18th/19th century Scottish economist
James Mill

James Mill (born James Milne, 6 April 1773 – 23 June 1836) was a Scottish historian, economist, political theorist and philosopher. He is counted among the founders of the Ricardian school of economics. His son, John Stuart Mill, was also a noted philosopher of liberalism, utilitarianism and the civilizing mission of the British Empire.


6 Apr 1773, James Milne, in Northwater Bridge, Forfarshire, Scotland


23 Jun 1836, in London


James Mill, 1773-1836
The History of Economic Thought, The New School for Social Research

Web Pages

James Mill - Online Library of Liberty
Includes portrait, short biography and links to several of Mill's works and to selected quotations
"James Mill (1773-1836) was an early 19th century Philosophic Radical, journalist, and editor from Scotland. He was very influenced by Jeremy Bentham's ideas about utilitarianism which he applied to the study of British India, political economy, and electoral reform. Mill wrote on the British corn laws, free trade, comparative advantage, the history of India, and electoral reform. His son, John Stuart, after a rigorous home education, became one of the leading English classical liberals in the 19th century."


Government, Encyclopædia Britannica, 1820
Discusses the purpose of government, the means for attaining that end and various related questions and objections; rationalises that representative democracy, as exhibited in early 19th century Britain, is most conducive to "good Government"
"... the necessity of labour for obtaining the means of subsistence, as well as the means of the greatest part of our pleasures ... is, no doubt, the primary cause of government; for, if nature had produced spontaneously all the objects which we desire, and in sufficient abundance for the desires of all, there would have been no source of dispute or of injury among men; nor would any man have possessed the means of ever acquiring authority over another."
Liberty of the Press, 1823
"There is another use of the freedom of the press ... If any set of men are chosen to wield the powers of government, while the people have not the means of knowing in what manner they discharge their duties, they will have the means of serving themselves at the expence of the people; and all the miseries of evil government are the certain consequence."
Related Topic: Freedom of the Press
On the Overproduction and Underconsumption Fallacies [PDF], Commerce Defended, 1808
Excerpt, edited by Prof. George Reisman

Books Authored

Elements of Political Economy, 1821
Electronic text available at the Library of Economics and Liberty; partial contents: Production - Distribution - Interchange - Consumption
Related Topic: Economics

The introductory paragraph uses material from the Wikipedia article "James Mill" as of 28 Apr 2018, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.