Bentham, Jeremy

Jeremy Bentham (1748–1832) was born into an upper-middle-class English family in a suburb of London. Bentham, a philosopher and political and social reformer, must be viewed within the context of his times for any measure of understanding of his works. He grew up during a time of rapid social change brought about by the Industrial Revolution and the attendant changes in the distribution of population as young people, in particular, migrated from rural areas to urban industrial centers seeking economic opportunity not available under the British system of landownership. Bentham and his family benefited from the attendant redistribution of wealth as industry and commerce replaced land as the major source of socioeconomic status. Many persons, however, were driven from the land and forced into cities ...

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