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Political Science History & Theory

A Moralist In and Out of Parliament

John Stuart Mill at Westminster, 1865-1868

by (author) Bruce L. Kinzer, Ann P. Robson & John Robson

University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division
Initial publish date
Apr 1992
History & Theory
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Apr 1992
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When John Stuart Mill was elected in the "blue-ribbon" liberal constituency of Westminster, there was great interest in seeing how a man of intellect would stand the practical political test. The watershed parliament of 1865-8 in which he served saw the growing polarization of politics between the new Liberal Party and the Conservatives. Mill gained greater eminence - and notoriety - by promoting women's suffrage, proportional and working-class representation, Irish land reform, and racial justice, and generall attempting to radicalize the Liberal party. But in 1868 he was defeated in controversial circumstances, and returned to private life.

This detailed study places the political and personal beliefs and behaviour of Britain's leading philosopher in the context of the crucial changes resulting from the growing democratization of society and culture in Britain. His electorial triumph and subsequent defeat ate studies as revealing both individual character and public perception. Central is the effect on Mill's reputation of his insistence on moral principle in tension with flexible political pragmatism. The authors also cast light on election campaigning in a key urban constituency being transformed from a radical stronghold to a conservative bastion.

About the authors

Bruce L. Kinzer is Professor and Chair of the History Department at Kenyon College.

Bruce L. Kinzer's profile page

Ann P. Robson is a professor emeritus in the Department of History at the University of Toronto.

Ann P. Robson's profile page

JOHN M. ROBSON was born educated in Toronto, graduating from the University of Toronto (B.A. 1951, M.A. 1953, PH.D. 1956). After lecturing at the University of British Columbia and the University of Alberta, he joined the staff as Victoria College, University of Toronto, where he is now Professor of English. He is Associate Editor of the Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, and he also edited Edmund Burke’s Appel from the New to the Old Whigs, J.S. Mill: A Selection, and Editing Nineteenth-Century Texts.

John Robson's profile page

Other titles by Bruce L. Kinzer

Other titles by John Robson