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Portal:Conservatism

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Conservatism is a political and social philosophy promoting traditional social institutions in the context of culture and civilization. The central tenets of conservatism include tradition, human imperfection, organic society, hierarchy, authority, and property rights. Conservatives seek to preserve a range of institutions such as monarchy, religion, parliamentary government, and property rights, with the aim of emphasizing social stability and continuity. The more extreme elements—reactionaries—oppose modernism and seek a return to "the way things were".

The first established use of the term in a political context originated in 1818 with François-René de Chateaubriand during the period of Bourbon Restoration that sought to roll back the policies of the French Revolution. Historically associated with right-wing politics, the term has since been used to describe a wide range of views. There is no single set of policies regarded as conservative because the meaning of conservatism depends on what is considered traditional in a given place and time. Thus conservatives from different parts of the world—each upholding their respective traditions—may disagree on a wide range of issues. Edmund Burke, an 18th-century politician who opposed the French Revolution but supported the American Revolution, is credited as one of the main theorists of conservatism in Great Britain in the 1790s.

According to Quintin Hogg, the chairman of the British Conservative Party in 1959: "Conservatism is not so much a philosophy as an attitude, a constant force, performing a timeless function in the development of a free society, and corresponding to a deep and permanent requirement of human nature itself". In contrast to the tradition-based definition of conservatism, some political theorists such as Corey Robin define conservatism primarily in terms of a general defense of social and economic inequality. From this perspective, conservatism is less an attempt to uphold traditional institutions and more, "a meditation on — and theoretical rendition of — the felt experience of having power, seeing it threatened, and trying to win it back".

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Official Portrait of President Reagan 1981-cropped.jpg
Ronald Wilson Reagan (1911–2004) was the 40th President of the United States (1981–1989), the 33rd Governor of California (1967–1975) and prior to that, a radio, film and television actor. Some of his most notable roles are in Knute Rockne, All American and Kings Row.

As president, Reagan implemented sweeping new political and economic initiatives. His supply-side economic policies, dubbed "Reaganomics," advocated reducing tax rates to spur economic growth, controlling the money supply to reduce inflation, deregulation of the economy, and reducing government spending. In his first term he survived an assassination attempt, took a hard line against labor unions, and ordered military actions in Grenada. He was reelected in a landslide in 1984, proclaiming it was "Morning in America." His second term was primarily marked by foreign matters, such as the ending of the Cold War, the 1986 bombing of Libya, and the revelation of the Iran–Contra affair.

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The real division is not between conservatives and revolutionaries but between authoritarians and libertarians.

— George Orwell, in a letter to Malcolm Muggeridge (4 December 1948)

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The European People's Party (EPP) is a pro-European centre-right European political party. The EPP was founded in 1976 by Christian democratic parties, but later it increased its membership to include conservative parties and parties of other centre-right perspectives. The EPP is the most influential of the European parties. It has been the largest party in the European Parliament since 1999, the European Council since 2002 and is also by far the largest party in the current European Commission. As a central part of its 2009 campaign for the European elections, the EPP approved at the April congress in Warsaw its 'Election Manifesto'. At this congress, the EPP endorsed Barroso for a second term as President of the Commission.

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