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Politics - Essay Example

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It is also defined as a political philosophy based on belief in progress, the essential goodness of the human race, and the autonomy of the individual. Such a philosophy considers government as an instrument for eliminating social inequities.
Generally, liberalism is a world…
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Download file to see previous pages The fundamental ideas in liberalism were expressed by Thomas Hobbes and John Locke. The two believe that the governed are the ones who have and retain the sovereign power. Liberals in the 19th century urged the end of state in the economic life of society. Liberal theorists agreed with Adam Smith that economic systems that are based on free markets are more efficient, and that they generate more wealth than those that are partly state-controlled. The Industrial Revolution in Europe and North America resulted in great inequalities in wealth and other social problems. Looking for solutions to these problems, liberals advocated for limited government intervention in the market and for the creation of government funded services e.g. free public education and health insurance. Further expansion of social welfare programs occurred in America after World War II. The presence of economic stagnation in the late 1970s, made the classical liberals more vocal in their position favoring free markets. Liberals consider the government as tasked with removing obstacles that prevent individuals from living freely or from fully realizing their potential. These obstacles include poverty, disease, discrimination and ignorance. In the United States, liberalism is associated with the welfare-state policies of the New Deal Programme of the Democratic administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. According to McGowan, American liberalism is different from its European and English counterparts because established religion, an entrenched aristocracy, and an absolutist state never gained a serious foothold in the American colonies. Similarly, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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