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Portal:Conservatism

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Introduction

Conservatism is a political and social philosophy promoting traditional social institutions. The central tenets of conservatism may vary in relation to the traditional values or practices of the culture and civilization in which it appears. In Western culture, conservatives seek to preserve a range of institutions such as organized religion, parliamentary government, and property rights. Adherents of conservatism often oppose modernism and seek a return to traditional values.

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. Conservative thought has varied considerably as it has adapted itself to existing traditions and national cultures. For example, some conservatives advocate for greater government intervention in the economy while others advocate for a more laissez faire free market economic system. 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 the 1790s. (Full article...)

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Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, (1874 – 1965) was an English statesman known for his leadership of Britain during the Second World War. He is widely regarded as one of the great wartime leaders. He served as Prime Minister twice (1940–45 and 195155). A noted statesman and orator, Churchill was also an officer in the British Army, a historian, and a writer. In his days as a Liberal Party leader (about 1910), he helped create the British welfare state.

During the 1930s, Churchill took the lead in warning about the danger from Hitler and in campaigning for rearmament. On the outbreak of World War II, he was again appointed First Lord of the Admiralty. On 10 May 1940, Churchill became Prime Minister in an all-party government. His steadfast refusal to consider defeat, surrender or a compromise peace helped inspire British resistance, especially during the difficult early days of the War when Britain stood alone in its active opposition to Hitler. Churchill was particularly noted for his speeches and radio broadcasts, which helped inspire the British people.

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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 United States presidential election of 1964 was held on November 3, 1964. Incumbent President Lyndon B. Johnson had come to office less than a year earlier following the assassination of his predecessor, John F. Kennedy. Johnson, who had successfully associated himself with Kennedy's popularity, won 61.1% of the popular vote, the highest won by a candidate since 1820. It was the sixth-most lopsided presidential election in the history of the United States. The Republican candidate, Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona, suffered from a lack of support from his own party and his far-right political positions. Johnson's campaign successfully portrayed Goldwater as being a dangerous extremist, and advocated social programs which became known as the Great Society. Johnson easily won the Presidency, carrying 44 of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. However, Goldwater's unsuccessful bid influenced the Republican Party and the modern conservative movement.

Credit: SteveSims

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