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Liberalism is a political and moral philosophy based on the rights of the individual, liberty, consent of the governed and equality before the law. Liberals espouse various views depending on their understanding of these principles. However, they generally support private property, market economies, individual rights (including civil rights and human rights), liberal democracy, secularism, rule of law, economic and political freedom, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, and freedom of religion. Liberalism is frequently cited as the dominant ideology of modern times.

Liberalism became a distinct movement in the Age of Enlightenment, gaining popularity 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 trade barriers, 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. (Full article...)

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Liberty Enlightening the World (known as the Statue of Liberty) was donated to the US by France in 1886 as an artistic personification of liberty.
Liberty Enlightening the World (known as the Statue of Liberty) was donated to the US by France in 1886 as an artistic personification of liberty.

Liberty is the ability to do as one pleases, or a right or immunity enjoyed by prescription or by grant (i.e. privilege). It is a synonym for the word freedom.

In modern politics, liberty is understood as the state of being free within society from control or oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one's way of life, behavior, or political views. In theology, liberty is freedom from the effects of "sin, spiritual servitude, [or] worldly ties". (Full article...)
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T.H. Green.png
Thomas Hill Green (7 April 1836 – 26 March 1882), known as T. H. Green, was an English philosopher, political radical and temperance reformer, and a member of the British idealism movement. Like all the British idealists, Green was influenced by the metaphysical historicism of G. W. F. Hegel. He was one of the thinkers behind the philosophy of social liberalism. (Full article...)
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“ Liberalism is the philosophy for our time, because it does not try to conserve every tradition of the past, because it does not apply to new problems the old doctrinaire solutions, because it is prepared to experiment and innovate and because it knows that the past is less important than the future. ” — Pierre Trudeau, Defining liberalism at the 1968 Liberal leadership convention.

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