Thomas macaulay critical and historical essays

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Thomas macaulay critical and historical essays

Thus, the young Macaulay, an astonishingly precocious boy, grew up in an atmosphere of piety, introspection, and humanitarian endeavor. He absorbed and retained the moral and ethical imperatives inculcated upon him; but much to the chagrin of his father, he never underwent a conversion experience and always remained wary of the emotional excesses, cant, and hypocrisy to which an experiential religion so easily lends itself.

At Trinity College, Cambridge, he distinguished himself as a classicist and a poet.

Thomas macaulay critical and historical essays

He became a fellow of the college in While at the university, he triumphed as an orator in the Union Debating Society and began his brilliant career as an essayist. It was indeed appropriate that in that essay, which made him famous overnight, he should have taken his place on the libertarian side of seventeenth-century English politics.

Although Macaulay had been a mild Tory when he entered the university, he was a staunch Whig when he left, and in many ways his political stance was derived from his study of the constitutional conflicts of the seventeenth century. These characteristics led him on occasion to anticipate some of the insights of twentieth-century social science ; the results are still well worth sampling in some of his articles: Macaulay was elected to Parliament in His speeches in favor of the Reform Bill in and gained him immense repute as an orator and secured for him, an outsider who lacked both wealth and noble birth, entry into the strongholds of Whig society.

For him parliamentary reform was not merely a matter of expediency, although, to be sure, he emphasized that the aristocracy had better make timely political concessions to the middle classes if it wanted to avoid revolution. Reform was, rather, the latest inevitable stage in a series of historical developments that had resulted in a more widespread distribution of property, great increase of wealth, ever greater triumphs of science and industry, and a steady progress from rudeness to refinement.

In other words, the Reform Act was merely one way of bringing political arrangements into alignment with an advancing state of society.

His personal motive for going was to make himself financially independent. In India he made two significant contributions.


And he was largely responsible for drawing up a uniform Indian penal code in Its substance was the English criminal law. Revised by Sir Barnes Peacock, it went into operation in In Macaulay returned to England, and it was in the course of that year that he began seriously to plan his major literary work, which eventually appeared under the title The History of England, From the Accession of James the Second.

He remained active in politics, was Secretary at War from toand sat in Parliament for most of the rest of his life. The first two volumes of the History came out late inand it was appropriate that a work celebrating the bloodless revolution of and the establishment of English constitutional stability should make its appearance in the course of a year that had seen revolutionary violence on the continent of Europe, but not in England.

In his History Macaulay showed himself to be a master of historical narrative. It is descriptive rather than analytical social history. Still, of its kind and of its time it remains a magnificent achievement.

The History of England is not without its defects. He approached the past from the vantage point of a more glorious present. He was, as S. Gardiner pointed out, a better judge of situations than of character.

There are some distortions.


But those who expect to find in the History a naively stated parti pris will look in vain. The popular success of the History volumes 3 and 4 appeared ina fifth volume posthumously in was immense and constituted a unique publishing phenomenon in nineteenth-century England.

It appealed to the pride as well as the prejudices of its purchasers and was read with both pleasure and profit by an ever-growing literate public. In historiographical terms it marked, as Leopold von Ranke observed, the triumph of the Whig view of seventeenth-century English history over the Tory view, articulated by David Hume.

Macaulay was awarded a peerage inthe first English historian to be so honored.Critical and Historical E has been added to your Cart Add to Cart. 1-Click ordering is not available for this item.

by Thomas Babington Macaulay (Author) out of 5 stars 1 customer review. See all 26 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions Critical and Historical Essays.1/5(1).

EMBED (for hosted blogs and item tags). The second volume of a selection of critical and historical essays by Thomas Babington Macaulay who was a nineteenth-century English poet, historian and Whig politician/5(7).

A collection of essays printed in the Edinburgh Review between and by Thomas Babington Macaulay, on a variety of cultural and historical figures and events.

New edition. Including discussions of John Milton and Samuel Johnson as well as The Pilgrim's Progress and Moore's Life of . The second volume of a selection of critical and historical essays by Thomas Babington Macaulay who was a nineteenth-century English poet, historian and Whig politician/5(7).

Thomas Babington Macaulay, Baron Macaulay, in full Thomas Babington Macaulay, and he found the leisure to publish his Lays of Ancient Rome () and a collection of Critical and Historical Essays ().

a result of advocacy by Thomas Macaulay, secretary to the board of control, examination rather than patronage was adopted as a.

Thomas macaulay critical and historical essays
Critical and Historical Essays, Vol 2 by Thomas Babington Macaulay