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Montagu–Chelmsford Reforms
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 5/22/20

The Government of India Act of 1919 is outstanding in many ways. It is the most drastic and most important reform made in Indian government in the whole period from 1861 to the achievement of self-government. Its provisions for the central government of India remained in force, with only slight changes, from 1919 to 1946. It is the only one of these acts whose "secret" legislative background is no longer a secret. And it is the only one which indicated a desire on the part of the British government to establish in India a responsible government patterned on that in Britain.

The legislative history of the Act of 1919 as generally known is simple enough. It runs as follows. In August 1917 the Secretary of State for India, Edwin S. Montagu, issued a statement which read: "The policy of H.M. Government, with which the Government of India are in complete accord, is that of the increasing association of Indians in every branch of the administration and the gradual development of self-government institutions with a view to the progressive realization of responsible government in India as an integral part of the British Empire." The critical word here is responsible government, since the prospect of eventual self-government had been held out to India for years. In accordance with this promise, Montagu visited India and, in cooperation with the Viceroy, Lord Chelmsford, issued the Montagu-Chelmsford Report, indicating the direction of future policy. This report became the basis for the bill of 1918, which, after a certain amount of amendment by Lord Selborne's Joint Select Committee, came into force as the Government of India Act of 1919.

The secret history of this Act is somewhat different, and begins in Canada in 1909, when Lionel Curtis accepted from his friend William Marris the idea that responsible government on the British pattern should be extended to India. Two years later, Curtis formed a study group of six or eight persons within the London Round Table Group. We do not know for certain who were the members of the study group, but apparently it included Curtis, Kerr, Fisher, and probably Brand. To these were added three officials of the India Office. These included Malcolm Seton (Sir Malcolm after 1919), who was secretary to the Judicial Department of the India Office and joined Curtis's group about 1913; and Sir William Duke, who was Lieutenant Governor of Bengal in 1911-1912, senior member of the council of the Governor of Bengal in 1912-1914, and a member of the Council of India in London after 1914. At this last date he joined the Curtis group. Both of these men were important figures in the India Office later, Sir William as Permanent Under Secretary from 1920 to his death in 1924, and Sir Malcolm as Assistant Under Secretary (1919-1924) and Deputy Under Secretary (1924-1933). Sir Malcolm wrote the biographical sketch of Sir William in the Dictionary of National Biography, and also wrote the volume on The India Office in the Whitehall Series (1926). The third member from this same source was Sir Lionel Abrahams, Assistant Under Secretary in the India Office.

The Curtis study group was not an official committee, although some persons (both at the time and since) have believed it was. Among these persons would appear to be Lord Chelmsford, for in debate in the House of Lords in November 1927 he said:

"I came home from India in January 1916 for six weeks before I went out again as Viceroy, and, when I got home, I found that there was a Committee in existence at the India Office, which was considering on what lines future constitutional development might take place. That Committee, before my return in the middle of March gave me a pamphlet containing in broad outline the views which were held with regard to future constitutional development. When I reached India I showed this pamphlet to my Council and also to my noble friend, Lord Meston, who was then Lieutenant Governor of the United Provinces. It contained, what is now known as the diarchic principle.... Both the Council and Lord Meston, who was then Sir James Meston, reported adversely on the proposals for constitutional development contained in that pamphlet."

Lord Chelmsford then goes on to say that Austen Chamberlain combated their objections with the argument that the Indians must acquire experience in self- government, so, after the announcement to this effect was made publicly in August 1917, the officials in India accepted dyarchy.

If Lord Chelmsford believed that the pamphlet was an official document from a committee in the India Office, he was in error. The other side of the story was revealed by Lionel Curtis in 1920 in his book Dyarchy. According to Curtis, the study group was originally formed to help him write the chapter on India in the planned second volume of The Commonwealth of Nations. It set as its task "to enquire how self-government could be introduced and peacefully extended to India." The group met once a fortnight in London and soon decided on the dyarchy principle. This principle, as any reader of Curtis's writings knows, was basic in Curtis's political thought and was the foundation on which he hoped to build a federated Empire. According to Curtis, the study group asked itself: "Could not provincial electorates through legislatures and ministers of their own be made clearly responsible for certain functions of government to begin with, leaving all others in the hands of executives responsible as at present to the Government of India and the Secretary of State? Indian electorates, legislatures, and executives would thus be given a field for the exercise of genuine responsibility. From time to time fresh powers could be transferred from the old governments as the new elective authorities developed and proved their capacity for assuming them." From this point of view, Curtis asked Duke to draw up such "a plan of Devolution" for Bengal. This plan was printed by the group, circulated, and criticized in typical Milner Group fashion. Then the whole group went to Oxford for three days and met to discuss it in the old Bursary of Trinity College. It was then rewritten. "No one was satisfied." It was decided to circulate it for further criticism among the Round Table Groups throughout the world, but Lord Chelmsford wrote from New South Wales and asked for a copy. Apparently realizing that he was to be the next Viceroy of India, the group sent a copy to him and none to the Round Table Groups, "lest the public get hold of it and embarrass him." It is clear that Chelmsford was committed to a program of reform along these or similar lines before he went out as Viceroy. This was revealed in debate in the House of Lords by Lord Crewe on 12 December 1919.

After Chelmsford went to India in March 1916, a new, revised version of the study group's plan was drawn up and sent to him in May 1916. Another copy was sent to Canada to catch up with Curtis, who had already left for India by way of Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. This itinerary was undoubtedly followed by Curtis in order to consult with members of the Group in various countries, especially with Brand in Canada. On his arrival in India, Curtis wrote back to Kerr in London:

"The factor which impressed me most in Canada, New Zealand, and Australia was the rooted aversion these peoples have to any scheme which meant their sharing in the Government of India.... To these young democratic communities the principle of self- government is the breath of their nostrils. It is almost a religion. They feel as if there were something inherently wrong in one people ruling another. It is the same feeling as that which makes the Americans dislike governing the Philippines and decline to restore order in Mexico. My first impressions on this subject were strongly confirmed on my recent visit to these Dominions. I scarcely recall one of the numerous meetings I addressed at which I was not asked why India was not given self-government and what steps were being taken in that direction."

Apparently this experience strengthened Curtis's idea that India must be given responsible government. He probably felt that by giving India what it and the Dominions wanted for India, both would be bound in loyalty more closely to Britain. In this same letter to Kerr, Curtis said, in obvious reference to the Round Table Group:

"Our task then is to bring home to the public in the United Kingdom and the Dominions how India differs from a country like Great Britain on the one hand and from Central Africa on the other, and how that difference is now reflected in the character of its government. We must outline clearly the problems which arise from the contact of East and West and the disaster which awaits a failure to supply their adequate solution by realizing and expressing the principle of Government for which we stand. We must then go on to suggest a treatment of India in the general work of Imperial reconstruction in harmony with the facts adduced in the foregoing chapters. And all this must be done with the closest attention to its effects upon educated opinion here. We must do our best to make Indian Nationalists realize the truth that like South Africa all their hopes and aspirations are dependent on the maintenance of the British Commonwealth and their permanent membership therein."

This letter, written on 13 November 1916, was addressed to Philip Kerr but was intended for all the members of the Group. Sir Valentine Chirol corrected the draft, and copies were made available for Meston and Marris. Then Curtis had a thousand copies printed and sent to Kerr for distribution. In some way, the extremist Indian nationalists obtained a copy of the letter and published a distorted version of it. They claimed that a powerful and secret group organized about The Round Table had sent Curtis to India to spy out the nationalist plans in order to obstruct them. Certain sentences from the letter were torn from their context to prove this argument. Among these was the reference to Central Africa, which was presented to the Indian people as a statement that they were as uncivilized and as incapable of self-government as Central Africans. As a result of the fears created by this rumor, the Indian National Congress and the Moslem League formed their one and only formal alliance in the shape of the famous Lucknow Compact of 29 December 1916. The Curtis letter was not the only factor behind the Lucknow agreement, but it was certainly very influential. Curtis was present at the Congress meeting and was horrified at the version of his letter which was circulating. Accordingly, he published the correct version with an extensive commentary, under the title Letters to the People of India (1917). In this he said categorically that he believed: "(1) That it is the duty of those who govern the whole British Commonwealth to do anything in their power to enable Indians to govern themselves as soon as possible. (2) That Indians must also come to share in the government of the British Commonwealth as a whole." There can be no doubt that Curtis was sincere in this and that his view reflected, perhaps in an extreme form, the views of a large and influential group in Great Britain. The failure of this group to persuade the Indian nationalists that they were sincere is one of the great disasters of the century, although the fault is not entirely theirs and must be shared by others, including Gandhi.

In the first few months of 1917, Curtis consulted groups of Indians and individual British (chiefly of the Milner Group) regarding the form which the new constitution would take. The first public use of the word "dyarchy" was in an open letter of 6 April 1917, which he wrote to Bhupendra Nath Basu, one of the authors of the Lucknow Compact, to demonstrate how dyarchy would function in the United Provinces. In writing this letter, Curtis consulted with Valentine Chirol and Malcolm Hailey. He then wrote an outline, "The Structure of Indian Government," which was revised by Meston and printed. This was submitted to many persons for comment. He then organized a meeting of Indians and British at Lord Sinha's house in Darjeeling and, after considerable discussion, drew up a twelve-point program, which was signed by sixty-four Europeans and ninety Indians. This was sent to Chelmsford and to Montagu.

In the meantime, in London, preparations were being made to issue the historic declaration of 20 August 1917, which promised "responsible" government to India. There can be no doubt that the Milner Group was the chief factor in issuing that declaration. Curtis, in Dyarchy, says: "For the purpose of the private enquiry above described the principle of that pronouncement was assumed in 1915." It is perfectly clear that Montagu (Secretary of State in succession to Austen Chamberlain from June 1917) did not draw up the declaration. He drew up a statement, but the India Office substituted for it one which had been drawn up much earlier, when Chamberlain was still Secretary of State. Lord Ronaldshay (Lord Zetland), in the third volume of his Life of Curzon, prints both drafts and claims that the one which was finally issued was drawn up by Curzon. Sir Stanley Reed, who was editor of The Times of India from 1907 to 1923, declared at a meeting of the Royal Institute of International Affairs in 1926 that the declaration was drawn up by Milner and Curzon. It is clear that someone other than Curzon had a hand in it, and the strongest probability would be Milner, who was with Curzon in the War Cabinet at the time. The fact is that Curzon could not have drawn it up alone unless he was unbelievably careless, because, after it was published, he was horrified when the promise of "progressive realization of responsible government in India" was pointed out to him.

Montagu went to India in November 1917, taking Sir William Duke with him. Curtis, who had been moving about India as the guest of Stanley Reed, Chirol, Chelmsford, Meston, Marris, and others, was invited to participate in the Montagu-Chelmsford conferences on several occasions. Others who were frequently consulted were Hailey, Meston, Duke, and Chirol. The Montagu-Chelmsford Report was written by Sir William Marris of Milner's Kindergarten after Curtis had returned to England. Curtis wrote in Dyarchy in 1920: "It was afterwards suggested in the press that I had actually drafted the report. My prompt denial has not prevented a further complaint from many quarters that Lord Chelmsford and Mr. Montagu were unduly influenced by an irresponsible tourist.... With the exception of Lord Chelmsford himself I was possibly the only person in India with firsthand knowledge of responsible government as applied in the Dominions to the institutions of provinces. Whether my knowledge of India entitled me to advance my views is more open to question. Of this the reader can judge for himself. But in any case the interviews were unsought by me." Thus Curtis does not deny the accusation that he was chiefly responsible for dyarchy. It was believed at the time by persons in a position to know that he was, and these persons were both for and against the plan. On the latter side, we might quote Lord Ampthill, who, as a former acting Viceroy, as private secretary to Joseph Chamberlain, as Governor of Madras, and as brother-in-law of Samuel Hoare, was in a position to know what was going on. Lord Ampthill declared in the House of Lords in 1919: "The incredible fact is that, but for the chance visit to India of a globe- trotting doctrinaire, with a positive mania for constitution-mongering, nobody in the world would ever have thought of so peculiar a notion as Dyarchy. And yet the Joint Committee tells us in an airy manner that no better plan can be conceived."

The Joint Committee's favorable report on the Dyarchy Bill was probably not unconnected with the fact that five out of fourteen members were from the Cecil Bloc or Milner Group, that the chairman had in his day presided over meetings of the Round Table Groups and was regarded by them as their second leader, and that the Joint Committee spent most of its time hearing witnesses who were close to the Milner Group. The committee heard Lord Meston longer than any other witness (almost four days), spent a day with Curtis on the stand, and questioned, among others, Feetham, Duke, Thomas Holland (Fellow of All Souls from 1875 to his death in 1926), Michael Sadler (a close friend of Milner's and practically a member of the Group), and Stanley Reed. In the House of Commons the burden of debate on the bill was supported by Montagu, Sir Henry Craik, H. A. L. Fisher, W. G. A. Ormsby-Gore, and Thomas J. Bennett (an old journalist colleague of Lord Salisbury and principal owner of The Times of India from 1892). Montagu and Craik both referred to Lionel Curtis. The former said: "It is suggested in some quarters that this bill arose spontaneously in the minds of the Viceroy and myself without previous inquiry or consideration, under the influence of Mr. Lionel Curtis. I have never yet been able to understand that you approach the merits of any discussion by vain efforts to approximate to its authorship. I do not even now understand that India or the Empire owes anything more or less than a great debt of gratitude to the patriotic and devoted services Mr. Curtis has given to the consideration of this problem."

Sir Henry Craik later said: "I am glad to join in the compliment paid to our mutual friend, Mr. Lionel Curtis, who belongs to a very active, and a very important body of young men, whom I should be the last to criticize. I am proud to know him, and to pay that respect to him due from age to youth. He and others of the company of the Round Table have been doing good work, and part of that good work has been done in India."

Mr. Fisher had nothing to say about Lionel Curtis but had considerable to say about the bill and the Montagu-Chelmsford Report. He said: "There is nothing in this Bill which is not contained in that Report. That Report is not only a very able and eloquent State Paper, but it is also one of the greatest State Papers which have been produced in Anglo-Indian history, and it is an open-minded candid State Paper, a State Paper which does not ignore or gloss over the points of criticism which have since been elaborated in the voluminous documents which have been submitted to us." He added, a moment later: "This is a great Bill." (2) The Round Table, which also approved of the bill, as might be imagined, referred to Fisher's speech in its issue of September 1919 and called him "so high an authority." The editor of that issue was Lionel Curtis.

In the House of Lords there was less enthusiasm. Chief criticism centered on two basic points, both of which originated with Curtis: (1) the principle of dyarchy — that is, that government could be separated into two classes of activities under different regimes; and (2) the effort to give India "responsible" government rather than merely "self- government" — that is, the effort to extend to India a form of government patterned on Britain's. Both of these principles were criticized vigorously, especially by members of the Cecil Bloc, including Lord Midleton, Lord Lansdowne, Lord Selborne, Lord Salisbury, and others. Support for the bill came chiefly from Lord Curzon (Leader in the Upper House) and Lord Islington (Under Secretary in the India Office).

As a result of this extensive criticism, the bill was revised considerably in the Joint Committee but emerged with its main outlines unchanged and became law in December 1919. These main outlines, especially the two principles of "dyarchy" and "responsibility," were, as we have said, highly charged with Curtis's own connotations. These became fainter as time passed, both because of developments in India and because Curtis from 1919 on became increasingly remote from Indian affairs. The refusal of the Indian National Congress under Gandhi's leadership to cooperate in carrying on the government under the Act of 1919 persuaded the other members of the Group (and perhaps Curtis himself) that it was not possible to apply responsible government on the British model to India. This point of view, which had been stated so emphatically by members of the Cecil Bloc even before 1900, and which formed the chief argument against the Act of 1919 in the debates in the House of Lords, was accepted by the Milner Group as their own after 1919. Halifax, Grigg, Amery, Coupland, Fisher, and others stated this most emphatically from the early 1920s to the middle 1940s. In 1943 Grigg stated this as a principle in his book The British Commonwealth and quoted with approval Amery's statement of 30 March 1943 to the House of Commons, rejecting the British parliamentary system as suitable for India. Amery, at that time Secretary of State for India, had said: "Like wasps buzzing angrily up and down against a window pane when an adjoining window may be wide open, we are all held up, frustrated and irritated by the unrealized and unsuperable barrier of our constitutional prepossessions." Grigg went even further, indeed, so far that we might suspect that he was deprecating the use of parliamentary government in general rather than merely in India. He said:

"It is entirely devoid of flexibility and quite incapable of engendering the essential spirit of compromise in countries where racial and communal divisions present the principal political difficulty. The idea that freedom to be genuine must be accommodated to this pattern is deeply rooted in us, and we must not allow our statesmanship to be imprisoned behind the bars of our own experience. Our insistence in particular on the principle of a common roll of electors voting as one homogeneous electorate has caused reaction in South Africa, rebellion or something much too like it in Kenya, and deadlock in India, because in the different conditions of those countries it must involve the complete and perpetual dominance of a single race or creed."

Unfortunately, as Reginald Coupland has pointed out in his book, India, a Re- statement (1945), all agreed that the British system of government was unsuited to India, but none made any effort to find an indigenous system that would be suitable. The result was that the Milner Group and their associates relaxed in their efforts to prepare Indians to live under a parliamentary system and finally cut India loose without an indigenous system and only partially prepared to manage a parliamentary system.

This decline in enthusiasm for a parliamentary system in India was well under way by 1921. In the two year-interval from 1919 to 1921, the Group continued as the most important British factor in Indian affairs. Curtis was editor of The Round Table in this period and continued to agitate the cause of the Act of 1919. Lord Chelmsford remained a Viceroy in this period. Meston and Hailey were raised to the Viceroy's Executive Council. Sir William Duke became Permanent Under Secretary, and Sir Malcolm Seton became Assistant Under Secretary in the India Office. Sir William Marris was made Home Secretary of the Government of India and Special Reforms Commissioner in charge of setting up the new system. L. F. Rushbrook Williams was given special duty at the Home Department, Government of India, in connection with the reforms. Thus the Milner Group was well placed to put the new law into effect. The effort was largely frustrated by Gandhi's boycott of the elections under the new system. By 1921 the Milner Group had left Indian affairs and shifted its chief interest to other fields. Curtis became one of the chief factors in Irish affairs in 1921; Lord Chelmsford returned home and was raised to a Viscounty in the same year; Meston retired in 1919; Marris became Governor of Assam in 1921; Hailey became Governor of the Punjab in 1924; Duke died in 1924; and Rushbrook Williams became director of the Central Bureau of Information, Government of India, in 1920.

This does not indicate that the Milner Group abandoned all interest in India by 1924 or earlier, but the Group never showed such concentrated interest in the problem of India again. Indeed, the Group never displayed such concentrated interest in any problem either earlier or later, with the single exception of the effort to form the Union of South Africa in 1908-1909.

The decade 1919-1929 was chiefly occupied with efforts to get Gandhi to permit the Indian National Congress to cooperate in the affairs of government, so that its members and other Indians could acquire the necessary experience to allow the progressive realization of self-government.

-- The Anglo-American Establishment: From Rhodes to Cliveden, by Carroll Quigley

The Montagu–Chelmsford Reforms or more briefly known as Mont-Ford Reforms were reforms introduced by the colonial government in British India to introduce self-governing institutions gradually in India. The reforms take their name from Edwin Montagu, the Secretary of State for India during the latter parts of the First World War and Lord Chelmsford, Viceroy of India between 1916 and 1921. The reforms were outlined in the Montagu-Chelmsford Report prepared in 1918 and formed the basis of the Government of India Act 1919. These are related to constitutional reforms. Indian nationalists considered that the reforms did not go far enough while British conservatives were critical of them. The important features of this act were as follows:

1. The Imperial Legislative Council was now to consist of two houses- the Central Legislative Assembly and the Council of State.

2. The provinces were to follow the Dual Government System or Dyarchy.


Edwin Montagu became Secretary of State for India in June 1917 after Austen Chamberlain resigned following the capture of Kut by the Turks in 1916 and the capture of an Indian army staged there. He put before the British Cabinet a proposed statement regarding his intention to work towards the gradual development of free institutions in India with a view to ultimate self-government. Lord Curzon thought that this gave Montagu too much emphasis on working towards self-government and suggested that he work towards increasing association of Indians in every branch of the administration and the gradual development of self-governing institutions with a view to the progressive realization of responsible government in India as an integral part of the British Empire. The Cabinet approved the statement with Curzon's amendment incorporated in place of Montagu's original statement.[1]


Lord Chelmsford was Viceroy of India.

Edwin Samuel Montagu was Secretary of State for India

In late 1917, Montagu went to India to meet Lord Chelmsford, the Viceroy of India, and leaders of Indian community, to discuss the introduction of limited self-government to India, and the protection rights of minority communities. He drew up a report, with Bhupendra Nath Bose, Lord Donoghmore, William Duke and Charles Roberts.[2]

The Report went before Cabinet on 24 May and 7 June 1918 and was embodied in the Government of India Act of 1919. These reforms represented the maximum concessions the British were prepared to make at that time. The franchise was extended, and increased authority was given to central and provincial legislative councils, but the viceroy remained responsible only to London.[3]

The changes at the provincial level were very significant, as the provincial legislative councils contained a considerable majority of elected members. In a system called "dyarchy," the nation-building departments of government were placed under ministers who were individually responsible to the legislature. The departments that made up the "steel frame" of British rule were retained by executive councilors who were nominated by the Governor. They were often, but not always, British and who were responsible to the governor. The Act of 1919 introduced Diarchy in the provinces. Accordingly, the Rights of the Central and Provincial Governments were divided in clear-cut terms. The central list included rights over defence, foreign affairs, telegraphs, railways, postal, foreign trade etc. The provincial list dealt with the affairs like health, sanitation, education, public work, irrigation, jail, police, justice etc. The powers which were not included in the state list vested in the hands of the Centre. In case of any conflict between the 'reserved' and 'unreserved' powers of the State (the former included finance, police, revenue, publication of books, etc. and the latter included health, sanitation, local-self government etc.), the Governor had its final say. In 1921, the "Diarchy" was installed in Bengal, Madras, Bombay, the United Provinces, the Central Provinces, the Punjab, Bihar and Orissa, and Assam; in 1932 it was extended to the North-West Frontier Province.[4]

In 1921 another change recommended by the report was carried out when elected local councils were set up in rural areas, and during the 1920s urban municipal corporations were made more democratic and "Indianized.

The main provisions were the following:

1. The secretary of state would control affairs relating to Government of India.
2. The Imperial Legislative Council would comprise two chambers- the Council of State and the Central Legislative Assembly.
3. The Imperial Legislative Council was empowered to enact laws on any matter for whole of India.
4. The Governor General was given powers to summon, prorogue, dissolve the Chambers, and to promulgate Ordinances.
5. The number of Indians in Viceroy's Executive Council would be three out of eight members.
6. Establishment of bicameral Provincial Legislative councils.
7. Dyarchy in the Provinces-
1. Reserved subjects like Finance, Law and Order, Army, Police etc.
2. Transferred subjects like Public Health, Education, Agriculture, Local Self-government etc.
8. There would henceforth be direct election and an extension of Communal franchise.[5]
9. A council of princes was also set up with 108 members to allow princes to debate matters of importance. But it had no power and some princes didn't even bother to attend what was little more than a 'talking shop'[6]

Reception in India

Many Indians had fought with the British in the First World War and they expected much greater concessions.[7] The Indian National Congress and the Muslim League had recently come together demanding self-rule. The 1919 reforms did not satisfy political demands in India. The British repressed opposition, and restrictions on the press and on movement were re-enacted through the Rowlatt Acts introduced in 1919. These measures were rammed through the Legislative Council with the unanimous opposition of the Indian members. Several members of the council including Jinnah resigned in protest. These measures were widely seen throughout India as a betrayal of the strong support given by the population for the British war effort.[2]

Gandhi launched a nationwide protest against the Rowlatt Acts with the strongest level of protest in the Punjab. The situation worsened in Amritsar in April 1919, when General Dyer ordered his troops to open fire on demonstrators hemmed into a tight square, resulting in the deaths of 379 civilians. Montagu ordered an inquiry into the events at Amritsar by Lord Hunter.[8] The Hunter Inquiry recommended that General Dyer, who commanded the troops, be dismissed, leading to Dyer's sacking. Many British citizens supported Dyer, whom they considered had received unfair treatment from the Hunter Inquiry. The conservative Morning Post newspaper collected a subscription of £26,000 for General Dyer and Sir Edward Carson moved a censure motion on Montagu which was nearly successful. Montagu was saved largely due to a strong speech in his defence by Winston Churchill.[3]

The Amritsar massacre further inflamed Indian nationalist sentiment ending the initial response of reluctant co-operation.[9] At the grass roots level, many young Indians wanted faster progress towards Indian independence and were disappointed by lack of advancement as Britons returned to their former positions in the administration. At the Indian National Congress annual session in September 1920, delegates supported Gandhi's proposal of swaraj or self-rule – preferably within the British Empire or out of it if necessary. The proposal was to be implemented through a policy of non-cooperation with British rule meaning that Congress did not field candidates in the first elections held under the Montagu-Chelmsford reforms in 1921.[5]


The Montagu-Chelmsford report stated that there should be a review after 10 years. Sir John Simon headed the committee (Simon Commission) responsible for the review, which recommended further constitutional change. Three round table conferences were held in London in 1930, 1931 and 1932 with representation of the major interests. Mahatma Gandhi attended the 1931 round table after negotiations with the British Government. But Jinnah's communal attitude was a hindrance to any decision being taken. The major disagreement between the Indian National Congress and the British was separate electorates for each community which Congress opposed but which were retained in Ramsay MacDonald's Communal Award. A new Government of India Act 1935 was passed continuing the move towards self-government first made in the Montagu-Chelmsford Report.[5]


1. Chandrika Kaul (2004). Montagu, Edwin Samuel (1879–1924). Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press.
2. Dixon, William Macneile. "Summary of Constitutional Reforms for India : being proposals of Secretary of State Montagu and the Viceroy, Lord Chelmsford". New York: G. G. Woodwark. p. 24. Retrieved 21 March 2016.
3. Ryland, Shane (1973). "Edwin Montagu in India, 19174918: Politics of the Montagu‐Chelmsford report". South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies. 3: 79–92. doi:10.1080/00856407308730678.
4. Woods, Philip (1994). "The Montagu‐Chelmsford reforms (1919): A re‐assessment". South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies. 17: 25–42. doi:10.1080/00856409408723196.
5. Madan Mohan Malaviya (2009). A criticism of Montagu-Chelmsford proposals of Indian constitutional reform. Chintamani. Columbia University Libraries Collection. pp. 1-8
6. The history and culture of Pakistan by Nigel Kelly page 62
7. "From the Archives (December 2, 1919): Mr. Tilak on Reforms". The Hindu. 2 December 2019. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
8. Nigel Collett (15 October 2006). The Butcher of Amritsar: General Reginald Dyer. A&C Black. p. 263.
9. "From the Archives (January 21, 1920): Montagu Must Go". The Hindu. 21 January 2020. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 26 January 2020. The India writes: The most horrifying and amazing fact about the Amritsar Massacre after the vile deed itself, is that it has been possible to conceal it for exactly eight months from the British people. For that concealment the Secretary of State for India cannot possibly evade their responsibility

Further reading

• Montagu Millennium entry on Montagu-Chelmsford Report
• One Scholar’s Bibliography
• Britannica Encyclopaedia: Montagu-Chelmsford Report
• Puja Mondal, Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms and the Government of India Act, 1919.
• Self study history: Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms
• Paul Johnson (1991). A History of the Modern World: from 1917 to the 1990s. Weidenfeld and Nicolson London.
• Merriam-Webster's Biographical Dictionary entry on Edwin Montagu (1995). Merriam-Webster
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Sat May 23, 2020 2:36 am

Young Bengal
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 5/22/20

Young Bengal
Founder: Henry Louis Vivian Derozio
Derozians: Dakshinaranjan Mukherjee • Hara Chandra Ghosh • Krishna Mohan Banerjee • Peary Chand Mitra • Radhanath Sikdar • Ramgopal Ghosh • Ramtanu Lahiri • Rasik Krishna Mallick • Sib Chandra Deb

The Young Bengal was a group of Bengali free thinkers emerging from Hindu College, Calcutta. They were also known as Derozians, after their firebrand teacher at Hindu College, Henry Louis Vivian Derozio.[1]

The Young Bengals were inspired and excited by the spirit of free thought and revolt against the existing social and religious structure of Hindu society. A number of Derozians were attracted to the Brahmo Samaj movement much later in life when they had lost their youthful fire and excitement. As one scholar characterized it:

"The Young Bengal movement was like a mighty storm that tried to sweep away everything before it. It was a storm that lashed society with violence causing some good, and perhaps naturally, some discomfort and distress."[2]

The Young Bengal Movement peripherally included Christians such as Reverend Alexander Duff (1806–1878), who founded the General Assembly's Institution, and his students like Lal Behari Dey (1824–1892), who went on to renounce Hinduism. Latter-day inheritors of the legacy of the Young Bengal Movement include scholars like Brajendra Nath Seal (1864–1938), who went on to be one of the leading theologians and thinkers of the Brahmo Samaj. The Derozians however failed to have a long term impact. Derozio was removed from the Hindu college in 1829 because of radicalism. The main reason for their limited success was social conditions prevailing at that time which were not ripe for adoption of radical ideas. Further they lacked to link masses like peasant cause.

Young Bengal followed classical economics, and was composed of free traders who took inspiration from Jeremy Bentham, Adam Smith, and David Ricardo:

"With respect to the questions relating to Political Economy, they all belong to the school of Adam Smith. They are clearly of opinion that the system of monopoly, the restraints upon trade, and the international laws of many countries, do nothing by paralyse the efforts of industry, impede the progress of agriculture and manufacture, and prevent commerce from flowing in its natural course."[3]


Derozio and the Young Bengal group set two establishments and published journals which played a role in the Bengal Renaissance. These are noted below:

Academic Association

Derozio joined Hindu College in 1826 and within a short period attracted students. The Academic Association, established in 1828 under the guidance of Derozio, arranged discussions on subjects such as:

Free will, free ordination, fate, faith, the sacredness of truth, the high duty of cultivating virtue, and the meanness of vice, the nobility of patriotism, the attributes of God, and the arguments for and against the existence of the deity as these have been set forth in Hume on one side, and Reid, Dugald Stewart and Brosn on the other, the hollowness of idolatry and the shames of priesthood.[4]

After moving around for a place for its meetings, it settled down in Maniktala. Derozio was its president. One of his students, Uma Charan Basu, was its secretary. The principal speakers in the association were: Rasik Krishna Mallick, Krishna Mohan Banerjee,[5] Ramgopal Ghosh, Radhanath Sikdar, Dakshinaranjan Mukherjee, and Hara Chandra Ghosh. Amongst its organisers were Ramtanu Lahiri, Sib Chandra Deb and Peary Chand Mitra.[6]

The sessions of the Academic Association attracted attention to such an extent that amongst those who used to be present fairly regularly were David Hare, Col. Benson, private secretary of Lord William Bentick, Col. Beatson, later adjutant general, and Dr. Mills, principal of Bishop's College. They applauded the youngsters for their brilliant oratory.[7]

Haramohan Chatterjee has written as follows about the debates in the association"

"The principles and practices of Hindu religion were openly ridiculed and condemned, and angry disputes were held on moral subjects; the sentiments of Hume had been widely diffused and warmly patronised."[7] The accusation of being irreligious is not entirely correct. The Derozian aim was in truth "to summon Hindusim to the bar of reason."[8] When Derozio was dismissed he wrote back, "That I should be called a sceptic and infidel is not surprising, as these names are always given to persons who think for themselves in religion…"[4] Derozio died in 1831, but the Academic Association was kept alive till about 1839. David Hare accepted the presidentship after Derozio.[9]

Society for the Acquisition of General Knowledge

The Society for the Acquisition of General Knowledge was established on 20 February 1838. It had 200 members in 1843.[10] Trachand Chakrabarti was its president, Ramgopal Ghosh its vice president and Peary Chand Mitra its president. The society elected David Hare as honorary visitor. Some of the prominent papers it published were: Nature of Historical Studies and Civil and Social Reform by Krishna Mohan Banerjee, Interests of the Female Sex and the State of Hindustan by Peary Chand Mitra, Sketch of Bankuja by Hara Chandra Ghosh, Notice of Tipperah, A New Spelling Book, Notices of Chittagong by Gobinda Chandra Basak.[11]

These associations of the Young Bengal group were forerunners of later organisations such as the Landholders’ Society, British India Society, and British Indian Association with all of which the Young Bengal group had links.[12]

Prominent members

Prominent Derozians and Young Bengal group members who left a distinct mark in Calcutta society of the 1830s and 1840s were:[13]

• Krishna Mohan Banerjee[5] (1813–1885), whose conversion to Christianity raised a great storm
• Tarachand Chakraborti (1805–1855), prominent in the Brahmo Sabha and Young Bengal
• Sib Chandra Deb (1811–1890), a prominent Brahmo Samaj leader of Konnagar
• Hara Chandra Ghosh (1808–1868), judge of the Small Causes Court.
• Ramgopal Ghosh (1815–1868), a successful businessman and public speaker whose attacks on the Black Acts and criticism of the European protests against a well-intentioned government move to bring Europeans on a par with the natives in judicial treatment were landmarks
• Ramtanu Lahiri (1813–1898), publicly removed his sacred thread in 1851 and as a teacher became a centre of progressive thoughts
• Rasik Krishna Mallick (1810–1858), refused to swear by the holy Ganges water and ran away from his orthodox home
• Peary Chand Mitra (1814–1883), founded the Monthly Magazine in Bengali that set a non-journalistic style of writing intelligibly to all, including average women, and also took part in establishing the Calcutta Public Library in 1831 which became an intellectual forum
• Dakshinaranjan Mukherjee (1818–1887), donated the site for the Bethune College for women
• Radhanath Sikdar (1813–1870), caused a sensation by refusing to marry a child bride and thereafter rose to be a surveyor, mathematician, diarist, writer, public speaker and the calculator of the height of the Himalayas. He was the first one to accurately measure the height of Mt. Everest but the peak was named after George Everest and not Radhanath Sikdar.


1. SHARMA, MAYANK. "Essay on 'Derozio and the Young Bengal Movement'".
2. Bose, N.S. (1960) The Indian Awakening and Bengal, Calcutta, Firma K.L. Mukhopadhyay.
3. Sartori, Andrew. (2008) Bengal in Global Concept History, Chicago, University of Chicago Press. p92-93
4. Sengupta, Nitish, p282.
5. Das, Mayukh (2014). Reverend Krishnamohan Bandyopadhyaya. Kolkata: Paschimbanga Anchalik Itihas O Loksanskriti Charcha Kendra. ISBN 978-81-926316-0-8.
6. Sastri, Sivanath, Ramtanu Lahiri O Tatkalin Banga Samaj, (in Bengali)1903/2001, p69, New Age Publishers Pvt. Ltd.
7. Sastri, Sivanath, p69
8. Sengupta, Nitish, p232.
9. Sengupta, Nitish, p230.
10. Sengupta, Nitish, pp 230, 282.
11. Sengupta, Nitish, pp. 230-231.
12. Sengupta, Nitish, p231.
13. Sengupta, Nitish K. (2001) History of the Bengali-speaking people, pp227-228, New Delhi : UBS Publishers' Distributors. ISBN 978-81-7476-355-6

Further reading

• Chattopadhyay, G. 1965. Awakening in Bengal in Early Nineteenth Century, Progressive Publishers, Calcutta.
• Chaudhuri, R. 2000. Young India: A Bengal Eclogue: Or Meat-eating, Race, and Reform in a Colonial Poem, Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies, Routledge, Volume 2, Number 3, 424-441.

External links

• Young Bengal in Banglapedia
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Indian National Association [Indian Association]
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 5/22/20

The Indian National Association also known as Indian Association was the first avowed nationalist organization founded in British India by Surendranath Banerjee and Ananda Mohan Bose in 1876.[1] The objectives of this Association were "promoting by every legitimate means the political, intellectual and material advancement of the people". The Association attracted educated Indians and civic leaders from all parts of the country, and became an important forum for India's aspirations for independence. It later merged with the Indian National Congress.


Indian Association formed in 1876 was one of the pioneer political associations with an all India outlook. During the second half of the 19th century, India witnessed marked changes in social and economic life. One of the striking developments of this time was the growth of political consciousness leading to the birth of political associations and national movements for independence. Prior to the Indian Association, Sisir Kumar Ghosh along with Sambhu Charan Mukherjee founded 'The India League' in Calcutta on 25 September 1875. The nationalist leaders like Ananda Mohan Bose, Durga Mohan Das, Nabagopal Mitra, Surendranath Banerjee and others were associated with this organisation. The League represented the middle class and worked to stimulate the sense of nationalism among the people and to encourage political education. With a broad vision of an all India outlook, the leaders kept the organisation above narrow provincial and communal politics.

But soon the League foundered and shortly afterwards Surendranath Banerjee founded the Indian Association along with his friend Ananda Mohan Bose on 26 September 1876. The leaders who were associated with this organisation were Sivanath Sastri, Kristodas Pal, Dwarakanath Ganguly, Narendra Kishore, and others. Rev Krishna Mohan Banerjee and Ananda Mohan Bose were elected the first President and Secretary respectively of the Association. There was not much difference between the India League and the Indian Association in objectives and outlook. Both of them had worked to help the growth of national awakening and political unity among the educated middle class in India. The very name 'Indian Association' implied that national movement was assuming an all India character in outlook and approach.

The Association started its programme with a number of objects: (a) the creation of a strong body of public opinion in the country; (b) the unity of the Indian races and peoples on the basis of common political interest and aspirations; (c) the promotion of friendly feeling between Hindus and Muslims and (d) the inclusion of the masses
in the great public movement of the time.

Prior to Indian National Association, there was no political organisation in Bengal that represented the interest of the middle class and the raiyats. The Association gave the young middle-class community a political platform on a more democratic basis. The leaders of the Association were mostly educated young men, lawyers, and journalists. Surprisingly it did not include big business leaders and landlords as members. In the words of Anil Seal, the Indian Association had worked as a pressure group for graduates and professional men, which claimed to represent 'The middle class'.

Being founded by moderate leaders like Surendranath Banerjea and Ananda Mohan Bose, who were also at the helm of its affairs, the Association was above extreme and narrow Hindu nationalism and parochialism. As a gesture of friendship and goodwill towards the Muslims, they invited Nawab Mohammad Ali to preside over its second annual conference. Indeed, the Indian Association had laid the foundation for the growth of national awakening and political consciousness that ultimately saw the establishment of the Indian national congress in 1885, and for this Surendranath Banerjea deserves credit. In fact, the Association was the forerunner of the Congress.

Right from its birth, the Association started its work in right earnest. The reduction of age limit (1877) from 21 to 19 years for the candidates of the Indian Civil Service examination gave it an excellent opportunity to start an all India movement. Under the leadership of Surendranath Banerjee, the Association strongly protested against this unjust decision. Surendranath was chosen as a special delegate to visit different parts of India to secure support for the memorial that the Association intended to send to British Parliament. Surendranath's tour of India was a great success. It enkindled a new spirit of nationalism, which helped to create a feeling of national unity on important political issues. He was the first politician to receive all India popularity. Under his able leadership, the Association demanded simultaneous holding of civil service examination in England and India and Indianisation of higher administrative posts. Besides, the Association led the campaign against the repressive arms act (1878), the vernacular press act, and the exemption of duties on cotton goods. Public meetings were held in Calcutta demanding the removal of racial inequality between Indians and Europeans and reduction of the salt tax. The Association gave its support to the Bengal tenancy act of 1885 and demanded self Government in India.

It is true that with the establishment of the Indian National Congress, the Association gradually lost much of its political importance. Yet it must be given the credit for initiating the idea of holding an all India conference with representatives from every province. The first Indian National Conference was accordingly held in Calcutta in 1883. The second National Conference, organised by the Association, held in 1885 in Calcutta. It coincided with that of the National Congress, which was meeting for the first time in Bombay in December 1885. The Indian Association expressed its solidarity and decided its merger with the Congress when the National Congress was organising its second annual conference in Calcutta in December 1886.

It is true that the Indian Association lost its earlier political importance as soon as Congress began to function as an all India organisation. Even then when the partition of Bengal (1905) occurred, the Association under the leadership of Surendranath Banerjea became very active. The Association, under the leadership of Surendranath, organised the Boycott and swadeshi movement against the partition, raised a National Fund, drew up a National Educational Policy and, in 1906, formally inaugurated the National Council of Education. Violent agitation compelled the government to revoke the partition of Bengal in December 1911. After the annulment of the partition, the Indian Association lost much of its political importance and continued its existence being engaged mainly in social works.


1. "Indian Associationpolitical organization, India". Retrieved 10 September 2015.
• Jogesh Chandra Bagal (1953). History of the Indian Association, 1876-1951. Indian Association.
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David Ricardo
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 5/22/20

The Right Honourable David Ricardo
Portrait of David Ricardo by Thomas Phillips, circa 1821. This painting shows Ricardo, aged 49, two years before his death.
Member of Parliament for Portarlington
In office: 20 February 1819 – 11 September 1823
Preceded by: Richard Sharp
Succeeded by: James Farquhar
Personal details
Born: 18 April 1772, London, England
Died: 11 September 1823 (aged 51), Gatcombe Park, Gloucestershire, England
Nationality: British
Political party: Whig
Spouse(s): Priscilla Anne Wilkinson (m. 1793⁠–⁠1823)
Children: 6 children, including David the Younger
Profession: Businessman economist
Academic career, School or tradition: Classical economics
Influences: Smith · Bentham
Contributions: Ricardian equivalence, labour theory of value, comparative advantage, law of diminishing returns, Ricardian socialism, Economic rent[1]

David Ricardo (18 April 1772 – 11 September 1823) was a British political economist, one of the most influential of the classical economists along with Thomas Malthus, Adam Smith and James Mill.[2][3]

Personal life

Born in London, England, Ricardo was the third surviving of the 17 children of Abigail Delvalle (1753–1801) and her husband Abraham Israel Ricardo (1733?–1812).[4] His family were Sephardic Jews of Portuguese origin who had recently relocated from the Dutch Republic.[5] His father was a successful stockbroker[5] and Ricardo began working with him at the age of 14. At the age of 21, Ricardo eloped with a Quaker, Priscilla Anne Wilkinson, and, against his father's wishes, converted to the Unitarian faith.[6] This religious difference resulted in estrangement from his family, and he was led to adopt a position of independence.[7] His father disowned him and his mother apparently never spoke to him again.[8]

Following this estrangement he went into business for himself with the support of Lubbocks and Forster, an eminent banking house. He made the bulk of his fortune as a result of speculation on the outcome of the Battle of Waterloo. The Sunday Times reported in Ricardo's obituary, published on 14 September 1823, that during the Battle of Waterloo Ricardo "netted upwards of a million sterling", a huge sum at the time. He immediately retired, his position on the floor no longer tenable, and subsequently purchased Gatcombe Park, an estate in Gloucestershire, now owned by Princess Anne, the Princess Royal and retired to the country. He was appointed High Sheriff of Gloucestershire for 1818–19.[9]

In August 1818 he bought Lord Portarlington's seat in Parliament for £4,000, as part of the terms of a loan of £25,000. His record in Parliament was that of an earnest reformer. He held the seat until his death five years later.

Ricardo was a close friend of James Mill. Other notable friends included Jeremy Bentham and Thomas Malthus, with whom Ricardo had a considerable debate (in correspondence) over such things as the role of landowners in a society. He also was a member of Malthus' Political Economy Club, and a member of the King of Clubs. He was one of the original members of The Geological Society.[8] His youngest sister was author Sarah Ricardo-Porter (e.g., Conversations in Arithmetic).

Parliamentary record

He voted with the opposition in support of the liberal movements in Naples, 21 February, and Sicily, 21 June, and for inquiry into the administration of justice in Tobago, 6 June. He divided for repeal of the Blasphemous and Seditious Libels Act, 8 May, inquiry into the Peterloo massacre, 16 May, and abolition of the death penalty for forgery, 25 May, 4 June 1821.

He adamantly supported the implementation of free trade. He voted against renewal of the sugar duties, 9 Feb, and objected to the higher duty on East as opposed to West Indian produce, 4 May 1821. He opposed the timber duties. He voted silently for parliamentary reform, 25 Apr 3 June, and spoke in its favour at the Westminster anniversary reform dinner, 23 May 1822. He again voted for criminal law reform, 4 June.

His friend John Louis Mallett commented: " … he meets you upon every subject that he has studied with a mind made up, and opinions in the nature of mathematical truths. He spoke of parliamentary reform and ballot as a man who would bring such things about, and destroy the existing system tomorrow, if it were in his power, and without the slightest doubt on the result … It is this very quality of the man’s mind, his entire disregard of experience and practice, which makes me doubtful of his opinions on political economy."

Death and legacy

Ten years after retiring and four years after entering Parliament Ricardo died from an infection of the middle ear that spread into his brain and induced septicaemia. He was 51.

He and his wife Priscilla had eight children together including Osman Ricardo (1795–1881; MP for Worcester 1847–1865), David Ricardo (1803–1864, MP for Stroud 1832–1833) and Mortimer Ricardo, who served as an officer in the Life Guards and was a deputy lieutenant for Oxfordshire.[10]

Ricardo is buried in an ornate grave in the churchyard of Saint Nicholas in Hardenhuish, now a suburb of Chippenham, Wiltshire. At the time of his death his assets were estimated at between £675,000–£775,000.[4]


He wrote his first economics article at age 37, firstly in The Morning Chronicle advocating reduction in the note-issuing of the Bank of England and then publishing The High Price of Bullion, a Proof of the Depreciation of Bank Notes in 1810.[11]

He was also an abolitionist, speaking at a meeting of the Court of the East India Company in March 1823, where he said he regarded slavery as a stain on the character of the nation.[12]

Value theory

Ricardo's most famous work is his Principles of Political Economy and Taxation (1817). He advanced a labor theory of value:[13]

The value of a commodity, or the quantity of any other commodity for which it will exchange, depends on the relative quantity of labour which is necessary for its production, and not on the greater or less compensation which is paid for that labour.

Ricardo's note to Section VI:[14]

Mr. Malthus appears to think that it is a part of my doctrine, that the cost and value of a thing be the same;—it is, if he means by cost, "cost of production" including profit.


Main article: Law of rent

Ricardo contributed to the development of theories of rent, wages, and profits. He defined rent as "the difference between the produce obtained by the employment of two equal quantities of capital and labor." Ricardo believed that the process of economic development, which increased land utilization and eventually led to the cultivation of poorer land, principally benefited landowners. According to Ricardo, such premium over "real social value" that is reaped due to ownership constitutes value to an individual but is at best[15] a paper monetary return to "society". The portion of such purely individual benefit that accrues to scarce resources Ricardo labels "rent".

Ricardo's theories of wages and profits

In his Theory of Profit, Ricardo stated that as real wages increase, real profits decrease because the revenue from the sale of manufactured goods is split between profits and wages. He said in his Essay on Profits, "Profits depend on high or low wages, wages on the price of necessaries, and the price of necessaries chiefly on the price of food."

Ricardian theory of international trade

Between 1500 and 1750 most economists advocated Mercantilism which promoted the idea of international trade for the purpose of earning bullion by running a trade surplus with other countries. Ricardo challenged the idea that the purpose of trade was merely to accumulate gold or silver. With "comparative advantage" Ricardo argued in favour of industry specialisation and free trade. He suggested that industry specialization combined with free international trade always produces positive results. This theory expanded on the concept of absolute advantage.

Ricardo suggested that there is mutual national benefit from trade even if one country is more competitive in every area than its trading counterpart and that a nation should concentrate resources only in industries where it has a comparative advantage,[16] that is in those industries in which it has the greatest competitive edge. Ricardo suggested that national industries which were, in fact, profitable and internationally competitive should be jettisoned in favour of the most competitive industries, the assumption being that subsequent economic growth would more than offset any economic dislocation which would result from closing profitable and competitive national industries.

Ricardo attempted to prove theoretically that international trade is always beneficial.[17] Paul Samuelson called the numbers used in Ricardo's example dealing with trade between England and Portugal the "four magic numbers".[18] "In spite of the fact that the Portuguese could produce both cloth and wine with less amount of labor, Ricardo suggested that both countries would benefit from trade with each other".

As for recent extensions of Ricardian models, see Ricardian trade theory extensions.

Comparative advantage

Ricardo's theory of international trade was reformulated by John Stuart Mill.[19] The term "comparative advantage" was started by J. S. Mill and his contemporaries.

John Stuart Mill started a neoclassical turn of international trade theory, i.e. his formulation was inherited by Alfred Marshall and others and contributed to the resurrection of anti-Ricardian concept of law of supply and demand and induce the arrival neoclassical theory of value.[20]

New interpretation

Ricardo's four magic numbers has long been interpreted as comparison of two ratios of labor input coefficients. This interpretation is now considered as erroneous. This point was first made by Roy J. Ruffin[21] in 2002 and examined and explained in detail in Andrea Maneschi[22] in 2004. This is now known as new interpretation but it has been mentioned by P. Sraffa in 1930 and by Kenzo Yukizawa in 1974.[23] The new interpretation affords totally new reading of Ricardo's Principles of Political Economy and Taxation with regards to trade theory.[24]


Like Adam Smith, Ricardo was an opponent of protectionism for national economies, especially for agriculture. He believed that the British "Corn Laws" – imposing tariffs on agricultural products – ensured that less-productive domestic land would be cultivated and rents would be driven up (Case & Fair 1999, pp. 812, 813). Thus, profits would be directed toward landlords and away from the emerging industrial capitalists. Ricardo believed landlords tended to squander their wealth on luxuries, rather than invest. He believed the Corn Laws were leading to the stagnation of the British economy.[25] In 1846, his nephew John Lewis Ricardo, MP for Stoke-upon-Trent, advocated free trade and the repeal of the Corn Laws.

Modern empirical analysis of the Corn Laws yields mixed results.[26] Parliament repealed the Corn Laws in 1846.

Technological change

Ricardo was concerned about the impact of technological change on labor in the short-term.[27] In 1821, he wrote that he had become "convinced that the substitution of machinery for human labour, is often very injurious to the interests of the class of labourers," and that "the opinion entertained by the labouring class, that the employment of machinery is frequently detrimental to their interests, is not founded on prejudice and error, but is conformable to the correct principles of political economy."[27]

Criticism of the Ricardian theory of trade

Ricardo himself was the first to recognize that comparative advantage is a domain-specific theory, meaning that it applies only when certain conditions are met. Ricardo noted that the theory applies only in situations where capital is immobile. Regarding his famous example, he wrote:

it would undoubtedly be advantageous to the capitalists [and consumers] of England… [that] the wine and cloth should both be made in Portugal [and that] the capital and labour of England employed in making cloth should be removed to Portugal for that purpose.[28]

Ricardo recognized that applying his theory in situations where capital was mobile would result in offshoring, and thereby economic decline and job loss. To correct for this, he argued that (i) most men of property [will be] satisfied with a low rate of profits in their own country, rather than seek[ing] a more advantageous employment for their wealth in foreign nations, and (ii) that capital was functionally immobile.[28]

Ricardo's argument in favour of free trade has also been attacked by those who believe trade restriction can be necessary for the economic development of a nation. Utsa Patnaik claims that Ricardian theory of international trade contains a logical fallacy. Ricardo assumed that in both countries two goods are producible and actually are produced, but developed and underdeveloped countries often trade those goods which are not producible in their own country. In these cases, one cannot define which country has comparative advantage.[29]

Critics also argue that Ricardo's theory of comparative advantage is flawed in that it assumes production is continuous and absolute. In the real world, events outside the realm of human control (e.g. natural disasters) can disrupt production. In this case, specialisation could cripple a country that depends on imports from foreign, naturally disrupted countries. For example, if an industrially based country trades its manufactured goods with an agrarian country in exchange for agricultural products, a natural disaster in the agricultural country (e.g. drought) may cause the industrially based country to starve.

As Joan Robinson pointed out, following the opening of free trade with England, Portugal endured centuries of economic underdevelopment: "the imposition of free trade on Portugal killed off a promising textile industry and left her with a slow-growing export market for wine, while for England, exports of cotton cloth led to accumulation, mechanisation and the whole spiralling growth of the industrial revolution". Robinson argued that Ricardo's example required that economies be in static equilibrium positions with full employment and that there could not be a trade deficit or a trade surplus. These conditions, she wrote, were not relevant to the real world. She also argued that Ricardo's math did not take into account that some countries may be at different levels of development and that this raised the prospect of 'unequal exchange' which might hamper a country's development, as we saw in the case of Portugal.[30]

The development economist Ha-Joon Chang challenges the argument that free trade benefits every country:

Ricardo’s theory is absolutely right—within its narrow confines. His theory correctly says that, accepting their current levels of technology as given, it is better for countries to specialize in things that they are relatively better at. One cannot argue with that. His theory fails when a country wants to acquire more advanced technologies—that is, when it wants to develop its economy. It takes time and experience to absorb new technologies, so technologically backward producers need a period of protection from international competition during this period of learning. Such protection is costly, because the country is giving up the chance to import better and cheaper products. However, it is a price that has to be paid if it wants to develop advanced industries. Ricardo’s theory is, thus seen, for those who accept the status quo but not for those who want to change it.[31]

Ricardian equivalence

Another idea associated with Ricardo is Ricardian equivalence, an argument suggesting that in some circumstances a government's choice of how to pay for its spending (i.e., whether to use tax revenue or issue debt and run a deficit) might have no effect on the economy. This is due to the fact the public saves its excess money to pay for expected future tax increases that will be used to pay off the debt. Ricardo notes that the proposition is theoretically implied in the presence of intertemporal optimisation by rational tax-payers: but that since tax-payers do not act so rationally, the proposition fails to be true in practice. Thus, while the proposition bears his name, he does not seem to have believed it. Economist Robert Barro is responsible for its modern prominence.

Influence and intellectual legacy

David Ricardo's ideas had a tremendous influence on later developments in economics. US economists rank Ricardo as the second most influential economic thinker, behind Adam Smith, prior to the twentieth century.[32]

Ricardo became the theoretical father of classical political economy. However, Schumpeter coined an expression Ricardian vice, which indicates that rigorous logic does not provide a good economic theory.[33] This criticism applies also to most neoclassical theories, which make heavy use of mathematics, but are, according to him, theoretically unsound, because the conclusion being drawn does not logically follow from the theories used to defend it.[citation needed]

Ricardian socialists

Main article: Ricardian socialism

Ricardo's writings fascinated a number of early socialists in the 1820s, who thought his value theory had radical implications. They argued that, in view of labor theory of value, labor produces the entire product, and the profits capitalists get are a result of exploitations of workers.[34] These include Thomas Hodgskin, William Thompson, John Francis Bray, and Percy Ravenstone.


Georgists believe that rent, in the sense that Ricardo used, belongs to the community as a whole. Henry George was greatly influenced by Ricardo, and often cited him, including in his most famous work, Progress and Poverty from 1879. In the preface to the fourth edition, he wrote: "What I have done in this book, if I have correctly solved the great problem I have sought to investigate, is, to unite the truth perceived by the school of Smith and Ricardo to the truth perceived by the school of Proudhon and Lasalle; to show that laissez faire (in its full true meaning) opens the way to a realization of the noble dreams of socialism; to identify social law with moral law, and to disprove ideas which in the minds of many cloud grand and elevating perceptions."[35]


After the rise of the 'neoclassical' school, Ricardo's influence declined temporarily. It was Piero Sraffa, the editor of the Collected Works of David Ricardo[36] and the author of seminal Production of Commodities by Means of Commodities,[37] who resurrected Ricardo as the originator of another strand of economics thought, which was effaced with the arrival of the neoclassical school. The new interpretation of Ricardo and Sraffa's criticism against the marginal theory of value gave rise to a new school, now named neo-Ricardian or Sraffian school. Major contributors to this school includes Luigi Pasinetti (1930–), Pierangelo Garegnani (1930–2011), Ian Steedman (1941–), Geoffrey Harcourt (1931–), Heinz Kurz (1946–), Neri Salvadori (1951–), Pier Paolo Saviotti (–) among others. See also Neo-Ricardianism. The Neo-Ricardian school is sometimes seen to be a component of Post-Keynesian economics.

Neo-Ricardian trade theory

Inspired by Piero Sraffa, a new strand of trade theory emerged and was named neo-Ricardian trade theory. The main contributors include Ian Steedman and Stanley Metcalfe. They have criticised neoclassical international trade theory, namely the Heckscher–Ohlin model on the basis that the notion of capital as primary factor has no method of measuring it before the determination of profit rate (thus trapped in a logical vicious circle).[38][39] This was a second round of the Cambridge capital controversy, this time in the field of international trade.[40] Depoortère and Ravix judge that neo-Ricardian contribution failed without giving effective impact on neoclassical trade theory, because it could not offer "a genuine alternative approach from a classical point of view."[41]

Evolutionary growth theory

Several distinctive groups have sprung out of the neo-Ricardian school. One is the evolutionary growth theory, developed notably by Luigi Pasinetti, J.S. Metcalfe, Pier Paolo Saviotti, and Koen Frenken and others.[42][43]

Pasinetti[44][45] argued that the demand for any commodity came to stagnate and frequently decline, demand saturation occurs. Introduction of new commodities (goods and services) is necessary to avoid economic stagnation.

Contemporary theories

Main article: International trade theory § Ricardian trade theory extensions

Ricardo's idea was even expanded to the case of continuum of goods by Dornbusch, Fischer, and Samuelson[46] This formulation is employed for example by Matsuyama[47] and others.

Ricardian trade theory ordinarily assumes that the labour is the unique input. This is a deficiency as intermediate goods are a great part of international trade. The situation changed after the appearance of Yoshinori Shiozawa's work of 2007.[48] He has succeeded to incorporate traded input goods in his model.[49]

Yeats found that 30% of world trade in manufacturing is intermediate inputs.[50] Bardhan and Jafee found that intermediate inputs occupy 37 to 38% in the imports to the US for the years from 1992 to 1997, whereas the percentage of intrafirm trade grew from 43% in 1992 to 52% in 1997.[51]

Unequal exchange

Chris Edward includes Emmanuel's unequal exchange theory among variations of neo-Ricardian trade theory.[52] Arghiri Emmanuel argued that the Third World is poor because of the international exploitation[clarification needed] of labour.[53][verification needed]

The unequal exchange theory of trade has been influential to the (new) dependency theory.[54]


Works, 1852

Ricardo's publications included:

• The High Price of Bullion, a Proof of the Depreciation of Bank Notes (1810), which advocated the adoption of a metallic currency.
• Essay on the Influence of a Low Price of Corn on the Profits of Stock (1815), which argued that repealing the Corn Laws would distribute more wealth to the productive members of society.
• On the Principles of Political Economy and Taxation (1817), an analysis that concluded that land rent grows as population increases. It also clearly laid out the theory of comparative advantage, which argued that all nations could benefit from free trade, even if a nation was less efficient at producing all kinds of goods than its trading partners.
His works and writings were collected in Ricardo, David (1981). The works and correspondence of David Ricardo (1st paperback ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521285054. OCLC 10251383.



1. Miller, Roger LeRoy. Economics Today. Fifteenth Edition. Boston, MA: Pearson Education. p. 559
2. Sowell, Thomas (2006). On classical economics. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
3. "David Ricardo | Policonomics".
4. Matthew, H. C. G.; Harrison, B., eds. (23 September 2004). "The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography(online ed.). Oxford University Press. pp. ref:odnb/23471. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/23471. Retrieved 14 December 2019. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
5. Heertje, Arnold (2004). "The Dutch and Portuguese-Jewish background of David Ricardo". European Journal of the History of Economic Thought. 11 (2): 281–94. doi:10.1080/0967256042000209288.
6. Francisco Solano Constancio, Paul Henri Alcide Fonteyraud. 1847. Œuvres complètes de David Ricardo, Guillaumin, (pp. v–xlviii): A part sa conversion au Christianisme et son mariage avec une femme qu'il eut l'audace grande d'aimer malgré les ordres de son père
7. Ricardo, David. 1919. Principles of Political Economy and Taxation. G. Bell, p. lix: "by reason of a religious difference with his father, to adopt a position of independence at a time when he should have been undergoing that academic training"
8. Sraffa, Piero; David Ricardo (1955), The Works and Correspondence of David Ricardo: Volume 10, Biographical Miscellany, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, p. 434, ISBN 0-521-06075-3
9. "No. 17326". The London Gazette. 24 January 1818. p. 188.
10. "RICARDO, David (1772–1823), of Gatcombe Park, Minchinhampton, Glos. and 56 Upper Brook Street, Grosvenor Square, Mdx". History of Parliament Online. Retrieved 18 September 2013.
11. Hayek, Friedrich (1991). "The Restriction Period, 1797–1821, and the Bullion Debate". The Trend of Economic Thinking. pp. 199–200. ISBN 978-0865977426.
12. King, John (2013). David Ricardo. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 48.
13. Ricardo, David (1817) On the Principles of Political Economy and Taxation. Piero Sraffa (Ed.) Works and Correspondence of David Ricardo, Volume I, Cambridge University Press, 1951, p. 11.
14. Ricardo, David (1817) On the Principles of Political Economy and Taxation. Piero Sraffa (Ed.) Works and Correspondence of David Ricardo, Volume I, Cambridge University Press, 1951, p. 47.
15. On The Principles of Political Economy and Taxation London: John Murray, Albemarle-Street, by David Ricardo, 1817 (third edition 1821) – Chapter 6, On Profits: paragraph 28, "Thus, taking the former . . ." and paragraph 33, "There can, however...."
16. Roberts, Paul Craig (28 August 2003), "The Trade Question", The Washington Times
17. Ricardo, David (1817) On the Principles of Political Economy and Taxation. Piero Sraffa (Ed.) Works and Correspondence of David Ricardo, Volume I, Cambridge University Press, 1951, p. 135.
18. Samuelson, Paul A. (1972), "The Way of an Economist." Reprinted in The Collected Papers of Paul A. Samuelson. Ed. R. C. Merton. Cambridge: Cambridge MIT Press. p. 378.
19. Mill, J. S. (1844) Essays on some unsettled questions of political economy.London, John W. Parker; Mill, J. S. (1848) The principles of political economy. (vol. I and II) Boston: C.C.Little & J. Brown.
20. Shiozawa, Y. (2017) An Origin of the Neoclassicla Revolutions: Mill's "Reversion" and its consequences. In Shiozawa, Oka,and Tabuchi (eds.) A New Construction of Ricardian Theory of International Values, Tokyo: Springer Japan, Chapter 7 pp.191–243.
21. Ruffin, R.J. (2002) David Ricardo's discovery of comparative advantage. History of Political Economy 34(4): 727–748.
22. Maneschi, A. (2004) The true meaning of David Ricardo's four magic numbers. Journal of International Economics 62(2): 433–443.
23. Tabuchi, T. (2017) Yukizawa's interpretation of Ricardo's 'theory of comparative cost'. In Senga, Fujimoto, and Tabuchi (Eds.) Ricardo and International Trade, London and New York; Routledge, Chapter 4, pp.48–59.
24. Faccarello, G. (2017) A calm investigation into Mr. Ricardo's principle of international trade. In Senga, Fujimoto, and Tabuchi (Eds.) Ricardo and International Trade, London and New York; Routledge. Tabuchi, T. (2017) Comparative Advantage in the Light of the Old Value Theories. In Shiozawa, Oka,and Tabuchi (eds.) A New Construction of Ricardian Theory of International Values, Tokyo: Springer Japan, Chapter 9 pp.265–280.
25. Letter of Mill cited in The works and correspondence of David Ricardo. : Volume 9, Letters July 1821–1823 (Cambridge, UK, 1952)
26. Williamson, J. G. (1990). "The impact of the Corn Laws just prior to repeal". Explorations in Economic History. 27 (2): 123. doi:10.1016/0014-4983(90)90007-L.
27. Hollander, Samuel (2019). "Retrospectives Ricardo on Machinery". Journal of Economic Perspectives. 33 (2): 229–242. doi:10.1257/jep.33.2.229. ISSN 0895-3309.
28. Ricardo, David (1821). On the Principles of Political Economy and Taxation. John Murray. p. 7.19.
29. Patnaik, Uta (2005). "Ricardo's Fallacy/ Mutual Benefit from Trade Based on Comparative Costs and Specialization?". In Jomo, K. S. (ed.). The Pioneers of Development Economics: Great Economists on Development. London and New York: Zed books. pp. 31–41. ISBN 81-85229-99-6.
30. Robinson, Joan (1979). Aspects of Development and Underdevelopment. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 103. ISBN 0521226376.
31. Chang, Ha-Joon (2007), "Bad Samaritans", Chapter 2, pp. 30–31.
32. Davis, William L., Bob Figgins, David Hedengren, and Daniel B. Klein. "Economics Professors' Favorite Economic Thinkers, Journals and Blogs (along with Party and Policy Views)," Econ Journal Watch 8(2): 126–46, May 2011 [1].
33. Schumpeter, History of Economic Analysis, (published posthumously, ed. Elisabeth Boody Schumpeter), 1954. pp. 569, 1171. Schumpeter also criticized J. M. Keynes for committing the same Ricardian vice.
34. Landreth Colander 1989 History of Economic Thought Second Edition, p.137.
35. George, Henry, Progress and Poverty. Preface to the 4th Edition, November 1880.
36. Piero Sraffa and M.H. Dobb, editors (1951–1973). The Works and Correspondence of David Ricardo. Cambridge University Press, 11 volumes.
37. Sraffa, Piero 1960, Production of Commodities by Means of Commodities: Prelude to a Critique of Economic Theory. Cambridge University Press.
38. Steedman, Ian, ed. (1979). Fundamental Issues in Trade Theory. London: MacMillan. ISBN 0-333-25834-7.
39. Steedman, Ian (1979). Trade Amongst Growing Economies. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. pp. &#91, page needed&#93, . ISBN 0-521-22671-6.
40. Edwards, Chris (1985). "§ 3.2 The 'Sraffian' Approach to Trade Theory". The Fragmented World: Competing Perspectives on Trade, Money, and Crisis. London and New York: Methuen & Co. pp. 48–51. ISBN 0-416-73390-5.
41. Christophe Depoortère, Joël Thomas Ravix 2015 The classical theory of international trade after Sraffa. Cahiers d'économie Politique / Papers in Political Economy (69): 203–34, February 2015.
42. Pasinetti, Luisi 1981 Structural change and economic growth, Cambridge University Press. J.S. Metcalfe and P.P. Saviotti (eds.), 1991, Evolutionary Theories of Economic and Technological Change, Harwood, 275 pages. J.S. Metcalfe 1998, Evolutionary Economics and Creative Destruction, Routledge, London. Frenken, K., Van Oort, F.G., Verburg, T., Boschma, R.A. (2004). Variety and Regional Economic Growth in the Netherlands – Final Report (The Hague: Ministry of Economic Affairs), 58 p. (pdf)
43. Saviotti, Pier Paolo; Frenken, Koen (2008), "Export variety and the economic performance of countries", Journal of Evolutionary Economics, 18 (2): 201–18, doi:10.1007/s00191-007-0081-5
44. Pasinetti, Luigi L. (1981), Structural change and economic growth: a theoretical essay on the dynamics of the wealth of nations, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, pp. &#91, page needed&#93, , ISBN 0-521-27410-9
45. Pasinetti, Luigi L. (1993), Structural economic dynamics: a theory of the economic consequences of human learning, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, pp. &#91, page needed&#93, , ISBN 0-521-43282-0
46. Dornbusch, R.; Fischer, S.; Samuelson, P. A. (1977), "Comparative Advantage, Trade, and Payments in a Ricardian Model with a Continuum of Goods" (PDF), The American Economic Review, 67 (5): 823–39, JSTOR 1828066, archived from the original (PDF) on 16 May 2011
47. Matsuyama, K. (2000), "A Ricardian Model with a Continuum of Goods under Nonhomothetic Preferences: Demand Complementarities, Income Distribution, and North–South Trade" (PDF), Journal of Political Economy, 108 (6): 1093–120, doi:10.1086/317684.
48. Shiozawa, Y. (2007). "A New Construction of Ricardian Trade Theory: A Multi-country, Multi-commodity Case with Intermediate Goods and Choice of Production Techniques". Evolutionary and Institutional Economics Review. 3 (2): 141–87. doi:10.14441/eier.3.141.
49. Y. Shiozawa (2017) The new theory of international values: An overview. Shiozawa, Oka and Tabuchi (eds.) A New Construction of Ricardian Theory of International Values. Singapore: Springer. Chapter 1, pp.3–73.
50. Yeats, A. (2001). "Just How Big is Global Production Sharing?". In Arndt, S.; Kierzkowski, H. (eds.). Fragmentation: New Production Patterns in the World Economy. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-924331-X.
51. Bardhan, Ashok Deo; Jaffee, Dwight (2004). "On Intra-Firm Trade and Multinationals: Foreign Outsourcing and Offshoring in Manufacturing". In Graham, Monty; Solow, Robert (eds.). The Role of Foreign Direct Investment and Multinational Corporations in Economic Development.[verification needed]
52. Chris Edwards 1985 The Fragmented World: Competing Perspectives on Trade, Money and Crisis, London and New York: Methuen. Chapter 4.
53. Emmanuel, Arghiri (1972), Unequal exchange; a study of the imperialism of trade, New York: Monthly Review Press, pp. &#91, page needed&#93, , ISBN 0-85345-188-5
54. Palma, G (1978), "Dependency: A formal theory of underdevelopment or a methodology for the analysis of concrete situations of underdevelopment?", World Development, 6 (7–8): 881–924, doi:10.1016/0305-750X(78)90051-7


By David Ricardo

• Case, Karl E.; Fair, Ray C. (1999), Principles of Economics (5th ed.), Prentice-Hall, ISBN 0-13-961905-4
• Samuel Hollander (1979). The Economics of David Ricardo. University of Toronto Press.
• G. de Vivo (1987). "Ricardo, David," The New Palgrave: A Dictionary of Economics, v. 4, pp. 183–98
• Samuelson, P.A. (2001), "Ricardo, David (1772–1823)", International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, pp. 13330–13334, doi:10.1016/B0-08-043076-7/00324-7, ISBN 9780080430768
• (in French) Éric Pichet, David RICARDO, le premier théoricien de l'économie, Les éditions du siècle, 2004*

External links

• Works by David Ricardo at Project Gutenberg
• Works by or about David Ricardo at Internet Archive
• Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by David Ricardo
• Biography at New School University
• Biography at EH.Net Encyclopedia of Economic History
• Ricardo on Value: the Three Chapter Ones. A presentation tracing the changes in the Principles' (University of Southampton).
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Adam Smith
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Adam Smith, FRSA
The Muir portrait at the Scottish National Gallery
Born: c. 16 June [O.S. c. 5 June] 1723[1], Kirkcaldy, Fife, Scotland
Died: 17 July 1790 (aged 67), Edinburgh, Scotland
Nationality: Scottish
Alma mater: University of Glasgow; Balliol College, Oxford
Notable work: The Wealth of Nations; The Theory of Moral Sentiments
Region: Western philosophy
School: Classical liberalism
Main interests: Political philosophy, ethics, economics
Notable ideas: Classical economics, modern free market, absolute advantage, division of labour, the "invisible hand", economic liberalism
Influences: Aristotle · Cantillon[2] · Hume · Hutcheson · Mandeville · Quesnay · Locke · Burke
Influenced: Bastiat · Friedman · Hayek · Mises · Rothbard · Rand · Krugman · Sowell · Hegel · Hodgskin · Keynes · Malthus · Marx · Mill · Proudhon[3] · Ricardo · Saint-Simon · Say · Sismondi · Chomsky · George · Comte · Nash · Sieyès[4]

Adam Smith FRSA (c. 16 June [O.S. c. 5 June] 1723[1] – 17 July 1790) was a Scottish economist, philosopher and author as well as a moral philosopher, a pioneer of political economy and a key figure during the Scottish Enlightenment,[5] also known as ''The Father of Economics''[6] or ''The Father of Capitalism''.[7] Smith wrote two classic works, The Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759) and An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (1776). The latter, often abbreviated as The Wealth of Nations, is considered his magnum opus and the first modern work of economics. In his work, Adam Smith introduced his theory of absolute advantage.[8]

Smith studied social philosophy at the University of Glasgow and at Balliol College, Oxford, where he was one of the first students to benefit from scholarships set up by fellow Scot John Snell. After graduating, he delivered a successful series of public lectures at the University of Edinburgh,[9] leading him to collaborate with David Hume during the Scottish Enlightenment. Smith obtained a professorship at Glasgow, teaching moral philosophy and during this time, wrote and published The Theory of Moral Sentiments. In his later life, he took a tutoring position that allowed him to travel throughout Europe, where he met other intellectual leaders of his day.

Smith laid the foundations of classical free market economic theory. The Wealth of Nations was a precursor to the modern academic discipline of economics. In this and other works, he developed the concept of division of labour and expounded upon how rational self-interest and competition can lead to economic prosperity. Smith was controversial in his own day and his general approach and writing style were often satirised by writers such as Horace Walpole.[10]


Early life

Smith was born in Kirkcaldy, in Fife, Scotland. His father, also Adam Smith, was a Scottish Writer to the Signet (senior solicitor), advocate and prosecutor (judge advocate) and also served as comptroller of the customs in Kirkcaldy.[11] Smith's mother was born Margaret Douglas, daughter of the landed Robert Douglas of Strathendry, also in Fife; she married Smith's father in 1720. Two months before Smith was born, his father died, leaving his mother a widow.[12] The date of Smith's baptism into the Church of Scotland at Kirkcaldy was 5 June 1723[13] and this has often been treated as if it were also his date of birth,[11] which is unknown.

Although few events in Smith's early childhood are known, the Scottish journalist John Rae, Smith's biographer, recorded that Smith was abducted by Romani at the age of three and released when others went to rescue him.[a] Smith was close to his mother, who probably encouraged him to pursue his scholarly ambitions.[15] He attended the Burgh School of Kirkcaldy—characterised by Rae as "one of the best secondary schools of Scotland at that period"[14]—from 1729 to 1737, he learned Latin, mathematics, history, and writing.[15]

Formal education

Smith entered the University of Glasgow when he was 14 and studied moral philosophy under Francis Hutcheson.[15] Here, Smith developed his passion for liberty, reason, and free speech. In 1740, Smith was the graduate scholar presented to undertake postgraduate studies at Balliol College, Oxford, under the Snell Exhibition.[16]

Smith considered the teaching at Glasgow to be far superior to that at Oxford, which he found intellectually stifling.[17] In Book V, Chapter II of The Wealth of Nations, Smith wrote: "In the University of Oxford, the greater part of the public professors have, for these many years, given up altogether even the pretence of teaching." Smith is also reported to have complained to friends that Oxford officials once discovered him reading a copy of David Hume's A Treatise of Human Nature, and they subsequently confiscated his book and punished him severely for reading it.[14][18][19] According to William Robert Scott, "The Oxford of [Smith's] time gave little if any help towards what was to be his lifework."[20] Nevertheless, Smith took the opportunity while at Oxford to teach himself several subjects by reading many books from the shelves of the large Bodleian Library.[21] When Smith was not studying on his own, his time at Oxford was not a happy one, according to his letters.[22] Near the end of his time there, Smith began suffering from shaking fits, probably the symptoms of a nervous breakdown.[23] He left Oxford University in 1746, before his scholarship ended.[23][24]

In Book V of The Wealth of Nations, Smith comments on the low quality of instruction and the meager intellectual activity at English universities, when compared to their Scottish counterparts. He attributes this both to the rich endowments of the colleges at Oxford and Cambridge, which made the income of professors independent of their ability to attract students, and to the fact that distinguished men of letters could make an even more comfortable living as ministers of the Church of England.[19]

Smith's discontent at Oxford might be in part due to the absence of his beloved teacher in Glasgow, Francis Hutcheson, who was well regarded as one of the most prominent lecturers at the University of Glasgow in his day and earned the approbation of students, colleagues, and even ordinary residents with the fervor and earnestness of his orations (which he sometimes opened to the public). His lectures endeavoured not merely to teach philosophy, but also to make his students embody that philosophy in their lives, appropriately acquiring the epithet, the preacher of philosophy. Unlike Smith, Hutcheson was not a system builder; rather, his magnetic personality and method of lecturing so influenced his students and caused the greatest of those to reverentially refer to him as "the never to be forgotten Hutcheson"—a title that Smith in all his correspondence used to describe only two people, his good friend David Hume and influential mentor Francis Hutcheson.[25]

Teaching career

Smith began delivering public lectures in 1748 at the University of Edinburgh,[26] sponsored by the Philosophical Society of Edinburgh under the patronage of Lord Kames.[27] His lecture topics included rhetoric and belles-lettres,[28] and later the subject of "the progress of opulence". On this latter topic, he first expounded his economic philosophy of "the obvious and simple system of natural liberty". While Smith was not adept at public speaking, his lectures met with success.[29]

In 1750, Smith met the philosopher David Hume, who was his senior by more than a decade. In their writings covering history, politics, philosophy, economics, and religion, Smith and Hume shared closer intellectual and personal bonds than with other important figures of the Scottish Enlightenment.[30]

In 1751, Smith earned a professorship at Glasgow University teaching logic courses, and in 1752, he was elected a member of the Philosophical Society of Edinburgh, having been introduced to the society by Lord Kames. When the head of Moral Philosophy in Glasgow died the next year, Smith took over the position.[29] He worked as an academic for the next 13 years, which he characterised as "by far the most useful and therefore by far the happiest and most honorable period [of his life]".[31]

Smith published The Theory of Moral Sentiments in 1759, embodying some of his Glasgow lectures. This work was concerned with how human morality depends on sympathy between agent and spectator, or the individual and other members of society. Smith defined "mutual sympathy" as the basis of moral sentiments. He based his explanation, not on a special "moral sense" as the Third Lord Shaftesbury and Hutcheson had done, nor on utility as Hume did, but on mutual sympathy, a term best captured in modern parlance by the 20th-century concept of empathy, the capacity to recognise feelings that are being experienced by another being.

François Quesnay, one of the leaders of the physiocratic school of thought

Following the publication of The Theory of Moral Sentiments, Smith became so popular that many wealthy students left their schools in other countries to enroll at Glasgow to learn under Smith.[32] After the publication of The Theory of Moral Sentiments, Smith began to give more attention to jurisprudence and economics in his lectures and less to his theories of morals.[33] For example, Smith lectured that the cause of increase in national wealth is labour, rather than the nation's quantity of gold or silver, which is the basis for mercantilism, the economic theory that dominated Western European economic policies at the time.[34]

In 1762, the University of Glasgow conferred on Smith the title of Doctor of Laws (LL.D.).[35] At the end of 1763, he obtained an offer from Charles Townshend—who had been introduced to Smith by David Hume—to tutor his stepson, Henry Scott, the young Duke of Buccleuch. Smith resigned from his professorship in 1764 to take the tutoring position. He subsequently attempted to return the fees he had collected from his students because he had resigned partway through the term, but his students refused.[36]

Tutoring and travels

Smith's tutoring job entailed touring Europe with Scott, during which time he educated Scott on a variety of subjects, such as etiquette and manners. He was paid £300 per year (plus expenses) along with a £300 per year pension; roughly twice his former income as a teacher.[36] Smith first travelled as a tutor to Toulouse, France, where he stayed for a year and a half. According to his own account, he found Toulouse to be somewhat boring, having written to Hume that he "had begun to write a book to pass away the time".[36] After touring the south of France, the group moved to Geneva, where Smith met with the philosopher Voltaire.[37]

David Hume was a friend and contemporary of Smith's.

From Geneva, the party moved to Paris. Here, Smith met Benjamin Franklin, and discovered the Physiocracy school founded by François Quesnay.[38] Physiocrats were opposed to mercantilism, the dominating economic theory of the time, illustrated in their motto Laissez faire et laissez passer, le monde va de lui même! (Let do and let pass, the world goes on by itself!).

The wealth of France had been virtually depleted by Louis XIV[ b] and Louis XV in ruinous wars,[c] and was further exhausted in aiding the American insurgents against the British. The excessive consumption of goods and services deemed to have no economic contribution was considered a source of unproductive labour, with France's agriculture the only economic sector maintaining the wealth of the nation.[citation needed] Given that the English economy of the day yielded an income distribution that stood in contrast to that which existed in France, Smith concluded that "with all its imperfections, [the Physiocratic school] is perhaps the nearest approximation to the truth that has yet been published upon the subject of political economy."[39] The distinction between productive versus unproductive labour—the physiocratic classe steril—was a predominant issue in the development and understanding of what would become classical economic theory.

Later years

In 1766, Henry Scott's younger brother died in Paris, and Smith's tour as a tutor ended shortly thereafter.[40] Smith returned home that year to Kirkcaldy, and he devoted much of the next decade to writing his magnum opus.[41] There, he befriended Henry Moyes, a young blind man who showed precocious aptitude. Smith secured the patronage of David Hume and Thomas Reid in the young man's education.[42] In May 1773, Smith was elected fellow of the Royal Society of London,[43] and was elected a member of the Literary Club in 1775. The Wealth of Nations was published in 1776 and was an instant success, selling out its first edition in only six months.[44]

In 1778, Smith was appointed to a post as commissioner of customs in Scotland and went to live with his mother (who died in 1784)[45] in Panmure House in Edinburgh's Canongate.[46] Five years later, as a member of the Philosophical Society of Edinburgh when it received its royal charter, he automatically became one of the founding members of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.[47] From 1787 to 1789, he occupied the honorary position of Lord Rector of the University of Glasgow.[48]


A plaque of Smith

A commemorative plaque for Smith is located in Smith's home town of Kirkcaldy.
Smith died in the northern wing of Panmure House in Edinburgh on 17 July 1790 after a painful illness. His body was buried in the Canongate Kirkyard.[49] On his deathbed, Smith expressed disappointment that he had not achieved more.[50]

Smith's literary executors were two friends from the Scottish academic world: the physicist and chemist Joseph Black and the pioneering geologist James Hutton.[51] Smith left behind many notes and some unpublished material, but gave instructions to destroy anything that was not fit for publication.[52] He mentioned an early unpublished History of Astronomy as probably suitable, and it duly appeared in 1795, along with other material such as Essays on Philosophical Subjects.[51]

Smith's library went by his will to David Douglas, Lord Reston (son of his cousin Colonel Robert Douglas of Strathendry, Fife), who lived with Smith.[53] It was eventually divided between his two surviving children, Cecilia Margaret (Mrs. Cunningham) and David Anne (Mrs. Bannerman). On the death in 1878 of her husband, the Reverend W. B. Cunningham of Prestonpans, Mrs. Cunningham sold some of the books. The remainder passed to her son, Professor Robert Oliver Cunningham of Queen's College, Belfast, who presented a part to the library of Queen's College. After his death, the remaining books were sold. On the death of Mrs. Bannerman in 1879, her portion of the library went intact to the New College (of the Free Church) in Edinburgh and the collection was transferred to the University of Edinburgh Main Library in 1972.

Personality and beliefs


James Tassie's enamel paste medallion of Smith provided the model for many engravings and portraits that remain today.[54]

Not much is known about Smith's personal views beyond what can be deduced from his published articles. His personal papers were destroyed after his death at his request.[52] He never married,[55] and seems to have maintained a close relationship with his mother, with whom he lived after his return from France and who died six years before him.[56]

Smith was described by several of his contemporaries and biographers as comically absent-minded, with peculiar habits of speech and gait, and a smile of "inexpressible benignity".[57] He was known to talk to himself,[50] a habit that began during his childhood when he would smile in rapt conversation with invisible companions.[58] He also had occasional spells of imaginary illness,[50] and he is reported to have had books and papers placed in tall stacks in his study.[58] According to one story, Smith took Charles Townshend on a tour of a tanning factory, and while discussing free trade, Smith walked into a huge tanning pit from which he needed help to escape.[59] He is also said to have put bread and butter into a teapot, drunk the concoction, and declared it to be the worst cup of tea he ever had. According to another account, Smith distractedly went out walking in his nightgown and ended up 15 miles (24 km) outside of town, before nearby church bells brought him back to reality.[58][59]

James Boswell, who was a student of Smith's at Glasgow University, and later knew him at the Literary Club, says that Smith thought that speaking about his ideas in conversation might reduce the sale of his books, so his conversation was unimpressive. According to Boswell, he once told Sir Joshua Reynolds, that "he made it a rule when in company never to talk of what he understood".[60]

Portrait of Smith by John Kay, 1790

Smith has been alternatively described as someone who "had a large nose, bulging eyes, a protruding lower lip, a nervous twitch, and a speech impediment" and one whose "countenance was manly and agreeable".[19][61] Smith is said to have acknowledged his looks at one point, saying, "I am a beau in nothing but my books."[19] Smith rarely sat for portraits,[62] so almost all depictions of him created during his lifetime were drawn from memory. The best-known portraits of Smith are the profile by James Tassie and two etchings by John Kay.[63] The line engravings produced for the covers of 19th-century reprints of The Wealth of Nations were based largely on Tassie's medallion.[64]

Religious views

Considerable scholarly debate has occurred about the nature of Smith's religious views. Smith's father had shown a strong interest in Christianity and belonged to the moderate wing of the Church of Scotland.[65] The fact that Adam Smith received the Snell Exhibition suggests that he may have gone to Oxford with the intention of pursuing a career in the Church of England.[66]

Anglo-American economist Ronald Coase has challenged the view that Smith was a deist, based on the fact that Smith's writings never explicitly invoke God as an explanation of the harmonies of the natural or the human worlds.[67] According to Coase, though Smith does sometimes refer to the "Great Architect of the Universe", later scholars such as Jacob Viner have "very much exaggerated the extent to which Adam Smith was committed to a belief in a personal God",[68] a belief for which Coase finds little evidence in passages such as the one in the Wealth of Nations in which Smith writes that the curiosity of mankind about the "great phenomena of nature", such as "the generation, the life, growth, and dissolution of plants and animals", has led men to "enquire into their causes", and that "superstition first attempted to satisfy this curiosity, by referring all those wonderful appearances to the immediate agency of the gods. Philosophy afterwards endeavoured to account for them, from more familiar causes, or from such as mankind were better acquainted with than the agency of the gods".[68]

Some other authors argue that Smith's social and economic philosophy is inherently theological and that his entire model of social order is logically dependent on the notion of God's action in nature.[69]

Smith was also a close friend of David Hume, who was commonly characterised in his own time as an atheist.[70] The publication in 1777 of Smith's letter to William Strahan, in which he described Hume's courage in the face of death in spite of his irreligiosity, attracted considerable controversy.[71]

Published works

The Theory of Moral Sentiments

Main article: The Theory of Moral Sentiments

In 1759, Smith published his first work, The Theory of Moral Sentiments, sold by co-publishers Andrew Millar of London and Alexander Kincaid of Edinburgh.[72] Smith continued making extensive revisions to the book until his death.[d] Although The Wealth of Nations is widely regarded as Smith's most influential work, Smith himself is believed to have considered The Theory of Moral Sentiments to be a superior work.[74]

In the work, Smith critically examines the moral thinking of his time, and suggests that conscience arises from dynamic and interactive social relationships through which people seek "mutual sympathy of sentiments."[75] His goal in writing the work was to explain the source of mankind's ability to form moral judgement, given that people begin life with no moral sentiments at all. Smith proposes a theory of sympathy, in which the act of observing others and seeing the judgements they form of both others and oneself makes people aware of themselves and how others perceive their behaviour. The feedback we receive from perceiving (or imagining) others' judgment creates an incentive to achieve "mutual sympathy of sentiments" with them and leads people to develop habits, and then principles, of behaviour, which come to constitute one's conscience.[76]

Some scholars have perceived a conflict between The Theory of Moral Sentiments and The Wealth of Nations; the former emphasises sympathy for others, while the latter focuses on the role of self-interest.[77] In recent years, however, some scholars[78][79][80] of Smith's work have argued that no contradiction exists. They claim that in The Theory of Moral Sentiments, Smith develops a theory of psychology in which individuals seek the approval of the "impartial spectator" as a result of a natural desire to have outside observers sympathise with their sentiments. Rather than viewing The Theory of Moral Sentiments and The Wealth of Nations as presenting incompatible views of human nature, some Smith scholars regard the works as emphasising different aspects of human nature that vary depending on the situation. Otteson argues that both books are Newtonian in their methodology and deploy a similar "market model" for explaining the creation and development of large-scale human social orders, including morality, economics, as well as language.[81] Ekelund and Hebert offer a differing view, observing that self-interest is present in both works and that "in the former, sympathy is the moral faculty that holds self-interest in check, whereas in the latter, competition is the economic faculty that restrains self-interest."[82]

The Wealth of Nations

Main article: The Wealth of Nations

Disagreement exists between classical and neoclassical economists about the central message of Smith's most influential work: An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (1776). Neoclassical economists emphasise Smith's invisible hand,[83] a concept mentioned in the middle of his work – Book IV, Chapter II – and classical economists believe that Smith stated his programme for promoting the "wealth of nations" in the first sentences, which attributes the growth of wealth and prosperity to the division of labour.

Smith used the term "the invisible hand" in "History of Astronomy"[84] referring to "the invisible hand of Jupiter", and once in each of his The Theory of Moral Sentiments[85] (1759) and The Wealth of Nations[86] (1776). This last statement about "an invisible hand" has been interpreted in numerous ways.

Later building on the site where Smith wrote The Wealth of Nations

As every individual, therefore, endeavours as much as he can both to employ his capital in the support of domestic industry, and so to direct that industry that its produce may be of the greatest value; every individual necessarily labours to render the annual revenue of the society as great as he can. He generally, indeed, neither intends to promote the public interest, nor knows how much he is promoting it. By preferring the support of domestic to that of foreign industry, he intends only his own security; and by directing that industry in such a manner as its produce may be of the greatest value, he intends only his own gain, and he is in this, as in many other cases, led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention. Nor is it always the worse for the society that it was no part of it. By pursuing his own interest he frequently promotes that of the society more effectually than when he really intends to promote it. I have never known much good done by those who affected to trade for the public good. It is an affectation, indeed, not very common among merchants, and very few words need be employed in dissuading them from it.

Those who regard that statement as Smith's central message also quote frequently Smith's dictum:[87]

It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest. We address ourselves, not to their humanity but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own necessities but of their advantages.

However, in The Theory of Moral Sentiments he had a more sceptical approach to self-interest as driver of behaviour:

How selfish soever man may be supposed, there are evidently some principles in his nature, which interest him in the fortune of others, and render their happiness necessary to him, though he derives nothing from it except the pleasure of seeing it.

The first page of The Wealth of Nations, 1776 London edition

Smith's statement about the benefits of "an invisible hand" may be meant to answer[citation needed] Mandeville's contention that "Private Vices ... may be turned into Public Benefits".[88] It shows Smith's belief that when an individual pursues his self-interest under conditions of justice, he unintentionally promotes the good of society. Self-interested competition in the free market, he argued, would tend to benefit society as a whole by keeping prices low, while still building in an incentive for a wide variety of goods and services. Nevertheless, he was wary of businessmen and warned of their "conspiracy against the public or in some other contrivance to raise prices".[89] Again and again, Smith warned of the collusive nature of business interests, which may form cabals or monopolies, fixing the highest price "which can be squeezed out of the buyers".[90] Smith also warned that a business-dominated political system would allow a conspiracy of businesses and industry against consumers, with the former scheming to influence politics and legislation. Smith states that the interest of manufacturers and merchants "in any particular branch of trade or manufactures, is always in some respects different from, and even opposite to, that of the public ... The proposal of any new law or regulation of commerce which comes from this order, ought always to be listened to with great precaution, and ought never be adopted till after having been long and carefully examined, not only with the most scrupulous, but with the most suspicious attention."[91] Thus Smith's chief worry seems to be when business is given special protections or privileges from government; by contrast, in the absence of such special political favours, he believed that business activities were generally beneficial to the whole society:

It is the great multiplication of the production of all the different arts, in consequence of the division of labour, which occasions, in a well-governed society, that universal opulence which extends itself to the lowest ranks of the people. Every workman has a great quantity of his own work to dispose of beyond what he himself has occasion for; and every other workman being exactly in the same situation, he is enabled to exchange a great quantity of his own goods for a great quantity, or, what comes to the same thing, for the price of a great quantity of theirs. He supplies them abundantly with what they have occasion for, and they accommodate him as amply with what he has occasion for, and a general plenty diffuses itself through all the different ranks of society. (The Wealth of Nations, I.i.10)

The neoclassical interest in Smith's statement about "an invisible hand" originates in the possibility of seeing it as a precursor of neoclassical economics and its concept of general equilibrium – Samuelson's "Economics" refers six times to Smith's "invisible hand". To emphasise this connection, Samuelson[92] quotes Smith's "invisible hand" statement substituting "general interest" for "public interest". Samuelson[93] concludes: "Smith was unable to prove the essence of his invisible-hand doctrine. Indeed, until the 1940s, no one knew how to prove, even to state properly, the kernel of truth in this proposition about perfectly competitive market."

1922 printing of An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations

Very differently, classical economists see in Smith's first sentences his programme to promote "The Wealth of Nations". Using the physiocratical concept of the economy as a circular process, to secure growth the inputs of Period 2 must exceed the inputs of Period 1. Therefore, those outputs of Period 1 which are not used or usable as inputs of Period 2 are regarded as unproductive labour, as they do not contribute to growth. This is what Smith had heard in France from, among others, François Quesnay, whose ideas Smith was so impressed by that he might have dedicated The Wealth of Nations to him had he not died beforehand.[94][95] To this French insight that unproductive labour should be reduced to use labour more productively, Smith added his own proposal, that productive labour should be made even more productive by deepening the division of labour. Smith argued that deepening the division of labour under competition leads to greater productivity, which leads to lower prices and thus an increasing standard of living—"general plenty" and "universal opulence"—for all. Extended markets and increased production lead to the continuous reorganisation of production and the invention of new ways of producing, which in turn lead to further increased production, lower prices, and improved standards of living. Smith's central message is, therefore, that under dynamic competition, a growth machine secures "The Wealth of Nations". Smith's argument predicted Britain's evolution as the workshop of the world, underselling and outproducing all its competitors. The opening sentences of the "Wealth of Nations" summarise this policy:

The annual labour of every nation is the fund which originally supplies it with all the necessaries and conveniences of life which it annually consumes ... . [T]his produce ... bears a greater or smaller proportion to the number of those who are to consume it ... .[ b]ut this proportion must in every nation be regulated by two different circumstances;

-- first, by the skill, dexterity, and judgment with which its labour is generally applied; and,
-- secondly, by the proportion between the number of those who are employed in useful labour, and that of those who are not so employed [emphasis added].[96]

However, Smith added that the "abundance or scantiness of this supply too seems to depend more upon the former of those two circumstances than upon the latter."[97]

Other works

Smith's burial place in Canongate Kirkyard

Shortly before his death, Smith had nearly all his manuscripts destroyed. In his last years, he seemed to have been planning two major treatises, one on the theory and history of law and one on the sciences and arts. The posthumously published Essays on Philosophical Subjects, a history of astronomy down to Smith's own era, plus some thoughts on ancient physics and metaphysics, probably contain parts of what would have been the latter treatise. Lectures on Jurisprudence were notes taken from Smith's early lectures, plus an early draft of The Wealth of Nations, published as part of the 1976 Glasgow Edition of the works and correspondence of Smith. Other works, including some published posthumously, include Lectures on Justice, Police, Revenue, and Arms (1763) (first published in 1896); and Essays on Philosophical Subjects (1795).[98]


In economics and moral philosophy

The Wealth of Nations was a precursor to the modern academic discipline of economics. In this and other works, Smith expounded how rational self-interest and competition can lead to economic prosperity. Smith was controversial in his own day and his general approach and writing style were often satirised by Tory writers in the moralising tradition of Hogarth and Swift, as a discussion at the University of Winchester suggests.[99] In 2005, The Wealth of Nations was named among the 100 Best Scottish Books of all time.[100]

In light of the arguments put forward by Smith and other economic theorists in Britain, academic belief in mercantilism began to decline in Britain in the late 18th century. During the Industrial Revolution, Britain embraced free trade and Smith's laissez-faire economics, and via the British Empire, used its power to spread a broadly liberal economic model around the world, characterised by open markets, and relatively barrier-free domestic and international trade.[101]

George Stigler attributes to Smith "the most important substantive proposition in all of economics". It is that, under competition, owners of resources (for example labour, land, and capital) will use them most profitably, resulting in an equal rate of return in equilibrium for all uses, adjusted for apparent differences arising from such factors as training, trust, hardship, and unemployment.[102]

Paul Samuelson finds in Smith's pluralist use of supply and demand as applied to wages, rents, and profit a valid and valuable anticipation of the general equilibrium modelling of Walras a century later. Smith's allowance for wage increases in the short and intermediate term from capital accumulation and invention contrasted with Malthus, Ricardo, and Karl Marx in their propounding a rigid subsistence–wage theory of labour supply.[103]

Joseph Schumpeter criticised Smith for a lack of technical rigour, yet he argued that this enabled Smith's writings to appeal to wider audiences: "His very limitation made for success. Had he been more brilliant, he would not have been taken so seriously. Had he dug more deeply, had he unearthed more recondite truth, had he used more difficult and ingenious methods, he would not have been understood. But he had no such ambitions; in fact he disliked whatever went beyond plain common sense. He never moved above the heads of even the dullest readers. He led them on gently, encouraging them by trivialities and homely observations, making them feel comfortable all along."[104]

Classical economists presented competing theories of those of Smith, termed the "labour theory of value". Later Marxian economics descending from classical economics also use Smith's labour theories, in part. The first volume of Karl Marx's major work, Das Kapital, was published in German in 1867. In it, Marx focused on the labour theory of value and what he considered to be the exploitation of labour by capital.[105][106] The labour theory of value held that the value of a thing was determined by the labour that went into its production. This contrasts with the modern contention of neoclassical economics, that the value of a thing is determined by what one is willing to give up to obtain the thing.

The Adam Smith Theatre in Kirkcaldy

The body of theory later termed "neoclassical economics" or "marginalism" formed from about 1870 to 1910. The term "economics" was popularised by such neoclassical economists as Alfred Marshall as a concise synonym for "economic science" and a substitute for the earlier, broader term "political economy" used by Smith.[107][108] This corresponded to the influence on the subject of mathematical methods used in the natural sciences.[109] Neoclassical economics systematised supply and demand as joint determinants of price and quantity in market equilibrium, affecting both the allocation of output and the distribution of income. It dispensed with the labour theory of value of which Smith was most famously identified with in classical economics, in favour of a marginal utility theory of value on the demand side and a more general theory of costs on the supply side.[110]

The bicentennial anniversary of the publication of The Wealth of Nations was celebrated in 1976, resulting in increased interest for The Theory of Moral Sentiments and his other works throughout academia. After 1976, Smith was more likely to be represented as the author of both The Wealth of Nations and The Theory of Moral Sentiments, and thereby as the founder of a moral philosophy and the science of economics. His homo economicus or "economic man" was also more often represented as a moral person. Additionally, economists David Levy and Sandra Peart in "The Secret History of the Dismal Science" point to his opposition to hierarchy and beliefs in inequality, including racial inequality, and provide additional support for those who point to Smith's opposition to slavery, colonialism, and empire. They show the caricatures of Smith drawn by the opponents of views on hierarchy and inequality in this online article. Emphasised also are Smith's statements of the need for high wages for the poor, and the efforts to keep wages low. In The "Vanity of the Philosopher: From Equality to Hierarchy in Postclassical Economics", Peart and Levy also cite Smith's view that a common street porter was not intellectually inferior to a philosopher,[111] and point to the need for greater appreciation of the public views in discussions of science and other subjects now considered to be technical. They also cite Smith's opposition to the often expressed view that science is superior to common sense.[112]

Smith also explained the relationship between growth of private property and civil government:

Men may live together in society with some tolerable degree of security, though there is no civil magistrate to protect them from the injustice of those passions. But avarice and ambition in the rich, in the poor the hatred of labour and the love of present ease and enjoyment, are the passions which prompt to invade property, passions much more steady in their operation, and much more universal in their influence. Wherever there is great property there is great inequality. For one very rich man there must be at least five hundred poor, and the affluence of the few supposes the indigence of the many. The affluence of the rich excites the indignation of the poor, who are often both driven by want, and prompted by envy, to invade his possessions. It is only under the shelter of the civil magistrate that the owner of that valuable property, which is acquired by the labour of many years, or perhaps of many successive generations, can sleep a single night in security. He is at all times surrounded by unknown enemies, whom, though he never provoked, he can never appease, and from whose injustice he can be protected only by the powerful arm of the civil magistrate continually held up to chastise it. The acquisition of valuable and extensive property, therefore, necessarily requires the establishment of civil government. Where there is no property, or at least none that exceeds the value of two or three days' labour, civil government is not so necessary. Civil government supposes a certain subordination. But as the necessity of civil government gradually grows up with the acquisition of valuable property, so the principal causes which naturally introduce subordination gradually grow up with the growth of that valuable property. (...) Men of inferior wealth combine to defend those of superior wealth in the possession of their property, in order that men of superior wealth may combine to defend them in the possession of theirs. All the inferior shepherds and herdsmen feel that the security of their own herds and flocks depends upon the security of those of the great shepherd or herdsman; that the maintenance of their lesser authority depends upon that of his greater authority, and that upon their subordination to him depends his power of keeping their inferiors in subordination to them. They constitute a sort of little nobility, who feel themselves interested to defend the property and to support the authority of their own little sovereign in order that he may be able to defend their property and to support their authority. Civil government, so far as it is instituted for the security of property, is in reality instituted for the defence of the rich against the poor, or of those who have some property against those who have none at all. (Source: The Wealth of Nations, Book 5, Chapter 1, Part 2)
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In British Imperial debates

Smith's chapter on colonies, in turn, would help shape British imperial debates from the mid-19th century onward. The Wealth of Nations would become an ambiguous text regarding the imperial question. In his chapter on colonies, Smith pondered how to solve the crisis developing across the Atlantic among the empire's 13 American colonies. He offered two different proposals for easing tensions. The first proposal called for giving the colonies their independence, and by thus parting on a friendly basis, Britain would be able to develop and maintain a free-trade relationship with them, and possibly even an informal military alliance. Smith's second proposal called for a theoretical imperial federation that would bring the colonies and the metropole closer together through an imperial parliamentary system and imperial free trade.[113]

Smith's most prominent disciple in 19th-century Britain, peace advocate Richard Cobden, preferred the first proposal. Cobden would lead the Anti-Corn Law League in overturning the Corn Laws in 1846, shifting Britain to a policy of free trade and empire "on the cheap" for decades to come. This hands-off approach toward the British Empire would become known as Cobdenism or the Manchester School.[114] By the turn of the century, however, advocates of Smith's second proposal such as Joseph Shield Nicholson would become ever more vocal in opposing Cobdenism, calling instead for imperial federation.[115] As Marc-William Palen notes: "On the one hand, Adam Smith’s late nineteenth and early twentieth-century Cobdenite adherents used his theories to argue for gradual imperial devolution and empire ‘on the cheap’. On the other, various proponents of imperial federation throughout the British World sought to use Smith's theories to overturn the predominant Cobdenite hands-off imperial approach and instead, with a firm grip, bring the empire closer than ever before."[116] Smith's ideas thus played an important part in subsequent debates over the British Empire.

Portraits, monuments, and banknotes

A statue of Smith in Edinburgh's High Street, erected through private donations organised by the Adam Smith Institute

Smith has been commemorated in the UK on banknotes printed by two different banks; his portrait has appeared since 1981 on the £50 notes issued by the Clydesdale Bank in Scotland,[117][118] and in March 2007 Smith's image also appeared on the new series of £20 notes issued by the Bank of England, making him the first Scotsman to feature on an English banknote.[119]

Statue of Smith built in 1867–1870 at the old headquarters of the University of London, 6 Burlington Gardens

A large-scale memorial of Smith by Alexander Stoddart was unveiled on 4 July 2008 in Edinburgh. It is a 10-foot (3.0 m)-tall bronze sculpture and it stands above the Royal Mile outside St Giles' Cathedral in Parliament Square, near the Mercat cross.[120] 20th-century sculptor Jim Sanborn (best known for the Kryptos sculpture at the United States Central Intelligence Agency) has created multiple pieces which feature Smith's work. At Central Connecticut State University is Circulating Capital, a tall cylinder which features an extract from The Wealth of Nations on the lower half, and on the upper half, some of the same text, but represented in binary code.[121] At the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, outside the Belk College of Business Administration, is Adam Smith's Spinning Top.[122][123] Another Smith sculpture is at Cleveland State University.[124] He also appears as the narrator in the 2013 play The Low Road, centred on a proponent on laissez-faire economics in the late 18th century, but dealing obliquely with the financial crisis of 2007–2008 and the recession which followed; in the premiere production, he was portrayed by Bill Paterson.

A bust of Smith is in the Hall of Heroes of the National Wallace Monument in Stirling.


Adam Smith resided at Panmure House from 1778 to 1790. This residence has now been purchased by the Edinburgh Business School at Heriot Watt University and fundraising has begun to restore it.[125][126] Part of the Northern end of the original building appears to have been demolished in the 19th century to make way for an iron foundry.

As a symbol of free-market economics

Adam Smith's Spinning Top, sculpture by Jim Sanborn at Cleveland State University

Smith has been celebrated by advocates of free-market policies as the founder of free-market economics, a view reflected in the naming of bodies such as the Adam Smith Institute in London, multiple entities known as the "Adam Smith Society", including an historical Italian organization,[127] and the U.S.-based Adam Smith Society,[128][129] and the Australian Adam Smith Club,[130] and in terms such as the Adam Smith necktie.[131]

Alan Greenspan argues that, while Smith did not coin the term laissez-faire, "it was left to Adam Smith to identify the more-general set of principles that brought conceptual clarity to the seeming chaos of market transactions". Greenspan continues that The Wealth of Nations was "one of the great achievements in human intellectual history".[132] P.J. O'Rourke describes Smith as the "founder of free market economics".[133]

Other writers have argued that Smith's support for laissez-faire (which in French means leave alone) has been overstated. Herbert Stein wrote that the people who "wear an Adam Smith necktie" do it to "make a statement of their devotion to the idea of free markets and limited government", and that this misrepresents Smith's ideas. Stein writes that Smith "was not pure or doctrinaire about this idea. He viewed government intervention in the market with great skepticism...yet he was prepared to accept or propose qualifications to that policy in the specific cases where he judged that their net effect would be beneficial and would not undermine the basically free character of the system. He did not wear the Adam Smith necktie." In Stein's reading, The Wealth of Nations could justify the Food and Drug Administration, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, mandatory employer health benefits, environmentalism, and "discriminatory taxation to deter improper or luxurious behavior".[134]

Similarly, Vivienne Brown stated in The Economic Journal that in the 20th-century United States, Reaganomics supporters, the Wall Street Journal, and other similar sources have spread among the general public a partial and misleading vision of Smith, portraying him as an "extreme dogmatic defender of laissez-faire capitalism and supply-side economics".[135] In fact, The Wealth of Nations includes the following statement on the payment of taxes:

The subjects of every state ought to contribute towards the support of the government, as nearly as possible, in proportion to their respective abilities; that is, in proportion to the revenue which they respectively enjoy under the protection of the state.[136]

Some commentators have argued that Smith's works show support for a progressive, not flat, income tax and that he specifically named taxes that he thought should be required by the state, among them luxury-goods taxes and tax on rent.[137] Yet Smith argued for the "impossibility of taxing the people, in proportion to their economic revenue, by any capitation" (The Wealth of Nations, V.ii.k.1). Smith argued that taxes should principally go toward protecting "justice" and "certain publick institutions" that were necessary for the benefit of all of society, but that could not be provided by private enterprise (The Wealth of Nations, IV.ix.51).

Additionally, Smith outlined the proper expenses of the government in The Wealth of Nations, Book V, Ch. I. Included in his requirements of a government is to enforce contracts and provide justice system, grant patents and copy rights, provide public goods such as infrastructure, provide national defence, and regulate banking. The role of the government was to provide goods "of such a nature that the profit could never repay the expense to any individual" such as roads, bridges, canals, and harbours. He also encouraged invention and new ideas through his patent enforcement and support of infant industry monopolies. He supported partial public subsidies for elementary education, and he believed that competition among religious institutions would provide general benefit to the society. In such cases, however, Smith argued for local rather than centralised control: "Even those publick works which are of such a nature that they cannot afford any revenue for maintaining themselves ... are always better maintained by a local or provincial revenue, under the management of a local and provincial administration, than by the general revenue of the state" (Wealth of Nations, V.i.d.18). Finally, he outlined how the government should support the dignity of the monarch or chief magistrate, such that they are equal or above the public in fashion. He even states that monarchs should be provided for in a greater fashion than magistrates of a republic because "we naturally expect more splendor in the court of a king than in the mansion-house of a doge".[138] In addition, he allowed that in some specific circumstances, retaliatory tariffs may be beneficial:

The recovery of a great foreign market will generally more than compensate the transitory inconvenience of paying dearer during a short time for some sorts of goods.[139]

However, he added that in general, a retaliatory tariff "seems a bad method of compensating the injury done to certain classes of our people, to do another injury ourselves, not only to those classes, but to almost all the other classes of them" (The Wealth of Nations, IV.ii.39).

Economic historians such as Jacob Viner regard Smith as a strong advocate of free markets and limited government (what Smith called "natural liberty"), but not as a dogmatic supporter of laissez-faire.[140]

Economist Daniel Klein believes using the term "free-market economics" or "free-market economist" to identify the ideas of Smith is too general and slightly misleading. Klein offers six characteristics central to the identity of Smith's economic thought and argues that a new name is needed to give a more accurate depiction of the "Smithian" identity.[141][142] Economist David Ricardo set straight some of the misunderstandings about Smith's thoughts on free market. Most people still fall victim to the thinking that Smith was a free-market economist without exception, though he was not. Ricardo pointed out that Smith was in support of helping infant industries. Smith believed that the government should subsidise newly formed industry, but he did fear that when the infant industry grew into adulthood, it would be unwilling to surrender the government help.[143] Smith also supported tariffs on imported goods to counteract an internal tax on the same good. Smith also fell to pressure in supporting some tariffs in support for national defence.[143]

Some have also claimed, Emma Rothschild among them, that Smith would have supported a minimum wage,[144] although no direct textual evidence supports the claim. Indeed, Smith wrote:

The price of labour, it must be observed, cannot be ascertained very accurately anywhere, different prices being often paid at the same place and for the same sort of labour, not only according to the different abilities of the workmen, but according to the easiness or hardness of the masters. Where wages are not regulated by law, all that we can pretend to determine is what are the most usual; and experience seems to show that law can never regulate them properly, though it has often pretended to do so. (The Wealth of Nations, Book 1, Chapter 8)

However, Smith also noted, to the contrary, the existence of an imbalanced, inequality of bargaining power:[145]

A landlord, a farmer, a master manufacturer, a merchant, though they did not employ a single workman, could generally live a year or two upon the stocks which they have already acquired. Many workmen could not subsist a week, few could subsist a month, and scarce any a year without employment. In the long run, the workman may be as necessary to his master as his master is to him, but the necessity is not so immediate.


Alfred Marshall criticised Smith's definition of the economy on several points. He argued that man should be equally important as money, services are as important as goods, and that there must be an emphasis on human welfare, instead of just wealth. The "invisible hand" only works well when both production and consumption operates in free markets, with small ("atomistic") producers and consumers allowing supply and demand to fluctuate and equilibrate. In conditions of monopoly and oligopoly, the "invisible hand" fails.

Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph E. Stiglitz says, on the topic of one of Smith's better-known ideas: "the reason that the invisible hand often seems invisible is that it is often not there."[146]

See also

• Organizational capital
• List of abolitionist forerunners
• List of Fellows of the Royal Society of Arts
• People on Scottish banknotes


Informational notes

1. In Life of Adam Smith, Rae writes: "In his fourth year, while on a visit to his grandfather's house at Strathendry on the banks of the Leven, [Smith] was stolen by a passing band of gypsies, and for a time could not be found. But presently a gentleman arrived who had met a Romani woman a few miles down the road carrying a child that was crying piteously. Scouts were immediately dispatched in the direction indicated, and they came upon the woman in Leslie wood. As soon as she saw them she threw her burden down and escaped, and the child was brought back to his mother. [Smith] would have made, I fear, a poor gypsy."[14]
2. During the reign of Louis XIV, the population shrunk by 4 million and agricultural productivity was reduced by one-third while the taxes had increased. Cusminsky, Rosa, de Cendrero, 1967, Los Fisiócratas, Buenos Aires: Centro Editor de América Latina, p. 6
3. 1701–1714 War of the Spanish Succession, 1688–1697 War of the Grand Alliance, 1672–1678 Franco-Dutch War, 1667–1668 War of Devolution, 1618–1648 Thirty Years' War
4. The 6 editions of The Theory of Moral Sentiments were published in 1759, 1761, 1767, 1774, 1781, and 1790, respectively.[73]


1. "Adam Smith (1723–1790)". BBC. Adam Smith's exact date of birth is unknown, but he was baptised on 5 June 1723.
2. Nevin, Seamus (2013). "Richard Cantillon: The Father of Economics". History Ireland. 21 (2): 20–23. JSTOR 41827152.
3. Billington, James H. (1999). Fire in the Minds of Men: Origins of the Revolutionary Faith. Transaction Publishers. p. 302.
4. Stedman Jones, Gareth (2006). "Saint-Simon and the Liberal origins of the Socialist critique of Political Economy". In Aprile, Sylvie; Bensimon, Fabrice (eds.). La France et l'Angleterre au XIXe siècle. Échanges, représentations, comparaisons. Créaphis. pp. 21–47.
5. "Great Thinkers of the Scottish Enlightenment".
6. Sharma, Rakesh. "Adam Smith: The Father of Economics". Investopedia. Retrieved 20 February 2019.
7. "Adam Smith: Father of Capitalism". Retrieved 20 February 2019.
8. "Absolute Advantage – Ability to Produce More than Anyone Else". Corporate Finance Institute. Retrieved 20 February2019.
9. "Adam Smith: Biography on Undiscovered Scotland". Retrieved 30 July 2019.
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113. E.A. Benians, ‘Adam Smith’s project of an empire’, Cambridge Historical Journal 1 (1925): 249–83
114. Anthony Howe, Free trade and liberal England, 1846–1946 (Oxford, 1997)
115. J. Shield Nicholson, A project of empire: a critical study of the economics of imperialism, with special reference to the ideas of Adam Smith (London, 1909)
116. Marc-William Palen, “Adam Smith as Advocate of Empire, c. 1870–1932,” Historical Journal 57: 1 (March 2014): 179–98.
117. "Clydesdale 50 Pounds, 1981". Ron Wise's Banknoteworld. Archived from the original on 30 October 2008. Retrieved 15 October 2008.
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120. Blackley, Michael (26 September 2007). "Adam Smith sculpture to tower over Royal Mile". Edinburgh Evening News.
121. Fillo, Maryellen (13 March 2001). "CCSU welcomes a new kid on the block". The Hartford Courant.
122. Kelley, Pam (20 May 1997). "Piece at UNCC is a puzzle for Charlotte, artist says". Charlotte Observer.
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135. Brown, Vivienne; Pack, Spencer J.; Werhane, Patricia H. (January 1993). "Untitled review of 'Capitalism as a Moral System: Adam Smith's Critique of the Free Market Economy' and 'Adam Smith and his Legacy for Modern Capitalism'". The Economic Journal. 103 (416): 230–32. doi:10.2307/2234351. JSTOR 2234351.
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146. The Roaring Nineties, 2006


• Benians, E. A. (1925). "II. Adam Smith's Project of an Empire". Cambridge Historical Journal. 1 (3): 249–283. doi:10.1017/S1474691300001062.
• Bonar, James, ed. (1894). A Catalogue of the Library of Adam Smith. London: Macmillan. OCLC 2320634 – via Internet Archive.
• Buchan, James (2006). The Authentic Adam Smith: His Life and Ideas. W.W. Norton & Company. ISBN 0-393-06121-3.
• Buchholz, Todd (1999). New Ideas from Dead Economists: An Introduction to Modern Economic Thought. Penguin Books. ISBN 0-14-028313-7.
• Bussing-Burks, Marie (2003). Influential Economists. Minneapolis: The Oliver Press. ISBN 1-881508-72-2.
• Campbell, R.H.; Skinner, Andrew S. (1985). Adam Smith. Routledge. ISBN 0-7099-3473-4.
• Coase, R.H. (October 1976). "Adam Smith's View of Man". The Journal of Law and Economics. 19 (3): 529–46. doi:10.1086/466886.
• Helbroner, Robert L. The Essential Adam Smith. ISBN 0-393-95530-3
• Nicholson, J. Shield (1909). A project of empire;a critical study of the economics of imperialism, with special reference to the ideas of Adam Smith. hdl:2027/uc2.ark:/13960/t4th8nc9p.
• Otteson, James R. (2002). Adam Smith's Marketplace of Life. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-01656-8
• Palen, Marc-William (2014). "ADAM SMITH AS ADVOCATE OF EMPIRE, c. 1870–1932". The Historical Journal. 57: 179–198. doi:10.1017/S0018246X13000101.
• Rae, John (1895). Life of Adam Smith. London & New York: Macmillan. ISBN 0-7222-2658-6. Retrieved 14 May 2018 – via Internet Archive.
• Ross, Ian Simpson (1995). The Life of Adam Smith. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-828821-2.
• Ross, Ian Simpson (2010). The Life of Adam Smith (2 ed.). Oxford University Press.
• Skousen, Mark (2001). The Making of Modern Economics: The Lives and Ideas of Great Thinkers. M.E. Sharpe. ISBN 0-7656-0480-9.
• Smith, Adam (1977) [1776]. An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-76374-9.
• Smith, Adam (1982) [1759]. D.D. Raphael and A.L. Macfie (ed.). The Theory of Moral Sentiments. Liberty Fund. ISBN 0-86597-012-2.
• Smith, Adam (2002) [1759]. Knud Haakonssen (ed.). The Theory of Moral Sentiments. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-59847-8.
• Smith, Vernon L. (July 1998). "The Two Faces of Adam Smith". Southern Economic Journal. 65 (1): 2–19. doi:10.2307/1061349. JSTOR 1061349.
• Tribe, Keith; Mizuta, Hiroshi (2002). A Critical Bibliography of Adam Smith. Pickering & Chatto. ISBN 978-1-85196-741-4.
• Viner, Jacob (1991). Douglas A. Irwin (ed.). Essays on the Intellectual History of Economics. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-04266-7.

Further reading

• Butler, Eamonn (2007). Adam Smith – A Primer. Institute of Economic Affairs. ISBN 978-0-255-36608-3.
• Cook, Simon J. (2012). "Culture & Political Economy: Adam Smith & Alfred Marshall". Tabur.
• Copley, Stephen (1995). Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations: New Interdisciplinary Essays. Manchester University Press. ISBN 0-7190-3943-6.
• Glahe, F. (1977). Adam Smith and the Wealth of Nations: 1776–1976. University Press of Colorado. ISBN 0-87081-082-0.
• Haakonssen, Knud (2006). The Cambridge Companion to Adam Smith. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-77924-3.
• Hardwick, D. and Marsh, L. (2014). Propriety and Prosperity: New Studies on the Philosophy of Adam Smith. Palgrave Macmillan
• Hamowy, Ronald (2008). "Smith, Adam (1723–1790)". Smith, Adam (1732–1790). The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage; Cato Institute. pp. 470–72. doi:10.4135/9781412965811.n287. ISBN 978-1-4129-6580-4. LCCN 2008009151. OCLC 750831024.
• Hollander, Samuel (1973). Economics of Adam Smith. University of Toronto Press. ISBN 0-8020-6302-0.
• McLean, Iain (2006). Adam Smith, Radical and Egalitarian: An Interpretation for the 21st Century. Edinburgh University Press. ISBN 0-7486-2352-3.
• Milgate, Murray & Stimson, Shannon. (2009). After Adam Smith: A Century of Transformation in Politics and Political Economy. Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0-691-14037-7.
• Muller, Jerry Z. (1995). Adam Smith in His Time and Ours. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-00161-8.
• Norman, Jesse (2018). Adam Smith: What He Thought, and Why It Matters. Allen Lane.
• O'Rourke, P.J. (2006). On The Wealth of Nations. Grove/Atlantic Inc. ISBN 0-87113-949-9.
• Otteson, James (2002). Adam Smith's Marketplace of Life. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-01656-8.
• Otteson, James (2013). Adam Smith. Bloomsbury. ISBN 978-1-4411-9013-0.
• Phillipson, Nicholas (2010). Adam Smith: An Enlightened Life, Yale University Press, ISBN 978-0-300-16927-0, 352 pages; scholarly biography
• McLean, Iain (2004). Adam Smith, Radical and Egalitarian: An Interpretation for the 21st Century Edinburgh University Press
• Pichet, Éric (2004). Adam Smith, je connais !, French biography.[ISBN missing]
• Vianello, F. (1999). "Social accounting in Adam Smith", in: Mongiovi, G. and Petri F. (eds.), Value, Distribution and capital. Essays in honour of Pierangelo Garegnani, London: Routledge, ISBN 0-415-14277-6.
• Winch, Donald (2007) [2004]. "Smith, Adam". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/25767. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
• Wolloch, N. (2015). "Symposium on Jack Russell Weinstein's Adam Smith's Pluralism: Rationality, Education And The Moral Sentiments". Cosmos + Taxis
• "Adam Smith and Empire: A New Talking Empire Podcast," Imperial & Global Forum, 12 March 2014.

External links

• "Adam Smith". Archived from the original on 17 May 2009. Retrieved 17 May 2009. at the Adam Smith Institute
• Works by Adam Smith at Open Library
• Works by Adam Smith at Project Gutenberg
• Works by or about Adam Smith at Internet Archive
• Works by Adam Smith at LibriVox (public domain audiobooks)
• References to Adam Smith in historic European newspapers
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Sat May 23, 2020 3:52 am

Swadeshi movement
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 5/22/20

"Concentrate on Charkha and Swadeshi," Popular bazar poster in swadeshi movement, 1930's

The Swadeshi movement, part of the Indian independence movement and the developing Indian nationalism, was an economic strategy aimed at removing the British Empire from power and improving economic conditions in India by following the principles of swadeshi which had some success. Strategies of the Swadeshi movement involved boycotting British products and the revival of domestic products and production processes B.C Bhole identifies five phases of the Swadeshi movement.[1]

• 1850 to 1904: developed by leaders like Dadabhai Naoroji, Gokhale, Ranade, Tilak, G. V. Joshi and Bhaswat K. Nigoni. This was also known as First Swadeshi Movement.
• 1905 to 1917: Began in 1905, because of the partition of Bengal ordered by Lord Curzon.
• 1918 to 1947: Swadeshi thought shaped by Gandhi, accompanied by the rise of Indian industrialists.
• 1948 to 1991: Widespread curbs on international and inter-state trade. India became a bastion of obsolete technology during the licence-permit raj.
• 1991 onwards: liberalization privatisation and globalization. Foreign capital, foreign technology, and many foreign goods are not excluded and doctrine of export-led growth resulted in modern industrialism.

The Swadeshi movement started with the partition of Bengal by the Viceroy of India, Lord Curzon in 1905 and continued up to 1911. It was the most successful of the pre-Gandhian movement. Its chief architects were Aurobindo Ghosh, Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Bipin Chandra Pal and Lala Lajpat Rai, V. O. Chidambaram Pillai, Babu Genu. Swadeshi, as a strategy, was a key focus of Mahatma Gandhi, who described it as the soul of Swaraj (self rule). It was strongest in Bengal and was also called the Vandemataram movement.


The word Swadeshi derives from Sanskrit and is a sandhi or conjunction of two Sanskrit words. Swa means "self" or "own" and desh means country, so Swadesh would be "own country", and Swadeshi, the adjectival form, would mean "of one's own country".


Credit to starting the Swadeshi movement goes to Baba Ram Singh Kuka of the Sikh Namdhari sect,[2] whose revolutionary movements which heightened around 1871 and 1872.[3] Naamdharis were instructed by Baba Ram Singh to only wear clothes made in the country and boycott foreign goods.[4] The Namdharis resolved conflict in the peoples court and totally avoided British law and British courts. They also boycotted the educational system as Baba Ram Singh prohibited children from attending British School, amongst other forms and measures he employed.[5]

Swadeshi after independence

The Post-Independence "Swadeshi Movement" has developed forth differently than its pre-independence counterpart. While the pre-independence movement was essentially a response to colonial policies, the post-independence Swadeshi movement sprung forth as an answer to increasingly oppressive imperialistic policies in the post-Second World War climate. For a nation emerging from two centuries of colonial oppression, India was required to compete with the industrialised economies of the west. While rapid industrialisation under the umbrella of "Five year Plans" were aimed at enabling a self-sufficient India, the need to balance it with a predominantly agrarian set-up was the need of the hour. This need to preserve the old fabric of an agrarian country while simultaneously modernising, necessitated a resurgence of a slightly recast "Swadeshi Movement". Forerunners of this resurgent movement was noted journalist, writer and critic S. R. Ramaswamy. Others of late in the movement include the likes of Rajiv Dixit, Swami Ramdev and Pawan Pandit. In the Digital World taking novel initiative for promoting Swadeshi Movement.[6][7]


• E. F. Schumacher, author of Small Is Beautiful, was influenced by Gandhi's concept of Swadeshi when he wrote his article on Buddhist economics[8]
• Satish Kumar, editor of Resurgence, has preaching, including a section in his book You Are, Therefore I Am (2002).

See also

• Swaraj
• Sarvodaya
• Self-determination
• Swadeshi Jagaran Manch
• Rajiv Dixit
• Juche - The North Korean philosophy of self-reliance.
• Autarky - A country, state, or society which is economically independent.
• Continental Association


1. [L. M. Bhole, Essays on Gandhian Socio-Econic, Shipra Publications, Delhi, 2000. Chapter 14: Swadeshi: Meaning and Contemporary Relevance]
2. Anjan, Tara; Rattan, Saldi (2016). Satguru Ram Singh and the Kuka Movement. New Delhi: Publications Division Ministry of Information & Broadcasting. ISBN 9788123022581.
3. McLeod, W. H.; French, Louis (2014). Historical Dictionary of Sikhism. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 261. ISBN 9781442236011.
4. Clarke, Peter (2004). Encyclopedia of New Religious Movements. Oxon: Routledge. p. 425. ISBN 9781134499700.
5. Kaur, Manmohan (1985). Women in India's freedom struggle. Sterling. p. 76.
6. MINISTRY of AYUSH Letter-
7. Swadeshi Movement. "The Third Swadeshi Abhiyan Started in 20th century and the movement is continues. the main faces of the movement". Swadeshi Movement. Retrieved August 15, 2009.
8. Weber, Thomas (May 1999). "Gandhi, Deep Ecology, Peace Research and Buddhist Economics". Journal of Peace Research. 36 (3): 349–361. doi:10.1177/0022343399036003007.

Further reading

• Bandyopadhyay, Sekhar. From Plassey to Partition - A History of Modern India (2004) pp 248–62
• Das, M. N. India Under Morley and Minto: Politics Behind Revolution, Revolution and Reform (1964)
• Gonsalves, Peter. Clothing for Liberation, A Communication Analysis of Gandhi's Swadeshi Revolution, SAGE, (2010)
• Gonsalves, Peter. Khadi: Gandhi's Mega Symbol of Subversion, SAGE, (2012)
• Trivedi, Lisa. "Clothing Gandhi's Nation: Homespun and Modern India", Indiana University Press, (2007)
• Trivedi, Lisa N. (February 2003). "Visually Mapping the 'Nation': Swadeshi Politics in Nationalist India, 1920-1930". The Journal of Asian Studies. Association for Asian Studies. 62 (1): 11–41. doi:10.2307/3096134. JSTOR 3096134.
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Sat May 23, 2020 4:12 am

Scottish Church College
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 5/22/20

Scottish Church College
Former names: 1830: General Assembly's Institution; 1843: Free Church Institution; 1863: Duff College; 1908: Scottish Churches College; 1929: Scottish Church College
Motto: Nec Tamen Consumebatur[1] (Latin)
Motto in English: "The bush burns, but is not consumed"
Type: Private
Established: 13 July 1830; 189 years ago
Founder: Alexander Duff
Religious affiliation: Church of North India, Presbyterian
Academic affiliation: University of Calcutta
Principal: Dr. Arpita Mukerji
Administrative staff: 164
Undergraduates: 1518 (As of 2016–17)
Postgraduates: 97 (As of 2017–18)
Address: 1 & 3, Urquhart Square, Manicktala, Azad Hind Bag, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
22.54837°N 88.35596°ECoordinates: 22.54837°N 88.35596°E
Campus: Urban
Language: English, Bengali, Hindi
Nickname: The Caledonians

Scottish Church College is a premier institute for pursuing undergraduate and postgraduate studies and is the oldest continuously running Christian liberal arts and sciences college in India.[2][3] It has been rated (A) by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council, an autonomous organization that evaluates academic institutions in India. It is affiliated with the University of Calcutta for degree courses for graduates and postgraduates. It is a selective coeducational institution, known for its high academic standards. Students and alumni call themselves "Caledonians" in the name of the college festival, "Caledonia".

The founder and institutional origins

Principals of General Assembly's Institution (1830–1908)

Alexander Duff 1830–34
• W. S. Mackay and D. Ewart 1834–39
• Alexander Duff 1840–43
• James Ogilvie, 1845–71
• William Hastie, 1878–84
• W. Smith, 1884–89
• John Morrison 1889–1904
• A. B. Wann, 1904–1908

Principal of Free Church Institution (1843–63)

• Alexander Duff 1843–63

Principals of Duff College (1863–1908)

• W. C. Fyffe, 1863–80
• James Robertson, 1881–83
• John Hector, 1883–1902

Principals of Scottish Churches College (1908–1929)

• A.B. Wann, 1908–09
• John Lamb, 1909–11
• Alexander Tomory, 1910–1911
• James Watt, 1911–1928

Principals of Scottish Church College (1929–present)

• W. S. Urquhart, 1928–37
• Allen Cameron, 1937–44
• John Kellas, 1944–54
• H. J. Taylor, 1954–60
• N. K. Mundle, 1960–70
• Jyotsna Pyne, 1970
• B. Das, 1970–1971
• S. K. Mitra, 1971–73
• K. D. Bhatt, 1973–75
• S. K. Mukherjee, 1975–76
• A. K. Sen, 1976–78
• A. K. Kisku, 1978–81
• Aparesh Bhattacharyya, 1981–1983
• Kalyan Chandra Dutt, 1983–1995
• Kalyan Kumar Mandi, 1996–2002
• John Abraham, 2002 – 2013
• John Abraham, 2013 – (Rector)
• Amit Abraham, 2015 – 2016

The foundation

The origins are traceable to the life of Alexander Duff (1806–1878), the first overseas missionary of the Church of Scotland, to India. Known initially as the General Assembly's Institution, it was founded on 13 July 1830.[4]

Alexander Duff

Alexander Duff was born on 25 April 1806, in Moulin, Perthshire, located in the Scottish countryside. He attended the University of St Andrews where after graduation, he opted for a missionary life.[4] Subsequently, he undertook his evangelical mission to India. In a voyage that involved two shipwrecks (first on the ship Lady Holland off Dassen Island, near Cape Town, and later on the ship Moira, near the Ganges delta) and the loss of his personal library consisting of 800 volumes (of which 40 survived), and college prizes, he arrived in Calcutta on 27 May 1830.[5][6]

Feringhi Kamal Bose

Supported by the Governor-General of India Lord William Bentinck,[5] Rev. Alexander Duff opened his institution in Feringhi Kamal Bose's house, located in upper Chitpore Road, near Jorasanko. In 1836 the institution was moved to Gorachand Bysack's house at Garanhatta.[4] Mr. MacFarlane, the Chief-Magistrate of Calcutta, laid the foundation stone on 23 February 1837. Mr. John Gray, elected by Messrs. Burn & Co. and superintended by Captain John Thomson of the East India Company designed the building. It is possible that he may have been inspired by the facade of the Holy House of Mercy in Macau, which reflects the influence of Portuguese ⁰. Traces of English Palladianism are also evident in the design of the college. The construction of the building was completed in 1839.[4]

Historical context

In the early 1800s, under the regime of the East India Company, English education and Missionary activities were initially suspect.[4] While the East India Company supported Orientalist instruction in the vernacular languages like Persian, Arabic and Sanskrit, and helped to establish institutions like Calcutta Madrasah College, and Sanskrit College, in general, colonial administrative policy discouraged the dissemination of knowledge in their language, that is in English. The general apathy of the Company towards the cause of education and improvement of natives is in many ways, the background for the agency of missionaries like Duff.[7]

Inspired by the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, Reverend Alexander Duff, then a young missionary, arrived in India's colonial capital to set up an English-medium institution. Though Bengalis had shown some interest in the spread of Western education from the beginning of the 19th century, both the local church and government officers were skeptical about the high-caste Bengali's response to the idea of an English-medium institution.[4] While Orientalists like James Prinsep were supportive of the idea of vernacular education, Duff and prominent Indians like Raja Ram Mohan Roy supported the use of English as a medium of instruction.[4] His emphasis on the use of English on Indian soil was prophetic:

The English language, I repeat it, is the lever which, as the instrument of conveying the entire range of knowledge, is destined to move all Hindustan.[8]

Raja Ram Mohan Roy helped Duff by organizing the venue and bringing in the first batch of students. He also assured the guardians that reading the King James's Bible did not necessarily imply religious conversion, unless that was based on inner spiritual conviction. Imbibing the tenets of the Scottish educational system that shaped his ideals, Duff was, unlike the missionaries and scholars at the Serampore College, wholeheartedly committed to the cause of instruction in the English language, as that facilitated the advanced study of European religion, literature and science. By carefully selecting teachers, European and Indian, who brought out the best of Christian and secular understandings, and by emphasizing advanced pedagogical techniques that emphasized the Socratic method of classroom debate, inquiry, and rational thinking, Duff and his followers established an educational system, whose impact in spreading progressive values in contemporary Bengal would be profound.[9] Although his ultimate aim was the spread of English education, Duff was aware that a foreign language could not be mastered without command of the native language. Hence in his General Assembly's Institution (as later in his Free Church Institution), teaching and learning in the dominant vernacular Bengali language was also emphasized. Duff and his successors also underscored the necessity of sports among his students.[10] When he introduced political economy as a subject in the curricula, his faced his church's criticism.

The great social reformer Raja Ram Mohan Roy supported Reverend Duff in his efforts.

In 1840, Duff returned to India. At the Disruption of 1843, Duff sided with the Free Church. He gave up the college buildings, with all their effects and established a new institution, called the Free Church Institution.[5] He had the support of Sir James Outram ...

Lieutenant-General Sir James Outram, 1st Baronet, GCB, KCSI (29 January 1803 – 11 March 1863) was an English general who fought in the Indian Rebellion of 1857.

-- Sir James Outram, 1st Baronet, by Wikipedia

and Sir Henry Lawrence,...

Brigadier-General Sir Henry Montgomery Lawrence KCB (28 June 1806 – 4 July 1857) was a British military officer, surveyor, administrator and statesman in British India. He is best known for leading a group of administrators in the Punjab affectionately known as Henry Lawrence's "Young Men", as the founder of the Lawrence Military Asylums and for his death at the Siege of Lucknow during the Indian Rebellion.

-- Henry Montgomery Lawrence, by Wikipedia

and the encouragement of seeing a new band of converts, including several young men born of high caste. In 1844, governor-general Viscount Hardinge opened government appointments to all who had studied in institutions similar to Duff's institution. In the same year, Duff co-founded the Calcutta Review, of which he served as editor from 1845 to 1849.

The Calcutta Review is a bi-annual periodical, now published by the Calcutta University press, featuring scholarly articles from a variety of disciplines.

The Calcutta Review was founded in May 1844, by Sir John William Kaye and Reverend Alexander Duff. Through the journal, Sir John Kaye aimed "to bring together such useful information, and propagate such sound opinions, relating to Indian affairs, as will, it is hoped, conduce, in some small measure, directly or indirectly, to the amelioration of the condition of the people".[1]

The periodical proved to be successful, and was published as a quarterly up until 1912. Sir John Kaye was Editor of four issues, and then retired due to ill health. He remained the owner of the review until 1855, when it was purchased by Meredith Townsend. Thacker, Spink and Company bought it in 1857. It was printed by Sanders and Cowes until 1857, when it moved to the Serampore Press. When Rev. T. Ridsdale took over as editor, it was published by R. C. Lepage and Company.

The journal was not published in 1912. In its second series, from 1913 to 1920, it was published bi-annually. In 1921, it was acquired by the Calcutta University press, which now releases it bi-annually.

-- Calcutta Review, by Wikipedia

In 1857, when the University of Calcutta was established, the Free Church Institution was one of its earliest affiliates, and Duff would also serve in the university's first senate.[11] These two institutions founded by Duff, i.e., the General Assembly's Institution and the Free Church Institution would be merged later to form the Scottish Churches College. After the unification of the Church of Scotland in 1929, the institution would be known as Scottish Church College.[4]

Along with Raja Ram Mohan Roy, the great social reformer often called the father of modern India, Dr. Duff supported Lord Macaulay in drafting his influential Minute for the introduction of English education in India.

Thomas Babington Macaulay, 1st Baron Macaulay, FRS FRSE PC (25 October 1800 – 28 December 1859) was a British historian and Whig politician. He wrote extensively as an essayist, on contemporary and historical sociopolitical subjects, and as a reviewer. His The History of England was a seminal and paradigmatic example of Whig historiography, and its literary style has remained an object of praise since its publication, including subsequent to the widespread condemnation of its historical contentions which became popular in the 20th century.

Macaulay served as the Secretary at War between 1839 and 1841, and as the Paymaster-General between 1846 and 1848. He played a major role in the introduction of English and western concepts to education in India, and published his argument on the subject in the "Macaulay's Minute" in 1835. He supported the replacement of Persian by English as the official language, the use of English as the medium of instruction in all schools, and the training of English-speaking Indians as teachers. On the flip side, this led to Macaulayism in India, and the systematic wiping out of traditional and ancient Indian education and vocational systems and sciences.

Macaulay divided the world into civilised nations and barbarism, with Britain representing the high point of civilisation. In his Minute on Indian Education of February 1835, he asserted, "It is, I believe, no exaggeration to say that all the historical information which has been collected from all the books written in the Sanskrit language is less valuable than what may be found in the most paltry abridgement used at preparatory schools in England". He was wedded to the idea of progress, especially in terms of the liberal freedoms. He opposed radicalism while idealising historic British culture and traditions.

-- Thomas Babington Macaulay, by Wikipedia

Eminent contemporary and successive missionary scholars from Scotland, notably Dr. Ogilvie, Dr. Hastie,[12] Dr. Macdonald, Dr. Stephen, Dr. Watt, and Dr. Urquhart contributed in spreading liberal Western education. The institutions founded by Duff have been coterminous with other contemporary institutions like the Serampore College, and the Hindu College in ushering the spirit of intellectual inquiry and a general acceptance of the ideals of the Enlightenment among Bengali Hindus, the then dominant indigenous ethno-linguistic group in the Company-administered Indian territories. This exchange of ideas and ideals, and adoption of progressive values that would eventually influence many social reform movements in South Asia, has been widely regarded by historians specializing in nineteenth century India, as the epochs of the Young Bengal Movement and later, the Bengal Renaissance.[13]

Duff's contemporaries included Reverend Mackay, Reverend Ewart and Reverend Thomas Smith. Till the early 20th century the norm was to bring teachers from Scotland, and this brought forth scholars like William Spence Urquhart, Henry Stephen, H.M. Percival etc. Indian scholars were also engaged as teachers by the college authorities, and the notable faculty includes names like Surendranath Banerjee, Kalicharan Bandyopadhyay, Jnan Chandra Ghosh, Gouri Shankar Dey, Adhar Chandra Mukhopadhyay, Sushil Chandra Dutta, Mohimohan Basu, Sudhir Kumar Dasgupta, Nirmal Chandra Bhattacharya, Bholanath Mukhopadhyay and Kalidas Nag, all of whom had all contributed to enhancing the academic standards of the college.[13]

The college authorities played a pioneering role in promoting gender equality by emphasizing the significance of women's education. During much of the nineteenth century, the college remained the only institution of its kind in the city of Calcutta (and indeed in the country) to promote the cause of co-education.[5][14] Female students comprise half the present roll strength of the college. With the added interest of the missionaries in educational work and social welfare, the college stands as a monument to Indo-Scottish co-operation.

Postage stamp

On 27 September 1980, the Indian Postal Service released a commemorative stamp on the college.[15]

College Hymn

O God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come,
Our shelter from the stormy blast,
And our eternal home.

Under the shadow of Thy throne,
Thy saints have dwelt secure;
Sufficient is Thine arm alone,
And our defence is sure.

Before the hills in order stood,
Or earth received her frame,
From everlasting Thou art God,
To endless years the same.

A thousand ages in Thy sight
Are like an evening gone;
Short as the watch that ends the night
Before the rising sun.

Time, like an ever-rolling steam,
Bears all its sons away;
They fly forgotten, as a dream
Dies at the opening day.

O God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come,
Be Thou our guard while troubles last,
And our eternal home.

Departments and programmes

Undergraduate programmes

Bachelor of Arts (Honours) / Bachelor of Business Administration (Honours) / Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) / Bachelor of Science (Honours)

Department of Bengali / Department of Business Administration / Department of Commerce / Department of Botany
Department of English / -- / -- / Department of Chemistry
Department of History / -- / -- / Department of Computer Science
Department of Philosophy / -- / -- / Department of Economics
Department of Political Science / -- / -- / Department of Mathematics
Department of Sanskrit / -- / -- / Department of Microbiology
-- / -- / -- / Department of Physics
-- / -- / -- / Department of Zoology

Postgraduate programmes

• Bachelor of Education (postgraduate course for women students, offered by the Department of Teacher Education)
• Master of Science in Botany (previously an autonomous course, offered by the postgraduate section of the Department of Botany, now under University of Calcutta)
• Master of Science in Chemistry (previously an autonomous course, offered by the postgraduate section of the Department of Chemistry, now under University of Calcutta)

Campus and infrastructure


Scottish Church College main building

Scottish Church College Assembly Hall

The college sits on an area of six acres. It operates in seven buildings and two campuses. The main campus consists of the main building, which is among others, one of the oldest masonry pieces in the city of Kolkata and an example of colonial architecture. This has been declared a 'Heritage Building' by the statutory body constituted by the Government of West Bengal and the Calcutta Municipal Corporation. It includes the college Assembly Hall and the air-conditioned seminar room used by the departments for holding extension lectures and seminars.

The main building houses the economics, history, political science, philosophy, zoology, botany, mathematics, English, Sanskrit and Bengali departments. A separate Science annex building houses the departments of physics and chemistry. Situated in the main campus, the central library of the college is computerized. The biological science departments are in possession of a museum and a 'poly-house'. The college is encompassed by a garden and a lawn. Many medicinal plants are grown in the garden under the care of the botany department. There are rare and non-native plants in the garden as well. The Scottish Church College campus is a 'green' campus with solar lighting.[16]

Scottish Church College Millennium Building

The second campus houses the Millennium Building and the Department of Teacher Education. The college auditorium, called the M.L. Bhaumik Auditorium, is fully air-conditioned and is located in the Millennium Building. It is named after Dr. Mani Lal Bhaumik, laser scientist and an alumnus of the college. The cultural activities, special programmes, and students’extension activities are held here. The Millennium Building houses the departments of microbiology, computer science and business administration. The commerce classes, held in the morning batch of the college, are present in the Millennium Building.

A separate building houses the department of teacher education.[16]

Track and field

The college playground is situated about a kilometer away from the college. It has a full length football field and two other medium-sized football grounds. A running track surrounds the field. A two storied permanent pavilion ('Watt Pavilion') stands there, with separate changing rooms for boys and girls, toilets and a store-room. The teacher-in-charge of physical education is provided residential accommodation in a part of the pavilion. Separate common rooms for male and female students, equipped with indoor game facilities like table tennis are available in the campus.[16]

Halls of residence

The college has five hostels for its students, all of which are situated near the college. They have recreational common rooms with audio-visual equipment.

• Lady Jane Dundas Hostel (for female students)
• Students' Residence (for female students)
• Duff Hostel
• Wann Hostel
• Ogilvie Hostel[16]

College publications

The college publications are annual and consists of contributions from students and staffs.

• The Scottish Church College Magazine is published annually with contributions from past and present staff and students.
• The Scottish Herald is the college newsletter and is published annually.
• The Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences, a refereed international academic journal with an interdisciplinary approach which publishes research articles written by both experienced and young scholars all over the world, is annually published by the college. The journal discusses issues from points of view such as liberalism, empiricism, positivism, Marxism, structuralism, psychoanalysis, postmodernism, deconstruction, feminism, subaltern studies school and postcolonialism. The advisory board consists of personalities such as Amartya Sen, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Partha Chatterjee, Dipesh Chakrabarty and Amiya Kumar Bagchi.[13][15]
• Sanket, a short magazine, is published annually by the Scottish Church College Literary society. It was first published in 2015.

Activity clubs and extension activities

The NSS unit

The college runs the National Service Scheme programme under the University of Calcutta. Activities are carried on round the year and a special camp is held once a year. The NSS unit serves as a platform to connect students from the departments and motivate them towards community service alongside their learning process. Some of the activities include tree plantation programmes, voluntary blood donation camps, health and hygiene awareness programmes, and anti drug-abuse campaigns.

The Scottish Church College NSS unit has adopted the Dewanji Bagan slum area of the Calcutta Municipal Corporation, adjacent to the college play ground, and has focused its activities in that area. The NSS unit has 100 student volunteers, one programme officer, and 10 other teachers. The students of the unit are led by two student leaders, chosen every year. Every year 50 students participate in the NSS special camp. Apart from the NSS, nine faculty members of departments are associated with different NGOs in their individual capacities.

Four faculty members and three library staff are involved with social work at an informal level in their neighbourhood. The NSS Unit organised several environment/health/hygiene-related programmes in the college in collaboration with the United Board for Christian Higher Education in Asia and the college's department of Teacher Education.[17] The volunteers of the college NSS unit participated in North-East Youth Festival, held at Arunachal Pradesh in 2012 and NSS Mega Camp held at Assam in 2013. Some of them also took part in Rock Climbing and Adventure camp at Balasore, Odisha (India) and were awarded the title of "Basic Mountaineer".

The college received four awards from the University of Calcutta for its activities in NSS. Prof. U.N. Nandi became the Best Program Officer in 2009. Parag Chatterjee, a student of Computer Science and the NSS student leader (2011–2013), was awarded "Best Volunteer" by the university.[18] The college NSS unit received the "Best College" award in 2012, followed by Agnimeel Das, a student of Zoology receiving "Best Volunteer" in 2013. In 2018 Agnimeel Das has been appointed as Youth Officer in N.S.S. under Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Govt. of India through UPSC. He is the first former N.S.S. Volunteer of West Bengal joined as Youth Officer.

Activity clubs and societies

The Scottish Church College has clubs and societies where students join and participate in intra-college or inter-college competitions.

• Debating Society
• Literary Society
• Nature Study and Photography Club
• Budding Painters' Club
• Western and Indian Music Club
• Dance and Drama Club

The Scottish Church College Annual Activity Day is organized by the college authorities annually, an event in which students from all departments gather to showcase their talents.

Sports and festivals

Annual sports

The college conducts a sports day every December, in the college playground. Students compete in track and field events. The intra-college football and cricket tournaments are held during these two days. The students also participate in other inter-college athletic meets and sports meets throughout the year. The students of the college are regulars at the sports events organized by government colleges.


Caledonia is a four-days long cultural fest. Held annually, Caledonia is one of the largest and longest running festivals in Kolkata. It serves as a great attraction for students from different colleges. Caledonia invites other colleges from all over the city to participate in events like dancing, band performance, quizzes (the Chao Quiz being a major attraction) and a photography competition called Shutter Bugs. Caledonia does not confine itself to the four walls of the college campus, but goes out into the open by holding few of its on-stage events in Urquhart Square, outside the college. The fest is organized by the college authorities.

Students' union

The students' union is the representative organization of the students. The main body of the students' union is formed by election of class representatives. The office-bearers are chosen by these members. The president and the general secretary of the students' union are the main representatives of the students, and they are also members of the College Senatus. It organizes cultural programmes like a freshers' welcome, Caledonia and the Annual Social. The students' union organizes annual blood donation camps, social service related activities and recreational activities for the students.

College ranking

• The college is ranked fifth amongst Kolkata's top science colleges as per India Today (AC Nielsen-ORG Marg Survey of Colleges for 2006–07).
• India Today – CITY WISE RANKING:Best Arts college 2007: Rank 5 in Kolkata[19]
• India Today – CITY WISE RANKING:Best Science college 2008: Rank 3 in Kolkata[20]
• India Today – CITY WISE RANKING:Best Arts college 2008: Rank 5 in Kolkata[21]
• India Today – Best Science college 2010: Rank 35 in India[22]
• India Today – CITY WISE RANKING:Best Science college 2010: Rank 5 in Kolkata[23]
• India Today – CITY WISE RANKING:Best Arts college 2010: Rank 5 in Kolkata[24]
• India Today – Best Science college 2011: Rank 29 in India[25]
• India Today – CITY WISE RANKING:Best Science college 2011: Rank 2 in Kolkata[26]
• India Today – Best Arts college 2011: Rank 43 in India[27]
• India Today – Best Science college 2012: Rank 40 in India[28]
• India Today – Best Arts college 2012: Rank 41 in India[29]
• India Today – CITY WISE RANKING:Best Science college 2012: Rank 6 in Kolkata[30]
• India Today – CITY WISE RANKING:Best Arts college 2012: Rank 5 in Kolkata[31]
• India Today – Best science college 2013: Rank 26 in India
• India Today – CITY WISE RANKING:Best Science college 2013: Rank 8 in Kolkata[32]
• India Today – CITY WISE RANKING:Best Arts college 2013: Rank 8 in Kolkata[33]
• India Today – CITY WISE RANKING:Best Arts college 2014: Rank 7 in Kolkata[34]
• India Today – CITY WISE RANKING:Best Science college 2015: Rank 8 in Kolkata[35]
• India Today – CITY WISE RANKING:Best Arts college 2015: Rank 7 in Kolkata[36]
• India Today – CAMPUS WISE RANKING: Best Arts college 2015: Rank 4 in Kolkata[37]
• India Today – CITY WISE RANKING:Best Science college 2016: Rank 5 in Kolkata[38]
• India Today – CITY WISE RANKING:Best Arts college 2016: Rank 7 in Kolkata[39]
• India Today – CITY WISE RANKING:Best Science college 2017: Rank 8 in Kolkata[40]
• India Today – CITY WISE RANKING:Best Arts college 2017: Rank 6 in Kolkata[41]


The Mother Teresa International Award was conferred on the college for its outstanding achievement and contribution in the field of education. It was adjudged the best college in 2014.

Mobile app for Scottish Church College

A mobile application was launched by the Scottish Church College on the Annual Day (13 March 2015). News and updates are notified through the application enabling students to keep up with the events and programmes of the college.

Alumni association

The alumni association of the college is the Scottish Church College Former Students' Association. Its objective is to keep the former students in touch with each other, and maintain links with the college. The association organizes reunion meetings and social gatherings. Departments organize their reunion meetings either bi-annually or annually in the college campus. In West Bengal only Scottish Church College National Service Scheme Unit has their autonomous Alumni Association namely "Ten years and beyond". In 2017 first alumni meet of Ten Years and Beyond was organized.

Status and initiatives

• Until 1953, administrative control over the college was exercised by the Foreign Mission Committee of the Church of Scotland. This was exercised by a local council consisting of representatives of the Church of Scotland and the United Church of Northern India. Later the Foreign Mission Committee of Church of Scotland relinquished its authority to the United Church of Northern India, and in 1970, the United Church of Northern India joined the Church of North India as a constituent body. This made the Church of North India the de facto and de jure successor (to the Church of Scotland) in running the administration of the college. As the college was founded on Christian (Protestant and Presbyterian) foundations, it derives its legal authority and status as a religious minority institution as defined by the scope of Article 30 of the Constitution of India.[4]
• On 27 September 1980, the Indian Postal Service released a commemorative stamp on the college.
• In 2003, the college buildings and premises underwent renovation, with the financial support of the alumni and well-wishers.[15][42]
• In 2004, the general section of the college was awarded grade 'A' after accreditation by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council.[43] The same grade was awarded upon reaccreditation in 2014.
• Since 2004, the college has been a member of the United Board for Christian Higher Education in Asia and is a participant in that organization's Asian University Leadership Program.[4][44][45]
• In 2006, the University Grants Commission (India) accepted the recommendations of the University of Calcutta to regard the college as "College with Potential for Excellence".[4][46][47]
• In 2011, the Scottish Government instituted a Centre of Tagore Studies in Edinburgh's Napier University, to facilitate integrated research on Rabindranath Tagore's works and philosophy. In Calcutta, this scholarly initiative (with student exchange programs) was extended to the college, involving the departments of English, Bengali and philosophy.[17][48][49]
• The University Grants Commission sponsors the construction of the Quarto Sept Centennial Jubilee Building project of the college. The building plan has been approved by the Heritage Committee of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation for necessary approval. The construction of the new building has been completed with modern equipments and audio-visual system worth for having special lectures which can also be broadcast to other colleges through online.[50] The building was Inaugurated by the Members of college administrative body(College Rector Dr.J.Abraham and Principal alongside)
• Scottish Church College celebrated its 184th Foundation Day and its first Alexander Duff Memorial Lecture on 13 July 2013. The college welcomed Dr.S.C.Jamir, the Honorable Governor of Odisha and an alumnus of the college, who delivered the first Alexander Duff Memorial Lecture.
• In January 2014, the NAAC re-accredited the General Section of the college with Grade 'A' (meaning "Very Good") in January. The Teacher Education Section was reaccredited with Grade 'B' (meaning "Good").
• The college was awarded the status of "College with Potential for Excellence" for a third time, valid from April 2015 to March 2020.

Scottish Church College in popular culture

In fiction

• Satyajit Ray's fictional scientist-cum-investigator Professor Shonku started his career as a professor of physics at the Scottish Church College.
• Satyajit Ray's fictional private investigator Feluda was a student of the Scottish Church College.
• Samaresh Majumdar's bestselling novel Kalbela, which explores Calcutta's culture, politics and society in the aftermath of the 1970s Naxalite movement, won the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1984.[51] It featured the college as a backdrop in the storyline.
• Samaresh Majumdar's Animesh quartet, a series of four novels (Uttoradhikar, Kalbela and Kalpurush, and Mousholkal), revolves around the life and experiences of Animesh Mitra, an alumnus, who witnesses the tumultuous socio-political transformations in post-independence West Bengal.

In cinema

• Kaalbela: Calcutta My Love, a 2009 Bengali film directed by Goutam Ghose on the events of the 1970s Naxalite movement, had scenes which were shot at the college.[52]
• Egaro: The Immortal Eleven was a 2011 sports film in Bengali directed by Arun Roy, that was based on the Mohun Bagan Athletic Club's victory over the East Yorkshire Regiment in the finals of the 1911 IFA Shield.[53] Three members of the winning team were students of the college. The film also showed the college as a background.[54]
• Natoker Moto was a 2015 biographical Bengali language film , which was roughly based on the life and tragic death of Keya Chakraborty, an alumna,[55] and English lecturer,[56] who subsequently became a prominent theatre personality. The character based on her is called Kheya in the film.

Notable alumni

Social reformers and religious leaders

• Swami Vivekananda, proponent of Advaita Vedanta in the West and founder of the Ramakrishna Mission
• Rev. Lal Behari Dey, theologian of the Free Church of Scotland
• Brahmabandhav Upadhyay, theologian and preacher of New Dispensation Brahmoism, Protestantism, and Roman Catholicism
• Benoyendranath Sen, theologian of New Dispensation Brahmoism
• Sitanath Tattwabhushan, theologian and former president of the Sadharan Brahmo Samaj[57]
• Krishna Kumar Mitra, former president of the Sadharan Brahmo Samaj[58]
• Paramahansa Yogananda, proponent of Kriya Yoga in the West and founder of the Self-Realization Fellowship
• A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, proponent of Gaudiya Vaishnavism and founder of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness[59][60]
• Rev. Aurobindo Nath Mukherjee, first Indian to serve as the bishop of Calcutta and as the Metropolitan bishop of India within the Church of India, Pakistan, Burma and Ceylon
• Swami Gambhirananda, former president of the Ramakrishna Mission[61]
• Mohanananda

Independence activists and politicians

• Subhas Chandra Bose, former president of the Indian National Congress, founder president of the All India Forward Bloc, co-founder of the Indian National Army and head of state, Provisional Government of Free India
• Bishweshwar Prasad Koirala, first democratically elected prime minister of Nepal[62]
• Amarendranath Chatterjee, revolutionary associated with Anushilan Samiti, and Jugantar
• Syed Abul Mansur Habibullah, co-founder of the Bengal Provincial Krishak Sabha, and the Students Federation of India
• Saroj Dutta, veteran communist leader, co-founder of the Communist Party of India (Marxist–Leninist) and the Naxalite movement.
• Ambica Charan Mazumdar, former president of the Indian National Congress
• Nirmal Chandra Chatterjee, former president of the All India Hindu Mahasabha
• Gopinath Bordoloi, prominent freedom fighter, first chief minister of Assam[63]
• Prafulla Chandra Sen, former chief minister of West Bengal
• Yangmasho Shaiza, former chief minister of Manipur
• Brington Buhai Lyngdoh, former chief minister of Meghalaya
• S.C. Marak, former chief minister of Meghalaya
• S.C. Jamir, former chief minister of Nagaland, former governor of Maharashtra, Gujarat and Goa, and governor of Odisha
• Rishang Keishing, former chief minister of Manipur
• George Gilbert Swell, former deputy speaker of the Lok Sabha and former ambassador to Norway and Burma
• Birendra Narayan Chakraborty, former governor of Haryana
• Banwari Lal Joshi, former governor of Uttar Pradesh, Delhi,[64] Meghalaya[65] and Uttarakhand
• Ajit Kumar Panja, former minister of state for external affairs[66]
• Shawkat Ali Khan, a framer of the Constitution of Bangladesh[67]


• Sir Gooroodas Banerjee, former judge at the Calcutta High Court
• Sudhi Ranjan Das, former Chief Justice of India
• Amal Kumar Sarkar, former Chief Justice of India[68]
• Subimal Chandra Roy, former judge of the Supreme Court of India[69]
• Sambhunath Banerjee, former judge of the Calcutta High Court
• Amarendra Nath Sen, former chief justice of the Calcutta High Court, and former judge of the Supreme Court of India[70]
• Samarendra Chandra Deb, former chief justice of the Calcutta High Court
• Anil Kumar Sen, former chief justice of the Calcutta High Court
• Anandamoy Bhattacharjee, former chief justice of the Sikkim, Calcutta and the Bombay High Courts[71]
• Ganendra Narayan Ray, former chief justice of the Gujarat High Court, and former judge of the Supreme Court of India[72]
• Umesh Chandra Banerjee, former chief justice of the Andhra Pradesh High Court and former judge of the Supreme Court of India[73]
• Mukul Gopal Mukherjee, former chief justice of the Rajasthan High Court
• Shyamal Kumar Sen, former chief justice of the Allahabad High Court, and former governor of West Bengal

Scholars and academic administrators

• Chandramukhi Basu, one of the first female graduates of the British Empire, and the first female head of an undergraduate college in South Asia (as principal of Bethune College, Calcutta)[4]
• Sir Gooroodas Banerjee, first Indian vice chancellor of the University of Calcutta
• Sir Brajendra Nath Seal, first chancellor of Visva-Bharati University, former vice chancellor of the University of Mysore[74]
• Sir Jnan Chandra Ghosh, formerly director of the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, founder-director of the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur and former vice chancellor of the University of Calcutta
• Tarak Nath Das, formerly professor of political science at Columbia University
• Sarat Chandra Roy, pioneering anthropologist, often regarded as the father of Indian ethnography, and as the first Indian anthropologist
• Biraja Sankar Guha, pioneering anthropologist, one of the first PhD recipients in anthropology in the world (Harvard University, 1924)[75] and founder-director of the Anthropological Survey of India[76]
• Nirmal Kumar Bose, eminent anthropologist and freedom fighter[77]
• Ramaprasad Chanda, anthropologist and archaeologist[78]
• Hem Chandra Raychaudhuri, formerly Carmichael Professor of Ancient Indian History and Culture, University of Calcutta
• Kalidas Nag, historian, author and parliamentarian
• Kaliprasanna Vidyaratna, Sanskrit scholar, author and academician
• Tapan Raychaudhuri, ad hominem professor of Indian history and civilization and emeritus fellow, St Antony's College, Oxford
• Rabindra Kumar Das Gupta, formerly Tagore professor of Bengali literature, University of Delhi, and former director of the National Library of India
• Asima Chatterjee, first Indian woman to earn a doctorate in science, first female recipient of the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize for Science and Technology, and first female president of the Indian Science Congress[79]
• Animesh Chakravorty, recipient of the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize for Science and Technology in chemistry, formerly chair of the department of chemistry, Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur
• Sambhunath Banerjee, Nirmal Kumar Sidhanta, Ramendra Kumar Podder, and Santosh Bhattacharyya, former vice chancellors of the University of Calcutta
• Nityananda Saha, former vice chancellor of the University of Kalyani

Performing arts, theater and cinema

• Sisir Bhaduri, noted playwright[80]
• Pankaj Mullick, Bollywood and Bengali cinema music director and composer
• Birendra Krishna Bhadra, broadcaster, playwright, and theater director
• Suchitra Mitra, Rabindra Sangeet exponent
• Manna Dey, Bollywood film music exponent[81][82]
• Mrinal Sen, internationally acclaimed art film director and cultural commentator[83][84]
• Buddhadeb Dasgupta, noted parallel cinema director and poet[85]
• Tarun Majumdar, film director
• Utpalendu Chakrabarty, film director and thespian
• Mithun Chakraborty, Bollywood action hero and social activist
• Shyamanand Jalan, thespian and theatre director[86]
• Kaushik Sen, noted theatre personality, director of Swapnasandhani theatre group
• Silajit Majumder, singer and actor
• Badal Sircar, dramatist[87]
• Rudraprasad Sengupta, eminent theatre personality, director of Nandikar theatre group and cultural critic
• Partha Pratim Chowdhury, film director and playwright
• Manoj Mitra, dramatist[88]
• Madhav Sharma, actor, comedian, theater director[89]
• Pulak Bandyopadhyay, lyricist and composer
• Puja Banerjee , actress

Writers, poets and journalists

• Dhan Gopal Mukerji, socio-cultural critic and first successful Indian man of letters in the United States of America; winner of Newbery Medal (1928)
• Nirad C. Chaudhuri, polymath, historian and commentator on culture, and Commander of the Order of the British Empire[90]
• Satyendranath Dutta, poet[91]
• Sudhindranath Dutta, author and poet[92][93]
• Ashok Kumar Sarkar, former editor of Desh literary magazine and editor-in-chief of the Anandabazar Patrika (1958–1983)
• Lakshminath Bezbaroa, writer, editor and social critic
• Parvati Prasad Baruwa, litterateur[94]
• Premendra Mitra, novelist, short story and science fiction writer, and film director
• Subhas Mukhopadhyay, poet[95]
• Samaresh Majumdar, novelist
• Sajanikanta Das, critic, poet and editor of Shanibarer Chithi
• Sanjib Chattopadhyay, journalist, author and critic
• Bani Basu, essayist, novelist, and poet[96][97][98]
• Kanhaiyalal Sethia, poet
• Kali Nath Roy, editor in chief of The Tribune magazine
• Farrukh Ahmed, poet, writer, activist of the Language Movement
• Derek O'Brien, quiz-master and author
• Bina Sarkar Ellias, founder-editor and publisher of International Gallerie, a global arts and ideas magazine[99]
• Mustafa Manwar, artist and media personality[100]
• Madhu Rye, playwright, novelist and short story writer

Administrators, industrialists and organization leaders

• Binay Ranjan Sen, former director general of the Food and Agriculture Organization (1956–1967)
• Nitish Chandra Laharry, first Indian (and Asian) president of Rotary International (1962–63)
• Jagmohan Dalmiya, former president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India and the first Indian chairman of the International Cricket Council[101]
• Mani Lal Bhaumik, scientist (laser technology) turned entrepreneur, inventor of the excimer laser and author[102][103]
• Diptendu Pramanick, first secretary of the Eastern India Motion Pictures Association, and secretary of the Film Federation of India (1953–54)
• Evelyn Norah Shullai, pioneer of the Girl Guides Movement in India[104]
• Samson H. Chowdhury, industrialist


• Gourgopal Ghosh, football player for the Mohun Bagan club and mathematician[105]
• Dharma Bhakta Mathema, bodybuilder, political activist and anti-royalist martyr in the Kingdom of Nepal[106][107]
• Surya Shekhar Ganguly, chess grandmaster[108][109] and national champion[110]
• Sreerupa Bose, former member, India national women's cricket team

See also

• Scottish Church Collegiate School, the twin institution of the college, also founded by Reverend Alexander Duff


1. Saint Columba's main doorway
2. Basu, Pradip. The Question of Colonial Modernity and Scottish Church College in 175th Year Commemoration Volume. Scottish Church College, April 2008. p.35.
3. Matilal, Anup. The Scottish Church College: A Brief Discourse on the Origins of an Institution in 175th Year Commemoration Volume. Scottish Church College, April 2008. pp.19–20.
4. "Sen, Asit and John Abraham. Glimpses of college history, 2008 (1980). Retrieved on 2009-10-03"(PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 December 2009. Retrieved 10 March 2009.
5. Pitlochry Church of Scotland's obituary of Alexander Duff Archived 30 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine
6. The missionary’s mission in Calcutta
7. Matilal, p. 17.
8. Basu, pp. 33–4.
9. Sardella, Ferdinando. Rise of Nondualism in Bengal in Modern Hindu Personalism: The History, Thought and Life of Bhaktisiddhanta. Oxford University Press, 2013. pp. 39–40.
10. Bandyopadhyay, Kausik. Games Ethic in Bengal: A Commentary on the sporting tradition of the Scottish Church College in 175th Year Commemoration Volume. Scottish Church College, April 2008. pp. 74–5.
11. A Tradition of Notable Firsts Archived 7 March 2013 at the Wayback Machine
12. Master visionary
13. Basu, p. 35.
14. Manna, Mausumi, Women's Education through Co-Education: the Pioneering College in 175th Year Commemoration Volume. Scottish Church College, April 2008, page 107-116
15. Photo Gallery in 175th Year Commemoration Volume. Scottish Church College, April 2008. pp. 559–61.
16. Criterion IV: Infrastructure and Learning Resources
17. Criterion III: Research, Consultancy and Extension
19. "India Today".
20. "India Today".
21. "India Today".
22. "India Today".
23. "India Today".
24. "India Today".
25. "India Today".
26. "India Today".
27. "India Today".
28. "India Today".
29. "India Today".
30. "India Today".
31. "India Today".
32. "India Today".
33. "India Today".
34. "India Today".
35. "India Today".
36. "India Today".
37. "India Today".
38. "India Today".
39. "India Today".
40. "India Today".
41. "India Today".
42. Abraham, John. A Foreword in 175th Year Commemoration Volume. Scottish Church College, April 2008. p.4.
43. Abraham, p.6.
44. United Board Partner Institutions Archived 14 February 2013 at the Wayback Machine
45. Abraham, p.8.
46. Star tag on six colleges
47. Half in, half out in college tag race
48. Tagore drew inspiration from Scottish bard for his poem – article in the Times of India
49. Glasgow tie-up for CU – article in the Calcutta Telegraph
50. The College Annual Day 2012–13
51. Sahitya Akademi Awards 1955–2007 Archived 16 June 2010 at the Wayback Machine
52. Article in The Telegraph on the film Kaalbela
53. The death anniversary of Indian Football's first legend
54. Football scores at the box office in cricket-mad India
55. Some Alumni of Scottish Church College in 175th Year Commemoration Volume Scottish Church College, 2008, p. 589
56. Teaching Staff:English in 175th Year Commemoration Volume, Scottish Church College, 2008, p. 573
57. From the Brahmo Samaj website
58. Mohanta, Sambaru Chandra (2012). "Mitra, Krishna Kumar". In Islam, Sirajul; Jamal, Ahmed A. (eds.). Banglapedia: National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh (Second ed.). Asiatic Society of Bangladesh.
59. Entertainment Homepage Archived 17 July 2006 at the Wayback Machine
60. Ghosh, Monoranjan (2012). "International Society for Krishna Consciousness". In Islam, Sirajul; Jamal, Ahmed A. (eds.). Banglapedia: National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh (Second ed.). Asiatic Society of Bangladesh.
61. Reflections around Swami Gambhirananda
62. Bisheshwor Prasad Koirala Archived 11 November 2013 at the Wayback Machine
63. Gopinath Bordoloi
64. 'Big cities have big problems'
65. B L Joshi sworn-in as new Meghalaya Governor
66. Panja, Ajit Kumar
67. "Shawkat Ali passes away". The Daily Star. 1 July 2006.
68. Justice Amal Kumar Sarkar
69. Justice Subimal Chandra Roy
70. Justice Amarendra Nath Sen Archived 15 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine
71. Justice Anandamoy Bhattacharjee
72. Hon'ble Mr. Justice G.N. Ray
73. Justice Umesh Chandra Banerjee Archived 28 January 2013 at the Wayback Machine
74. Roy, Pradip Kumar (2012). "Seal, Brajendra Nath". In Islam, Sirajul; Jamal, Ahmed A. (eds.). Banglapedia: National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh (Second ed.). Asiatic Society of Bangladesh.
75. AnthroSource: Error
76. "Guha family wiki". Retrieved 14 July 2012.
77. Nirmal Kumar Bose – Scholar wanderer
78. Chowdhury, Saifuddin (2012). "Chanda, Ramaprasad". In Islam, Sirajul; Jamal, Ahmed A. (eds.). Banglapedia: National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh (Second ed.). Asiatic Society of Bangladesh.
79. Chemistry alumni, Scottish Church College Archived 6 April 2009 at the Wayback Machine
80. Mohanta, Sambaru Chandra (2012). "Bhaduri, Shishir Kumar". In Islam, Sirajul; Jamal, Ahmed A. (eds.). Banglapedia: National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh (Second ed.). Asiatic Society of Bangladesh.
81. Padmabhusan Manna
82. "A Cultural Colossus". Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 19 June 2007.
83. Chasing the Truth: The Films of Mrinal Sen
84. Sen, Mrinal
85. Merchant of Dreams
86. "Eminent theatre actor Shyamanand Jalan dead". The Times of India. 25 May 2010.
87. Mustard memories
88. Campus Buzz
89. A tale of two cities
90. Vita of Nirad Chaudhuri
91. Harun-or-Rashid, Md (2012). "Dutta, Satyendranath". In Islam, Sirajul; Jamal, Ahmed A. (eds.). Banglapedia: National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh (Second ed.). Asiatic Society of Bangladesh.
92. Guha, Bimal (2012). "Dutta, Sudhindranath". In Islam, Sirajul; Jamal, Ahmed A. (eds.). Banglapedia: National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh (Second ed.). Asiatic Society of Bangladesh.
93. Sudhindranath Dutta (1901–1960)
94. Parvati Prasad Baruva Archived 23 January 2013 at
95. "People's poet of Bengal-Subhas Mukhopadhyay" Archived 8 July 2006 at the Wayback Machine By Dr Ashok K Choudhury
96. Bani Basu Archived 18 October 2006 at the Wayback Machine
97. Stranger than fiction
98. Meenakshi Mukherjee: Bani Basu's Novels Archived 24 November 2006 at the Wayback Machine
99. Gallerie
100. Mustafa Monwar: A legend of our times Archived 30 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine
101. Jagmohan Dalmiya: Cricket's face of change
102. Code Name Success
103. Photo News
104. Adventure of knowledge – Evelyn Norah Shullai
105. Gourgopal Ghosh (1893–1940)
106. (fitnessNEPAL/History) Archived 3 July 2007 at the Wayback Machine
107. "Encounter with a martyr’s daughter" By Sudha Shrestha
108. 'Unexpected' finish by Surya Sekhar
109. Ganguly, Surya Shekhar Archived 14 July 2007 at the Wayback Machine
110. Indian National Championship won by Surya Ganguly

External links

• Official website
Site Admin
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Sat May 23, 2020 5:35 am

John William Kaye
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 5/22/20


Sir John William Kaye KCSI (1814 – 24 July 1876) was a British military historian, civil servant and army officer. His major works on military history include a three-volume work on The History of the Sepoy War in India. This work was revised later by Colonel G. B. Malleson and published in six volumes in 1890 as Kaye and Malleson's History of the Indian Mutiny.

The second son of Charles Kaye, a solicitor, and Eliza, daughter of Hugh Atkins, he was born in London and baptized on 30 June 1814. He was educated at Eton College and at the Royal Military College, Addiscombe. From 1832 to 1841 he was an officer in the Bengal Artillery commissioned on 14 December 1832 as a Bengal artillery cadet, afterwards spending some years in literary pursuits both in India and in Britain.[1] He married Mary Catherine (1813-1893), daughter of Thomas Puckle of Surrey, in 1839. In 1841 he resigned from the army and began to write for newspapers such as the Bengal Harkaru. In 1844 he started the Calcutta Review while also writing a novel based in Afghanistan. In 1856 he entered the civil service of the East India Company, and when in 1858 the government of India was transferred to the British crown, he succeeded John Stuart Mill as secretary of the political and secret department of the India office. In 1871 he was made a KCSI. He died in London at his home at Rose Hill on 24 July 1876.[2][3] [2. Rapson, E. J. (revised by Roger T. Stearn) (2004). "Kaye, Sir John William (1814-1876)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/15201; 3. This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Kaye, Sir John William". Encyclopædia Britannica. 15 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 703.]

KAYE, SIR JOHN WILLIAM (1814-1876), English military historian, was the son of Charles Kaye, a solicitor, and was educated at Eton and the Royal Military College, Addiscombe. From 1832 to 1841 he was an officer in the Bengal Artillery, afterwards spending some years in literary pursuits both in India and in England. In 1856 he entered the civil service of the East India Company, and when the government of India was transferred to the British crown succeeded John Stuart Mill as secretary of the political and secret department of the India office. In 1871 he was made a K.C.S.I. He died in London on the 24th of July 1876. Kaye’s numerous writings include History of the Sepoy War in India (London, 1864-1876), which was revised and continued by Colonel G. B. Malleson and published in six volumes in 1888-1889; History of the War in Afghanistan (London, 1851), republished in 1858 and 1874; Administration of the East India Company (London, 1853); The Life and Correspondence of Charles, Lord Metcalfe (London, 1854); The Life and Correspondence of Henry St George Tucker (London, 1854); Life and Correspondence of Sir John Malcolm (London, 1856); Christianity in India (London, 1859); Lives of Indian Officers (London, 1867); and two novels, Peregrine Pultney and Long engagements. He also edited several works dealing with Indian affairs; wrote Essays of an Optimist (London, 1870); and was a frequent contributor to periodicals.

-- Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 15, Slice 6, "Justinian II." to "Kells" [1911]


• Peregrine Pultuney; or, Life in India (1844), a novel in three volumes, published anonymously
• Long Engagements: A Tale of the Affghan Rebellion (1846), a novel in one volume, published anonymously
• 1851: History of the War in Afghanistan (London, 1851), republished in 1858 and 1874 (Volume 1 Volume 2 Volume 3)
• Sir John William Kaye (1853). The Administration of the East India Company: A History of Indian Progress. R. Bentley.
• John William Kaye (1854). The Life and Correspondence of Charles, Lord Metcalfe. Richard Bentley.
• John William Kaye (1854). The Life and Correspondence of Henry St. George Tucker. R. Bentley.
• 1856: Life and Correspondence of Sir John Malcolm (London, 1856) (Volume 1, Volume 2)
• Sir John William Kaye (1859). Christianity in India: An Historical Narrative. Smith, Elder.
• 1864: History of the Sepoy War in India (London, 1864-1876), which was revised and continued by Colonel G. B. Malleson and published in six volumes in 1888-1889. The full text of this later revised work History of the Indian Mutiny of 1857–8. is online at (All six volumes in HTML form, complete, chapter-by-chapter, with all illustrations, footnotes and a combined index)
• 1867: Lives of Indian Officers (London, 1867) (Volume 1 Volume 2)
He also edited several works dealing with Indian affairs; wrote Essays of an Optimist (London, 1870); and was a frequent contributor to periodicals.


1. "Biographical Sketches No.3 - Lieut. J. W. Kaye". Calcutta Monthly Journal. Calcutta: Samuel Smith and Co. For the year 1838: 33–84. 1839.
2. Rapson, E. J. (revised by Roger T. Stearn) (2004). "Kaye, Sir John William (1814-1876)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/15201.
3. This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Kaye, Sir John William". Encyclopædia Britannica. 15 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 703.

External links

• Works by John William Kaye at Project Gutenberg
• Thesis by Christina Lee Fairchild (2017) "Because we were too English:" John Kaye and the 1857 Indian Rebellion. University of Maryland.
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Sat May 23, 2020 5:52 am

Part 1 of 2

John Stuart Mill
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 5/22/20

In 1841 [John William Kaye] resigned from the army and began to write for newspapers such as the Bengal Harkaru. In 1844 he started the Calcutta Review while also writing a novel based in Afghanistan. In 1856 he entered the civil service of the East India Company, and when in 1858 the government of India was transferred to the British crown, he succeeded John Stuart Mill as secretary of the political and secret department of the India office. In 1871 he was made a KCSI. He died in London at his home at Rose Hill on 24 July 1876.[2][3] [/b]
KAYE, SIR JOHN WILLIAM (1814-1876), English military historian, was the son of Charles Kaye, a solicitor, and was educated at Eton and the Royal Military College, Addiscombe. From 1832 to 1841 he was an officer in the Bengal Artillery, afterwards spending some years in literary pursuits both in India and in England. In 1856 he entered the civil service of the East India Company, and when the government of India was transferred to the British crown succeeded John Stuart Mill as secretary of the political and secret department of the India office. In 1871 he was made a K.C.S.I. He died in London on the 24th of July 1876. Kaye’s numerous writings include History of the Sepoy War in India (London, 1864-1876), which was revised and continued by Colonel G. B. Malleson and published in six volumes in 1888-1889; History of the War in Afghanistan (London, 1851), republished in 1858 and 1874; Administration of the East India Company (London, 1853); The Life and Correspondence of Charles, Lord Metcalfe (London, 1854); The Life and Correspondence of Henry St George Tucker (London, 1854); Life and Correspondence of Sir John Malcolm (London, 1856); Christianity in India (London, 1859); Lives of Indian Officers (London, 1867); and two novels, Peregrine Pultney and Long engagements. He also edited several works dealing with Indian affairs; wrote Essays of an Optimist (London, 1870); and was a frequent contributor to periodicals.

-- Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 15, Slice 6, "Justinian II." to "Kells" [1911]

-- John William Kaye, by Wikipedia

[T]he more elite pre-1870 writers, with greater intellectual and social pretensions, often showed support for the Mormon Saints. Thomas Carlyle, one of the biggest names, was a warm admirer of Mormondom. So was his colleague, John Stuart Mill of the British East India Company. John Stuart Mill was the son of James Mill, who also claimed to be an economist. James Mill (1773-1836), a direct disciple of the satanic Jeremy Bentham, served for 18 years as the Examiner of Correspondence for the East India Company. This is another way of saying that he was one of the top bosses of British intelligence at that time. The elder Mill's job was to develop an intelligence picture based on the reports he received, and to promote policies to maximize profits and power, often with horrendous consequences for the people of India. The East India Company was much concerned with the manipulation of religious institutions, and systematically promoted the most backward and self-destructive tendencies in Hinduism and Islam, creating distortions which continue down to the present day. Others working for the British East India Company included the monetarist economist David Ricardo and the ideologue of genocide Thomas Malthus. [98]

After working for the British East India Company for 34 years, John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) took over the post of Examiner of Correspondence. The younger Mill directed a vast program of British cultural warfare, with special attention for the United States, which was seen along with Russia as a threat to the British Empire. He sponsored the career of the Scottish feudalist, neo-pagan, and proto-fascist Thomas Carlyle, who in turn became the main guru for Ralph Waldo Emerson of Harvard, the luminary of the Transcendentalist school. Emerson was famous for his concept of "self-reliance," which later morphed into the "rugged individualism" of Herbert Hoover, and the "you're on your own" doctrine of the current Republican Party.

-- Just Too Weird: Bishop Romney and the Mormon Takeover of America: Polygamy, Theocracy, and Subversion, by Webster Griffin Tarpley, Ph.D., by Webster Griffin Tarpley, Ph.D.

John Stuart Mill
Mill c. 1870
Member of Parliament for City and Westminster
In office: 25 July 1865 – 17 November 1868, Serving with Robert Grosvenor
Preceded by: De Lacy Evans
Succeeded by: William Henry Smith
Personal details
Born: 20 May 1806, Pentonville, London, England
Died: 7 May 1873 (aged 66), Avignon, France
Political party: Liberal
Spouse(s): Harriet Taylor (m. 1851; died 1858)
Alma mater: University College, London
Philosophy career
Era: 19th-century philosophy
Classical economics
Region: Western philosophy
School: Empiricism; Utilitarianism; Consequentialism; Psychologism; Classical liberalism
Main interests: Political philosophy, ethics, economics, inductive logic
Notable ideas: Public/private sphere, social liberty, hierarchy of pleasures in utilitarianism, rule utilitarianism, classical liberalism, early liberal feminism, harm principle, Mill's Methods, direct reference theory, Millian theory of proper names
Influences: Plato Aristotle Socrates Demosthenes Epicurus Aquinas Hobbes Locke Hume Babbage[1] Berkeley Bentham Francis Place James Mill Harriet Taylor Mill Smith Senior Ricardo Tocqueville W. von Humboldt Goethe Bain Guizot[2] Auguste Comte Saint-Simon (Utopian Socialists) [3] Marmontel[4] Wordsworth[4] Coleridge[4] Herder[5] Sismondi
Influenced: Social liberalism[6]Rawls Russell Crisp Weber[7] Ortega y Gasset

John Stuart Mill (20 May 1806 – 7 May 1873),[8] usually cited as J. S. Mill, was a British philosopher, political economist, and civil servant. One of the most influential thinkers in the history of classical liberalism, he contributed widely to social theory, political theory, and political economy. Dubbed "the most influential English-speaking philosopher of the nineteenth century",[9] Mill's conception of liberty justified the freedom of the individual in opposition to unlimited state and social control.[10]

Mill was a proponent of utilitarianism, an ethical theory developed by his predecessor Jeremy Bentham. He contributed to the investigation of scientific methodology, though his knowledge of the topic was based on the writings of others, notably William Whewell, John Herschel, and Auguste Comte, and research carried out for Mill by Alexander Bain. Mill engaged in written debate with Whewell.[11]

A member of the Liberal Party and author of the early feminist work The Subjection of Women, he was also the second Member of Parliament to call for women's suffrage after Henry Hunt in 1832.[12][13]


John Stuart Mill was born at 13 Rodney Street in Pentonville, Middlesex, the eldest son of the Scottish philosopher, historian and economist James Mill, and Harriet Barrow. John Stuart was educated by his father, with the advice and assistance of Jeremy Bentham and Francis Place. He was given an extremely rigorous upbringing, and was deliberately shielded from association with children his own age other than his siblings. His father, a follower of Bentham and an adherent of associationism, had as his explicit aim to create a genius intellect that would carry on the cause of utilitarianism and its implementation after he and Bentham had died.[14]

Mill was a notably precocious child. He describes his education in his autobiography. At the age of three he was taught Greek.[15] By the age of eight, he had read Aesop's Fables, Xenophon's Anabasis,[15] and the whole of Herodotus,[15] and was acquainted with Lucian, Diogenes Laërtius, Isocrates and six dialogues of Plato.[15] He had also read a great deal of history in English and had been taught arithmetic, physics and astronomy.

At the age of eight, Mill began studying Latin, the works of Euclid, and algebra, and was appointed schoolmaster to the younger children of the family. His main reading was still history, but he went through all the commonly taught Latin and Greek authors and by the age of ten could read Plato and Demosthenes with ease. His father also thought that it was important for Mill to study and compose poetry. One of Mill's earliest poetic compositions was a continuation of the Iliad. In his spare time he also enjoyed reading about natural sciences and popular novels, such as Don Quixote and Robinson Crusoe.

His father's work, The History of British India was published in 1818; immediately thereafter, at about the age of twelve, Mill began a thorough study of the scholastic logic, at the same time reading Aristotle's logical treatises in the original language. In the following year he was introduced to political economy and studied Adam Smith and David Ricardo with his father, ultimately completing their classical economic view of factors of production. Mill's comptes rendus of his daily economy lessons helped his father in writing Elements of Political Economy in 1821, a textbook to promote the ideas of Ricardian economics; however, the book lacked popular support.[16] Ricardo, who was a close friend of his father, used to invite the young Mill to his house for a walk in order to talk about political economy.

At the age of fourteen, Mill stayed a year in France with the family of Sir Samuel Bentham, brother of Jeremy Bentham. The mountain scenery he saw led to a lifelong taste for mountain landscapes. The lively and friendly way of life of the French also left a deep impression on him. In Montpellier, he attended the winter courses on chemistry, zoology, logic of the Faculté des Sciences, as well as taking a course in higher mathematics. While coming and going from France, he stayed in Paris for a few days in the house of the renowned economist Jean-Baptiste Say, a friend of Mill's father. There he met many leaders of the Liberal party, as well as other notable Parisians, including Henri Saint-Simon.

Mill went through months of sadness and contemplated suicide at twenty years of age. According to the opening paragraphs of Chapter V of his autobiography, he had asked himself whether the creation of a just society, his life's objective, would actually make him happy. His heart answered "no", and unsurprisingly he lost the happiness of striving towards this objective. Eventually, the poetry of William Wordsworth showed him that beauty generates compassion for others and stimulates joy.[17] With renewed joy he continued to work towards a just society, but with more relish for the journey. He considered this one of the most pivotal shifts in his thinking. In fact, many of the differences between him and his father stemmed from this expanded source of joy.

Mill had been engaged in a pen-friendship with Auguste Comte, the founder of positivism and sociology, since Mill first contacted Comte in November 1841. Comte's sociologie was more an early philosophy of science than we perhaps know it today, and the positive philosophy aided in Mill's broad rejection of Benthamism.[18]

As a nonconformist who refused to subscribe to the Thirty-Nine Articles of the Church of England, Mill was not eligible to study at the University of Oxford or the University of Cambridge.[19] Instead he followed his father to work for the East India Company, and attended University College, London, to hear the lectures of John Austin, the first Professor of Jurisprudence.[20] He was elected a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1856.[21]

Mill's career as a colonial administrator at the British East India Company spanned from when he was 17 years old in 1823 until 1858, when the Company was abolished in favor of direct rule by the British crown over India.[22] In 1836, he was promoted to the Company's Political Department, where he was responsible for correspondence pertaining to the Company's relations with the princely states, and in 1856, was finally promoted to the position of Examiner of Indian Correspondence. In On Liberty, A Few Words on Non-Intervention, and other works, Mill defended British imperialism by arguing that a fundamental distinction existed between civilized and barbarous peoples.[23] Mill viewed countries such as India and China as having once been progressive, but that were now stagnant and barbarous, thus legitimizing British rule as benevolent despotism, "provided the end is [the barbarians'] improvement."[24] When the crown proposed to take direct control over the colonies in India, he was tasked with defending Company rule, penning Memorandum on the Improvements in the Administration of India during the Last Thirty Years among other petitions.[25] He was offered a seat on the Council of India, the body created to advise the new Secretary of State for India, but declined, citing his disapproval of the new system of rule.[25] [Lal, Vinay. "'John Stuart Mill and India', a review-article". New Quest, no. 54 (January–February 1998): 54–64.]


Vinay Lal is Professor of History and Asian American Studies at UCLA. He writes widely on the history and culture of colonial and modern India, popular and public culture in India (especially cinema), historiography, the politics of world history, the Indian diaspora, global politics, contemporary American politics, the life and thought of Mohandas Gandhi, Hinduism, and the politics of knowledge systems.

Lal was born to an Indian foreign service officer in (Delhi) India in 1961 [Father's name nowhere to be found on the Internet: 5/22/20]. His father’s constant movement because of diplomatic career, he grew up in Delhi, Tokyo, Jakarta, and Washington, D.C. In Delhi he attended Springdales School. He spent four years in Tokyo, 1965–69, but has almost no memory of those years; and it is not until 1987 that he returned to Japan for a short visit, followed by a lengthier stay of four months in Osaka in 1999 when he was a Fellow of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science at the National Museum of Ethnology (Minpaku).

He earned his BA and MA, both in 1982, from the Humanities Center at the Johns Hopkins University and wrote his Master's thesis on Ralph Waldo Emerson and Indian philosophy. Lal then studied cinema in Australia and India on a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship before commencing his graduate studies at the University of Chicago, where he was awarded a PhD with Distinction from the Department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations in 1992. He was William Kenan Fellow in the Society of Fellows in the Humanities at Columbia University in 1992–93, and since 1993 has been on the faculty of history at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where he also holds a joint appointment in Asian American Studies.

-- Vinay Lal, by Wikipedia

In 1851, Mill married Harriet Taylor after 21 years of intimate friendship. Taylor was married when they met, and their relationship was close but generally believed to be chaste during the years before her first husband died in 1849. The couple waited two years before marrying in 1851. Brilliant in her own right, Taylor was a significant influence on Mill's work and ideas during both friendship and marriage. His relationship with Harriet Taylor reinforced Mill's advocacy of women's rights. J. S. Mill said that in his stand against domestic violence, and for women's rights he was “chiefly an amanuensis to my wife”. He called her mind a “perfect instrument”, and said she was “the most eminently qualified of all those known to the author”. He cites her influence in his final revision of On Liberty, which was published shortly after her death. Taylor died in 1858 after developing severe lung congestion, after only seven years of marriage to Mill.

Between the years 1865 and 1868 Mill served as Lord Rector of the University of St Andrews. At his inaugural address, delivered to the University on 1 February 1867, he made the now famous (but often wrongly attributed) remark that "Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing".[26] During the same period, 1865–68, he was also a Member of Parliament for City and Westminster.[27][28] He was sitting for the Liberal Party. During his time as an MP, Mill advocated easing the burdens on Ireland. In 1866, Mill became the first person in the history of Parliament to call for women to be given the right to vote, vigorously defending this position in subsequent debate. Mill became a strong advocate of such social reforms as labour unions and farm cooperatives. In Considerations on Representative Government, Mill called for various reforms of Parliament and voting, especially proportional representation, the single transferable vote, and the extension of suffrage. In April 1868, Mill favoured in a Commons debate the retention of capital punishment for such crimes as aggravated murder; he termed its abolition "an effeminacy in the general mind of the country."[29]

He was godfather to the philosopher Bertrand Russell.

In his views on religion, Mill was an agnostic and a skeptic.[30][31][32][33]

Mill died in 1873 of erysipelas in Avignon, France, where his body was buried alongside his wife's.


Portrait of Mill by George Frederic Watts (1873)

A System of Logic

Main article: A System of Logic

Mill joined the debate over scientific method which followed on from John Herschel's 1830 publication of A Preliminary Discourse on the study of Natural Philosophy, which incorporated inductive reasoning from the known to the unknown, discovering general laws in specific facts and verifying these laws empirically. William Whewell expanded on this in his 1837 History of the Inductive Sciences, from the Earliest to the Present Time followed in 1840 by The Philosophy of the Inductive Sciences, Founded Upon their History, presenting induction as the mind superimposing concepts on facts. Laws were self-evident truths, which could be known without need for empirical verification. Mill countered this in 1843 in A System of Logic, Ratiocinative and Inductive, Being a Connected View of the Principles of Evidence, and the Methods of Scientific Investigation. In Mill's Methods of induction, like Herschel's, laws were discovered through observation and induction, and required empirical verification.[34]

Theory of liberty

Main article: On Liberty

Mill's On Liberty addresses the nature and limits of the power that can be legitimately exercised by society over the individual. However Mill is clear that his concern for liberty does not extend to all individuals and all societies. He states that "Despotism is a legitimate mode of government in dealing with barbarians".[35]

Mill states that it is not a crime to harm oneself as long as the person doing so is not harming others. He favors the harm principle: "The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others." [36] Mill excuses those who are "incapable of self-government" from this principle, such as young children or those living in "backward states of society".

Though this principle seems clear, there are a number of complications. For example, Mill explicitly states that "harms" may include acts of omission as well as acts of commission. Thus, failing to rescue a drowning child counts as a harmful act, as does failing to pay taxes, or failing to appear as a witness in court. All such harmful omissions may be regulated, according to Mill. By contrast, it does not count as harming someone if – without force or fraud – the affected individual consents to assume the risk: thus one may permissibly offer unsafe employment to others, provided there is no deception involved. (Mill does, however, recognise one limit to consent: society should not permit people to sell themselves into slavery). In these and other cases, it is important to bear in mind that the arguments in On Liberty are grounded on the principle of Utility, and not on appeals to natural rights.

The question of what counts as a self-regarding action and what actions, whether of omission or commission, constitute harmful actions subject to regulation, continues to exercise interpreters of Mill. It is important to emphasise that Mill did not consider giving offence to constitute "harm"; an action could not be restricted because it violated the conventions or morals of a given society.[37]

On Liberty involves an impassioned defense of free speech. Mill argues that free discourse is a necessary condition for intellectual and social progress. We can never be sure, he contends, that a silenced opinion does not contain some element of the truth. He also argues that allowing people to air false opinions is productive for two reasons. First, individuals are more likely to abandon erroneous beliefs if they are engaged in an open exchange of ideas. Second, by forcing other individuals to re-examine and re-affirm their beliefs in the process of debate, these beliefs are kept from declining into mere dogma. It is not enough for Mill that one simply has an unexamined belief that happens to be true; one must understand why the belief in question is the true one. Along those same lines Mill wrote, "unmeasured vituperation, employed on the side of prevailing opinion, really does deter people from expressing contrary opinions, and from listening to those who express them."[38]

John Stuart Mill and Helen Taylor. Helen was the daughter of Harriet Taylor and collaborated with Mill for fifteen years after her mother's death in 1858.

Social liberty and tyranny of majority

Mill believed that "the struggle between Liberty and Authority is the most conspicuous feature in the portions of history".[39] For him, liberty in antiquity was a "contest ... between subjects, or some classes of subjects, and the government."[39] Mill defined "social liberty" as protection from "the tyranny of political rulers". He introduced a number of different concepts of the form tyranny can take, referred to as social tyranny, and tyranny of the majority.

Social liberty for Mill meant putting limits on the ruler's power so that he would not be able to use that power to further his own wishes and thus make decisions that could harm society. In other words, people should have the right to have a say in the government's decisions. He said that social liberty was "the nature and limits of the power which can be legitimately exercised by society over the individual". It was attempted in two ways: first, by obtaining recognition of certain immunities (called political liberties or rights) and second, by establishment of a system of "constitutional checks".

However, in Mill's view, limiting the power of government was not enough. He stated: "Society can and does execute its own mandates: and if it issues wrong mandates instead of right, or any mandates at all in things with which it ought not to meddle, it practices a social tyranny more formidable than many kinds of political oppression, since, though not usually upheld by such extreme penalties, it leaves fewer means of escape, penetrating much more deeply into the details of life, and enslaving the soul itself."[40]


John Stuart Mill's view on liberty, which was influenced by Joseph Priestley and Josiah Warren, is that the individual ought to be free to do as she/he wishes unless she/he harms others. Individuals are rational enough to make decisions about their well being. Government should interfere when it is for the protection of society. Mill explained:

The sole end for which mankind are warranted, individually or collectively, in interfering with the liberty of action of any of their number, is self-protection. That the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not sufficient warrant. He cannot rightfully be compelled to do or forbear because it will be better for him to do so, because it will make him happier, because, in the opinion of others, to do so would be wise, or even right ... The only part of the conduct of anyone, for which he is amenable to society, is that which concerns others. In the part which merely concerns him, his independence is, of right, absolute. Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign.[41]

Freedom of speech

An influential advocate of freedom of speech, Mill objected to censorship. He says:

I choose, by preference the cases which are least favourable to me – In which the argument opposing freedom of opinion, both on truth and that of utility, is considered the strongest. Let the opinions impugned be the belief of God and in a future state, or any of the commonly received doctrines of morality ... But I must be permitted to observe that it is not the feeling sure of a doctrine (be it what it may) which I call an assumption of infallibility. It is the undertaking to decide that question for others, without allowing them to hear what can be said on the contrary side. And I denounce and reprobate this pretension not the less if it is put forth on the side of my most solemn convictions. However positive anyone's persuasion may be, not only of the faculty but of the pernicious consequences, but (to adopt expressions which I altogether condemn) the immorality and impiety of opinion. – yet if, in pursuance of that private judgement, though backed by the public judgement of his country or contemporaries, he prevents the opinion from being heard in its defence, he assumes infallibility. And so far from the assumption being less objectionable or less dangerous because the opinion is called immoral or impious, this is the case of all others in which it is most fatal.[42]

Mill outlines the benefits of 'searching for and discovering the truth' as a way to further knowledge. He argued that even if an opinion is false, the truth can be better understood by refuting the error. And as most opinions are neither completely true nor completely false, he points out that allowing free expression allows the airing of competing views as a way to preserve partial truth in various opinions.[43] Worried about minority views being suppressed, Mill also argued in support of freedom of speech on political grounds, stating that it is a critical component for a representative government to have in order to empower debate over public policy.[43] Mill also eloquently argued that freedom of expression allows for personal growth and self-realization. He said that freedom of speech was a vital way to develop talents and realise a person's potential and creativity. He repeatedly said that eccentricity was preferable to uniformity and stagnation.[43]

Harm principle

The belief that the freedom of speech will advance the society was formed with trust of the public's ability to filter. If any argument is really wrong or harmful, the public will judge it as wrong or harmful, and then those arguments cannot be sustained and will be excluded. Mill argued that even any arguments which are used in justifying murder or rebellion against the government shouldn't be politically suppressed or socially persecuted. According to him, if rebellion is really necessary, people should rebel; if murder is truly proper, it should be allowed. But, the way to express those arguments should be a public speech or writing, not in a way that causes actual harm to others. This is the harm principle.

That the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilised community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others.[44]

At the beginning of the twentieth century, Associate Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. made the standard of "clear and present danger" based on Mill's idea. In the majority opinion, Holmes writes:

The question in every case is whether the words used are used in such circumstances and are of such a nature as to create a clear and present danger that they will bring about the substantive evils that Congress has a right to prevent.[45]

Holmes suggested that shouting out "Fire!" in a dark theatre, which makes people panic and gets them injured, would be such a case of speech that creates an illegal danger.[46] But if the situation allows people to reason by themselves and decide to accept it or not, any argument or theology should not be blocked.

Nowadays, Mill's argument is generally accepted by many democratic countries, and they have laws at least guided by the harm principle. For example, in American law some exceptions limit free speech such as obscenity, defamation, breach of peace, and "fighting words".[47]


Mill, an employee for the British East India Company from 1823 to 1858,[48] argued in support of what he called a "benevolent despotism" with regard to the colonies.[49] Mill argued that "To suppose that the same international customs, and the same rules of international morality, can obtain between one civilized nation and another, and between civilized nations and barbarians, is a grave error. ... To characterize any conduct whatever towards a barbarous people as a violation of the law of nations, only shows that he who so speaks has never considered the subject."[50] Mill justified the British colonization of India but he was concerned with the way that British rule of India was conducted.[51]

Racial equality

In 1850, Mill sent an anonymous letter (which came to be known under the title "The Negro Question"),[52] in rebuttal to Thomas Carlyle's anonymous letter to Fraser's Magazine for Town and Country in which Carlyle argued for slavery. Mill supported abolition in the United States.

In Mill's essay of 1869, The Subjection of Women, he expressed his opposition to slavery:

This absolutely extreme case of the law of force, condemned by those who can tolerate almost every other form of arbitrary power, and which, of all others, presents features the most revolting to the feeling of all who look at it from an impartial position, was the law of civilized and Christian England within the memory of persons now living: and in one half of Anglo-Saxon America three or four years ago, not only did slavery exist, but the slave trade, and the breeding of slaves expressly for it, was a general practice between slave states. Yet not only was there a greater strength of sentiment against it, but, in England at least, a less amount either of feeling or of interest in favour of it, than of any other of the customary abuses of force: for its motive was the love of gain, unmixed and undisguised: and those who profited by it were a very small numerical fraction of the country, while the natural feeling of all who were not personally interested in it, was unmitigated abhorrence.[53]

Mill corresponded with John Appleton, an American legal reformer from Maine, extensively on the topic of racial equality. Appleton influenced Mill's work on racial equality, especially swaying Mill on the optimal economic and social welfare plan for the antebellum south.[54][55][56] In a letter sent to Appleton in response to a previous letter, Mill expressed his view on antebellum integration:

I cannot look forward with satisfaction to any settlement but complete emancipation—land given to every negro family either separately or in organized communities under such rules as may be found temporarily necessary—the schoolmaster set to work in every village & the tide of free immigration turned on in those fertile regions from which slavery has hitherto excluded it. If this be done, the gentle & docile character which seems to distinguish the negroes will prevent any mischief on their side, while the proofs they are giving of fighting powers will do more in a year than all other things in a century to make the whites respect them & consent to their being politically & socially equals.[54]

Women's rights

"A Feminine Philosopher". Caricature by Spy published in Vanity Fair in 1873.

Mill's view of history was that right up until his time "the whole of the female" and "the great majority of the male sex" were simply "slaves". He countered arguments to the contrary, arguing that relations between sexes simply amounted to "the legal subordination of one sex to the other – [which] is wrong itself, and now one of the chief hindrances to human improvement; and that it ought to be replaced by a principle of perfect equality." With this, Mill can be considered among the earliest male proponents of gender equality. His book The Subjection of Women (1861, published 1869) is one of the earliest written on this subject by a male author.[57] In The Subjection of Women Mill attempts to make a case for perfect equality.[58] He talks about the role of women in marriage and how it needed to be changed. There, Mill comments on three major facets of women's lives that he felt are hindering them: society and gender construction, education, and marriage. He argued that the oppression of women was one of the few remaining relics from ancient times, a set of prejudices that severely impeded the progress of humanity.[53][59]

As a Member of Parliament, Mill introduced an unsuccessful amendment to the Reform Bill to substitute the word "person" in place of "man".[60]


Main article: Utilitarianism (book)

The canonical statement of Mill's utilitarianism can be found in Utilitarianism. This philosophy has a long tradition, although Mill's account is primarily influenced by Jeremy Bentham and Mill's father James Mill.

John Stuart Mill believed in the philosophy of Utilitarianism. He would describe Utilitarianism as the principle that holds "that actions are right in the proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness." By happiness he means, "intended pleasure, and the absence of pain; by unhappiness, pain, and the privation of pleasure".[61] It is clear that we do not all value virtues as a path to happiness and that we sometimes only value them for selfish reasons. However, Mill asserts that upon reflection, even when we value virtues for selfish reasons we are in fact cherishing them as a part of our happiness.

Jeremy Bentham's famous formulation of utilitarianism is known as the "greatest-happiness principle". It holds that one must always act so as to produce the greatest aggregate happiness among all sentient beings, within reason. In a similar vein, Mill's method of determining the best utility is that a moral agent, when given the choice between two or more actions, ought to choose the action that contributes most to (maximizes) the total happiness in the world. Happiness in this context is understood as the production of pleasure or privation of pain. Given that determining the action that produces the most utility is not always so clear cut, Mill suggests that the utilitarian moral agent, when attempting to rank the utility of different actions, should refer to the general experience of persons. That is, if people generally experience more happiness following action X than they do action Y, the utilitarian should conclude that action X produces more utility than, and is thus favorable to, action Y.[62]

Utilitarianism is built upon the basis of consequentialism, that is, the means are justified based solely off the result of one's actions. The overarching goal of Utilitarianism – the ideal consequence – is to achieve the "greatest good for the greatest number as the end result of human action".[63] Mill states in his writings on Utilitarianism that "happiness is the sole end of human action."[29] This statement brought about a bit of controversy, which is why Mill took it a step further, explaining how the very nature of humans wanting happiness, and who "take it to be reasonable under free consideration", demands that happiness is indeed desirable.[9] In other words, free will leads everyone to make actions inclined on their own happiness, unless reasoned that it would improve the happiness of others, in which case, the greatest utility is still being achieved. To that extent, the Utilitarianism that Mill is describing is a default lifestyle that he believes is what people who have not studied a specific opposing field of ethics would naturally and subconsciously utilize when faced with decision. Utilitarianism is thought of by some of its activists to be a more developed and overarching ethical theory of Kant's belief in good will however, and not just some default cognitive process of humans. Where Kant would argue that reason can only be used properly by good will, Mill would say that the only way to universally create fair laws and systems would be to step back to the consequences, whereby Kant's ethical theories become based around the ultimate good – utility.[64] By this logic the only valid way to discern what is proper reason would be to view the consequences of any action and weigh the good and the bad, even if on the surface, the ethical reasoning seems to indicate a different train of thought.

Mill's major contribution to utilitarianism is his argument for the qualitative separation of pleasures. Bentham treats all forms of happiness as equal, whereas Mill argues that intellectual and moral pleasures (higher pleasures) are superior to more physical forms of pleasure (lower pleasures). Mill distinguishes between happiness and contentment, claiming that the former is of higher value than the latter, a belief wittily encapsulated in the statement that "it is better to be a human being dissatisfied than a pig satisfied; better to be Socrates dissatisfied than a fool satisfied. And if the fool, or the pig, are of a different opinion, it is because they only know their own side of the question."[62]

This made Mill believe that "our only ultimate end" [65] is happiness. One unique part of Mill's Utilitarian view, that is not seen in others, is the idea of higher and lower pleasures. Mill explains the different pleasures as:

If I am asked, what I mean by difference of quality in pleasures, or what makes one pleasure more valuable than another, merely as a pleasure, except its being greater in amount, there is but one possible answer. Of two pleasures, if there be one to which all or almost all who have experience of both give a decided preference […] that is the more desirable pleasure.[66]

He defines higher pleasures as mental, moral, and aesthetic pleasures, and lower pleasures as being more sensational. He believed that higher pleasures should be seen as preferable to lower pleasures since they have a greater quality in virtue. He holds that pleasures gained in activity are of a higher quality than those gained passively.[67]

Mill defines the difference between higher and lower forms of pleasure with the principle that those who have experienced both tend to prefer one over the other. This is, perhaps, in direct contrast with Bentham's statement that "Quantity of pleasure being equal, push-pin is as good as poetry",[68] that, if a simple child's game like hopscotch causes more pleasure to more people than a night at the opera house, it is more imperative upon a society to devote more resources to propagating hopscotch than running opera houses. Mill's argument is that the "simple pleasures" tend to be preferred by people who have no experience with high art, and are therefore not in a proper position to judge. Mill also argues that people who, for example, are noble or practice philosophy, benefit society more than those who engage in individualist practices for pleasure, which are lower forms of happiness. It is not the agent's own greatest happiness that matters "but the greatest amount of happiness altogether".[69]

Mill separated his explanation of Utilitarianism into five different sections; General Remarks, What Utilitarianism Is, Of the Ultimate Sanction of the Principle of Utility, Of What Sort of Proof the Principle of Utility is Susceptible, and Of the Connection between Justice and Utility. In the General Remarks portion of his essay he speaks how next to no progress has been made when it comes to judging what is right and what is wrong of morality and if there is such a thing as moral instinct (which he argues that there may not be). However he agrees that in general "Our moral faculty, according to all those of its interpreters who are entitled to the name of thinkers, supplies us only with the general principles of moral judgments".[70] In the second chapter of his essay he focuses no longer on background information but Utilitarianism itself. He quotes Utilitarianism as "The greatest happiness principle" And defines this theory by saying that pleasure and no pain are the only inherently good things in the world and expands on it by saying that "actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness. By happiness is intended pleasure, and the absence of pain; by unhappiness, pain, and the privation of pleasure."[71] He views it not as an animalistic concept because he sees seeking out pleasure as a way of using our higher facilities. He also says in this chapter that the happiness principle is based not exclusively on the individual but mainly on the community.

Mill also defends the idea of a "strong utilitarian conscience (i.e. a strong feeling of obligation to the general happiness)"[72] He argued that humans have a desire to be happy and that that desire causes us to want to be in unity with other humans. This causes us to care about the happiness of others, as well as the happiness of complete strangers. But this desire also causes us to experience pain when we perceive harm to other people. He believes in internal sanctions that make us experience guilt and appropriate our actions. These internal sanctions make us want to do good because we do not want to feel guilty for our actions. Happiness is our ultimate end because it is our duty. He argues that we do not need to be constantly motivated by the concern of people's happiness because the most of the actions done by people are done out of good intention, and the good of the world is made up of the good of the people.

In Mill's fourth chapter he speaks of what proofs of Utility are affected. He starts this chapter off by saying that all of his claims cannot be backed up by reasoning. He claims that the only proof that something brings one pleasure is if someone finds it pleasurable. Next he talks about how morality is the basic way to achieve happiness. He also discusses in this chapter that Utilitarianism is beneficial for virtue. He says that "it maintains not only that virtue is to be desired, but that it is to be desired disinterestedly, for itself."[73] In his final chapter Mill looks at the connection between Utilitarianism and justice. He contemplates the question of whether justice is something distinct from Utility or not. He reasons this question in several different ways and finally comes to the conclusion that in certain cases justice is essential for Utility, but in others social duty is far more important than justice. Mill believes that "justice must give way to some other moral principle, but that what is just in ordinary cases is, by reason of that other principle, not just in the particular case."[74]

The qualitative account of happiness that Mill advocates thus sheds light on his account presented in On Liberty. As Mill suggests in that text, utility is to be conceived in relation to humanity "as a progressive being", which includes the development and exercise of rational capacities as we strive to achieve a "higher mode of existence". The rejection of censorship and paternalism is intended to provide the necessary social conditions for the achievement of knowledge and the greatest ability for the greatest number to develop and exercise their deliberative and rational capacities.

Mill redefines the definition of happiness as; "the ultimate end, for the sake of which all other things are desirable (whether we are considering our own good or that of other people) is an existence as free as possible from pain and as rich as possible in enjoyments".[75] He firmly believed that moral rules and obligations could be referenced to promoting happiness, which connects to having a noble character. While John Stuart Mill is not a standard act or rule utilitarian, he is a minimizing utilitarian, which "affirms that it would be desirable to maximize happiness for the greatest number, but not that we are not morally required to do so".[76]

Mill's thesis distinguishes between higher and lower pleasures. He frequently discusses the importance of acknowledgement of higher pleasures. "To suppose that life has (as they express it) no higher end than pleasure- no better and nobler object of desire and pursuit they designate as utterly mean and groveling; as a doctrine worthy only of swine".[77][page needed] When he says higher pleasures, he means the pleasures that access higher abilities and capacities in humans such as intellectual prosperity, whereas lower pleasures would mean bodily or temporary pleasures. "But it must be admitted that when utilitarian writers have said that mental pleasures are better than bodily ones they have mainly based this on mental pleasures being more permanent, safer, less costly and so on – i.e. from their circumstantial advantages rather than from their intrinsic nature".[78] All of this factors into John Mill's own definition of utilitarianism, and shows why it differs from other definitions.

Economic philosophy

Main article: Principles of Political Economy

Essays on Economics and Society, 1967

Mill's early economic philosophy was one of free markets. However, he accepted interventions in the economy, such as a tax on alcohol, if there were sufficient utilitarian grounds. He also accepted the principle of legislative intervention for the purpose of animal welfare.[79] Mill originally believed that "equality of taxation" meant "equality of sacrifice" and that progressive taxation penalised those who worked harder and saved more and was therefore "a mild form of robbery".[80]

Given an equal tax rate regardless of income, Mill agreed that inheritance should be taxed. A utilitarian society would agree that everyone should be equal one way or another. Therefore, receiving inheritance would put one ahead of society unless taxed on the inheritance. Those who donate should consider and choose carefully where their money goes – some charities are more deserving than others. Considering public charities boards such as a government will disburse the money equally. However, a private charity board like a church would disburse the monies fairly to those who are in more need than others.[81]

Later he altered his views toward a more socialist bent, adding chapters to his Principles of Political Economy in defence of a socialist outlook, and defending some socialist causes.[82] Within this revised work he also made the radical proposal that the whole wage system be abolished in favour of a co-operative wage system. Nonetheless, some of his views on the idea of flat taxation remained,[83] albeit altered in the third edition of the Principles of Political Economy to reflect a concern for differentiating restrictions on "unearned" incomes, which he favoured, and those on "earned" incomes, which he did not favour.[84]

Mill's Principles, first published in 1848, was one of the most widely read of all books on economics in the period.[85] As Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations had during an earlier period, Mill's Principles dominated economics teaching. In the case of Oxford University it was the standard text until 1919, when it was replaced by Marshall's Principles of Economics.
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