I think it really depends on what aspect of English you are referring to. Given the choice to learn about what English is or what History is, I would choose History because the former would probably bore me to death. However, if I had to choose between taking, say a literature class or a history class, I would choose literature because I would rather read and analyze a text and learn from that than read about history and learn from that.
With that said, I do agree with some above posters who say that the two go hand-in-hand. I teach English and am good at it. I love history, but I'm no good at remembering facts and information. My favorite genre of literature happens to be historical fiction because I find it so interesting.