Because socialism ultimately succeeded as a popular movement in Great Britain, while imperialism remained the creed of the governing class only, ‘social-imperialism’ has seemed a hybrid topic in British history. It retains its Germanic origins, both in its appearance in print and in the overtones it sounds. Some would deny that it is a topic at all. An intellectual concept too remote from the popular understanding, which found its expositors either in unsuccessful statesmen like Milner or in the works of such men as Benjamin Kidd and Karl Pearson (both of whom wrote for an audience very ready to be convinced by their robustly commonsensical views about evolution), it nevertheless merits the close examination that Dr Bernard Semmel has here awarded it1 — although the approach he takes is not so original as he claims.
KeywordsCommonsensical View Popular Movement British History Open Route Leading Publicist
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- 1.Bernard Semmel, Imperialism and Social Reform: English Social-Imperial Thought, 1895–1914 (Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass., 1960).Google Scholar