Broad Sense- It's central theme is Individual & to the construction of a society in which Individuals can satisfy their interests; and it's core value being . Individualism Rationalism Freedom Justice Toleration...blah blahh!! Liberal society is characterized by diversity & pluralism and is organised around the twin values of consent & constitutionalism...which combines to form the structures of liberal democracy In it's earliest form, liberalism was a political doctrine, attacking absolutism & feudalism. In 19th CE, Liberalism extolled the virtues of 'laissez-faire' & condemned all forms of Government intervention
The earliest phase .Was the establishment of constitutional government based upon individual rights, for instance the US Constitution. Believed in Constitutionalism, laws, consensus etc.. Followed British parliamentary constitutional tradition, and the constitution makers explicitly referred to the writings of Locke and to Montesquieu's [1688-1755] interpretation of the British constitution (the Separation of Powers) . The Second Phase . In the nineteenth-century liberal writers like Bentham and the J S Mill made a link with capitalism in defense of doctrines of free trade and the desirability of a minimal state, thus building upon the writings of economists such as Adam Smith and Ricardo. . In both Europe and North America Liberals increasingly were the party of political reform and universal suffrage. A distinctive feature of liberalism has been an emphasis on political freedom hSart Milil's Essoy ontibety 8kesa emotaule ease ageamsl metence bv the state ol Societ . in the pvate ives of mdivduals and foofreedom o expression
"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it. Voltaire
The third phase was marked in philosophical terms by the writings of the English idealists (Milne, F. H. Bradley, Bernard Bosanquet , Josiah Royce (an American writer ) and most notably T. H. Green [1836-1882] and Leonard Hobhouse [1864-1929] As Green puts it: The state presupposes rights and rights of individuals.' . It is a form which society takes to maintain them, These rights include the right to private property but these must be exercised in such a way as not to prevent others exercising these rights too. TH Green explicitly endorses state intervention to enable the mass of the population to enjoy reasonable standards of health, housing, and access to property rights. Hobhouse has a more explicit statement of political liberalism. He identifies liberalism with civil, fiscal, personal, social, economic, domestic, local, racial, national and international and political liberty. The third phase of 'social' liberalism is associated in Britain with the political careers, speeches and writings of Lloyd George, John Maynard Keynes and Lord Beveridge. . .
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