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Gladstone Centenary Essays$
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David Bebbington and Roger Swift

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780853239253

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846313202

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Gladstone and Cobden

Gladstone and Cobden

(p.113) Gladstone and Cobden
Gladstone Centenary Essays

Anthony Howe

Liverpool University Press

This chapter examines the ‘Cobdenite’ component in Gladstone's self–proclaimed ideological ‘corpse’. It suggests that in his later years, governed by the rise of European militarism and protectionism, Gladstone found a surer guide in the precepts which had guided Cobden and himself in the early 1860s, when pursuing Britain's ‘Providential’ mission to support free trade and peace. This, as Gladstone recognised, had become a task on a wholly different scale with the rise in military expenditure in Europe following the Franco–Prussian War. In this context, Gladstone painfully recognised his own growing ineffectiveness as a critic of militarism and expenditure.

Keywords:   Richard Cobden, ideology, militarism, protectionism, military expenditure, free trade

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