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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 prevailing social and political norms of hereditary privilege, state religion, absolute monarchy and the divine right of kings.A prominent example of these divisions is the German Free Democratic Party, which was historically divided between national liberal and social liberal factions.The word's early connection with the classical education of a medieval university soon gave way to a proliferation of different denotations and connotations.Please discuss this issue on the article's talk page.
Scholars often split those traditions into British and French versions, with the former version of liberalism emphasising the expansion of democratic values and constitutional reform and the latter rejecting authoritarian political and economic structures, as well as being involved with nation-building.
The continental French version was deeply divided between moderates and progressives, with the moderates tending to elitism and the progressives supporting the universalisation of fundamental institutions, such as universal suffrage, universal education and the expansion of property rights.
Over time, the moderates displaced the progressives as the main guardians of continental European liberalism.
However, liberalism still has challenges to overcome in Africa and Asia.
The fundamental elements of contemporary society have liberal roots.From 1820 to 1823, during the Trienio Liberal King Ferdinand VII was compelled by the liberales to swear to uphold the Constitution.