The Development of Classical Liberalism by Theresa Wong

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    Ancient Greek Democracy (around 407 BC)

      Ancient Greek Democracy (around 407 BC)
    Democracy first appeared in Athen, an Ancient Greek city- state. It exercised direct democracy, which most of the citizens in Athen participated in policy making and had the power to control the entire political system. However, only eligible citizens were allowed to vote; women, male under 20, and slave were excluded.

    How did it influence classical liberalism?
    Ancient Greek introduced the idea of individual rights and freedom through its political reform, which is the main component of class
  • Jun 15, 1215

    Magna Carta (1215)

    Magna Carta (1215)
    The Magna Carta was also called The Great Charter of the Liberties of England. The barons were angry at the oppressive government because of the high taxes and unsuccessful wars. They openly rebelled against King John. The baron tried to limit King John’s power, forcing him to declare certain liberties. The Magna Carta was sealed on the Runnymede.
    How did it influence classical liberalism?
    The magna Carta stressed the importance of rule of law and justice. The idea of rule of law and individua
  • Jan 1, 1350

    Renaissance (14-16th Centuries)

     Renaissance (14-16th Centuries)
    The Renaissance originated in Italy in the Middle age. It was a cultural movement that inspired revolutions in different aspects such as arts, sciences and politics. People discovered logic and knowledge instead of following what the authority said. Inventions like printing press assisted the development of Renaissance as people began to attain education.
    Individuals began to discover the meaning of life and the importance of individual in the society. The humanists developed different ideas.
  • Jan 1, 1450

    Haudenosaunee Confederacy (15th Centuries to 1776)

    Haudenosaunee Confederacy (15th Centuries to 1776)
    Hiawatha and Deganawidah delivered the Great Law of Peace, to the Iroquoian nations, who were fighting with other tribes. The nations who joined the League were the Mohawk, Onondaga, Oneida, Cayuga and Seneca. The Iroquois were a powerful factor in North American colonial policy-making decisions. The Haudenosaunee Confederacy model presented a society free of oppression and definition of class. The great Law of Peace also inspired Thomas Jefferson to write the U.S constition.
  • Oct 31, 1517

    Reformation (1517-1648)

     Reformation (1517-1648)
    The religious movement started when Martin Luther published the Ninety five theses. Many priests wanted to reform the Roman Catholic Church, as they saw a lot of corruptions and false doctrines. This movement was promoting religious freedom. They suggested that people can worship God without the guidance of the Roman Catholic Church.
    The Roman Catholic Church had huge influence on economic and political circumstances in Europe and the fall of the Church encouraged the use of logic over faith.
  • The Enlightenment(18th Centuries)

     The Enlightenment(18th Centuries)
    The movement stressed on using reason over faith, exploring scientific meaning on everything in life. It also promoted individualism. People began to challenge Catholic Church which was promoting superstition and faith at that time. People were desperate to explore knowledge.

    During that time period, many principles of classical liberalism were formed. Since people became wise, they did what they think is correct instead of following the Church. The movement urged people to question the author
  • The industrial revolution

    The industrial revolution
    Industrial Revolution was a transition of Britain from an agricultural and mercantile society to a modern industrial one. Different type of iron machines appeared and large- scale production was introduced through the creation of factory.
    At that time period, many principles of classical liberalism flourished like competition, self interest and economic freedom. Inventors and enterprises pursued efficiency and profits. They were strengthening the principle of economic freedom.
  • American Revolution(1770)

    American Revolution(1770)
    The thirteen colonies repelled against British colonization because the British government imposed unreasonably high taxes and it refused to give political freedom to American people. With the assistance of France, America defeated Britain in 1781.
    It was one of the major event that inspired French Revolution.The success of American Revolution encouraged French revolutionaries to repel against the oppressive and useless government. The American Revolution assured the importance of individual ri
  • French Revolution (1789)

    French Revolution (1789)
    General population was discontent with the monarchy; only aristocracy and Church were allowed to participate in politics and the rest of the population had no political rights. They blamed the government for creating economic crisis.
    The French Revolutionaries used liberal ideas to repel against the tyrannical government. The success of French Revolution shaked the influence of Church and monarchy in Europe.
  • changes to class system (19th century)

    changes to class system (19th century)
    Before Industrial Revolution, aristocratic class controlled most of the wealth of the society, like land. People hardly had chance to get a better life. However, middle class began to challenge aristocratic class as they gained substantial wealth as the industrialization progressed. People could change their fate as Industrialization provided lots of opportunity for them.
    People had more chances to enter a higher social class. The changes to class promoted equality and individual rights.