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A Liberal World

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Classical liberalism

Classical liberalism is a political ideology and a branch of liberalism that advocates free market, civil liberties under the rule of law with an emphasis on limited government, economic freedom, political freedom, and cultural liberalism. It was developed in the early 19th century, building on ideas from the previous century as a response to urbanization and to the Industrial Revolution in Europe and North America.Notable liberal individuals whose ideas contributed to classical liberalism include John Locke, Jean-Baptiste Say, Thomas Robert Malthus and David Ricardo. It drew on classical economics, especially the economic ideas as espoused by Adam Smith in Book One of The Wealth of Nations and on a belief in natural law, progress and utilitarianism.Until the Great Depression and the rise of Social Liberalism, it was used under the name of economic liberalism. As a term, classical liberalism was applied in retronym to distinguish earlier 19th-century liberalism from social liberalism.


Economic liberalism

Economic liberalism (also known as fiscal conservatism in United States politics) is a political and economic ideology based on strong support for an individualist market economy and private property in the means of production. Economic liberals tend to oppose government intervention in the market when it inhibits free trade and open competition, but support government intervention to protect property rights and resolve market failures. Economic liberalism has been generally described as representing the economic expression of classical liberalism. As an economic system, economic liberalism is organized on individual lines, meaning that the greatest possible number of economic decisions are made by individuals or households rather than by collective institutions or organizations. An economy that is managed according to these precepts may be described as liberal capitalism or a liberal economy. Economic liberalism is associated with markets and private ownership of capital assets. Historically, economic liberalism arose in response to mercantilism and feudalism. Today, economic liberalism is also considered opposed to non-capitalist economic orders such as socialism and planned economies. It also contrasts with protectionism because of its support for free trade and open markets. Economic liberals commonly adhere to a political and economic philosophy which advocates a restrained fiscal policy and the balancing of budgets, through measures such as low taxes, reduced government spending, and minimized government debt.


Liberal Party (UK)

The Liberal Party was one of the two major political parties in the United Kingdom with the opposing Conservative Party in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The party arose from an alliance of Whigs and free trade–supporting Peelites and the reformist Radicals in the 1850s. By the end of the 19th century, it had formed four governments under William Gladstone. Despite being divided over the issue of Irish Home Rule, the party returned to government in 1905 and then won a landslide victory in the following year's general election. Under prime ministers Henry Campbell-Bannerman (1905–1908) and H. H. Asquith (1908–1916), the Liberal Party passed the welfare reforms that created a basic British welfare state. Although Asquith was the party's leader, its dominant figure was David Lloyd George. Asquith was overwhelmed by the wartime role of coalition prime minister and Lloyd George replaced him as prime minister in late 1916, but Asquith remained as Liberal Party leader. The pair fought for years over control of the party, badly weakening it in the process. In The Oxford Companion to British History, historian Martin Pugh argues: Lloyd George made a greater impact on British public life than any other 20th-century leader, thanks to his pre-war introduction of Britain's social welfare system (especially medical insurance, unemployment insurance, and old-age pensions, largely paid for by taxes on high incomes and on the land). Furthermore, in foreign affairs, he played a leading role in winning the First World War, redrawing the map of Europe at the peace conference, and partitioning Ireland.


Liberal Party of Canada

The Liberal Party of Canada (French: Parti libéral du Canada) is the longest-serving and oldest active federal political party in Canada. The party has dominated federal politics of Canada for much of its history, holding power for almost 70 years of the 20th century. As a result, it has sometimes been referred to as Canada's "natural governing party".The party espouses the principles of liberalism, and generally sits at the centre to centre-left of the Canadian political spectrum, with their rival the Conservative Party positioned to the right and the New Democratic Party, who at times aligned itself with the Liberals during minority governments, positioned to their left. The party is described as "big tent", practising "brokerage politics", attracting support from a broad spectrum of voters. In the late 1970s, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau stated that his Liberal Party adhered to the "radical centre".The Liberals' signature policies and legislative decisions include universal health care, the Canada Pension Plan, Canada Student Loans, peacekeeping, multilateralism, official bilingualism, official multiculturalism, gun control, patriating the Constitution of Canada and the entrenchment of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Clarity Act, legalizing same-sex marriage, euthanasia, and cannabis, national carbon pricing, and expanded access to abortion.In the 2015 federal election, the Liberal Party under Justin Trudeau had its best result since the 2000 federal election, winning 39.5 percent of the popular vote and 184 seats, gaining a majority of seats in the House of Commons. In the federal elections of 2019 and 2021, the party won a minority government and narrowly lost the popular vote both times.



Liberalism is a political and moral philosophy based on 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), democracy, secularism, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion and a market economy. Yellow is the political colour most commonly associated with liberalism.Liberalism became a distinct movement in the Age of Enlightenment, when it became popular 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.Leaders in the British Glorious Revolution of 1688, the American Revolution of 1776 and the French Revolution of 1789 used liberal philosophy to justify the armed overthrow of royal sovereignty. Liberalism started to spread rapidly especially after the French Revolution. The 19th century saw liberal governments established in nations across Europe and South America, whereas it was well-established alongside republicanism in the United States. In Victorian Britain, it was used to critique the political establishment, appealing to science and reason on behalf of the people.


Liberals (Sweden)

The Liberals (Swedish: Liberalerna, L), known as the Liberal People's Party (Swedish: Folkpartiet liberalerna) until 22 November 2015, is a liberal political party in Sweden. The Liberals ideologically shows a variety of liberal tendencies, including social liberalism, conservative liberalism, and economic liberalism.Historically the party was positioned in the centre of the Swedish political landscape, willing to cooperate with both the political left and the right. It has since the leaderships of Lars Leijonborg and Jan Björklund in the 2000s positioned itself more towards the right. It was a part of the Alliance centre-right coalition government led by Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt from 2006 to 2014. The party's policies include action toward a free market economy and pushing for Sweden to join NATO and the Eurozone, as well as investing in nuclear power; it also focuses on gender equality, the school system and quality education.In February 2019 following the conclusion of government negotiations Jan Björklund announced his intention to step down from the leadership position after 11 years at the helm of the Liberals. He was succeeded by Nyamko Sabuni in June 2019. After the 2021 Swedish government crisis, the party withdrew their support for Löfven, and is now promoting a centre-right government together with M and KD with support from SD with Ulf Kristersson as their Prime Minister candidate. Since the decision to collaborate with the Sweden Democrats, the party has adopted more right-wing populist policy, such as a more restrictive migration policy, easier withdrawal of citizenship for immigrants, and strong criticism of Muslim schools.The party is a member of the Liberal International and Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe.


Social liberalism

Social liberalism (German: Sozialliberalismus, Spanish: socioliberalismo), also known as new liberalism in the United Kingdom, modern liberalism in the United States, left liberalism (German: Linksliberalismus) in Germany and progressive liberalism (Spanish: Liberalismo progresista) in Spanish-speaking countries, is a political philosophy and variety of liberalism that endorses a social market economy within an individualist economy and the expansion of civil and political rights. Under social liberalism, the common good is viewed as harmonious with the freedom of the individual.Social liberal policies have been widely adopted in much of the world. Social liberal ideas and parties tend to be considered centrist or centre-left. A social liberal government is expected to address economic and social issues such as poverty, welfare, infrastructure, health care, education and the climate using government intervention whilst also emphasizing the rights and autonomy of the individual.In the United States, the term social liberalism may sometimes refer to progressive stances on sociocultural issues such as reproductive rights and same-sex marriage (in contrast with social conservatism). Because cultural liberalism expresses the social dimension of liberalism, it is often referred to as social liberalism, although it is not the same as the broader political ideology known as social liberalism. An American social liberal in this sense may hold either conservative (economic liberal) or modern liberal (economic progressive) views on fiscal policy.


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