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Political Communication and Political Culture in England, 1558-1688$
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Barbara J. Shapiro

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780804783620

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804783620.001.0001

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Historical Writing and Political Thought

Historical Writing and Political Thought

(p.77) Chapter Four Historical Writing and Political Thought
Political Communication and Political Culture in England, 1558-1688
Stanford University Press

This chapter concentrates on historical theory, in particular the perceived role of history as a preparation for government service by the political elite. Historical writing was centered on the actions of rulers and generals and the changes in political life shaped by war and peace. Historians should be veracious and unprejudiced, though few were thought to conform to the norm. The nature of the Norman Conquest was important to the political discussion. The histories of the Church of England and Rome played significantly in determining English political thinking. It is noted that Old and New Testament accounts were frequently employed to strengthen desired political beliefs and to controvert undesirable ones. Generally, the past played a vital role in the way the English thought about politics, political events, and the state.

Keywords:   historical writing, war, peace, Norman Conquest, Church of England, Rome, English political thinking

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