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Bentham, Byron, and GreeceConstitutionalism, Nationalism, and Early Liberal Political Thought$
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F. Rosen

Print publication date: 1992

Print ISBN-13: 9780198200789

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198200789.001.0001

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Blaquiere's Liberalism and Mediterranean Nationalism

Blaquiere's Liberalism and Mediterranean Nationalism

(p.125) 7 Blaquiere's Liberalism and Mediterranean Nationalism
Bentham, Byron, and Greece

F. Rosen

Oxford University Press

Edward Blaquiere, impetuous and often impecunious Irishman of Huguenot descent, English naval officer during the Napoleonic wars, and early apostle of liberalism, had numerous intellectual heroes, but two were especially memorable: Niccolo Machiavelli and Jeremy Bentham. He admired the Discourses on Livy and regretted that so few read this work instead of the Prince. For the regeneration of Italy in the early 19th century, Blaquiere believed that the task would be difficult but could be eased somewhat not only by the study of Machiavelli's Discourses but also by a ‘proper application of Mr. Bentham's principle of utility’, both of which ‘would shew the people of Italy that sound morals are the indispensable companions of good government’. Nevertheless, the joining of Machiavelli and Bentham reveals a good deal about Blaquiere, especially that conjunction of ruthlessness and political idealism which characterised his approach to politics.

Keywords:   Edward Blaquiere, liberalism, Niccolo Machiavelli, Jeremy Bentham, Discourses on Livy, political idealism

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