Henry Thomas Buckle

(redirected from H.T. Buckle)
Henry Thomas Buckle
BirthplaceLee, Kent, England, UK
Historian, chess player
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Buckle, Henry Thomas


Born Nov. 24, 1821, in Lee, Kent; died May 29,1862, in Damascus. English historian and positivist sociologist. Received no systematic education.

Buckle’s main work was the two-volume History of Civilization in England (1857–61; Russian translation in Otechestvennye zapiski, 1861; separate edition, 1863–64). In this work, Buckle concentrated on the study of the natural environment, movement of population, distribution of property, and development of education. He made a direct connection between the development of consciousness and the conditions of the geographical environment. He considered the accumulation of knowledge to be the cause of change in economic and political systems. Admiration’ for English liberalism and the principles of free trade and state nonintervention in economic life are evident in the book. Buckle’s views were imbued with faith in the boundless power of reason and in social progress, hatred for clericalism, and belief in the possibility of using scientific methods (particularly statistics) in obtaining knowledge of the laws of history. These aspects of Buckle’s Weltanschauung ensured his popularity among circles of the progressive intelligentsia in Russia and a number of other countries.


Chernyshevskii. N. G. “Zamechaniianaknigu G. T. Boklia’Istoriia tsivilizatsii ν Anglii.’” Poln. sobr. soch., vol. 16. Moscow, 1953.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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In the guise of a latter-day Johnson, Trevor-Roper argues that there was no native Scottish literature and that H.T. Buckle's argument in On Scotland and the Scotch Intellect that 'the Scottish intellect, even its most enlightened period, was not inductive, like the English, hut deductive; that it reasoned not empirically but a priori' really has a great deal of merit.
He was strongly influenced by H.T. Buckle's History of Civilization in England (1854, 1860), with its emphasis, as he explained in his Journal, on "a spirit of the age as ruling the evolution of the events of the age." With this thesis as a background he wrote his epical History of American Literature During the Colonial Time, 1607-1765 (2 v.