Whigs and Liberals

Continuity and Change in English Political Thought (The Carlyle Lectures 1985)
Burrow, J.W.
Date published: 
January 1988

This study of English political thought in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries is organized around the concept of a Whig tradition. Professor Burrow argues that the study of nineteenth-century liberal thought has taken insufficient account of its eighteenth-century antecedents. The work of modern scholars on eighteenth-century themes, especially the civic humanist tradition and the Scottish Enlightenment, is drawn on as a preamble to considering the central ideas of Liberalism. The book traces how the concept changed between the early eighteenth and the late ninet eenth century, and examines the main points of continuity, analogy, and difference in the progress of society, public opinion, individuality, and the idea of balance. A concluding chapter looks at the early twentieth century.