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The Origin


The Origin & Growth of Liberalism: Pg. 100 – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Origin

The Origin Growth of Liberalism Pg. 100
Paul Gauguins art sought to answer the age old
questions of
  • Where do we come from?
  • Exploring the emergence of classical liberal
    ideology during the Enlightenment and the Age of
  • What are we?
  • Exploring the reaction of people within a society
    to the evolution of classical liberal ideology.
  • Where are we going?
  • Investigating the responses to economic and
    social conditions that arose based on the
    evolution of classical liberalism.
  • These are three central questions to Social
    Studies they reflect the characteristics of

Okay time to take a step back and
enter a world of history!As a response to the
factors that cried for changes to the old order,
great thinkers expounded a new way of organizing
society based on an ideology known as
What Are We Learning Today?
  • 2.5 the relationship between the principles of
    liberalism and
  • the origins of classical liberal thought.

Classical Liberalism Embraces Individualism
  • Classical liberalism is an ideology that embraces
    the principles of individualism
  • Rule of law
  • Individual rights and freedoms
  • Private property
  • Economic freedom
  • Self-interest
  • Competition
    lism (709) - Take Notes Dr. Nigel Ashford

  • The word liberal comes from the Latin liber,
    meaning free.
  • The word was first used in Spain during the
    Napoleonic Wars.
  • Liberalism has been applied to those who favour
    the reform (change) of govt.
  • It stresses the importance of human rationality.

Origins of Classical Liberalism
  • Renaissance and Protestant Reformation
    (1300s-1500s) Sparked a belief in the importance
    of the individual.
  • The Renaissance was a rebirth of classical Greek
    and Roman thinking
  • The Reformation reflected the belief that faith,
    in the rationality of the individual, was more
    important than the hierarchical concentration of
    religious power within the Roman Catholic Church.

Enlightenment/Age of Reason(late 1600s-early
  • Promoted the beliefs of classical liberalism.
  • Revived Greek Roman thinking.
  • Thomas Aquinas sought to use Aristotles ideas to
    support teachings of the Catholic Church through
    logic and reason.
  • New appreciations of logic and reason of this
    time traced back to the Humanists.

The Humanists
  • A group of thinkers that emerged in Italy and
    France in the late 1300s.
  • Humanism Ideology that developed an
    interpretation of history, beliefs about human
    nature, and structure of society
  • based on reason rather than religion.
  • Humanists sought meaning and purpose in
  • love, beauty, art, and the development of self.
  • While Enlightenment thinkers believed that these
    new ideas could lead to freer and tolerant
    societies, their ideas were not widely accepted
    because they challenged the established
    foundations of society.

Europe in Turmoil
  • By the 1600s Europe was in turmoil over these new
    ideas about individuality and faith. Was a time
    of rigorous religious wars and imperial
  • Feudal economic order broke down as cities grew
    and people expanded trade overseas. Saw the
    emergence of a wealthy middle class that saw the
    beginning of the eroding of the aristocracy,
    whose wealth had been primarily based on

Yet Society Ripe for Change
  • In these turbulent times of
  • political struggle for less authoritarian rule,
  • demands for greater economic opportunities,
  • and social movements challenging the status quo,
  • society seemed ripe to embrace this new ideology
    of classical liberalism (gave citizens more
    economic, political, and social freedom in their

Classical Liberalism Factors
  • Many ppl who believed in liberalism during this
    time believed
  • Individual freedoms and rights should be
  • Nobody should be above the law.
  • What is good for individuals within a community
    can also be good for the community as a whole.

Classical Liberalism Factors Continued
  • Most individuals, if left alone, will make good
    decisions for themselves as well as their
  • Govt intervention should be limited so as to
    allow individuals as much freedom of choice about
    their lives as possible.
  • Individuals and companies should be allowed to
    create, market, purchase, and sell products
    within a minimum of govt intervention (a free
    market economy).

The Basic Principles of Classical Liberalism
  • The primacy (dominance) of individual rights and
    freedoms, to be exercised in the individuals
    self-interest. Example freedom of speech,
    religious liberty, private property.
  • The protection of these civil liberties. Example
    everyone must abide by the same laws, which the
    govt enforces with impartiality (fairness) rule
    of law.
  • The belief that humans are reasonable and can
    make rational decisions that will benefit
    themselves and society as a whole.

The Basic Principles of Classical Liberalism
  • Economic freedom, involving the ownership of
    private property and free markets markets with
    limited govt intervention.
  • Constitutional limitations on the govt.
    Example govt is an instrument for serving a
    function in society rather than being in charge
    of all of society govt is responsible to the
    ppl and may be changed by them.

Thinkers whose ideas contributed to the ideology
of economic, social and political liberalism
  • Thomas Hobbes
  • John Locke
  • Baron de Montesquieu
  • John Stuart Mill
  • Adam Smith
  • Jean-Jacques Rousseau
  • Aboriginal Contributions

Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679)
  • Was concerned with the problems of social and
    political order how human beings could live
    together in peace and avoid the danger and fear
    of civil conflict.
  • IMPORTANT His ideas are born out of the horrors
    of civil war and conflict!!! Therefore, he
    supported a strong central authority (Leviathan).
  • As a result of the civil war he saw human beings
    as inherently selfish, and if left unchecked,
    this selfishness would result in chaos and harm
    to everyone.

Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679)
  • Hobbes's goal was the security of all
    individuals, which could be achieved if they gave
    up their individual sovereignty to the Leviathan.
  • The Leviathan could only justify its power if it
    kept its subjects safe again the focus is back
    on the worth of the individual.
  • http// Hobbes
    and Locke Enlightened Thinkers

John Locke (1632-1704)
  • John Locke, an English philosopher, was the first
    to argue that individuals had innate (inborn)
    rights of life, liberty and property.
  • Like Hobbes, he believed in a social contract,
    whereby ppl gave up natural rights to govt in
    order to receive social order and security for
    themselves and their property.

More Locke
  • Unlike Hobbes, he believed that the govt was
    accountable to the ppl. If the Contract was
    broken the people have the right to rebel.
  • Government comes about through the agreement of
    free individuals that their rights are best
    protected by associating with one another.
  • Lockes ideas justified the Glorious Revolution
    in Britain in 1688, the American Revolution of
    1776, and the French Revolution of 1789.
  • Locke believed that people should have a private
    sphere that the government could not interfere
    with, (religion in particular). The state should
    be tolerant of all religions.

More Locke Again
  • Reason must be our last judge and guide in
  • Locke believed that individuals had the right to
    use their reason and logic to make their own

American Declaration of Independence
  • We hold these truths to be self-evident, that
    all men are created equal, that they are endowed
    by their creator with certain unalienable rights
    that among these are life, liberty and the
    pursuit of happiness that to secure these rights
    governments are instituted by men, deriving their
    just powers from the consent of the governed

Declaration of the Rights of Man
  • The National Assembly also took to Lockes ideas
    and put those very ideas into their Declaration
    of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen.
  • The end of all political associations is the
    preservation of the natural and imprescriptable
    rights of man and these rights are liberty,
    property, security, and the resistance of
  • Portrays the idea called Rule of Law.

Charles de Secondat, baron de Montesquieu
  • Montesquieu was critical of the Church and the
    divine right of kings, who were the two great
    authoritarian powers of his time.
  • Montesquieu believed in the worth of the
    individual, the equality of individuals, and the
    accountability of government.
  • Supported the separation of powers the
    government divided into three branches
    executive, legislative, and judicial.

More Montesquieu
  • Three branches were independent of each other and
    could not exceed the power of the other two
  • People need to be involved in government need
    for a democracy.
  • Citizens must participate in and be aware of the
    law and workings of government.
  • The tyranny of a prince in an oligarchy (rule by
    a few) is not so dangerous to public welfare as
    the apathy of a citizen in a democracy.

John Stuart Mill(1806-1873)
  • John Stuart Mill put together many themes on
    liberalism in his book entitled On Liberty.
  • Interested in the protection of individual
    freedom and the promotion of individual decision
    making as the core of societal institutions.

More Mill
  • Here is a quote from Mills about liberty and the
    use of power. The only purpose for which power
    can be rightfully exercised over any member of a
    civilized community, against his will, is to
    prevent harm to others.
  • A citizen should be able to act as he or she
    wants, so long as his or her actions would not
    harm others. HUGE advocate of free speech.
  • http//
    related Biography

Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778)
  • Rousseau was a Swiss philosopher who spent much
    of his adult life in France.
  • He was very interested in the common good. He
    believed that ppl are inherently good and have
    been corrupted by civilization and society.
  • Believed that humans are naturally free and are
    equal in principle Man is born free and
    everywhere he is in chains.

More Rousseau
  • Rousseau wanted humans to go back to the
    characteristics the were universal and
    unchanging the characteristics that made humans
    good and equal.
  • His ideal state was one where the general will of
    the ppl was the absolute authority.
  • Unlike Locke, was opposed to the idea of a
    representative democracy (a system where a small
    group of politicians are elected by a larger
    group of citizens.) Instead, he felt that
    citizens themselves should make the laws.

Laissez-Faire Capitalism
  • The French term laissez-faire leave ppl alone
    to do as they wish.
  • This term is definitive of capitalism and refers
    to a reduction of govt involvement in the
  • Individual actions and achievements are deemed to
    be more productive in economic decision making
    than govt actions.

Physiocrats Mercantilism
  • Laissez-faire capitalism emerged from the
    theories of the physiocrats.
  • Physiocrats a group of Enlightenment
    philosophers in France who critiqued the
    prevailing economics of mercantilism.
  • Mercantilism the aim that all economic pursuits
    should be to strengthen the power and wealth of
    the state (govt).

Adam Smith (1723-1790)
  • Adam Smith was a Scottish political economist who
    spent time with the physiocrats, and they
    influenced his thinking.
  • He, too, disagreed with existing mercantilist
    economic system.
  • In 1776 he published the Wealth of Nations, in
    which he described a system where individuals
    work for their own self-interest in a free-market

Adam Smith A Radical!
  • Its important to realize how radical Smiths
    ideas were at the time.
  • The mercantilist system increased the wealth of
    the state but not the wealth of the majority of
    ppl within that state, and very few ppl enjoyed
    the benefits of the labour that fed the states
  • Smiths ideas were in stark contrast to this. He
    believed that if ppl worked first and foremost
    for themselves, everyone (including the state),
    would be better off.
  • Smith insisted that individual self-interest in a
    free market would lead to a stronger economy and
    would benefit most ppl in society.

The Invisible Hand
  • The idea of the invisible hand, Smiths
    justification for self-interest as an economic
    motive, can be stated quite simply by having
    every individual look after his or her own best
    interests, he or she unwittingly ends up helping
    everyone else, by providing jobs and cheaper
  • http//

So What is the Govts Role?
  • Smith believed that the govts role should be
    limited to maintaining the rule of law, to
    ensuring contracts were followed, and to
    providing some public works (education, road
  • Smiths work provided the foundation for much of
    the capitalist system. These essential concepts
    the free market and a limited role for govt
    became the basis of laissez-faire capitalism, the
    economic system associated with classical

What Are We Learning Today?
  • 2.4 Explore aboriginal contributions to the
    development of liberalism.

Aboriginal Contributions to Liberalism
  • It has been argued that many of the principles of
    liberalism originated in traditional Aboriginal
  • In Canada, our Aboriginal communities use liberal
    ideas such as elected leaders, government by
    consensus, leadership on the basis of merit, just
    punishment, and concepts of equality and equality
    before the law.

Great Law of Peace
  • The Great Law of Peace provided the Haudenosaunee
    peoples with a constitution that dates back to
    the 15th century.
  • The Great Binding Law, as it sometimes is
    referred to, has three main principles
    righteousness, health and power all
    characteristics of liberalism.
  • http//
  • Take a look at the original document.

Liberalism Today
  • Liberals today generally believe that every
    individual is unique. The purpose of life is to
    realize that potential, and to become whatever it
    is one is capable of becoming.
  • The role of the state (government) is to produce
    the conditions under which individuals have the
    broadest possible choice in deciding upon their
    definition of good.
  • Society, meanwhile, should celebrate this
    diversity while giving equal treatment to all,
    regardless of a persons origins, colour, sex or
    status in life.
  • In exchange for this respect, the individual must
    acknowledge responsibility for his own fortunes
    and for the fortunes of the community.

Liberalism in Canada
  • In 1982 the Canadian Charter of Rights and
    Freedoms advanced the liberal cause by
    entrenching into the Canadian Constitution
    (Canada Act) both basic liberties and new
    linguistic (language) rights for minorities.
  • The purpose of the Charter was to entrench (dig
    in) rights, especially language rights, where no
    government could ever take them away.
  • With the Charter as a shield ,a single citizen
    can achiever Lockes vision of a society in
    which individual rights take precedence over
  • Our charter also protects collective rights of
    groups within the areas of language and culture.
    Thus supporting the principle of equality for all
    within society.
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