JS Mill voted 'Greatest Liberal'

by Stephen Tall on September 21, 2007

John Stuart Mill has, perhaps inevitably, been acclaimed the ‘greatest British liberal of all time’, according to a poll conducted by the Liberal Democrat History Group. (Hat-tip: Jonathan Calder via Paul Walter).

Duncan Brack, editor of the Journal of Liberal History, wrote about the contest last week on Lib Dem Voice, including brief profiles of the four short-listed candidates, who also included Gladstone, Keynes and Lloyd George. (Only the deceased were eligible.)

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It is said that in later years Mill doubted liberalism and eventually turned his back to it. I think that I have even seen some quotes from him which seemed to prove this, but I can’t remember enough that I could refind them. Does anybody else have a clue?

Anyway, I still think that the greatest liberal was John Locke. He laid the ground for all liberals who came later, including Mill.

by Krhm on September 21, 2007 at 3:26 pm. Reply #

I don’t think it was at all inevitable! As someone who voted for Lloyd G, with Gladstone a very close second, I am very disappointed! 🙂

The speaker at the meeting on Wednesday night for Mill, Richard Reeves, was simply brilliant. He spoke exceptionally well, and I also learnt a lot about Mill, especially his non-intellectual political activities, and will probably even buy his forthcoming biography of him. But I still don’t think he was the greatest Liberal!

by Jeremy Hargreaves on September 21, 2007 at 3:28 pm. Reply #

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