Portal:Liberalism

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Liberalism is a political and moral philosophy based on the rights of the individual, liberty, consent of the governed and equality before the law. Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but they generally support individual rights (including civil rights and human rights), liberal democracy, secularism, rule of law, economic and political freedom, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, private property and a market economy.

Liberalism became a distinct movement in the Age of Enlightenment, gaining popularity among Western philosophers and economists. Liberalism sought to replace the norms of hereditary privilege, state religion, absolute monarchy, the divine right of kings and traditional conservatism with representative democracy and the rule of law. Liberals also ended mercantilist policies, royal monopolies and other barriers to trade, instead promoting free trade and marketization. Philosopher John Locke is often credited with founding liberalism as a distinct tradition, based on the social contract, arguing that each man has a natural right to life, liberty and property and governments must not violate these rights. While the British liberal tradition has emphasized expanding democracy, French liberalism has emphasized rejecting authoritarianism and is linked to nation-building. (Full article...)

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David Lloyd George was one of the 'New Liberals' who passed welfare legislation

The Liberal welfare reforms (1906–1914) were a series of acts of social legislation passed by the Liberal Party after the 1906 general election. They represent the emergence of the modern welfare state in the United Kingdom. The reforms demonstrate the split that had emerged within liberalism, between emerging social liberalism and classical liberalism, and a change in direction for the Liberal Party from laissez-faire traditional liberalism to a party advocating a larger, more active government protecting the welfare of its citizens.

The historian G. R. Searle argued that the reforms had multiple causes, including "the need to fend off the challenge of Labour; pure humanitarianism; the search for electoral popularity; considerations of National Efficiency; and a commitment to a modernised version of welfare capitalism." By implementing the reforms outside the English Poor Laws, the stigma attached to claiming relief was also removed. (Full article...)
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John Stuart Mill signature.svg

John Stuart Mill (20 May 1806 – 7 May 1873) was an English philosopher, political economist, Member of Parliament (MP) and civil servant. One of the most influential thinkers in the history of classical liberalism, he contributed widely to social theory, political theory, and political economy. Dubbed "the most influential English-speaking philosopher of the nineteenth century", he conceived of liberty as justifying the freedom of the individual in opposition to unlimited state and social control.

Mill was a proponent of utilitarianism, an ethical theory developed by his predecessor Jeremy Bentham. He contributed to the investigation of scientific methodology, though his knowledge of the topic was based on the writings of others, notably William Whewell, John Herschel, and Auguste Comte, and research carried out for Mill by Alexander Bain. He engaged in written debate with Whewell. (Full article...)

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John Stuart Mill

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