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A Short History of English Liberalism by Blease

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Page numbers enclosed by curly braces (example: {25}) have been incorporated to facilitate the use of the Table of Contents and Index.

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A SHORT HISTORY OF ENGLISH LIBERALISM

BY

W. LYON BLEASE

_No rational man ever did govern himself by abstractions and universals.... A statesman differs from a professor in an university; the latter has only the general view of society.... A statesman, never losing sight of principles, is to be guided by circumstances; and, judging contrary to the exigencies of the moment, he may ruin his country for ever._

BURKE, "On the Petition of the Unitarians."

T. FISHER UNWIN LONDON: ADELPHI TERRACE LEIPSIC: INSELSTRASSE 20

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TO "THE MANCHESTER GUARDIAN"

_First Published in 1913_

(_All rights reserved._)

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CONTENTS

CHAPTER PAGE

I. LIBERALISM AND TORYISM 7

II. POLITICAL CONDITIONS IN THE REIGN OF GEORGE III 42

III. THE FIRST MOVEMENT TOWARDS LIBERALISM 69

IV. THE FRENCH REVOLUTION AND ENGLISH OPINION 100

V. THE DECLINE OF TORYISM 142

VI. THE MIDDLE-CLASS SUPREMACY 168

VII. THE MANCHESTER SCHOOL AND PALMERSTON 190

VIII. THE BEGINNING OF THE GLADSTONE PERIOD 230

IX. GLADSTONE VERSUS DISRAELI 265

X. THE IMPERIALIST REACTION 294

XI. LIBERALISM SINCE 1906 324

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A Short History of English Liberalism

CHAPTER I

LIBERALISM AND TORYISM

This book attempts to trace the varying but persistent course of Liberalism in British politics during the last hundred and fifty years. It is not so much a history of events as a reading of them in the light of a particular political philosophy. In the strict sense a history of Liberalism should cover much more than politics. The same habit of mind is to be discovered everywhere else in the history of thought, most conspicuously in religious history, but not less certainly in the history of science and of art. The general victory in these innumerable conflicts of opinion has been to Liberalism, and the movement of the race, during the period with which the writer is concerned, is precisely measured by the degree in which the Liberal spirit has succeeded in modifying the establishments of the preceding age. The object of this book is to investigate the course of that process of modification in politics.


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