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Development of Classical Liberalism Timeline

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Caleb Enns

on 11 December 2013

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Transcript of Development of Classical Liberalism Timeline

Development of Classical Liberalism Timeline
Renaissance (14th-16th Century)
• Renaissance means rebirth
• Time of change in Europe which bridged the middle ages and modern times.
• Renaissance Humanists believed in individual human worth and dignity, reason over faith and that people choose their own nature which contrasted the common idea at the time which dictated that a person’s true nature was divined by a higher power

Reformation (1517-1648)
• Restructuring of the Church in Europe
• Began with Martin Luther who believed that the Church had become corrupt and had too much power
• Martin Luther’s beliefs:
o Church strayed from its true purpose and demanded that it be reformed

Haudenosunee Confederacy (15th century- 1776)
• The confederacy was formed when 6 nations, previously at war with each other, created and agreed to abide by an oral constitution known as the Great Law of Peace.
• One of the longest participatory democracies
• Leaders were elected on merit and each tribe was given a role in the government

American Revolution (1776-1783)
• Settlers in America were taxed by Britain and forced to pay high tariffs on imports
• Began to get frustrated by high prices and the monopoly that was forced upon them by Great Britain
• They broke away, starting a war with Great Britain and eventually writing the declaration of independence for their newly formed country.

Ancient Greek Democracy (594-322 BC)
• Athens was thought of as the first democracy where demos kratos- “the people rule.”
• Although technically it was a democracy it was extremely restricted. For example,
o The democratic system only allowed 12% of people in Athens to vote
o There was a minimum of forty meetins a year and not every eligible citizen could attend therefore not everyone that could vote was represented
o Majority of people excluded from this democratic government

Magna Carta (1215 AD)
• The Magna Carta is a document, originally written in Latin, which limited the powers of the monarchy in Great Britain
• Previously peasants and citizens of Great Britain had no rights but this document guaranteed basic rights for all free men.

Contributions to the development of classical liberalism


Excercised a radical idea that “regular” citizens had power and a voice
First example where voting by citizens was implemented into the government system
Creating a method by which people had power in the government was an important step to liberalism as it allowed citizens to protect their rights, freedoms, and interests byvoting and giving power to someone they trusted
Contributions to the development of classical liberalism


o Ensured a principle of classical liberalism: the individual rights and freedoms
o Lead to the rule of constitutional law
o Was a model for colonies that were attempting to develop a legal system
o Profound movement that questioned the “divine right of kings”
o Presented Great Britain as one of the first countries in Europe to give rights to its citizens
o Created a basis and standard for fundamental freedoms of citizens
o Aided in the development of the rule of law principle as the Magna Carta stated that no free man was to be convicted unless it was according to the laws in force within Great Britain

• Contributions to the development of classical liberalism:
o Philosophers from the age of enlightenment were inspired by the original ideas from the Renaissance period
o Humanists faith in humans gave way to more rights and freedoms

Contributions to the development of classical liberalism
o Less ties to the church more emphasis on self-interest, personal freedoms and equality.
o Reformers broke away from the established Roman Catholic Church and constructed new denomination according to various ideas; people were capable of making their own decision based on reason
o Power of the church waned, power of people grew and faith in the rational nature of human beings grew

Contributions to the development of classical liberalism:
Contributions to the development of classical liberalism:
o Constitution of the United States, the standard of freedom and liberalism in modern society, was based upon the oral constitution of the Haudenosaunee confederacy.
o Set the U.S. on a path which promoted the individual rights and freedom principle of liberalism by giving men and women equally important roles in society and granting the freedom of speech
o This principle led to further development of principles of liberalism as people could voice their opinions and have some effect as to what happened in the government and rules.
o Modern liberalism had its roots in Haudenosaunee confederacy as they brought this to a country that became a world power

Contribution to the Development of Classical Liberalism
o The war against Britain symbolized a fight for insurance of self-interest which would ensure the freedom of future Americans from what they deemed a tyrannical rule under Great Britain. America is a country founded upon men protecting their self-interest.
o When Great Britain lost the war, the leaders of the revolution promoted ideas such as everyone who “takes up a piece of land becomes a citizen,” “all men are created equal,” and self-interest; principles of liberalism. These principles were written into the declaration of independence and became part of the constitution of America.

Industrial Revolution (18th-19th century)
• Prior to the Industrial Revolution people lived in a hierarchy system; Kings ruled over Lords who owned land that was cultivated by peasant farmers who had no power. The working class was controlled by the Church and royalty.
• Industrial Revolution was a time where technological innovations sprung up resulting in vast improvements to the production of food and goods.

Changes to the class system (19th century)
The period of which the class systems changed was a time where distinct classes diminished. Power came from wealth and ownership of property and this created a new class system.


French Revolution (1789-1799)
• French society split into strict social classes where the working class had no rights, poor representation in the government, and not much power.
• At the time France was in financial problems due to the King’s investment in the American Revolution and excessive spending. In order to compensate the average French citizen was taxed heavily leading to extreme poverty. Thousands died of hunger while the French nobility were sitting comfortably in their castle. French citizens started a revolution and overthrew their government.

Enlightenment (18th century)
• A time where many philosophers communicated their ideologies and ideas to the world in regards to freedom, reasoning, and
• A wealthy middle-class emerged and there were political struggles due to the spread and acceptance of radical ideas

Contributions that led to the development of classical liberalism

o Civil revolt occurred due to the suppression of basic rights for the common citizen
o The revolution was a war to promote liberalism and the rights of an individual
o Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen was produced in response after the revolution
 This document promoted liberal ideas and concepts
 It outlined that the role of the government was the preservation of the rights freedoms of its citizen

Contributions to the development of classical liberalism
o Growing acceptance of science, rational thought and trust in human nature led to the industrial revolution
o People trusted in logic rather than just faith which in turn called for freedoms and rights
o People were enlightened by the various philosophies and demanded that they have rights which called for a less dictatorial government

• Contributions to the development of classical liberalism:
o Laws and ideas such as private property, individual and economic freedom, and self-interest began immerging and gaining popularity due to a rise in wealthy land owners and a wealthy middle class
o Private property: Wealthy landowners began to buy property for their private use under the Enclosure Acts (majority of them were passed between 1750 and 1860).
o Economic and individual freedom: Higher-class individuals (wealthy land owners and industrialists) began to demand for more freedom and political power. The wealthy middle class also began to demand for more freedoms.
o Self-interest and competition: New freedoms opened the doors for new companies to develop. Owners started to take risks and invest in order to get ahead of competitors.

Contributions to the development of classical liberalism
Previously, people were categorized into strict social classes and it was near impossible to move up the social hierarchy; if you were a peasant you stayed a peasant, a farmer stayed a farmer. The changes to the class system helped to ensure classical liberalism. If one was willing to work and compete for property they could be in the top class of their time. It allowed for greater equality as where one was born did not determine whether they stayed there or moved on and up a class. As classical liberalism began to take a hold in modern society the radical ideas presented resulted in social distinction diminishing.
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