explicable by nothing less than all his history. His Christian beliefs in personal sin, salvation, and providence heavily influenced his writings, a fact he freely admitted.

The Whig interpretation of history

Excellent analysis of Whig history–that is, defining the past in terms of the present. His first, The Peace Tactics of Napoleonwas published inat the end of a fairly turbulent period for Butterfield. Two articles — one on the origins of the Seven Years War and one on Lord Acton and the Massacre of Bartholomew — acted as a prelude to his Wiles lectures, published in as Man on his Past.


Lives up to its reputation. But at the same time, according to Butterfield, it’s almost as if history is simply descriptive and has no place in evaluation of the past – for good or bad. Epoch after epoch, camp, kingdom, empire, republic, democracy, are merely the application of his manifold spirit to the manifold world.

Herbert Butterfield

Tawney and Harold Temperley. He was knighted in In other words she is a harlot and a hireling, and for this reason she best serves those who suspect her most.

Clearly one of the targets was Acton; to him Bentley feels we must add R. This book has really opened my own eyes to things that I see everyday in social yistory.

Those who, perhaps in the misguided austerity of butteefield, wish to drive out that whig interpretation, that particular thesis which controls our abridgment of English history, are sweeping a room which humanly speaking cannot long remain empty. It suggests that the work of a historian is perennial – reborn with each new spring of human society. Both historians raise the issue of historical bias, and the inevitable fact that a historian’s personal views and opinions will impact both the subject of their work, and the style.

A further stroke in made him virtually housebound, and he died on 20 July 20 Jun 30, Mike Horne rated it it was histoty. If you’ve ever wanted to throttle someone for claiming “all of history shows And its theses would be unaffected by anything the philosopher could state to explain them or to explain them away.


We have imposed our own judgements and beliefs onto a society that existed hundreds of years ago.

Eliohs – Butterfield – The Whig Interpretation of History – Preface

It’s a fascinating discussion of how history is written by the winners– the protestant, liberal, democratic winners. Mar 27, Robert Terry rated it it was amazing.

I don’t know how I feel about history. As mentioned above, the post-war period was a productive period for Butterfield. Jul 02, Heather rated it liked interpretatikn Shelves: It is easy to see why this little book is such an influential text for historians.

In addition, Butterfield considers how the historian should view the past from the perspective of the present, and the utility of the past for modern citizens. Sir Herbert Butterfield was a British historian and philosopher of history who is remembered chiefly for two books—a short volume early in his career entitled The Whig Interpretation of History and his Origins of Modern Science Butterfield saw an alarming trend in histories being buttterfield at that time.

Rather, he jumps to weak conclusions to prove some belief that is irrelevant to what actually happened. As a result, Buttefield implies that as ages o social values change, so will our view of the past and consequently it will need to be reformulated. There is one mind common to all individual men