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side as authority in the effort to hunt down all who were supposed, rightly or wrongly, to favour the doctrines of anarchy. In short, the violence of the representatives of Radicalism had played, as it has often done, into the hands of the opponents of all reform. When the inoderate section leave, or are drummed out of, the Liberal ranks, it is not always the advanced or the Radical party that gains by the removal of the supposed drag upon its reforming zeal. In the eyes of Paine the l'oxites were but a Whig clique striving for power and place. In short, Liberals and Radicals were fighting among themselves about the differences, and they were great, which divided them; while they refused to act upon that principle of give and take which in this country is essential to the carrying of reforms. Little wonder that in 1801, Fox should have written to Grey that till he saw the public had some dislike (indignation he could not look for) to absolute power, he saw no use in stating in the House of Commons the principles of liberty and justice.
With the new century began the rise of the influence of philosophical Radicalism'—the utilitarianism' of Bentham handed on to a later generation by James Mill, and brought in a modified form by his son, John Stuart Mill, into relation with the politics of our own day. It was from Priestley that Bentham first learned the sacred truth' that 'the greatest happiness of the greatest number is the • foundation of morals and legislation. The great means towards securing the wise government of the people the early Utilitarians thought lay in establishing identity of interest between the governors and the governed. Self-interest was the guide of men's actions; hence democracy, or the government of all by all, was the only system under which the general interest could be safe against the private self-seeking of individuals or classes. Thus they favou red universal suffrage, protected by the ballot, and short parliaments; and they found no place in an ideal constitution for an aristocratic House of Lords. They were strongly individualist in feeling, and the socialistic leanings of a later generation of Radicals they would have vigorously repelled. Francis Place, the active organiser of the Radicals of Westminster, expressed the sentiments of the Utilitarians when he urged that all · legislative interference must be pernicious. Men must be • left by themselves to make their own bargains; the law 'must compel the observance of contracts. There it should
end.' No restrictive laws should exist; and he held that even in the liquor traffic there should be absolute free trade. There is much truth in Mr. Kent's observation that philosophical Radicalism was, in its general view of the organisation of society, antagonistic to the type of thought now vaguely called collectivism' to which undoubtedly much modern Radicalism leads. The Utilitarian gospel was not likely to captivate popular feeling with its hard mechanical methods of approaching the great problems of human well-being and government. Nevertheless, the Utilitarian philosophers greatly and usefully influenced their age, and by the fearlessness of their inquiries, and their determination to bring every institution to the test of utility, they prepared men's minds for far-reaching reforms in many departments of the State.
We need not follow Mr. Kent's account of the Radicals of his 'second period,' which ended with the great Reform Bill. Amongst the thinkers and writers the Radicals numbered some of the greatest naines of the day, but in active political life in and out of Parliament they played a far less influential part. Joseph Hume, Roebuck, Sir Francis Burdett, and John Cam Hobhouse in their several ways were no doubt exceedingly active in the House of Commons, but they did nothing to weld themselves, their Radical colleagues, and their supporters in the country into a political force. Burdett's extravagant conduct must have often brought ridicule on their cause; as when in 1810 he met the order of the House of Commons for his commitment for breach of privilege in an article written for Cobbett's * Weekly Register' by preparing to fortify his house in Piccadilly against the officers sent to arrest him. The soldiers having effected an entrance, it is narrated that Sir Francis was discovered reading “Magna Charta’ in Latin to his son!
For a time the efforts necessary to carry the Reform Act of 1832 produced hearty co-operation between the Whig statesmen and the more responsible amongst the Radical leaders; but with such men as Orator Hunt, to whom agitation was the breath of life, it was impossible for practical reformers to work; and the breach between some of the wilder extremists and the moderates became more violent than ever. Then, as always in England, the practical men carried the day, and the Whig Reform Bill received the vigorous support of the best of the working-men, not less than of the great bulk of the middle class. It may be noted that the Radicals of Birmingham, under the leadership of Attwood, now became a real force in politics, the great city of the Midlands beginning to hold the place in the very ran of Radicalism formerly occupied by Westminster and the City. Mr. Kent, commenting upon the period 1789-1832, points out that
* P. 242.
the Radicals of the time of the Refurm Act differed from those who gloried in the fall of the Bastille in some essential characteristics. The general philosophy of life, the Weltanschauung—to borrow an expression from the Germans--of the two were not the same. For whereas the former looked at political affairs from the point of view of the abstract rights of man, the latter regarded them from that of practical utility. Both theorised and both tended to democratise the country; but the former gradually gave way before the latter. Of the older tradition, after vin had ceased to write on political philosophy, Shelley was the most conspicuous representative. Yet " that beautiful and ineffectual angel beating in the void his luminous wings in vain " cannot be taken seriously from the political point of view. His practical influence was as nothing compared with that of Bentham and James Mill, with their utilitarian materialism. This change in their outlook of life is the cardinal fact in this period of the history of the Radicals. The altered standpoint led, moreover, to some rearrangement of their practical demands. Their ultimate aim -the control of Parliament, that is to say, by pressure from without -remained the same; but, whereas formerly they asserted the existence of some supposed innate and natural rights, and laboured to obtain their universal recognition, they subsequently put the claim to those rights into the background, and made the obtaining of better seeurities for good government the immediate goal of their desire.' (P. 320.)
With the passing of the Reform Act we arrive at Mr. Kent's third and last period, reaching down to the present time. The very able Radicals who sat in the earlier Parliaments obtained far less influence than might have been expected. Hunt and Cobbett, though they both sat in the reformed House of Commons, soon passed from the stage; and the Radical party was represented by men like Sir Francis Burdett and Hobhouse, John Arthur Roebuck, Joseph Hume, Grote, Sir William Molesworth and Tom Duncombe, among whom there was certainly no lack of varied ability and energy for the accomplishment of great things. Burdett, however, was soon to become a Tory and Hobhouse a peer. Grote was a doctrinaire philosopher of a type that rarely acquires parliamentary weight. Joseph Hume, by his great persistence which wearied the House almost to distraction, undoubtedly as an individual did much to diminish the abuses of our national finance. Roebuck, whose failings of temper prevented his cordial co-operation with others, quarrelled bitterly with Grote. Molesworth and Duncombe, in language of the utmost virulence, denounced the Whigs who had just accomplished such magnificent work, and whose goodwill it was absolutely necessary to conciliate if further progress were to be made in the path of reform. Indeed, the Act of 1832 would appear to have embittered the extreme Radicals against the Whig statesmen. All attempts at hearty conciliation failed, in large measure on account of the impossibility of combining English Liberals with the followers of O'Connell. In short, there probably never was a time when Radicalism enjoyed less consideration or was less felt as a power in the State, than in the period preceding the Corn Law discussions and the rise of the ‘Manchester School.'
Here, indeed, was a veritable new departure in the Radical party. With the older Radicals, and with Bentham and James Mill, the great object was to bring the whole constitution of the country into line with their political theory. Good government could only be obtained by building upon sound principles. Once adopt sound principles and a constitution based upon them, good and wise government for the benefit of the people would follow as a matter of course. With the new school of Radicalism it was quite different. Bright and Cobden were not political theorists, but ardent advocates of a practical reform which they contended would ameliorate the material condition of the people. It was because they were essentially practical that they were so successful. Their agitation killed that of the Chartists, who were never in any degree identified with the Radicals, though the leading Radicals in Parliament agreed with the main, if not with all the points of the Charter,' however little they may have approved Chartist methods. The new leader's had the firmest belief in political economy, and they argued out the whole question of Free Trade versus Protection on business principles. The commercial spirit, indeed, in which the whole of the Manchester School regarded national and political problems was a marked characteristic of the new Radicalism, and laid it open to the taunt that, in its eyes, England was but a large shop.
The Manchester School undoubtedly exercised much influence in its day, yet in some respects it was out of sympathy with the generality of the people, and never therefore obtained any predominance over other elements in the Liberal party. Bright and Cobden were
personally and in habit of thought singularly unlike the stamp of Radical who in the days of the French Revolution, and subsequently, had represented the opinions of political extremists. Paine and Godwin, Bentham and James Mill, were sceptics, while the new leaders were eminently religious-minded men. They objected indeed on principle to what they considered the unjust privileges enjoyed by the National Church, and their following was, therefore, very largely drawn from amongst the Nonconformists, but no one could honestly question their zeal for the welfare of the Christian religion.
Cobden from first to last was a staunch, though not a blind, adherent of the Anglican communion. Bright was a Quaker in every fibre of his being, whose political principles were based, it may be truly said, upon a firm foundation of earnest Christian morals. indeed upon grounds of religion and morality that Bright and Cobden, at the risk of being accused of cant, tried to justify themselves. A high seriousness indeed was theirs. Cobden said that he believed that a “moral and even a religious spirit” might be infused into the AntiCorn Law agitation which the gross pocket question” had reduced to a somewhat sordid level. Bright was even more emphatic; he declared that there is no permanent greatness for a nation unless it be based upon morality; he claimed that the political creed of his party was more advanced, and its political morality higher, than that of the remainder of the country; he averred that the great object of his life was “to square the policy of the country with the maxims of common sense and a plain morality.' (P. 378.)
With all this there was associated much narrowness of view. The long struggle ending in the repeal of the Corn Laws had done a good deal to strengthen the dislike, not uncommon in men of their class, to the landed interest and the country gentry, of whom in truth they knew very little. Their blind hatred of what they considered the 'feudal
privileges ’ secured to the gentry, and the ó ecclesiastical privileges' assured to the Church by the constitution and laws of the land, was hardly worthy of that common
sense' which they professed to prize so highly. These privileges,' instead of being examined and criticised, were denounced in language of much vituperation ; and the Manchester School had itself to thank for raising up a spirit of opposition to Radicalism scarcely less bitter than its own. On foreign questions and on questions of the relation of the colonies to the Mother-country, the Manchester leaders held doctrines which were never generally popular, and which were in distinct opposition to the views of Lord John Russell and Lord Palmerston, who reflected far more truly than the Radicals the general sentiments of the Liberal