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7 - History

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 April 2017

Mark Bevir
Affiliation:
University of California, Berkeley
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Summary

Paradoxically, Historicism established itself as the dominant interpretative mode in British historical thought more gradually than in allied human sciences. The leading British historian of the first half of the century, Macaulay, was not a historicist, although he wrote appreciatively about Ranke. Macaulay was not associated with a university; this amateur status permeated many historical circles in this period. Historicism, very much a professional doctrine, made its initial impact on British historical consciousness through the work of the ‘Liberal Anglican Historians’, all of whom were divines in the Church of England, for whom the religious orientation of German Historicism was especially attractive. Combatively secular social thinkers were critical of Historicism, particularly those heavily influenced by evolutionary theory, such as Bagehot and most defiantly Buc kle, and similarly the leading Positivist, Frederic Harrison The ideal of History as a science continued to be promoted by historians such as Bury into the opening decades of the twentieth century; it was strenuously opposed by the leading academic Historicists, Stubbs at Oxford and Acton at Cambridge, both of whom were resolutely religious. The hegemony of Historicism in History was transitory, fragmenting in the wake of the First World War and increasingly inimical Anglo-German relations.
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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2017

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  • History
  • Edited by Mark Bevir, University of California, Berkeley
  • Book: Historicism and the Human Sciences in Victorian Britain
  • Online publication: 20 April 2017
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781316711286.007
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  • History
  • Edited by Mark Bevir, University of California, Berkeley
  • Book: Historicism and the Human Sciences in Victorian Britain
  • Online publication: 20 April 2017
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781316711286.007
Available formats
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Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • History
  • Edited by Mark Bevir, University of California, Berkeley
  • Book: Historicism and the Human Sciences in Victorian Britain
  • Online publication: 20 April 2017
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781316711286.007
Available formats
×