French radicalism through the eyes of John Stuart Mill

Georgios Varouxakis*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The paper attempts to highlight some under-researched aspects of the interaction between British and French radical political thinkers and activists during the period between the July Revolution of 1830 in France and the early years of the Third Republic. It focuses in particular on the decisive impact that the aftermath of the July Revolution of 1830 had for the perception of French politics by the most Francophile British radical, John Stuart Mill. In this context, Mill's astonishingly dense coverage of French affairs in The Examiner and the relation between that coverage and Mill's radical agenda at home are explored. The Revolution of February 1848 and the establishment of a Republic in France raised new hopes and led to a new round of Anglo-French radical co-operation and manifestations of fraternity. However, it was the frustration of the expectations raised by 1848 (fatally by the time of Louis Napoleon Bonaparte's coup d'état in December 1851) that had the most profound effect on the perception of French radicalism outre-Manche. A detailed analysis of which French 'radical' parties, factions and personalities attracted Mill's sympathies and support from 1830 to the beginnings of the Third Republic is offered, along with the reasons why Mill was attracted by some of the people and factions in question and not by others. The paper winds up with a few comments on Mill's strenuous efforts to contribute to Anglo-French mutual understanding and fellow-feeling and his strategies to that effect. 

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)433-461
    Number of pages29
    JournalHistory of European Ideas
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2004


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