Summary of the relation of gender and family to politics and class in Mill and Taylor's essay on the future of the labouring classes (1848)

Mill and Taylor presented two models relevant to the position of both labourers (Mill 1848 par 1) and women (Mill 1848 pars 3 and 18). They opposed the theory of dependence and protection (Mill 1848 pars 2-8) and supported that of self-dependence (Mill 1848 pars 9-16).

Dependency theory makes the ruling class responsible for the welfare of the ruled. Acording to this approach, the rich should regulate the social environment beneficially, and educate the poor in socially constructive ideas (Mill 1848 par 3).

Dependency theory also says men should be providers and protectors for their wives (Mill 1848 par 18). This, Mill and Taylor suggest, treats workers and women as children (Mill 1848 pars 12 and 25).

Mill and Taylor argue that it is both undesirable and too late to treat workers or women as children: The working classes were taking their interests into their own hands (Mill 1848 pars 9-10), leading to an increase in their education and intelligence (Mill 1848 pars 12 following). Some women were beginning to take the same path (Mill 1848 par 25). The process, (taking place for the same reasons in both cases: Mill 1848 par 18), was beneficial because it was essential for self-development (Mill 1848 pars 12-20).


Mill, 1848, Principles of Political Economy. Section On the Probable Futurity of the Labouring Classes. Paragraph numbers from

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This summary of a student's essay is also a summary of Mill and Taylor's essay. The summary shows how the main points of an essay can be condensed into a paragraph and used in the introduction. See the technique used for systematically writing a summary

The summary has also been used to show how each point that an essay makes can be referenced to the primary source. This referencing can be in the body of the essay rather than the summary if this is preferred. Here the links from the references go directly to the text, and so you can use the summary as a guide to Mill and Taylor's essay.