Whig history (or Whig Historiography) is the approach to historiography which presents the past as an inevitable progression towards ever greater liberty and enlightenment, culminating in modern forms of liberal democracy and constitutional monarchy. In general, Whig historians stress the rise of constitutional government, personal freedoms and scientific progress. The term is often applied generally (and pejoratively) to histories that present the past as the inexorable march of progress toward enlightenment. The term is also used extensively in the history of science for historiography that focuses on the successful chain of theories and experiments that lead to present-day science, while ignoring failed theories and dead ends. Whig history has many similarities with the Marxist-Leninist theory of history, which believes that humanity is moving (through historical stages) to the classless, egalitarian society of communism.
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Some articles on whig history:
... Aspects of the Whig interpretation are apparent in films, television, political rhetoric, and even history textbooks ... of the Scopes Trial, such as in Inherit the Wind (1955), subscribe to a Whig view of the trial and its aftermath ... Science and Religion (1997), for which he won the Pulitzer Prize for History in 1998 ...
Famous quotes containing the words history and/or whig:
“The history of mankind interests us only as it exhibits a steady gain of truth and right, in the incessant conflict which it records between the material and the moral nature.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (18031882)
“A Whig is properly what is called a Trimmerthat is, a coward to both sides of the question, who dare not be a knave nor an honest man, but is a sort of whiffling, shuffling, cunning, silly, contemptible, unmeaning negation of the two.”
—William Hazlitt (17781830)