Classical Liberalism vs. Modern Liberalism

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A2 Government & Politics Liberalism
The Differences between Classical Liberalism and Modern Liberalism
Classical Liberalism Modern Liberalism
Limited government Also known as social liberalism
Constitutionalism New Deal ­ In America between 1933-6,
Roosevelt used a number of presidential
executive orders as a response to Great
Rule of law ­ rights of individuals are "Modern liberalism is instead the logical and
protected by the law; no punishment unless sociological outcome of classical liberalism" ­
court decides there has been a breach of law. Alan Wolfe
Due process - Fair treatment through the
normal judicial system.
Individual liberties
Freedom of religion
Freedom of speech
Freedom of press
Freedom of assembly
Free market ­ laissez-faire approach to
Developed as response to Industrial
Based on economics of Adam Smith Based on economics of J.M. Keynes
Belief in natural - Unchanging moral
principles regarded as a basis for human
Belief in utilitarianism (that actions are right
if they are useful/for the benefit of a majority)
Emphasises sovereignty of individual (private
property a right of the individual)
Interested in equality under the eyes of the Interest shift to welfare state and material
law, not material equality equality
Key policies include low public expenditure
and low taxation
Unit 3 ­ Introducing Political IdeologiesPage 1


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