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Aristocratic liberalism : the social and political thought of Jacob Burckhardt, John Stuart Mill, and Alexis de Tocqueville

Author: Alan S Kahan
Publisher: New York : Oxford University Press, 1992.
Edition/Format:   Book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Although the term "liberalism" is widely used to describe a variety of social and political ideas, it has been an especially difficult concept for historians to define. In this trailbreaking study in the history of European political thought, Kahan makes significant progress toward a general definition, and illustrates a strategic type of liberalism by linking three great nineteenth-century thinkers in a single  Read more...
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Details

Genre/Form: History
Named Person: Jacob Burckhardt; John Stuart Mill; Alexis de Tocqueville; Jacob Burckhardt; Jacob Burckhardt; John Stuart Mill; Alexis de Tocqueville; Jacob Burckhardt; John Stuart Mill; Alexis de Tocqueville; Jacob Burckhardt; John Stuart Mill; Alexis de Tocqueville; Jacob Burckhardt; John Stuart Mill; Alexis de Tocqueville
Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Alan S Kahan
ISBN: 0195070194 9780195070194
OCLC Number: 24247476
Notes: Revision of the author's thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Chicago.
Description: viii, 228 pages ; 25 cm
Contents: Past and Present: The Eighteenth Century and the Origins of Modernity --
The Revolutionary Present --
The Enlightenment: The Origins of the Revolution and of Modernity --
The French Revolution --
The Eighteenth Century, the French Revolution, and Modernity --
The Spirit of the Majority --
Contradiction or Coherence? The Aristocratic Liberal Style of Explanation --
The Hegemony of the Middle Class and the Commercial Spirit --
Hegemony as Stagnation --
Hegemony as Mediocrity --
The Rise of the Lower Classes --
Despotisms: The State and Its Masters --
The State --
Our Masters: Public Opinion --
The Problem of Suffrage --
The Hare Plan and the Prussian Constitution --
Socialism and the Fear of Socialism --
Modern Humanism: The Values of Aristocratic Liberalism --
Humanism --
Modern Humanism and Aristocratic Liberalism --
Modern Humanism and the Aristocratic Liberals: The Values of Aristocratic Liberalism --
"Working against Time": The Aristocratic Liberal Response to the Challenge of Modernity --
The Political Ideal of Aristocratic Liberalism --
Social and Economic Attitudes --
Optimism and Pessimism --
Education --
Conclusion: Toward a History of European Liberalism, 1830-1870 --
Aristocratic Liberalism and the Study of Liberalism --
The Boundaries of European Liberalism, 1830-1870 --
Three Misconceptions about Liberalism --
Aristocratic Liberalism in Context.
Responsibility: Alan S. Kahan.
More information:

Abstract:

Although the term "liberalism" is widely used to describe a variety of social and political ideas, it has been an especially difficult concept for historians to define. In this trailbreaking study in the history of European political thought, Kahan makes significant progress toward a general definition, and illustrates a strategic type of liberalism by linking three great nineteenth-century thinkers in a single intellectual and ideological tradition. Ignoring the national boundaries that often confine intellectual history, Kahan ranges widely through the works of Jacob Burckhardt, John Stuart Mill, and Alexis de Tocqueville, and discovers similarities in their thought. Kahan demonstrates their distaste for the masses and the middle class, opposition to the commercial spirit, fear and contempt of mediocrity, suspicion of the centralized state, and their limited hopes for saving European culture from militarism and barbarism through education. Their "liberalism" is an aristocratic one, based on an elevated idea of the human personality. Kahan establishes that Burckhardt, Mill, and Tocqueville shared a unique set of values, and a common political language that combined traditional humanist elements with an affirmation of modernity. He concludes with a correction to the prevalent misconceptions about nineteenth-century liberalism, and with a discussion of a typology of liberalism that will undoubtedly spark much scholarly debate.

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