Discusses the ideas, philosophies, and institutions which provided the social support for the economic philosophy sometimes called Manchester Liberalism.

1. The history of late 19th century America is the history of industrialization, but it was an industrialization guided by an almost unbridled capitalism. Adam Smith taken to the extreme. But an economic philosophy can’t capture a nation unless it is supported or buttressed by other social, cultural, and/or religious philosophies. And even an economic philosophy with God and Nature on its side cannot capture everybody’s heart. Write an essay which:
a. Discusses the ideas, philosophies, and institutions which provided the social support for the economic philosophy sometimes called Manchester Liberalism.
b. Discusses the critiques of this social and economic philosophy that were produced by two of the era’s greatest thinkers, Henry George and Edward Bellamy. (You need not go into great detail here – what is rent, etc. – but you must discuss the basic thrust and importance of their critiques.)

2. With the exception of the period from 1920-1932, the Progressive view of the role of government in the economy dominated the years from 1900 to 1980. The essence of that vision was deceptively simple. In most cases, the cause of, and cure for, poverty lay with the individual who found himself or herself in that situation. But there were people whose poverty had not been caused by their own actions nor could it be cured simply by acting differently. For those people it became the responsibility of government to intervene and “rescue” them. These “rescue” efforts, of course, took the form of specific public policies.
a. What policies did the “Capital P” Progressives of the period from 1900-1920 enact to try to bring their vision to life?
b. What policies did the “small p” Progressives of the period from 1935-1980 enact to try to extend and expand that vision?

3. Both American women and American blacks have long struggled for an equal place in society. In one sense, each group faced the same barriers, entrenched white males who treated them as second class citizens. But in another sense, these groups faced very different barriers. Specifically, women found themselves – still find themselves in many respects – in a different cultural and philosophical universe than do blacks when asserting their essential human equality. Discuss this different philosophical and cultural universe and the barriers it has placed to women striving to create a society in which men and women are truly equal.

4. Most historians – and most economists – would have concluded in 1970 that Manchester Liberalism was as dead as any economic philosophy could possibly be. By 2012 most historians and economists who had made such a judgment and were alive to remember it would have to say they were wrong. Under a somewhat different name and tempered ever so slightly, it was back. Just as the 19th century version of Manchester Liberalism required social underpinnings not really derived from the economic philosophy itself, this newer version took root and survived because it tapped into ideas, values, and institutions not economic in nature. Discuss the ideas, philosophies, values, and institutions that provided the support for this new version of that very old economic philosophy.

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