Picky, Wordville's British honorary consul, recommends consideration of the peroration of A.J.P. Taylor's English History 1914-1945. "The rhythm is particularly effective, I think," he says. Let's have a look:

 

In the second World War the British people came of age. This was a people’s war. Not only were their needs considered. They themselves wanted to win. Future historians may see the war as a last struggle for the European balance of power or for the maintenance of Empire. This was not how it appeared to those who lived through it. The British people had set out to destroy Hitler and National Socialism – ‘Victory at all costs’. They had succeeded. No English soldier who rode with the tanks into liberated Belgium or saw the German murder camps at Dachau or Buchenwald could doubt that the war had been a noble crusade. The British were the only people who went through both world wars from beginning to end. Yet they remained a peaceful and civilised people, tolerant, patient, and generous. Traditional values lost much of their force. Other values took their place. Imperial greatness was on the way out; the welfare state was on the way in. The British empire declined; the condition of the people improved. Few now sang ‘Land of Hope and Glory’. Few even sang ‘England Arise’. England had risen all the same.


One quibble: I do rather think that the German people may also have gone through both world wars from beginning to end. 

The emphatic rhythm is achieved by a progression of short, emphatic, declarative sentences: "This was a people's War." "They had succeeded." It is relieved of the hazard of sounding childlike by the leavening of a few longer sentences: "No English soldier who rode with the tanks into liberated Belgium or saw the German murder camps at Dachau or Buchenwald could doubt that the war had been a noble crusade."

That last sentence, with the haunting specificities of Dachau and Buchenwald and the brutality of German murder camps, sets off a contrast with another longer sentence asserting that the British are "a peaceful and civilised people, tolerant, patient, and generous."

The conclusion sums up the enormous social and political changes of the period with a series of short, pointed contrasts, bouncing from one to the other: traditional values/other values, imperial greatness/welfare state, empire declined/people improved. And finally, though "England Arise" is on the way out, "England had risen all the same." 

The tone supplies an emotional texture. One does not hear the voice of the professional historian in this passage so much as that of an Englishman, pondering the convulsions his nation has passed through, proud of his people.