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By Michael Michie

An Enlightenment Tory in Victorian Scotland is a political and highbrow biography of Sir Archibald Alison (1792-1867), historian, social critic, legal legal professional, and sheriff of Lanarkshire. the 1st writer to ascertain the entire diversity of Alison's writings and actions, Michael Michie unearths an important hyperlink among the Scottish Enlightenment and Victorian conservatism. Michie argues that Alison's conservative principles have been deeply inspired through the social and political considered the Scottish Enlightenment. He contends that Alison used to be the embodiment of the excessive Tory appropriation of the legacy of Adam Smith quite obvious within the trust that advertisement agrarian capitalist society used to be the main applicable shape for either the upkeep of order and the perform of advantage. constructing the advice conservative interpretation of the enlightened legacy used to be attainable for the succeeding century, Michie's learn bargains an invaluable corrective to the acquired knowledge that Victorian Liberalism used to be the real inheritor of the Scottish Enlightenment.

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Extra info for An Enlightenment Tory in Victorian Scotland: The Career of Sir Archibald Alison

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22 One of Alison's sermons, "On the Dangers of Moral Sentiment, When Not Accompanied with Active Virtue," was concerned with the balance both within the psychology of an individual and between public and private virtues. " Our nature's highest attainable perfection, he argued: consists not in the dominion of any one affection or principle, however virtuous, but in the due balance of all our affections; - in the proper mixture of intellectual and of moral attainment; and in the cultivation, not only of the contemplative, but still more of the active principles of our constitution ...

Initially, the elder Alison had planned that Archibald should be a civil engineer, as a result of his son's interest in mathematics and of his own friendship with a rising young Scots engineer, Thomas Telford. 9 This design was replaced by the idea of Archibald being a banker: his father's sister was married to a cashier of the Royal Bank ("ultimate heir to the immense fortune of Mr. Gilbert Innes of Stow"), a connection that seemed propitious. However, upon reading his son's essay on population, he strongly recommended the law as a career.

Ironically, however, his Population, written against Malthus, owes a great deal of its argument to Smith. 69. Phillipson, Scottish Whigs, 25, 26. 70. Reid, Edmund Burke, 84. 2 "Laborious Lawyer79 In his study of church and university in the Scottish Enlightenment, Richard Sher notes the rise of "a new breed of literary lawyers" in the early years of the nineteenth century. " The term "class" in its modern sense did not become common until the early nineteenth century, however. Until then, social differentiation and stratification were indicated by the use of "rank," "order," "estate," "degree," or "sort" (or, in a transitional usage, the plural "classes").

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