Chapter 2
J. S. Mill's Education and the Education of India

*

India was not the only place where James Mill sought to implement his Enlightenment ideas. At home he engaged in a famous experiment designed to prove the value of an improved system of education. The chief object of this experiment, of course, was his eldest son, John Stuart Mill. The latter began learning Greek at age three; Latin (by teaching it to his siblings) at eight; mathematics and history before becoming a teenager; and logic, political economy, and French shortly thereafter. The elder Mill also sought to mold his son's character by surrounding him with the proper scholastic environment and excluding unwholesome influences such as typical childhood games and ordinary religious and moral views. In short, J. S. Mill was to be raised in an environment rationally structured to create the best in character and intellect. 1

India, more properly James Mill's views on India, played a role in this experiment. The elder Mill began working on The History of British India shortly after his eldest son was born, and he struggled with the task for nearly ten years. These were the years when J. S. Mill began his studies at his father's side, mostly learning Greek, Latin, and mathematics, as well as reading classical authors and general histories. It seems that nearly from the start of his project James Mill had his son read portions of the History as they were completed. It is certain that the younger Mill was required to help with proofreading the text. This occurred in 1817, shortly before James Mill introduced his son to the study of ancient and modern logic. 2 In the Autobiography, where he listed with great care the languages and books his father had him study at a young age, J. S. Mill counted The History of British India among the most important influences of his

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John Stuart Mill and India
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Contents ix
  • Introduction 1
  • Chapter I James Mill and India 7
  • Chapter 2 J. S. Mill's Education and the Education of India 28
  • Chapter 3 an Empire of Opinion 51
  • Chapter 4 Princes and Progress 87
  • Chapter 5 an Empire of Reform 126
  • Chapter 6 J. S. Mill and the Imperial Experience 169
  • Appendix 209
  • Reference Matter 217
  • Notes 219
  • Works Cited 259
  • Index 271
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