John Stuart Mill


Explain the relationship of the given inteñlectual with the european society changed by agricultural and industrial revolution. Explore the interpretation of society and their way of intervening. 


John Stuart Mill was a british man who lived during the Industrial revolution of Great Britain. In this essay we will develop his background, life and ideas, to see what his relationship with the Industrial revolution was. 


In Great Britain during the XIX century, a lot of social changes took place, linked to the Agricultural Revolution that boosted the Industrial Revolution as well. For instance, it existed a semi feudal society, that was composed mostly by landlords and peasants. There was an abuse of power from the landlords towards the peasants. They worked for the landlords, they had to pay to work the land and the landlord took away most of the crops. That ended when privatization took place, land was turned into a commodity. That changed the way society was built up. Great Britain eliminated the landlords and the traditional peasantry that was an obstacle to achieve the new organization of society. The abuse of power was eliminated as well, and society was keen on turning the peasants into free wage-workers. 


Stuart Mill’s ideas were connected to the liberty of people and their individualist relationship with the others. These social changes fomented the liberty of the peasantry and they started working to make a profit for themselves and not for others, also the businessmen that replaced the landlords were keen on making profit. Furthermore, a capitalist system of production, commerce and profit was produced. Moreover, economists supported the idea to take away the economic burdens and barriers to the bourgeoisie for them to develop a free production process. These social changes triggered migration to the cities, fomenting the Industrial Revolution due to the urbanization. 


John Stuart Mill was born during the agricultural revolution of Great Britain, on the 20th of May of 1806. His father was a very prestigious politician and philosopher, and because of him, science a very young age (3 years old), he started learning and studying various things. He belonged to an important part of society, he was from the English intelectual class. His father wanted him to take advantage of this and get a good education, for His son to spread his ideas. Because of this he was very strict with him, which created a relationship full of tension between them. 


Stuart Mill was against his father’s ideas. He believed they only were negative for society. So when he started thinking with his own mind, he realized what he believed in, individualism. And he stranded in the positive side of things, not like his father which stood on the opposite side of the matter. He had Bethams ideas very present on his theory. And he took the good parts of Bethams ideas to make his own. He focused on how these two ways of thinking could have a positive impact on society and its ways. Mill found himself in the idea of the individuality of men and women. He believed in the universal suffrage, for everyone (no matter if the person was a men, women, poor or rich) and he also believed that because we are all equal to the law, people should the same rights and obligations. 


Mill had a unique interpretation of society. He believed in private property and private thinking. In other words, individualism. Mill believed people should be able to express their opinions and though. Moreover, act upon them. He encouraged diversity meaning that he wanted people to have different opinions or as he said different sides of the truth. 


Mill did not only encourage being yourself or having the courage of expressing your opinions but he believes it was crucial and essential for people’s wellbeing. However, Mill’s freedom had to have a limit because if not society would be chaotic. The liberty of a man ended when the liberty of other one started. Comparing it with the european society changes by the agricultural and industrial revolution, we can see differences and similarities between the society and Mill’s way of thinking. 


To begin with, workers were free as Mill proposed. Secondly, there was more migration to the cities, urbanization developed, and the Industrial Revolution was boosted. This means that people were free to move wherever they wanted, do whatever they wanted and work wherever they wanted as Mill said. Thirdly, there were no limits of production, therefore, the bourgeoisie had no limitations. Mill wanted people to be able to express their opinions. In the pre-modern societies, the opinion of people of third estate was as important as the opinion of animals. But, with the elimination of traditional peasants and landlords the thoughts of everybody became important. Lastly, the semi-feudalism to private land, wage workers, and businessmen. This meant that Mill was an enthusiastic of this new society, he is expressing how he supports this new way of society. Mill is not critical here but fully supportive. 


In conclusion John Stuart Mill believed in individualism, which was connected to the Agricultural Revolution of the 18th century because people started taking care and acting as separate people or individuals, and not as a group of people, everybody started thinking  about themselves at that time. 


Esta entrada fue publicada en 5AC2019, history. Guarda el enlace permanente.

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