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  • Print publication year: 2011
  • Online publication date: July 2011

21 - Modern liberty redefined

from IV - Secularity, reform and modernity
This chapter focuses on British liberalism in the latter part of the nineteenth century. Liberalism in the second half of the nineteenth century was a complex and varied body of ideas. The historiographical revisionism of the last thirty years has elucidated the essentialism of the first generation of historians of late nineteenth-century liberalism. The chapter conveys and builds on these developments, by emphasising both the emergence of social democratic concerns within new liberalism and by attending to arguments about the constitution, civil society and public opinion. Larry Siedentop contrasts British and French liberalism in the nineteenth century, arguing that the latter displayed a sociological sophistication absent in the former. John Burrow suggests the limitations of this characterisation of British liberalism in the first half of the century. The chapter also puts forward some of its weaknesses with respect to the liberalism of the latter part of the century.
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The Cambridge History of Nineteenth-Century Political Thought
  • Online ISBN: 9780511973581
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