By Murney Gerlach
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Extra resources for British Liberalism and the United States: Political and Social Thought in the Late Victorian Age
Thirdly, the United States offered a host of specific topics to study. While Liberals had studied the glorious battles of the Civil War with acute attention, they only occasionally observed the various major developments of the late 1860s and early 1870s. 131 30 British Liberalism and the United States Notes 1. D. A. Hamer, Liberal Politics in the Age of Gladstone and Rosebery. A Study of Leadership and Policy (Oxford, 1972), p. 37. More recent interpretations of Liberalism in the 1860s–1880s have emphasized the divisive and contentious dimensions of liberalism, and the battles with the Whigs or Gladstone’s own role in stubbornly contributing to the lack of coherence in the Liberal party.
Individualism now became a central concern for Morley. As D. A. Hamer has outlined: The individual remained the starting-point and basis for Morley’s social and political thinking. 114 In Norton, Morley found an intellectual soul-mate with whom he could share his innermost thoughts, and between 1869 and 1874 they often met. One such encounter was warmly described by the American. A long and interesting visit from Morley occupied the morning. Much talk on the deepest matters of concern. In belief and opinion I agree with him more nearly than with most men.
He referred to his own disappointment with the American Irish shortly after his return to Britain in a speech. Why, the first spectacle I saw was a procession of some thousands of Irishmen, who had once, most of them, been fellow subjects of our own, marching in military array, to hear, to applaud, and to sympathise with, speeches against the nation which had driven them forth. 104 Morley blamed the British, not the Americans, for the ‘low character’ of the Irish-Americans. This view was spelled out clearly in a review of a book, The Irish in America, by the Irish MP John Maguire.
British Liberalism and the United States: Political and Social Thought in the Late Victorian Age by Murney Gerlach