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Concept of Liberty : its emergence & evolution

Concept of Liberty : its emergence & evolution

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Published by Balaji P Nadar

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Categories:Types, Research, Law
Published by: Balaji P Nadar on Nov 23, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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11/12/2013

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Contents
I.
 
IntroductionII.
 
Development of Liberal Theory and PracticeIII.
 
Liberalism in Britain: From Laissez Faire to theWelfare State
1.
 
Utilitarianism2.
 
Reform Act,18323.
 
Democratic Liberalism
IV.
 
Liberalism in America
1.
 
Jeffersonian Democracy2.
 
Democratic Liberalism3.
 
Progressivism4.
 
Social Liberalism
V.
 
Liberalism in IndiaVI.
 
Conclusion
 
Introduction:
Liberty is the concept of ideological and political philosophy that identifies the conditionto which an individual has the right to behave according to one's own personalresponsibility and free will. The conception of liberty is impacted by ideals concerning the socialcontract as well as arguments that are concerned with the state of nature. The term Liberty is asmodern as its meaning. It is Spanish in origin, from the name of political party; the ³Liberales´that early in nineteenth century advocated constitutional government for Spain. Later Liberal wasa term taken over in other countries to designate a government, a party, a policy, an opinion thatfavored freedom as opposed to authoritarianism. As a philosophy the concept of liberty does notfalls into the category of closed system of thought, with fixed, unchanging dogmas. Rather mayit be characterized as an attitude of mind toward life and life¶s problems that stresses the valuesof freedom for individuals, for minorities, and the nations.Liberty according to L.T.Hobhouse,
³is the belief that society can safely be founded onthis self-directing power of personality. The rule of liberty is just the application of the rational method. It is the opening of the door to the appeal of reason, of imagination, of social feeling;and except through the response this appeal there is no assured progress of society
1
 According to the French political philosopher Montesquieu, the political liberty of the subject isa tranquility of mind arising from the opinion each person has of his safety. In order to have thisliberty, it is the requisite the government be so constituted as one man need not be afraid of another 
2
. Liberty is a beautiful word in any language. Its connotations have always beenappealing, noble, and high-minded. It is hard to find philosophers who inveigh against it, andeven harder to find politicians who advocate its suppression- except perhaps as a temporary thingand for what they claim is a greater good. The adjective µliberal¶ imputes loftiness of view,concern with things of the spirit a respect of human decency. Its definition ran the gamut from³one who wants someone else to support him, to think for him««. To protect him from thosewho would impose on him responsibilities,´ to one who ³acts as though he believes that man ismade in the image of god and that the nature, the development and the rise of that god-likenessare his first duty and only wholly worthy employment´
3
. Liberty represents what I can do for 
1
L. T. Hobhouse,
 L
iberalism
123(New York ,1931).
2
Montesquieu,
The Spirit of 
 L
aws(Translated by Nugent)
182(New York, 1900).
3
Thomas P Neill,
The rise and Decline of 
 L
iberalism
3 (The Bruce Publishing Company, USA, 1953).

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