The development of Liberalism underpinned that of capitalism, a new economic system from the 18th century which was replacing the crumbling feudal system. Adam Smith, whom is regarded by some as the inventor of capitalism, believed that this new economic order had been inherited by individuals with free will and individual liberty, happy to pursue their self interest as their own choice, and not an external force's. While conservatism argued that losing paternalism and authority would cause chaos, this was not the case: Smith believed that the "hidden hand" of free trade and unregulated business could act in the best interests of all. Of course, this didn't consider the later effect of worker deprivation at the hands of capitalist fat cat owners, as spotted later on by Socialists. As this "hidden hand" would regulate the economy, governments should be restricted to ensuring the law is obeyed, and back off from economic management. Negative Liberty, in the philosophy of JS Mill (who didn't name the term officially but did describe it), is where there is an absence of restraint, and thus people have freedom to the extent that it is unrestricted. This form of Liberty was considerably supported by Classical Liberalists on a practical level, due to it's removal of strains on freedom
Meanwhile, Positive Liberty has come to have several meanings. Berlin believed that positive liberty is not only where Self Realisation can be achieved, but also where people are "their own master". He wrote "I wish my life and decisions to depend on myself" rather than external forces. However, this is not to the point where people cannot be restrained if they do wrong. Meanwhile, TH Green believed that people in society are interdependent as society is organic (very Conservative there!), and therefore people use Liberty to achieve common good for others, as well as achieve personal happiness. Positive Liberty also endorses the view that everybody should get the widest degree of choice and opportunity.
By 1900, elementary education had been introduced, and made compulsory for all. Meanwhile, pathways into professions such as law, government and the army, became opened to a wider spectrum of society, and elements that were seen to be holding some individuals back were attempted to be removed, such as the purchase system in the Army, where rich people could pay for command of a regiment, rather than gaining promotion on merit. While these are relatively small advances, they reflect changing opinion. The next great advance came in the form of the Welfare State - championed by a democratic socialist government, but founded on theories made by a Social Liberal - William Beveridge, who believed that universal access to education, healthcare, and social security would expand life chances for all, regardless of birth circumstances. Locke argued that government had to receive the "consent of the governed" through regular, free and impartial elections, which would allow the public to indicate whether or not they favoured the continuation of the current government.
Globally, Liberals argue that governments are only acceptable regardless of location, of the people have freely given their consent. This means that in the case of colonies, the people must be allowed to decide whether they accept the hegemony of the external state. In the UK content, the Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Scotland and Northern Ireland were all given votes to decided whether to stay in UK control, and all have voted yes. For Liberals, this therefore means that consent has been granted
This approval need to be renewed on a regular basis through new elections set on regular dates (eg 5 years in Britain), and the state must tolerate free expression of public opinion, even if it challenges the basis of government. This is because people have the right to lose confidence in their government, and if there are indications that the majority want to withdraw consent, the whole basis of the incumbent government would need to be reconsidered, even if the deadline for a new election hadn't been reached.
Social Justice is where everybody is able to have the same access to political economic and social rights, measured through political participation opportunities, social privileges and wealth distribution.
It is more associated with socialism than liberalism, because the achievement of a more "just" soviet often involves state interference, which classical liberals would certainly be against. For this reason, classical liberals accepted that class equality especially was natural, and that it was impossible for everybody to be totally equal. However, this was challenged by social liberals like Beveridge, who believed that deprivation of social justice curtails freedoms, and thus they supported measures like wealth distribution without intervening with people's freedoms. However, other social liberals have accepted that inequality is inevitable particularly within free market economics, due to the fact that it depends on individuals own efforts. Therefore, liberals have disagreed considerably on this point.
The American colonies revolted in 1776 due to the long distance between them, and the British Isles who controlled them, being taxed by the British unfairly, because the Americans felt Britain interfered too much with colonial policy, as well as due to Britain's aggressive attitude towards the colonies, as seen with the Boston Massacre. The Declaration of American Independence when signed, endorsed the founding beliefs of liberalism, as it entitled all American citizens to individual liberty, stated that the government was representative of the people and removable by the people, and that all citizens were "born equal": this is a reference to Foundational Equality
However, "citizens" of America would have only really been defined as Caucasian men, as women's suffrage didn't begin in America until the 1840s, and black people brought into America from Africa were forced into the slave trade.
This is the extreme form of Liberalism, which although is ideologically closer to liberalism, is more associated with Conservatism. They insist that the state is an unwarranted restriction on freedom, and it's functions should be reduced to a bare minimum: it should not deal with economic, social or moral affairs, and those such as Nozick believed that there should be no taxation, welfare or laws on human behaviour. However, they don't believe it should be abolished, as it can still defend people from external threat, while other social problems can be solved through the free market, including even law and order. Libertarianism also supports negative Liberty to an extent: Nozick believed that it was up to individuals to protect themselves, not others, and the state shouldn't do it for them - this means all freedom can be unrestricted even if it is harmful. This concept of Liberalism accepts that, in a free society, there will be lots of variations of world views, different religions, different perspectives of right and wrong, etc. Despite everybody having their own perspectives on different issues (such as equality, women's rights, economy etc), there should, and can be unity within that society, if political power is used legitimately within a democracy. The creator of Political Liberalism, John Rawls, believed that the way for this legitimate political power to be achieved, is through a set constitution, which unifies all citizens under the law, yet allows them to be free and equal, and endorses the principle of human reason. This means that everybody can be entitled to their opinions, which are respected, yet the law can still be fairly applied to all. Traditional Conservatism - Traditional Conservatism gained it's foundings from events such as the English Civil War and the French Revolution. It's main principle is based on tradition, and the retaining of traditions that have stood the test of time and therefore, in the eyes of conservatives, clearly work, such as the Lords and the Monarchy. This is against Liberalist beliefs, as Liberals are not afraid of abandoning tradition. In addition, while Liberals would endorse sudden "revolutions", Conservatives believe sudden changes on society could only make it weaker or even destroy it, and thus it is better to introduce change gradually (Organic Society).
Social Darwinism - Social Darwinist theory is based around the concept of "survival of the fittest". In particular, Social Darwinists believe that those who can most contribute to society, should see their wealth and power increase, whilst those that can't contribute would be better off dead, and thus their wealth and power should decrease: those such as Herbert Spencer believed that those who were unable or unwilling should fall by the wayside. This is opposed to the liberalist views of equality for all and individual liberty, which Liberals are technically meant to support for all people, including slackers.
Fascism - Fascism revolves around an authoritarian regime with no personal freedoms, which cannot be challenged, and is usually led by a single leader, whom in most cases is a dictator. This is against individual liberty and limited government, two fundamental liberalist principles.
Communism - Communists believe in equality for all, but to the extent where there is no private property, and all land, wealth and profits are in the ownership of the state itself, rather than by individuals. This is therefore against the classical liberalist principle of Laissez-faire.
Neo-Liberalism - Neo Liberalism refers to a resurgence in the principles of laissez-faire free market economics associated with classical liberalism (non interference by the government). This is against the principles of social liberalism, who believe that laissez-faire and a control-free market harms the poor, as it results in society becoming more and more unequal. Neo-Liberalism is most widely associated with the administrations of UK Prime Minister Margret Thatcher and her "political soulmate" US President Ronald Reagan, Thatcher's policies for example included disengagement, deregulation, and privatisation.