The Political Writings of James Mill: Essays and Reviews on
Politics and Society, 1815-1836
The writings on politics and society by James Mill (1773-1836) have been somewhat
neglected by historians and political theorists. A collection of his writings
on "economics" was published by Donald Winch in 1966 [online at the
OLL <http://oll.libertyfund.org/title/100>] and it included a couple of articles
and extracts from his books:
- An Essay of the Impolicy of a Bounty On the Exportation of Grain
- Commerce Defended
- "Smith On Money and Exchange" (Ed. Rev. 1808)
- Elements of Political Economy,
- "Whether Political Economy Is Useful" (London Review, 1836)
- History of India
Another anthology was published in 1992 by Cambridge University Press in their
"Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought" series. This
leaves out much of Mill's writing on social
theory, the class structure of British society, religious institutions, free
trade,the strategy for achieving social and political change, charities and
self-help, and the nature of public opinion. The selection is mainly his articles
from the Encyclopaedia Britannica which were republished separately
during the 1820s and ignores his long-forgotten articles on class and self
help organizations for the poor. The full listfrom the Cambridge collection
is as follows:
See: James Mill: Political Writings, ed. Terence Ball (Cambridge University
- Encyclopaedia Britannica:
- Liberty of the press
- Prisons and Prison Discipline
- The Ballot
- Appendix: Macaulay vs. Mill
- T.B. Macaulay, Mill on Government
- James Mill [Reply to Macaulay] From a Fragment on Mackintosh (1835).
Since James Mill was a "political economist" the distinction between
his writings on "politics" and "economics" is a mute one
in any case as Winch implies by including in his anthology of economic writings
material on the Hindus in India. This anthology of his writings on "politics" and "society" tries
to fill the gap by focusing less on his technical work on economic theory and
policy and more on his essays and reviews written over a 20 year period on
various aspects of British politics and society. There is a special emphasis
on his social theory of class and exploitation which seemed to become more
important to him during the struggle to reform the British system of government
in the years leading up to the First Reform Act of 1832.
James Mill's periodical writings can usefully be divided into two periods.
The first covers the period between 1802 and 1815/1817 when he wrote for the
- Anti-Jacobin Review and Magazine 
- The Literary Journal or Universal Review of Literature Domestic and
- The Eclectic Review [1807-14]
- Annual Review and History of Literature for 1808 
- The Edinburgh Review [1807-1814]
- The Monthly Review [1810-1815]
- The Philanthropist [1811-1817]
The second period, the topic of this anthology, covers his more mature writings
in the period between the end of the war against Napoleon
and Mill's death at the age of 63 on 23 June, 1836 which he wrote for the following
- The British Review, and London Critical Journal 
- Supplement to the 4th, 5th and 6th editions of the Encyclopaedia Britannica [1815-1824]
- Parliamentary History and Review 
- The Westminster Review [1824-1836]
- The London Review [1835-36]
- The London and Westminster Review 
We have used the following works to identify what articles were written by
- Alexander Bain, James Mill. A Biography (London: Longmans, Green,
and Co., 1882).
- James Mill, Selected Economic Writings, ed. Donald
Winch (Edinburgh: Oliver Boyd for the Scottish Economic Society, 1966).
Table of Contents
1. The British Review 
The British Review, and London Critical Journal. Vol. VI. (London:
Baldwin, Cradock, and Joy, 1815).
- "Dugald Stewart's “Elements of the Philosophy of Mind”," Aug.
1815, vol. VI. pp. 170–200.
2. Supplement to the 4th, 5th and 6th editions of the Encyclopaedia
Britannica, Edinburgh, 1824, 6 volumes. [1815-1824]
Supplement to the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Editions of the Encyclopaedia
Britannica. With Preliminary Dissertations on the History of the Science.
Illustrated by Engravings. (Edinburgh, Archibald Constable and Company,
1824).The following articles were written by Mill:
- Banks for Saving, vol. 2, pp. 91-101
- Beggar, vol. 2, pp. 231-48
- Benefit Societies, vol. 2, pp. 263-69
- Caste, vol. 2, pp. 674-54.
- Colony, vol. 3, pp. 257-73
- Economists, vol. 3, pp. 708-24
- Education, vol. 4, pp. 11-33
- Government, vol. 4, pp. 491-505
- Jurisprudence, vol. 5, pp. 143-161
- Liberty of the Press, vol. 5, pp. 258-72
- Nations, Law of, vol. 6, pp. 6-23
- Prisons and Prison Discipline, vol. 6, pp. 385-95
3. Parliamentary History and Review [London, 1826]
Parliamentary History and Review; containing Reports of the Proceedings
of the Two Houses of Parliament during the Session of 1826: - 7 Geo. IV.
With Critical Remarks on the Principal Measures of the Session. (London:
Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown, and Green, 1826).
- James Mill, "Summary
Review of the Conduct and Measures of the Seventh Imperial Parliament" pp.
4. The Westminster Review [1824-1836]
The Westminster Review. (London: Baldwin, Cradock, and Joy, 1824-1836).
- "Periodical Literature 1 (Edinburgh Review and Quarterly Review)," Jan.
1824, vol. I, no. I, pp. 206–68.
- "Periodical Literature 2 (Quarterly Review and Edinburgh Review)," Oct.
1824, vol. II,no. IV, pp. 463–553.
- "Robert Southey's Book of the Church," Jan. 1825, vol. III, no.
V, pp. 167–213.
- "Ecclesiastical Establishments," Apr. 1826, vol. V, no. X, pp.
- "Formation of Opinions," Jul. 1826, vol. VI, no. XI, pp. 1–23.
- "State of the Nation," Oct. 1826, vol. VI, no. XII, pp. 249–78.
- "The Ballot," Jul. 1830, vol. XIII, no. XXV, pp. 1–37.
5. The London Review [1835-36]
The London Review (London: Simpkin, Marshall, & Company, 1835).
2 vols. James Mill signed the articles "P.Q."
Volume 1: April-July 1835
- "State of the Nation," Apr. 1835, vol. I, no. 1, pp. 1–24.
- "The Ballot—A Dialogue," Apr. 1835, vol. I, no. 1, pp. 201–53.
- "The Church and its Reform," Jul. 1835, vol. I, no. 2, pp. 257–95.
Volume 2: July-January, 1835-6
- "Law Reform," Oct. 1835, vol. II, no. 3, pp. 1–51.
- "Aristocracy," Jan. 1836, vol. II, no. 4, pp. 283–306.
- "Whether Political Economy is Useful?," Jan. 1836, vol. II, no.
4, pp. 553–72.
James Mill died on 23 June, 1836. That year the London Review merged
with its rival the Westminster Review to become the London and
Westminster Review. His last essay "Theory and Practice (signed
with his usual "P.Q.") appeared in the first issue of the merged
journal in the issue of Apr. 1836, vol. XXV, pp. 223–34.