John Stuart Mill

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DEFINITION of 'John Stuart Mill'

A nineteenth-century British philosopher and classical liberal economist who spent his working years with the East India Company. Born in 1806 in London, his father, James Mill, was also an economist. John Mill published one of his most influential works, On Liberty, in 1859.

BREAKING DOWN 'John Stuart Mill'

Extremely well educated from the age of three, Mill became depressed and had a nervous breakdown as a young adult. He recovered and wrote a widely used textbook, Principles of Political Economy, which was based on David Ricardo and Adam Smith's ideas. Despite a general belief in laissez-faire principals, Mill supported some interventionist policies, such as trade protectionism and the regulation of work hours.

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