An analysis of the concept of liberalism and its use in the modern society

Goodman In the history of politics, there is only one fundamental, abiding issue: It is individualism vs. Do individuals have the right to pursue their own happiness, as Thomas Jefferson thought and as the Declaration of Independence deemed self-evident?

An analysis of the concept of liberalism and its use in the modern society

Bring fact-checked results to the top of your browser search. Liberalism in the 19th century As an ideology and in practice liberalism became the preeminent reform movement in Europe during the 19th century.


The national character of a liberal movement could even be affected by religion. Liberalism in Roman Catholic countries such as France, Italy, and Spain, for example, tended to acquire anticlerical overtones, and liberals in those countries tended to favour legislation restricting the civil authority and political power of the Catholic clergy.

Liberalism - Liberalism in the 19th century |

In Great Britain the Whigs had evolved by the midth century into the Liberal Partywhose reformist programs became the model for liberal political parties throughout Europe. The liberal project of broadening the franchise in Britain bore fruit in the Reform Bills of, and — The sweeping reforms achieved by Liberal Party governments led by William Gladstone for 14 years between and marked the apex of British liberalism.

Culver Pictures Liberalism in continental Europe often lacked the fortuitous combination of broad popular support and a powerful liberal party that it had in Britain. After the Bourbon Restoration inhowever, French liberals were faced with the decades-long task of securing constitutional liberties and enlarging popular participation in government under a reestablished monarchygoals not substantially achieved until the formation of the Third Republic in Throughout Europe and in the Western Hemisphereliberalism inspired nationalistic aspirations to the creation of unified, independent, constitutional states with their own parliaments and the rule of law.

But the failure of the Revolutions of highlighted the comparative weakness of liberalism on the Continent. The liberal-inspired unification of Italy was delayed until the s by the armies of Austria and of Napoleon III of France and by the opposition of the Vatican. The United States presented a quite different situation, because there was neither a monarchy, an aristocracynor an established church against which liberalism could react.

In Europe, by contrast, liberalism was a transforming force throughout the 19th century. Industrialization and modernization, for which classical liberalism provided ideological justification, wrought great changes.

The feudal system fell, a functionless aristocracy lost its privileges, and monarchs were challenged and curbed. Capitalism replaced the static economies of the Middle Ages, and the middle class was left free to employ its energies by expanding the means of production and vastly increasing the wealth of society.

As liberals set about limiting the power of the monarchy, they converted the ideal of constitutional governmentaccountable to the people through the election of representatives, into a reality. Modern liberalism Problems of market economies By the end of the 19th century, some unforeseen but serious consequences of the Industrial Revolution in Europe and North America had produced a deepening disenchantment with the principal economic basis of classical liberalism—the ideal of a market economy.

The main problem was that the profit system had concentrated vast wealth in the hands of a relatively small number of industrialists and financiers, with several adverse consequences. First, great masses of people failed to benefit from the wealth flowing from factories and lived in poverty in vast slums.

Second, because the greatly expanded system of production created many goods and services that people often could not afford to buy, markets became glutted and the system periodically came to a near halt in periods of stagnation that came to be called depressions.

Finally, those who owned or managed the means of production had acquired enormous economic power that they used to influence and control government, to manipulate an inchoate electorate, to limit competition, and to obstruct substantive social reform.

In short, some of the same forces that had once released the productive energies of Western society now restrained them; some of the very energies that had demolished the power of despots now nourished a new despotism.

The modern liberal program Such, at any rate, was the verdict reached by an increasing number of liberals in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. As noted above, modern liberals held that the point of government is to remove the obstacles that stand in the way of individual freedom.

In this they followed the lead of thinkers and reformers such as the British political philosopher T.

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According to Green, the excessive powers of government may have constituted the greatest obstacles to freedom in an earlier day, but by the middle of the 19th century these powers had been greatly reduced or mitigated.

The time had come, therefore, to recognize hindrances of another kind—such as poverty, disease, discriminationand ignorance—which individuals could overcome only with the positive assistance of government. The new liberal program was thus to enlist the powers of government in the cause of individual freedom.

Although most liberals eventually adopted this new course, there were some dissenters, notably the influential social Darwinists Herbert Spencer in England and William Graham Sumner in the United States. As the term Darwinists indicates, these writers thought of politics, economics, and society in general in evolutionary terms.

Like Paine, they regarded government as at best a necessary evil—not, however, because it coerces but because it too often interferes with the struggle for survival that nature imposes on human beings as much as on other species see natural selection.

Helping the poor and the weak, they argued, impedes individual freedom and retards social progress by holding back the strong and the fit. They saw no reason for a fixed line eternally dividing the private and public sectors of the economy; the division, they contended, must be made by reference to what works.

The spectre of regimentation in centrally planned economies and the dangers of bureaucracy even in mixed economies deterred them from jettisoning the market and substituting a putatively omnicompetent state.

On the other hand—and this is a basic difference between classical and modern liberalism—most liberals came to recognize that the operation of the market needed to be supplemented and corrected. The new liberals asserted, first, that the rewards dispensed by the market were too crude a measure of the contribution most people made to society and, second, that the market ignored the needs of those who lacked opportunity or who were economically exploited.Br.

Aurelius Moner is a Catholic monk who was has left the "nice" philosophy of Liberalism behind, having come to understand that the judgment, authority and strength of the Patriarchy is necessary to save civilization from "nice" people. Liberalism and Nationalism Paul Kelly necessary to explore the philosophical sources of liberalism before its emergence as an ideology in the nineteenth century and then examine the way that the modern concept of a nation was unavailable to all four thinkers.

Venugopal’():Neoliberalism’as’Concept.’Page2’ when’itis’akey’dependentor’independentvariable’in’empirical’research’(Boas’and’Gans?

Liberalism is a political and moral philosophy based on liberty and equality. Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but they generally support civil rights, democracy, secularism, gender and race equality, internationalism and the freedoms of speech, the press, religion and markets..

Liberalism . John Rawls (—) John Rawls was arguably the most important political philosopher of the twentieth century. He wrote a series of highly influential articles in the s and ’60s that helped refocus Anglo-American moral and political philosophy on substantive problems about what we ought to do.

The liberalism that Deneen attacks is a modern project, one that, while having connections to the pre-modern world, is ultimately “a novel political philosophy that arose in distinction to.

An analysis of the concept of liberalism and its use in the modern society
What is liberalism and what are its characteristics ?