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Mill’s hopes for an early acceptance of the new principles were singularly unrealistic. Yet for the remainder of his life he continued to be an undaunted advocate of the single transferable vote and constantly encouraged and helped his friends like Hare and Fawcett in their efforts. Although women’s suffrage and the Hare system of electoral reform were not the sole practical causes that occupied him in the 1860s, they were pre-eminent in appeal, and when in the House of Commons he strove to further both. Despite his efforts parliament never took the action he wanted, and the reasons are not far to seek. At the time when Mill was advocating a new electoral system, party managers gradually began to remould the organization of the two major parties to render them more disciplined and effective instruments for shaping policies and winning elections. For them the Hare-Mill electoral ideas seemed too revolutionary, too complicated, and their effects on party fortunes too uncertain to be acceptable. Hence, except for some of their members, they showed little interest in proportional representation of the type that Mill supported and were unwilling to incorporate it as an essential element in their political plans. Gladstone, for example, although in some reforms he was evidently influenced by Mill, rejected proportional representation when he considered electoral changes. This is not to say, however, that Mill’s ideas lacked influence. Even into the twentieth century, his basic idea, as stated in continued to incite the interest of many: in a democracy, any and every section must be represented, not disproportionately, but proportionately. A majority of the electors should always have a majority of the representatives; a minority of electors should always have a minority of representatives.

Lebsock, Suzanne.  Richmond: The Virginia Women's Cultural History Project, 1984.

First, if any opinion is compelled to silence, that opinion may, for aught we can certainly know, be true. To deny this is to assume our own infallibility.


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Ransome, David R. "Wives for Virginia, 1621."  3rd. ser., XLVIII (1991):3-18.

Though was written and published before the latter is here discussed first, because it provides a fuller treatment of the views of Mill just outlined.


Its value is in the necessities of the animalman.

The four nations which we have named, have all contributed their part towards the collection of works on America, the titles of which stand prefixed to the present article. They comprise the testimony of one Frenchman, two Englishmen, and one German, respecting the United States, and the reply of an American to the hostile criticisms of another Englishman. All are interesting; and more than one, of distinguished merit.

It is so much warmth, so much bread, so much water, so much land.

The tendency, therefore, now manifesting itself on the continent of Europe, towards the philosophic study of past and of foreign civilizations, is one of the encouraging features of the present time. It is a tendency not wholly imperceptible even in this country, the most insular of all the provinces of the republic of letters. In France and Germany it has become a characteristic of the national intellect; and such works as M. Guizot’s Lectures, reviewed in our present, and M. de Tocqueville’s America, in our last Number, are among its results.

The non-proprietor will be the scribeof the proprietor.

M. de Beaumont is no aristocrat, but a warm friend to the American Government, and to popular institutions generally. Nevertheless, we have read no book which has represented American social life in such colours, or which is more calculated to deter persons of highly-cultivated faculties and lofty aspirations, from making that country their abode. A part of this disagreeable impression is, no doubt, a consequence of the melancholy colouring given by that deplorable feature in American life on which the interest of the fictitious narrative chiefly turns—the inhuman antipathy against the negro race. The heroine of the story of is a girl of colour—or at least is reputed such, for the brand of degradation attaches not to colour, but to pedigree. Undistinguishable by any outward mark from women of purely European descent—the daughter of a man of weight and consideration in the State to which he belongs—she grows up to womanhood in ignorance of the defect in her genealogy, and with the feelings of a highly-educated and sensitive girl. At this period, by the malice of an enemy, it is bruited abroad, that, two or three generations before, a drop of negro blood had mingled itself with that of one of her ancestors, and had been transmitted to her. The remainder of the story is occupied with the misery brought upon this unfortunate girl, upon her brave and high-spirited brother, her father, and her lover, by the effects of that direful prejudice, so lamentable that we hardly know how to call it detestable.