HIS109Y1 Lecture 28: Lecture 28 - Liberalism
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HIS109: February 1st
• L.T. Hobhouse, Liberalism.
• Benjamin Disraéli (1804-81).
• John Bright (1811-89).
• William Ewart Gladstone (1809-98).
• Louis Napoleon Bonaparte (1848-52).
• (Napoleon III 1852-71).
• Liberty is in fact the result of restrain – all must be free, and that requires some to restrict some of
their elements of authority.
• Law and liberty presuppose one another – you must be able to give up one element of your freedom in
order for everyone to have theirs. The function of law is to make sure that all people are treated
• Those taxed must agree to those payments (directly or through their representatives). Money we
spend must be appropriately spent.
• Personal liberty – freedom of thought and freedom to hold opinions and the ability to express these
freedoms through writing. All of these personal liberties are equally subjected to restrained.
o You have the right to hold whatever opinion you want – but there are limits.
o We are willing to compromise those elements of free speech in order for the benefit of society.
▪ What constitutes freedom under circumstances?
• Freedom of trade and freedom of market space – freedom of associated personal and joint economic
ventures (free market). Can you have one if the effects endanger others or restrict their freedom?
o Restrained trade.
o Liberals believed in Adam Smith’s unseen hand.
• Domestic liberty – role of the individual of the family in society. Women should be free to hold
property, and conduct business in their own names.
o Women should have the same freedom under the law as men.
o Both parents are responsible for their children and are accountable for the welfare of their
children. If a society is going to work, parents must be aware that they have obligations to their
families, and husband and wife have obligations to each other – this meant to give women
• National liberalism – must be pragmatic. In most circumstances it is better for people to lead
themselves over being led by someone else. Concept of empire complicated this – (England and
France); we might rule over certain places, but we cannot expect to give the rights that liberalists give
to white people to the people we rule. **you cannot let children drive the car.
o Liberalism then was much more open to a more humane treatment – but not for a moment did
they believe that those who were subjected should have the same rights as Europe.
• International liberty - can lead to tyranny.
• Political liberty and sovereignty – liberty is progress. A direct result to making government responsible
to the community as a whole. It is important to include liberalism is governmental policies, etc.
Parliamentary democracy to any liberal is the end and where progress will take you inevitably. As long
as people who vote understand the issues and as long as they are able to sacrifice their own wealth
and some of their freedom for the betterment of the community, we’ll be good.
• Civilized set of principles – it survives in modified form. However, it failed completely in Germany and
Italy post-war. Because these ideas did not meet the requirements for where they were introduced.
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