Physics and Politics

Or Thoughts on the Application of the Principles of Natural Selection and Inheritance to Political Society

Physics and Politics

Walter Bagehot (1826–1877) was an eminent British journalist, businessman and political commentator. After graduating from University College, London, in 1848, Bagehot joined his father's banking business. In 1857 he began to write articles for The Economist and became editor in 1861, a position he held until his death. This volume, first published in 1872, contains Bagehot's discussion of the scientific principles of progress in a society. Incorporating aspects of other social disciplines, including anthropology and Darwinian evolutionary theory, Bagehot traces the development of political society from an assumed 'pre-political' age to the development of nation-states, and examines the developments necessary for evolution into a liberal, trade-oriented society. Bagehot's appreciation of both conservative and liberal values is evident in this volume, which provides a valuable example of the influence of Darwinian thought in the late nineteenth century. This text is reissued from the 1873 second edition.

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