Skip to main content

philosophical radicals

philosophical radicals is a loose term for the group of reformers in the early 19th cent. who based their approach to government and society largely on the utilitarian theories of Jeremy Bentham, though they were also influenced by Malthus, Ricardo, and Hartley. The leading proponents were James and John Stuart Mill, George Grote, and John Roebuck, supported by the Morning Chronicle, Westminster Review, and London Review. Their immediate objectives were an extension of the franchise, frequent parliaments, secret ballot, law reform, and the dismantling of the system of aristocratic government. Their efforts to construct a radical party in Parliament after 1832 did not succeed: ‘they did very little to promote any opinions,’ wrote J. S. Mill, ‘they had little enterprise, little activity.’ But the general influence of utilitarian ideas permeated politics and, particularly in the period 1820 to 1850, produced an ‘age of reform’. The term ‘philosophical radicals’ was popularized by J. S. Mill in his Autobiography (1873) and introduced into history by the French historian Halévy in The Growth of Philosophical Radicalism (1904; trans. 1928).

J. A. Cannon

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"philosophical radicals." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Sep. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"philosophical radicals." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/philosophical-radicals

"philosophical radicals." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Retrieved September 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/philosophical-radicals

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.