Hi, welcome back. Make yourself comfortable. I want to use this presentation to talk a little bit more about these liberal ideas in the middle of the 1800s. Again, I'm using liberal in the classical sense, in the way it would've been used by Europeans in the middle of the 19th century. These ideas are really important. They continue to be hugely influential in the world today. So let's look at what liberal ideas would look like in politics. First, liberals would be against despotism. They'd be against tyrants. For reasons that we've spent a lot of time discussing in previous presentations. Indeed, to liberals the opposite of a liberal society is a tyrannical society. On the other hand, liberals also are very worried about the tyranny of the mob, of mob rule. In the 1860s and especially into the 1870s, the symbol to them of mob rule is what had just happened in Paris in 1871. Some of you out there may have just seen this beautiful movie made from the musical play, Les Miserables. Les Miserables is based on a novel written by Victor Hugo in the early 1860s. In it, Hugo dramatizes and romanticizes the condition of the oppressed of Paris. He depicts a heroic revolt against oppression, building barricades in the streets of Paris. That's set at around 1832. So that heroic image of the wretched of Paris rising up to try to overthrow the monarchy, that's a very different image, though, for a liberal-minded thinker of 1871. In the 1830s, the liberals of that time, men like Benjamin Constant, would've been sympathetic with some of these revolutionary ideals. Victor Hugo himself would've thought of himself as very much a liberal writer. By 1871 however, when the Commune had taken control in Paris, the result was terrible civil violence. For example, here is a contemporary illustration of the battle between the Army of the Third Republic as it's trying now to recapture a street in Paris, the avenue, the Rue de Rivoli. And here's an actual photograph, taken of that very avenue, that gives you some sense of the devastation in Paris itself after the Commune had been defeated. So the liberals are seeing themselves as the people in the center, balancing against the tyranny of despots on the one hand and the revolutionary violence of the mob on the other. They tend to align themselves with people of property. And they also tend to align themselves with the ideal of the new nation state. They support the ideal of the nation, especially as contrasted with foreign oppression. Liberalism also has powerful views about economics, economic life. The whole term, economics, is a relatively modern one. What we would now call economics was just a branch of philosophy. Not much different than the people who would think about political problems, they would also naturally think about problems of commerce because that was in a way the problems of ordinary life. So therefore, it's really important in understanding liberal beliefs to see that their beliefs about economic life are all tied up with their beliefs about political life. What liberals, in this era, fear most are tyrants. In other words, the state that is too strong. A lot of this is actually born of reactions against the old fiscal-military state of the 1700s. They're against state monopolies. They're against state protectionism and high tariffs that are bringing in money to enrich the rulers, to build large armies, that then create the threat of tyranny. And indeed, in commercial life, they tend to be in favor of a light hand of government. Liberals tend to be supportive of free trade, partly because they think free commerce between free people is bound to be a good thing, but partly because when the government controls trade it stifles off the natural growth of human potential and it enriches itself to become too powerful. Also, they're against too much regulation in commercial life. Adam Smith's original argument back in the 1770s, when he was promoting the virtues of capitalism, was that if a state just had peace, easy taxes, and a tolerable administration of justice then all would be happy and prosperous. What mid-19th century liberalism did do is encourage private citizens to bound together in free associations, or cooperatives, to increase their political and economic strength. It supported the creation of political parties, of political activism. It thought citizens should be more literate and work together in economic matters as well. You see, what happens to all these people when they leave the farms and they go into the cities? Or they find themselves uprooted from a traditional subsistence farm and working more in the markets? The argument is that these citizens need to work together and form new kinds of communities to replace the kind of communal solidarity or clan solidarity that they relied on in traditional world. These communities, these associations, these cooperatives are a really interesting facet of 19th century social life on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. Let's look at a particular illustration of what I mean by one of these cooperatives. This is a pamphlet, published in America, helping to tell Americans how to form these cooperatives. It's doing so by reprinting the rules of an English cooperative, a prototype for how to do it, called the Rochdale Pioneers. Here's the founding document. By the way, typical liberal document, almost a kind of constitution for their cooperative society in which these people are basically getting together. They pay dues and what they do is they're going to establish a store. They're going to buy some real estate; they might rent property. They're going to pool their resources and work together to increase their market power. And also for mutual protection. For instance, they'll pool their resources so that if someone has a family tragedy, there's some insurance there. If someone maybe needs a small loan, they can provide a little loan. If someone needs a little extra money to be able to pay for funeral expenses, there is a cooperative that helps with that. This is not a formal part of quote political history, but it's a really important part of the lives of these communities as they're coping with modernity and picking up on some of these liberal ideas. Let each member have only one vote. Majorities rule on all matters of government. And so on down to counsel about how people ought to behave in their private economic life. Beware of long reckonings. Quarterly accounts are the best. You can see, too, this particular prototype cooperative, which started in England, grew up over the years. In 1844, you can see it has a membership of 28 people and not very much money. By 1894, 50 years later, there are more than 12,000 members of this cooperative and their funds are pretty significant. Farmers, too, would develop cooperatives to help meet their mutual needs and give them a little more market power by working together. The idea of these farmer societies was a really important in a huge farm country like the United States of America, which is making a lot of its income from the sale of its agricultural products to the rest of the world. Here's an illustration popularizing one of the great American farming cooperatives: called the Grange. G-R-A-N-G-E This is an illustration showing the Gift for the Grangers. You can see the happy farmers prospering by working together in many kinds of cooperative activities. The Grange would of course put on the occasional dance as you can see here in the bottom left-hand corner. But The Grange, as you can see in the upper right-hand corner, would also be an occasion for members of the farming community to get together and talk about issues of the day, not just farm prices. So liberalism also has a lot of influence in the way people think. Let's delve into that a little bit more. In religious beliefs, the liberals are in favor of tolerance and against government establishment of a single religion. So, even in England, yes there's a government established church, the Anglican Church, but the government tolerates the creation and practice of many other kinds of religions. Liberal thought is also coming to grips with the implication of their ideas for the role of women. If all, men are created equal, well, maybe that includes women, too. So you move from some of the early liberal thinkers like Thomas Jefferson, Jeremy Bentham, Benjamin Constant, in the 1790s, 1820s, 1830s, to a principle liberal thinker like John Stuart Mill, in the 1860s and 1870s, and Mill is taking up the cause of the rights of women. Here is Mill, an influential writer on political philosophy on many issues. Very well read in his day. So it was a big deal in 1869 when Mill published this book on The Subjection of Women, boldly putting forth the principal that women really were entitled to all the equal political rights along with men. The argument before that had not been so much that women were inferior, but it was that women had a different role in society. And according to the men, the men would argue that since the women had this particular role in society, one of the roles of the men is to look out for and protect the interests of the women while women played their more domestic role. Mill is saying that that kind of separation, with its inherent hierarchy of inferiority for women, is just not sustainable if you really pursue the principles of liberal thought. And the issues of rights for women become an increasingly important subject in the Atlantic world all through the second half of the 19th century. And so the issues of rights for women and just what rights women should enjoy is an increasingly important issue on both sides of the Atlantic ocean in the 1870s, 1880s and beyond. Some of these ideas were very controversial. And the late 1800's are going to see the rise of a lot of beliefs that challenge some of these tenets of liberalism. We'll spend a little more time on the enemies of liberalism next time. See you then.