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The Making of British Socialism$
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Mark Bevir

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691150833

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691150833.001.0001

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American Romanticism and British Socialism

American Romanticism and British Socialism

(p.235) Chapter Twelve American Romanticism and British Socialism
The Making of British Socialism

Mark Bevir

Princeton University Press

This chapter highlights some of the themes that distinguish ethical socialism from welfare liberalism as well as other strands of socialism. Several ethical socialists owed a distinctive debt to American romantics such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Walt Whit man. American romanticism initially entered British socialism through the wandering scholar Thomas Davidson, who inspired the Fellowship of the New Life. When Davidson continued on his travels, several of the socialists associated with the Fellowship took their ideals out of London and into the provinces. The most notable example was the libertarian poet Edward Carpenter, who set up the Sheffield Socialist Society and inspired numerous other local groups all across Britain, from Bristol to Nottingham and on to Bolton.

Keywords:   ethical socialism, welfare liberalism, British socialism, American romanticism, Thomas Davidson, Edward Carpenter, Sheffield Socialist Society

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