The Development of Liberalism

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    Ancient Greece Democracy

    The Athens Greek democracy was one of the first democracies to ever exist and was probably the most important in ancient times. Other Greek cities set up democracies but none were as powerful as that of Athens. It remains a unique experiment in a democracy where the people do not elect representatives to vote on their behalf but vote on legislation and executive bills in their own right. Participation was by no means open to all citizens, which is why it didn’t represent the principles of libera
  • Jun 15, 1215

    Magna Carta

    The Magna Carta is a document that is one of the most celebrated documents in English history. It is an agreement that solved the conflict between King John and his men over taxes and disputes with the Pope. It is recognized as a cornerstone of the idea of the liberty of citizens.
    The Magna Carta led to the constitutional rule of today and also influenced the American Constitution and to the Bill of Rights.
  • Mar 31, 1350

    The Renaissance (14th C.-16th C.)

    The Renaissance was a time of cultural, social, intellectual, political, and artistic reform. During this time, Europe rose up from the economic depression of the Middle Ages and finally experienced financial growth. This could be seen as a bridge from the Middle Ages to the modern times.
    Instead of clinging to the traditions of the past, Europeans looked forward to the future with optimism. Inventions in this period, such as the printing press led to the increased rate of education.
  • Jan 1, 1517

    The Reformation (1517-1648)

    The Reformation was a period that occured during and after the Renassiance where people started to break away from the corrupt Catholic Church and create their own beliefs. It started when Martin Luther mass produced copies of the Bible and gave them to people, which allowed for individual interpretation. This was one of the first times where freedom of religion was allowed in Europe.
  • Apr 6, 1550

    Haudenosaunee Confederacy (15th C.-1776)

    The Haudenosaunee Confederacy was the official banding of five First Nations groups, considered to be one of the longest existing democracies in history. It was a direct inspiration for the U.S. Constitution, borrowing from the Confederacy its principles of equal participation from the whole society as well as the many rights and freedoms it granted.
  • Industrial Revolution (18th C.-19th C.)

    The Industrial Revolution was a period in world history where many technological advances were made in many fields, including agricultural and manufacturing. During this period, many people who lived on farms moved to the city to get jobs, allowing them to gain the right to vote and have independance.
  • The Enlightenment (18th C.)

    After the Renaissance and Reformation periods, other European thinkers started a period called the Enlightenment. Philosophers started to think more about human nature and created classic liberalism. Classical liberalism evolved over the years to the modern liberalism many citizens enjoy today.
  • American Revolution (1776)

    After years of suffering under British rule, some of the American colonies wanted independance, and started a revolution. After years of fighting, they finally achieved independance and started the democracy known as the United States of America. Americans now had freedom from the British monarchy and were able to govern themselves.
  • The French Revolution (1789)

    Inspired by the American Revolution, the French people decided they were fed up with the inefficient ruling of the French monarchs, and started a bloody revolution in which thousands of people of all classes were killed. This all led to the writing of the Declaration of the Rights of Man, in which stated the individual rights and freedoms of every citizen, though women were still not allowed to vote. This was France's first use of liberalism in its government.
  • Changes to the Class System (19th C.)

    Before the 19th century, many people stayed in the class they were born into, however social changes and liberalism allowed the people to gain wealth and move classes, or vice versa. This led to many people gaining the right to vote, own private property, and move into higher social standing.