What is liberalism and how it arose

Liberalism is a doctrine that promotes, defends and fosters civil liberties and individuals. As a doctrine, it encompasses a set of basic ideas and principles originated by religious, philosophical, social, political and economic movements.

It arose mainly in the political estates, when the people began to demand greater freedoms and the reduction of the State’s intervention in everything related to civil and social matters.

Politically, liberalism had its first manifestations in the French Revolution. Towards the year 1789 when the social and political conflict arose that involved periods of violence in the France of Louis XVI and that involved other countries in Europe. All faced, some against and others in favor of the well-known Old Regime, characterized by maintaining an economy based on agriculture, a rural population and market growth based on its products.

In the social sphere, the Old Regime typified its structures in accordance with the differences between families, determined by their origin, ignoring people’s wealth, abilities or talent.

Beginnings of Liberalism

Historians have marked the beginning of liberalism precisely with the rise of the French Revolution, and which continued after the Second World Warincluding the years after the Cold War. They also refer that the doctrine of liberalism emerged as a political response to the religious struggles that remained in Europe during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

French Revolution

As for the father of liberalism, the intellectual foundations of this doctrine are attributed to John Locke, who contested the old social and political structures and traditions imposed by the governments of the 16th century. Later, these new ideas and demands were part of other movements that were revolutionary and marked the beginning of great political, religious and social changes with the changes of political regimes that gave way to liberal systems, especially in Europe, Latin America and Latin America. North.

John Locke

Locke, an English physician and philosopher, is credited with the influential writings of liberal theory reflected in the United States Declaration of Independence and the 1689 Bill of Rights.

What promoted the birth of Liberalism?

Undoubtedly, the changes arising from liberalism marked the history of humanity. Starting with the emancipation and independence of the colonized peoples, most of which depended economically and administratively on colonial imperialism.

At the beginning of the 21st century, liberal democracies and their basic characteristics, among which are the support and respect for the constitution, the free and secret suffrage, the pluralistic societies from the political and religious and the welfare stateThey have been maintained in most of the countries of the world, precisely due to the emergence and expansion of liberalism.

Protecting individual freedoms is the premise

Liberal thought or liberalism is essentially a doctrine of political philosophy. From there its origin goes back, with the basic aspect of the defense of individual and civil freedom and the defense of private initiatives, as sources of income and maintenance, keeping aside the intervention of the State and its powers in relation to to the social, cultural, and specifically, to the economic of the societies.

What current of thought contrary to absolutism, conservatism and despotism, Liberalism defends and promotes civil and economic freedoms as the basis of the rule of law that citizens must have to develop and emerge freely in a society, and thus promote and lay the foundations of social coexistence.

Liberalism laid the foundations for the conformation of democratic thought, which also includes the separation of powers from the State, which is vital to maintain the order of a Republic.

The emergence of the republics from the independence wave of the 19th century onwards, are a sample of the liberalism that had started a few years ago, and that, in short, could not be stopped due to the need for changes that the systems required established. The Church and the State fought for power, subjugating and leaving in the background the rights of citizens, their individuality and their need to emerge and be part of a prosperous society where they had more to contribute as a citizen.

The emergence of liberalism and with this of democracies, were predominant from the beginning of the 18th century in Western countries. He put limitations on absolutism from feudal times, at the same time that it resulted in the power of the State being subject to the Constitution of each Republic.

Later, and with the foundations of social liberalism, during the 20th century the liberal doctrine reached the economy, promoting the free market and changing legal security in favor of the emergence and growth of capitalism.

Advantages of liberalism

Liberal theories are not likely to be shared by all intellectuals, politicians, sociologists, and anyone else who finds in this doctrine a threat to governance and power, be it political or economic. The truth is that liberal ideas establish a system of civil liberties with which society can progress, since this system involves equal opportunities for all and equality before the law for all people.

Likewise, liberalism seek a rule of law whose powers are limited and its function, rather than restriction and coercion, is to administer resources, guarantee security in all its aspects, from individual and citizen to legal.

Some examples

  • One of the first expressions of liberalism was the French Revolution, with which an unstoppable movement of political, social and economic changes began.
  • Likewise, the independence wars in the colonized nations of America by the imperialist countries of Europe were inspired and promoted by the liberal ideas that emerged at that time.
  • The separation of Church and State, that is, the secular state, is another example of the freedom of worship that liberalism promoted from the philosophical aspect.
  • The social progress that is achieved through the freedom of individuals as well as equality before the law, has only been possible thanks to the emergence of liberalism.
  • As for the countries whose political systems are democratic and based on their constitution, these constitute a tangible example of political liberalism as the basis for the development of that system.

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