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19th Century Liberalism
Transcript of 19th Century Liberalism
the principles of individualism:
the rule of law
individual rights & freedoms
competition Classical liberalism originated in Great Britain and had an immediate impact on society. Its principles,
beliefs, and values affected many countries and peoples
around the globe, and is still shaping the world today. The beliefs of classical liberalism arose in Europe following the Renaissance and the Protestant Reformation But classical liberalism was especially influenced
by the Enlightenment (or Age of Reason), beginning
in the late 17th century and continuing through the
18th century. The Enlightenment built on the humanist ideas of the Renaissance,
and the increased individualism of the Reformation. The main focus of the Enlightenment, however, was on the use
of logical thought and reasoning. A further challenge to the European status quo ideologies
(feudalism + divine right) was the increasing intercultural
contact that came with the Columbus exchange. These
societies challenged established ideas about societies and
the meaning of life. By the late 17th century, Europe was a tumultuous place, with:
the breakdown of religious authority
the gradual collapse of feudalism
emerging middle class
increasing intercultural contact
almost constant warfare, both locally and overseas And so, in these chaotic times, philosophers began to think about how a society should :
be less authoritarian
include greater economic opportunites
allow for social mobility The central idea of liberalism emerged:
allowing citizens more freedom in their economic, political, and social lives. In early liberalist thought, government should be
restricted to maintaining security and the rule of law. Some thinkers that contributed to the political ideology of liberalism: Thomas Hobbes John Locke baron de Montesquieu Adam Smith John Stuart Mill Borat Work Time Return to your Mega-list of important Social 30 people,
and check on the 5 gentlemen we just talked about.
For each, give:
their most famous work
a significant quote Work Time Continued Use the text p. 108-110 to add to
your Mega-list on these 5 gentlemen. -In addition to the political ideals of liberalism, this new ideology also had a great deal to say about economics as well.
-Here is where Great Britain comes in to historical play, as it was in this nation that the Industrial Revolution first began.
-Why Great Britain? A few reasons:
GB is an island, which led to (over time), a large commercial fleet, a powerful navy, and the largest empire the world has ever seen. $$ for everyone*
the political situation in GB favoured a parliamentary democracy, whereas most of the rest of Europe was still monarchy-heavy
This Parliament supported the newly powerful merchants and landowners, passing the Enclosure Acts which increased urbanization, leading to a large pool of cheap labour.
The ideas of the Enlightenment (discussed earlier) fit perfectly in this new society Work Time Copy the 3 factors mentioned in the text on p.111,
under the title "Liberalism starts in Britain" So what was the Industrial Revolution anyways?
the move away from an agricultural-based economy, to an industrial-based one
the development of the factory system
the mechanization of labour
the mass production and consumption of consumer goods
the expansion of capitalism The Industrial Revolution also produced:
extremes of wealth and poverty
palatial estates and horrible slums
excess and starvation
child labour & worker abuse
degradation of the environment Work Time Go back to p.102-103 and re-read the Dickens excerpts.
Discuss as a class:
- What was Dickens' view on the Industrial Revolution? The prevailing economic theory in Britain at the time
was laissez-faire capitalism. This ideology was characterized by:
little to no government involvement in the economy
advocating self-interest - Supporters of laissez-fair (physiocrats) did not think humans were all that noble or good. But they believed that individuals made the best decisions for themselves, and that humanity's own selfishness and competitiveness would result in an overall improvement in society. Adam Smith Adam Smith was such an important figure in the development of both
liberalism and capitalism, he gets his own section here. Work Time Work Time Please copy the entire paragraph
in the middle of p. 112 into your notes.
Yes, it is THAT important. - Smith creates a clever metaphor - the invisible hand - to describe how self-interest, multiplied many times over within a population, would control and regulate any economy.
- The invisible hand can be defined as: by having every person look after their own self-interest, he or she unwittingly ends up helping everyone else, by providing jobs or cheaper products.
- For Smith and other laissez-faire capitalists, the government's job was to maintain the rule of law, ensure contracts were followed, and provide basic infrastructure such as education and roads. These essential concepts - the free market and a limited economic role
for government - became the basis of laissez-faire capitalism, which is the
economic system associated with classical liberalism Homework
- complete the chart on p. 113