chapter  13
1989: 1688 or 1789?
WithD. A. Farnie, W. O. Henderson
Pages 5

Modern radical antipathy to the Glorious Revolution has extended to the Hanoverian succession, Sir Robert Walpole and eighteenth-century Whiggery. A considerable literature exists on the subject, on the whole uncritically sympathetic to the mixed bag of idealists, fellow-travellers and crackpots whose 'sufferings' have been lovingly researched by successive generations of scholars since the beginning of the twentieth century. The liberating influence of the ideas of philosophers such as John Locke and Bernard Mandeville and economists such as Sir James Steuart and Adam Smith during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries led directly and indirectly to the decline in the enforcement or the legal abolition of many obsolete restrictions on free enterprise in economic life. Long before 1800 foreign visitors had been marvelling at the remarkable freedom of British economic life, in comparison with the pettifogging systems of bureaucratic control which hampered businessmen and industrialists in, say, France, Russia and Prussia.