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{{ safesubst:#invoke:Unsubst||$N=Use dmy dates |date=__DATE__ |$B= }} {{#invoke:Hatnote|hatnote}} {{#invoke:redirect hatnote|redirect}} {{ safesubst:#invoke:Unsubst||$N=Use British English |date=__DATE__ |$B= }} Liberalism is a political philosophy or worldview founded on ideas of liberty and equality.<ref>{{#invoke:Footnotes|harvard_citation_no_bracket}}.</ref><ref>With a nod to Robert Trivers' definition of altruistic behavior ({{#invoke:Footnotes|harvard_citation_no_bracket}}), Satoshi Kanazawa defines liberalism (as opposed to conservatism) as "the genuine concern for the welfare of genetically unrelated others and the willingness to contribute larger proportions of private resources for the welfare of such others" ({{#invoke:Footnotes|harvard_citation_no_bracket}}).</ref> The former principle is stressed in classical liberalism while the latter is more evident in social liberalism.<ref>{{#invoke:Footnotes|harvard_citation_no_bracket}}.</ref> Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but generally they support ideas and programs such as freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, free markets, civil rights, democratic societies, secular governments, and international cooperation.<ref name="LInternational">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref><ref name="Nader Hashemi">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref><ref name="Kathleen G. Donohue">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref><ref name="The Economist">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref><ref name="Sheldon S. Wolin">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref><ref name="Edwin Brown Firmage, Bernard G. Weiss, John Woodland Welch">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref><ref name="John Joseph Lalor">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref>

Liberalism first became a distinct political movement during the Age of Enlightenment, when it became popular among philosophers and economists in the Western world. Liberalism rejected the notions, common at the time, of hereditary privilege, state religion, absolute monarchy, and the Divine Right of Kings. The 17th-century philosopher John Locke is often credited with founding liberalism as a distinct philosophical tradition. Locke argued that each man has a natural right to life, liberty and property,<ref>"All mankind...being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions", John Locke, Second Treatise of Government</ref> while adding that governments must not violate these rights based on the social contract. Liberals opposed traditional conservatism and sought to replace absolutism in government with representative democracy and the rule of law.

Prominent revolutionaries in the Glorious Revolution, the American Revolution, and the French Revolution used liberal philosophy to justify the armed overthrow of what they saw as tyrannical rule. Liberalism started to spread rapidly especially after the French Revolution. The 19th century saw liberal governments established in nations across Europe, South America, and North America.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref> In this period, the dominant ideological opponent of classical liberalism was conservatism, but liberalism later survived major ideological challenges from new opponents, such as fascism and communism. During the 20th century, liberal ideas spread even further as liberal democracies found themselves on the winning side in both world wars. In Europe and North America, the establishment of social liberalism became a key component in the expansion of the welfare state.<ref>Often referred to simply as "liberalism" in the United States.</ref><ref>Liberalism in America: A Note for Europeans by Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. (1956)

from: The Politics of Hope (Boston: Riverside Press, 1962).
Liberalism in the U.S. usage has little in common with the word as used in the politics of any other country, save possibly Britain.
</ref> Today, liberal parties continue to wield power and influence throughout the world.
Liberalism sections
Intro  Etymology and definition  History  Philosophy  Worldwide  Impact and influence  See also  Notes  References and further reading  External links  

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