Was James II the bad monarch his reputation makes out?

James II ascended to the throne on this day in 1685. An article in History Today, Maurice Ashley suggests that he doesn’t deserve his reputation.

I am still too in the thrall of the Whig tradition to be totally convinced. To quote Ashley, “Hume … observed in his History of England that James ‘was become a great patron of toleration and an enemy to all those persecuting laws which, from the influence of the Church, had been enacted against the Dissenters and the Catholics.’”

Is history really just past politics?


About George Vascik, Historian

A 1988 graduate of the University of Michigan, I have taught history at Miami University since 1992. I maintain blogs on teaching Western Civilization and on Great War. My research focuses on anti-Semitism and rural politics in northwest Germany. I am completing a monograph for Bloomsbury Press, Anti-Semitism and Rural Politics. You can follow my project at http://peasantsandjews.org. Along with Mark Sadler, I have published a book of primary documents on the Stab-in-the-Back Myth (Dolchstoßlegende). http://www.dolchstosslegende.com. I also invite you to visit my profession web page at http://georgevascik.org.
This entry was posted in HST 122, Reflection, Stuart England, Teaching and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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