Classical Liberalism : A Political Philosophy Essay
Classical liberalism is a political philosophy that developed in the 19th century and integrated itself in government policies in the United States and Europe. It was a strong advocator for civil rights and political freedoms and encompassed the idea of a represented democracy. At the same time, it also separated church from state. It was during this period that the working class suffered from economically unjust poverty, found themselves without any political rights, had no options and/or powers to fight for better wages, and lacked any support from the state. Remnants of classical liberalism still run strong throughout Western civilisation today.
Classic liberalism was an ideology that wanted to give individual freedoms by taking power away from feudal constraints (military hierarchy). Its ideas and philosophy strongly promoted free speech, freedom from traditional beliefs, and encouraged the notion that everyone was equal in the eyes of the law.
In terms of free markets; classic liberalists would argue that taking a laissez-faire approach would lead to a stronger economy. It was expected that this would promote competition in the marketplace and would have a ‘trickle-down effect’ meaning more jobs and better wages. In short, classic liberalists believed that the role of the state was to only create and maintain an equal playing field for competition thus reducing the risk of monopolisation. By removing the ‘invisible hand of the market’, any restrictions or…