Liberalism Essay, Research Paper
Liberalism stressed individual freedom, equality under law, and freedom of thought and religion. Both the Declaration of the Rights of man and the American Bill of Rights stressed these ideals. Liberals were mainly members of the rising middle class. They were bankers, merchants, lawyers, journalists, university students, and intellectuals. They wanted written constitutions, parliamentary government, and the protection of natural rights. I think that liberalism is better then most other types of government. Liberalism gives rights to the people. Liberals have opposed restraints that prevent the individual from rising out of a low social status, barriers such as censorship that limit free expression, and arbitrary power exercised by the state. In international politics, liberals have opposed the domination of foreign policy by militarists and the exploitation of native colonial peoples. In economics, liberals have attacked monopolies and mercantilist state policies that subject the economy to state control. Liberalism helps people bring more control into their life. To do this you must have choices. Liberals do not want the government to protect people from themselves, or to interfere in individual interactions, except just as to prevent actions that cause them harm. Liberalism signifies an openness to change and respect for individual liberties within a societal framework in which all have equal opportunities. Without liberalism we would not have the right to think as you wish. You would not have the right to worship as you please. I think that the government has no business opposing any specific religion. With liberalism you have the right to express your views, whatever they may be. In the civil rights it says that all people are equal under the law. Any type of discrimination based on race, ethnicity, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or gender is not only inconsistent with a free and civil society, but is immoral as well. Without liberalism we wouldn t have the civil rights. The ideals of the civil rights are based on liberalism.
Liberals see the role of the government as providing a framework in which individuals can develop their lives and contribute to society. Regulation of private industry is needed to ensure integrity and safety, with respect to customers and workers. Liberals do not want the government to protect people from themselves, or to interfere in individual interactions, just to prevent actions that cause them harm.
Modern liberalism has many roots. An important one is the provision of human rights, from the Magna Carta through the US Constitution to the International Declaration of Human Rights. Adam Smith, John Stuart Mill and the “classical liberals” of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries were another influence. By the middle of the 19th century, liberal thought had acquired powerful advocates in Europe and in the United States. Europeans considered the United States an exemplar of liberalism because of its popular culture, emphasis on equality, and wide suffrage. However, most 19th-century liberals feared mass participation in politics, believing that the so-called lower classes were indifferent to freedom and hostile to the expression of diversity. As suffrage expanded, many liberals became concerned with preserving the individual values that they identified with an aristocratic social and political order.