An analysis of the origins of the complex idea of liberalism in the united states

Regarding the former I have very little to say except that I think Boston baseball might be overrepresented in academe not just in political scienceand that this over representation likely tracks with the clustering of elite schools in New England.

An analysis of the origins of the complex idea of liberalism in the united states

For utilitarianism and Hegelianism, and their combination in various forms of liberal thought, the… General characteristics Liberalism is derived from two related features of Western culture.

Throughout much of history, the individual has been submerged in and subordinate to his clantribeethnic groupor kingdom.

Liberalism is the culmination of developments in Western society that produced a sense of the importance of human individuality, a liberation of the individual from complete subservience to the group, and a relaxation of the tight hold of custom, lawand authority.

In this respect, liberalism stands for the emancipation of the individual. Liberalism also derives from the practice of adversariality in European political and economic life, a process in which institutionalized competition—such as the competition between different political parties in electoral contestsbetween prosecution and defense in adversary procedureor between different producers in a market economy see monopoly and competition —generates a dynamic social order.

Adversarial systems have always been precarious, however, and it took a long time for the belief in adversariality to emerge from the more traditional view, traceable at least to Platothat the state should be an organic structure, like a beehive, in which the different social classes cooperate by performing distinct yet complementary roles.

The belief that competition is an essential part of a political system and that good government requires a vigorous opposition was still considered strange in most European countries in the early 19th century. Underlying the liberal belief in adversariality is the conviction that human beings are essentially rational creatures capable of settling their political disputes through dialogue and compromise.

This aspect of liberalism became particularly prominent in 20th-century projects aimed at eliminating war and resolving disagreements between states through organizations such as the League of Nationsthe United Nationsand the International Court of Justice World Court.

Liberalism has a close but sometimes uneasy relationship with democracy. At the centre of democratic doctrine is the belief that governments derive their authority from popular election; liberalism, on the other hand, is primarily concerned with the scope of governmental activity.

Liberals often have been wary of democracythen, because of fears that it might generate a tyranny by the majority. One might briskly say, therefore, that democracy looks after majorities and liberalism after unpopular minorities. Like other political doctrines, liberalism is highly sensitive to time and circumstance.

The expansion of governmental power and responsibility sought by liberals in the 20th century was clearly opposed to the contraction of government advocated by liberals a century earlier. In the 19th century liberals generally formed the party of business and the entrepreneurial middle class; for much of the 20th century they were more likely to work to restrict and regulate business in order to provide greater opportunities for labourers and consumers.

This willingness is tempered by an aversion to sudden, cataclysmic change, which is what sets off the liberal from the radical.

It is this very eagerness to welcome and encourage useful change, however, that distinguishes the liberal from the conservativewho believes that change is at least as likely to result in loss as in gain. In the Middle Ages the rights and responsibilities of the individual were determined by his place in a hierarchical social system that placed great stress upon acquiescence and conformity.

Under the impact of the slow commercialization and urbanization of Europe in the later Middle Ages, the intellectual ferment of the Renaissanceand the spread of Protestantism in the 16th century, the old feudal stratification of society gradually began to dissolve, leading to a fear of instability so powerful that monarchical absolutism was viewed as the only remedy to civil dissension.

However, as such intervention increasingly served established interests and inhibited enterprise, it was challenged by members of the newly emerging middle class. This challenge was a significant factor in the great revolutions that rocked England and France in the 17th and 18th centuries—most notably the English Civil Wars —51the Glorious Revolutionthe American Revolution —83and the French Revolution Classical liberalism as an articulated creed is a result of those great collisions.

In the English Civil Wars, the absolutist king Charles I was defeated by the forces of Parliament and eventually executed.

The Glorious Revolution resulted in the abdication and exile of James II and the establishment of a complex form of balanced government in which power was divided between the king, his ministers, and Parliament.

In time this system would become a model for liberal political movements in other countries. The political ideas that helped to inspire these revolts were given formal expression in the work of the English philosophers Thomas Hobbes and John Locke.

In LeviathanHobbes argued that the absolute power of the sovereign was ultimately justified by the consent of the governed, who agreed, in a hypothetical social contractto obey the sovereign in all matters in exchange for a guarantee of peace and security.

Locke also held a social-contract theory of government, but he maintained that the parties to the contract could not reasonably place themselves under the absolute power of a ruler. Absolute rule, he argued, is at odds with the point and justification of political authority, which is that it is necessary to protect the person and property of individuals and to guarantee their natural rights to freedom of thought, speech, and worship.

Significantly, Locke thought that revolution is justified when the sovereign fails to fulfill these obligations. Indeed, it appears that he began writing his major work of political theory, Two Treatises of Governmentprecisely in order to justify the revolution of two years before.

Locke was a notable Whig, and it is conventional to view liberalism as derived from the attitudes of Whig aristocrats, who were often linked with commercial interests and who had an entrenched suspicion of the power of the monarchy.

Liberalism and democracy The early liberals, then, worked to free individuals from two forms of social constraint—religious conformity and aristocratic privilege—that had been maintained and enforced through the powers of government.

The aim of the early liberals was thus to limit the power of government over the individual while holding it accountable to the governed.The term was exported to Europe and the United States as well.

Some scholars have argued that the modern usage of “liberal” originated on the European continent before spreading to Britain. The “idea” or theory of liberalism evolves with logic and clarity: “The right replaces the good. The intensity of moral approval that the ancients gave to the good, the moderns, following Hobbes, gave to the right, the right of the individual.

Jun 12,  · It is characterized by social liberalism, and combines ideas of civil liberty and equality with support for social justice and a mixed economy.

The term "modern liberalism" in this article refers only to the United States. History of modern liberalism in the United States. Modern liberalism in the United States. The conventional wisdom is that al-Qaida’s attacks on the United States on September 11, , and the subsequent war on terrorism have made America less Liberal.

The logic of this argument is straightforward: interstate war has historically undermined domestic liberties, and the war on terrorism is causing theUnited States to follow this well-worn path.

Historians influenced by post-structuralism and the linguistic turn and feminist historians concerned to incorporate the category of gender into historical analysis have recently challenged the categories, methodologies, and questions of labor history as it has been practiced in the United States .

An analysis of the origins of the complex idea of liberalism in the united states

Looking for History of liberalism? Find out information about History of liberalism. philosophy or movement that has as its aim the development of individual freedom.

Because the concepts of liberty or freedom change in different historical.

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