The French Revolution and its Place in the Universal Modern History: Lord Acton and the first Cambridge History. The Cambridge Modern History planned by Lord Acton in 1896 has been usually regarded as a culmination of the Late Victorian trend towards the professionalization of historical studies and a conspicuous sign of the acceptance by English scholars of a factological and recordcentered model for historiographical research imported from Continental Europe. But as far as the treatment of the French Revolution is concerned, the most influential work published in England in the first decade of the 20th century, i. e. Acton’s celebrated Lectures of 1895-1899, reflected an approach to the professional study and teaching of the subject which was both very different from that implemented in the relevant volume of the Cambridge Modern History (volume VIII) and closer to the inspiration of Acton’s original project. The Lectures, in other words, should be read as a significant specimen of Acton’s idea of universal history, which aimed at reconciliating historical empiricism and the faith in the presence of a teleological order in human affairs. In his interpretation of the French Revolution Acton applied in fact all the fundamental categories inherent in his overall vision of history as the international development of the idea of liberty, giving prominence to its relationship with the American War of Independence.

La Rivoluzione francese nella Storia universale del mondo moderno: Lord Acton e il progetto della prima Cambridge History

TAGLIAFERRI, TEODORO
2005

Abstract

The French Revolution and its Place in the Universal Modern History: Lord Acton and the first Cambridge History. The Cambridge Modern History planned by Lord Acton in 1896 has been usually regarded as a culmination of the Late Victorian trend towards the professionalization of historical studies and a conspicuous sign of the acceptance by English scholars of a factological and recordcentered model for historiographical research imported from Continental Europe. But as far as the treatment of the French Revolution is concerned, the most influential work published in England in the first decade of the 20th century, i. e. Acton’s celebrated Lectures of 1895-1899, reflected an approach to the professional study and teaching of the subject which was both very different from that implemented in the relevant volume of the Cambridge Modern History (volume VIII) and closer to the inspiration of Acton’s original project. The Lectures, in other words, should be read as a significant specimen of Acton’s idea of universal history, which aimed at reconciliating historical empiricism and the faith in the presence of a teleological order in human affairs. In his interpretation of the French Revolution Acton applied in fact all the fundamental categories inherent in his overall vision of history as the international development of the idea of liberty, giving prominence to its relationship with the American War of Independence.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11588/366549
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