Leonard Trelawny Hobhouse

Leonard Trelawny Hobhouse

Leonard Trelawny Hobhouse (September 8, 1864 - June 21, 1929) was a British liberal politician, one of the theorists of social liberalism. He worked as an academic and a journalist: he was the first professor of sociology appointed in a British university. He was born in St Ive, near Liskeard in Cornwall. [Michael Freeden, ‘Hobhouse, Leonard Trelawny (1864–1929)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Sept 2004; online edn, May 2006 [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/33906 accessed 15 Oct 2007] ] His sister Emily Hobhouse was a noted welfare campaigner.

Economic Policy

Hobhouse was important in underpinning the turn-of-the-century 'New Liberal' movement of the Liberal party under leaders like Asquith and Lloyd George. He distinguished between property held 'for use' and property held 'for power'. He also theorized that property was acquired not only by individual effort but by societal organization (meaning, those who had property owed some of their success and thus had some obligation to society), providing theoretical justification for a level of redistribution provided by the new state pensions. It is important to note, however, that Hobhouse disliked Marxist socialism, describing his own position as "liberal socialism".Hobhouse occupies a particularly important place in the intellectual history of the Liberal Democrats because of this.

Civil Liberty

His work also presents a positive vision of liberalism in which the purpose of liberty is to enable individuals to develop, not solely that freedom is good in itself. Hobhouse, by contrast, said that coercion should be avoided not because we have no regard for other peoples' well-being, but because coercion is ineffective at improving their lot.

Hobhouse rejected classical liberalism, noting the work of other liberals who had pointed out the various forms of coercion already existing in society apart from government. Therefore, he proposed that to promote liberty the government must control those factors already existing which worked against it.

Hobhouse held out hope that Liberals and what would now be called the social democrat tendency in the nascent Labour party could form a grand progressive coalition.

Foreign Policy

Hobhouse was often disappointed that fellow collectivists in Britain at the time also tended to be Imperialists. Hobhouse opposed the Boer war and had reservations about the First World War. He was an Internationalist and disliked the pursuit of British national interests as practised by the governments of the day.

External links

* [http://www.liberalhistory.org.uk/item_single.php?item_id=28&item=biography Short biography by David Howarth MP]
*imdb title|0098462|That Englishwoman (1989) A film directed by Dirk DeVilliers


*"Labour Movement" (1893)
*"Theory of Knowledge: A Contribution to Some Problems of Logic and Metaphysics" (1896)
*"Mind in Evolution" (1901)
*"Democracy and Reaction" (1905)
*"Morals in Evolution: A Study in Comparative Ethics" (1906)
*"Liberalism" (1911)
*"Social Evolution and Political Theory" (1911)
*"Development and Purpose" (1913)
*"The Material Culture and Social Institutions of the Simpler Peoples" (1915)
*"The Metaphysical Theory of the State: A Criticism" (1918)
*"The Rational Good: A Study in the Logic of Practice" (1921)
*"The Elements of Social Justice" (1922)
*"Social Development: Its Nature and Conditions" (1924)
*"Sociology and Philosophy: A Centenary Collection of Essays and Articles" (1966)

See also

*Contributions to liberal theory


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  • Leonard Trelawny Hobhouse — (* 8. September 1864 in St Ive, Cornwall, England[1]; † 21. Juni 1929) war ein britischer liberaler Politiker und einer der Theoretiker des modernen Liberalismus. Er arbeitete als Akademiker und Journalist und war der erste Professor für… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Leonard Trelawny Hobhouse — (en Saint Ive, Cornualles, a 8 de septiembre de 1864 21 de junio de 1929) fue un político liberal británico y principal teórico del new liberalism, que trató en su obra más importante, Liberalismo (1911).[1] Trabajó como periodista y académico y… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Leonard Trelawny Hobhouse — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Hobhouse. Leonard Trelawny Hobhouse …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Hobhouse, Leonard Trelawny — ▪ British sociologist born Sept. 8, 1864, St. Ives, Cornwall, Eng. died June 21, 1929, Alençon, France       English sociologist and philosopher who tried to reconcile liberalism with collectivism in the interest of social progress. In… …   Universalium

  • Leonard Hobhouse — Leonard Trelawny Hobhouse Leonard Trelawny Hobhouse Naissance 8 septembre 1864 St Ives, Angleterre Décès 21 juin  …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Hobhouse — ist der Name folgender Personen: John Hobhouse (1786–1869), Staatsmann John Hobhouse, Baron Hobhouse of Woodborough (1932–2004), britischer Richter und Law Lord Leonard Trelawny Hobhouse (1864–1929), englischer liberaler Politiker und Professor… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • LEONARD — Léonard Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Léonard est un prénom français d origine Germanique. Les premières mention date du VIe siècle. À l époque mérovingienne on disait Liudhard… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Leonard — Léonard Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Léonard est un prénom français d origine Germanique. Les premières mention date du VIe siècle. À l époque mérovingienne on disait Liudhard… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Trelawny — bezeichnet Eine inoffizielle Hymne in Cornwall, England: The Song of the Western Men Einen britischen Politiker und Soziologe: Leonard Trelawny Hobhouse Einen Landkreis (Parish) auf Jamaika: Trelawny Parish Diese Seite …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Hobhouse —  Cette page d’homonymie répertorie des personnes (réelles ou fictives) partageant un même patronyme. Emily Hobhouse (1860 1926), infirmière britannique ; John Cam Hobhouse (1786 1869), homme politique et écrivain britannique ;… …   Wikipédia en Français

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