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Title:Mill, Gladstone, and Liberal politics, 1865--1873
Author(s):Kim, Ki Soon
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Arnstein, Walter L.
Department / Program:History
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):History, European
History, Modern
Political Science, General
Abstract:Though many writers have described Mill and Gladstone as the two giants of mid-Victorian Liberalism, there has been no attempt systematically to compare and contrast their approaches to Liberalism and thereby clarify various shades of Liberalism as represented in Liberal politics. Mill's later life was devoted more to political action than to political theory, and Mill proved himself a politician who demonstrated a considerable degree of Parliamentary tactics. As for Gladstone, his politics from the mid-1860s was definitely towards the realization of Liberal ideas and his first government of 1868-1874 was the most remarkable administration in the nineteenth century.
Differed much from each other in terms of personality, they shared basic Liberal concepts, especially a notion that politics was not merely a power game or business but more a noble effort to realize moral goals. This pursuit of political morality or moral politics was the key concept that bound Mill and Gladstone in the Liberal party. As an argument against the "high politics" approach to the study of nineteenth-century British politics, this thesis was intended to describe how Liberalism as a moral force functioned for both Mill and Gladstone as an internal outlook in mid-Victorian politics.
By focusing on several contemporary issues, such as the questions of democracy, labor and socialism, women's position, education, empire and Ireland, this study confirms that mid-Victorian politics was still a struggle between conflicting ideologies, in which the Victorian concept of morality was the dominating factor. It also confirms the radicalization of Mill's thought in the late 1860s and further shows that Mill was not only a Liberal theoretician but also a Liberal "politician." Similarly, Liberalism as an ideology was the driving force for Gladstone's reform measures, which were dominated by a notion of "moralizing" British society. The main difference between Mill's and Gladstone's Liberalisms was therefore not of "kind" but of "degree," except for the women's question and education.
Issue Date:1990
Rights Information:Copyright 1990 Kim, Ki Soon
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9021705
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9021705

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