The note struck here, of approaching death, is characteristic of his correspondence with his wife in these years, and explains much of their attitude towards their self-imposed task of reform through writing. The revised plan for a separate volume on liberty did not fit into their earlier scheme, which was for a volume of republished essays and another posthumous volume (or volumes) of new essays, the latter including the previously composed and briefer discussion of liberty and the “Life” (that is, what became the ). The strategy of publication concerned them; Mill, considering again the collection of republished essays that they had thought of as early as 1839, wrote to his wife: “Above all, it is not at all desirable to come before the public with two books nearly together, so if not done now it cannot be done till some time after the volume on Liberty—but by that time. I hope there will be a volume ready of much better Essays, or something as good. . . .”
Scarcely any one has looked at the United States with any other apparent purpose than to find arguments for and against popular government. America has been discussed, as if she were nothing but a democracy: a society, differing from other human societies in no essential point, except the popular character of her institutions. The friends or enemies of parliamentary reform have been more or less in the habit of ascribing to democracy whatever of good or evil they have found or dreamed of in the United States. One class of writers, indeed, the political economists, have taken notice of a second circumstance, namely, that population in America does not press upon the means of subsistence—and have traced the consequences of this as far as high wages, but seldom further; while the rest of the world, if their partialities happened to lie that way, have gone on ascribing even high wages to the government; which we are informed is the prevalent opinion among the Americans themselves, of all ranks and parties. But the Government is only one of a dozen causes which have made America what she is. The Americans are a democratic people: granted; but they are also a people without poor; without rich; with a “far west” behind them; so situated as to be in no danger of aggressions from without; sprung mostly from the Puritans; speaking the language of a foreign country; with no established church; with no endowments for the support of a learned class; with boundless facilities to all classes for “raising themselves in the world;” and where a large family is a fortune.
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Essentials of Human Development: A Lifespan View, 1st Edition. DISCUSSION 1: THE ISSUES Issue 1. After reading the first chapter, skim the book to get a sense of how the text works with theories. Select a general theory in developmental psychology (e.g. Bandura, Bronfenbrenner, Erickson, Information Processing, Piaget, Skinner, Vygotsky, etc.) and explain a key […]