What the groundhog saw on February 2, 2012
Given our class of 17 has only 3 females including me, that means most of my fellow students are male, I miss some of the women with whom I have taken classes these past few years, but they are not into nineteenth century political economy. They have been concentrating on the European track as I have done most of my career in the history department. I don’t know what they took this semester, but I could not take one more course on WWII or Nazi Germany our scant offerings this semester as most of the good guys are on sabbatical.
Only one other student in my class this semester, Gary, is in the European track. We have had several courses together but he is more interested in the Elizabethan Period or Renaissance than I am. He reviewed my research paper last semester. While I wrote about a murder and trial in 1901 in East Anglia, he wrote about the Popish Plot in sixteenth century England.
Speaking historically, we are centuries apart, but we sit next to each other facing the formidable phalanx of energetic and knowledgeable American history students. These young men are so intense, and they have absorbed so much American history….the British colonial period, the Revolution, the Civil War, the settlement of the West…they are primed and ready.
The seminar conversation moves rapidly. Whip, whip, whip. That’s my head spinning, trying to get a word in edgewise. Gary is completely silent. Finally, I get a break. K mentions Manchester, the birthplace of classical liberalism in nineteenth century England. Although he has looked it up on the Internet, and lamely tries to explain it, I take over. K and I know each other from a course on the history of the American Corporation so he doesn’t object.
Okay, okay, I know I am a political junkie but this topic involves Europe and economics. Besides, I had written a paper on the city of Manchester in England that focused on the period when classical liberalism was embraced by the common people at the urging of their industrial masters.
Sometimes, being a political junkie pays dividends.
Here’s an excerpt from Wiki about classical liberalism:
Classical liberalism is the philosophy committed to the ideal of limited government, constitutionalism, rule of law, due process, and liberty of individuals including freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, and free markets. Classical liberalism is not social liberalism which has its roots in the Progressive era.