The “Age of Cobden”

27 July 2007 at 8:03 am Leave a comment

| Peter Klein |

Leonard Liggio reviews a new collection of essays on Richard Cobden, the great English liberal and free trader who led the movement to eliminate the protectionist Corn Laws. Notes Liggio:

The contemporary world is focused on the issues Cobden raised. According to co-editor, Anthony Howe’s “Introduction”: “For the modern preoccupations with globalization, free markets, the retreat of the state, the importance of civil society are all ideas which took political shape in the ‘age of Cobden.’ While post-modernists may find in Cobden’s liberalism too many of the emblems of the ‘modernity’ project from which they are keen to distance themselves, historians and the public may still have much to learn from one of the first practical attempts to implant the ‘Enlightenment project’ within the fabric of the world order.” Cobden’s affinity with European Liberals reflected their shared heritage of the Enlightenment in the works of Vattel, Grotius, Voltaire, Rousseau, Franklin, Jefferson, Bentham and James Mill.

For more on Cobden and his contemporaries John Bright and Charles Dunoyer see these papers by Liggio and Ralph Raico and listen to Raico’s 2005 lecture “Classical Liberalism in War and Peace: The Case of Richard Cobden” (scroll down).

Entry filed under: - Klein -, Business/Economic History, Classical Liberalism, Food and Agriculture.

Economic Inquiry Tries “As-Is” Reviews Another Great Higher Education Quote

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