The History of England, from the Accession of James II - (Volume 4, Chapter 21)
'The History of England, from the Accession of James II - (Volume 4, Chapter 21)' Summary
Macaulay's approach to writing the History was innovative for his period. He consciously fused the picturesque, dramatic style of classical historians such as Thucydides and Tacitus with the learned and factual approach of his 18th-century precursors such as Hume, following the plan laid out in his own 1828 "Essay on History".
The History is famous for its brilliant ringing prose and for its confident, sometimes dogmatic, emphasis on a progressive model of British history. According to this view, England threw off superstition, autocracy and confusion to create a balanced constitution and a forward-looking culture combined with freedom of belief and expression. This model of human progress has been called the Whig interpretation of history.
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