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Revision notes on Liberalism -philosophy, politics and history

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Introduction

Chapter 3 Notes: Values of Liberalism Classical Liberalism ? Individualism ? Respect for rights and freedoms ? Private ownership ? Natural rights; life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness - this goes beyond the type of government' rights and freedoms ? The government holds onto the power that is bestowed by the people ? Citizens have the right to revolt if that power or trust is violated ? Equality of opportunity ? Capitalism ? John Locke Contemporary Liberalism (modern) ? Can sometimes be confused with the present day Liberal political party ? Will accept greater levels of state interventions if it promotes if they perceive it would promote justice and liberty for the greater good of its citizens ? Grew out of classical liberalism but with more slant towards the rights of minorities ? A certain standard of living should be attainable for the greatest number of the population. This is why liberalism today will accept social welfare. ...read more.

Middle

20th Century Liberalism (Modern) - This is in stark contrast to 19th century liberalism which states - they do not mind government regulation, helping others out, welfare state idea. Not a violation of any fundamental right for government to regulate where people work, when they work wages they work for etc. They do not mind paying a little more tax to help others out. A left of center ideology on the economic spectrum. Liberalism wagers that a state... can be strong but constrained - strong because constrained... Rights to education and other requirements for human development and security aim to advance equal opportunity and personal dignity and to promote a creative and productive society. To guarantee those rights, liberals have supported a wider social and economic role for the state, counterbalanced by more robust guarantees of civil liberties and a wider social system of checks and balances anchored in an independent press and pluralistic society." ...read more.

Conclusion

Laissez-faire and the Industrial Revolution ? Ideas were developed during the IR in Great Britain ? Shift from its agricultural roots to the urban, factory system ? Why Great Britain? o 1. Location: ? Island - sea trade, large navy and commercial fleet were necessary anyways ? This created personal fortunes - ship owners and merchants ? Also gave lots of money to the government o 2. Government System ? Parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy ? Power was shared between king and parliament ? Parliament consisted of the wealthy - who welcomed any ideas that could make them money o 3. Writings of Enlightenment ? Advocated human reason, initiative, and individual worth ? Comers were free to make money ? Factory System: resulted from ideas on wealth, human potential, government friendly to business, large amounts of capital (money) and cheap labour, innovation ? **Adam Smith o "Wealth of Nations" - individuals work for their own self interest which is the foundation of the Free Market o Invisible Hand ? Problems with Laissez faire: o Extreme gaps between rich and poor developed o Monopolies o Poor working/living conditions ...read more.

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