The Development of Liberalism - ADLC

By Mel38
  • 200

    Ancient Greek Democracy (as early as 322 B.C. - circa 600 A.D.)

    WHAT HAPPENED: The democracy in Ancient Athens was one of the first democracies to exist. However, since the majority of the population wasn't allowed to take part in the decision-making process, ancient Greek democracy didn't represent the principles of liberalism.
    IMPACT ON SOCIETY: Today, democracy is the predominant form of government in the Western Hemisphere. Early democracies provided a starting point for the development of democracy into its current form.
  • Jan 1, 1215

    Magna Carta (1215)

    WHAT HAPPENED: The Magna Carta is an agreement that instituted limits on the rights of the British monarch and established fundamental rights for the King's subjects.
    IMPACT ON SOCIETY: As a result, the King's subjects possessed individual rights including freedom from unlawful imprisonment.
  • Jan 1, 1450

    Renaissance (14th - 16th C.)

    WHAT HAPPENED: The Renaissance was a time of cultural, social, intellectual, political, and artistic reform. It is often seen as the 'bridge' between the Middle Ages and modern times.
    IMPACT ON SOCIETY: Humanist thought led to the ideas that human beings are essentially rational and have inherent dignity.
  • Jan 1, 1550

    Haudenosaunee Confederacy (15th C. - 1776)

    WHAT HAPPENED: Considered to be one of the longest continuously existing participatory democracies in the world, this democracy had several key principles including equal participation by citizens and the establishment of rights and freedoms (e.g. freedom of speech, and individual rights and freedoms).
    IMPACT ON SOCIETY: The Confederacy's Great Law of Peace inspired Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson when they wrote the Constitution of the United States of America.
  • Reformation (1517 - 1648)

    WHAT HAPPENED: Martin Luther, a German pastor, believed that the Church had become corrupt and possessed too much power. He insisted on the reformation of the Church. People began to believe in reason over faith which led to the waning of the Church's power.
    IMPACT ON SOCIETY: Humanism influenced many countries to break away from the Roman Catholic Church.
  • Industrial Revolution (18th - 19th C.)

    WHAT HAPPENED: Many factors contributed to the Industrial Revolution including a growing acceptance of science and rational thought, improvements in technology, and an increased emphasis on competition.
    IMACT ON SOCIETY: Following the Industrial Revolution, most people lived in cities and worked in factories or farmed their own land. They also gained the right to vote and were responsible for their own lives.
  • The Enlightenment (18th C.)

    WHAT HAPPENED: Feeding off of the ideas of the Renaissance and Reformation, European philosophers helped to support the ideas about human nature that led to the development of what is known as classical liberalism.
    IMPACT ON SOCIETY: Classical Liberlaism continued to evolve after the Enlightenment but the period of the Enlightenment is responsible for forming many of the principles of classical liberalism.
  • American Revolution (1776)

    WHAT HAPPENED: American colonies that were suffering under British rule declared themselves independent from Great Britain and created a form of government controlled by American citizens, as opposed to the British monarchy.
    IMACT ON SOCIETY: American citizens were no longer abused under a foreign government. Before independence was gained they were taxed heavily, controlled by a rigid class structure and had a very limited role in the government.
  • French Revolution (1789)

    WHAT HAPPENED: French peasants fought for freedom, equality, and brotherhood after they became fed up with the injustices that the Church and government imposed on them. They wanted freedom from a class structure where the Church and nobility that made up 4% of the population controlled the other 96%.
    IMPACT ON SOCIETY: In the wake of the French Revolution the guillotine was used to behead numerous upperclassmen. However, the Declaration of the Rights of Man recognized liberalist rights.
  • Changes to the Class System (19th C.)

    WHAT HAPPENED: In the past, people remained in the social class they were born into for their whole lives but classical liberalism valued the individual and economic opportunity.
    IMPACT ON SOCIETY: Today people have the opportunity to better their life, own private property, vote, and work their way into a higher social class. People are also fighting for equality (e.g. the right for same-sex marriage wasn't even considered in the past).