The Evolution of Modern Liberalism Introduction: Over the past couple of weeks, we have learned about the emergence of Classical Liberalismand its 5 principles, which are as follows:
i) individual rights and freedoms
ii) belief that humans are reasonable and can make their own decisions
iii) economic freedom
iv) protection of civil liberties
v) constitutional limits on government
From Classical Liberalism sprang various ideologies that modified the 5 principals of Classical Lioberalism some of which are:
Scientific Socialism/ Marxism
Last week, we looked at ideologies during the 20th century (1900’s) that rejected Classical Liberalism and the freedom of individuals. These ideologies include:
This week, we are going to take a look at how modern Liberalism evolved based on the principals of Classical Liberalism. We are going to examine life in the U.S.A. and Canada before and after World War 11 in order to see why changes needed to occur in the way the economy operated and how these changes reflected the principals of liberalism. As you will discover, businesses in the early 1900’s in the U.S.A. prospered; however, the workers suffered and there was very little government intervention. Sure people enjoyed economic freedom, religious freedoms, freedom of speech and the opportunity to choose where they lived and worked; however, for the majority of the population, working conditions were horrible and as you will discover corporations paid very little attention to the health of their employees and/or the environment. As long as they were making HUGE profits, life was good. The government eventually became more involved in the economy, which lead to modern Liberalism. How did they become involved? Well you will find out in this lesson. Let’s begin…
Step One: Please read Chapter 6 (pages 197 – 230) in your textbook, Perspectives on Ideology.
Step Two: Please complete the following assignment:
Formative Assessment Assignment
1. Please review Pages 197 - 203 in your textbook,Perspectives on Ideology and read the following summary: As you have just read, life in the early 1900’s was not so pleasant for the majority of workers. There was opportunity to succeed in the U.S.A. if you worked hard, but as you see on pages 200 and 199 conditions of employment were brutal. Corporations cared very little about the health and welfare of their employee’s and/or the environment. An example of this is Upton Sinclair’s illustration of meat packing plants in Chicago in 1906. To deal with these conditions presidents such as Theodore Roosevelt, William Taft introduced laws that reduced the control large corporations had over the economy. Combined with the Russian Revolution taking place and the war efforts of Germany people became scared of a communist uprising in the U.S.A. – government taking control of the resources and means of production in the country. Thus, when Warren Harding and then Calvin Coolidge became president in the early 1920's, they introduced laws that reduced government control over the economy. These laws reflected the principles of Classic Liberalism - very little government involved in the economy. Remembering the 5 principles of Classic Liberalism, please answer the following question on page 203:
How are tax reduction and agricultural subsidies a reflection of classical liberal economic principals? HINT: To answer this question, think about how reducing the amount of money people give to the government and the government paying farmers for their crops gives people more control of their lives lessens government control.
2. Please review Pages 204 - 210 in your textbook,Perspectives on Ideology and read the following summary: As you see on these pages, life was great during the 1920’s in the U.S.A. People had money to spend and businesses were booming making products that people wanted and could afford. The Classical Economic principle of little government involvement in the economy was effective. And then…..the Great Depression of the 1930’s gripped North America. To save the U.S.A., president Franklin Roosevelt introduced legislation called the “New Deal.” “The New Deal” created the greatest amount of government involvement in the economy ever experienced in the U.S.A. and was based on the principal that the liberal principle of economic freedom applied to more than just the rich business people. It applied to everyone; thus, common people needed to have their rights and freedoms protected, as well, and the government was going to help them. From this came “modern liberalism.” Knowing this, please answer the following question: In what ways did Roosevelt’s New Deal reject or reflect the principles of liberalism? HINT: To answer this question think about how the New Deal gave the average person more control over their own lives (reflect principles of liberalism) and how it goes against the concept of little government intervention in the economy (reject principles of liberalism).
New Deal Reflects Principles of Liberalism:
New Deal Rejects Principles of Liberalism:
3. Please review pages 214 - 222 in your textbook,Perspectives on Ideology and read the following summary: As you have read in these pages, governments around the world struggle to find the right balance of being involved in the economy of a country and staying out of it. This has lead to the concept of “mixed economies.” This involves a mixture of government involvement and free market economy. Governments, provide some programs paid for by tax dollars to support all people such as Health Care and Welfare programs and still allow opportunity for people to participate in capitalism – private ownership of business and industry.
Now, please reviewpages 222 – 225 – “The Netherlands’ Polder Model, Kenya’s Harambee and Chad” and “Sweden and the United States” in your textbook,Perspectives on Ideology and answer the following questions: In the example on pages 223 and 224, what is the level of government involvement?
What might be the long – term outcomes of this approach?
In what ways does this example represent a middle ground between laissez-faire econmics (little government involvement) and social justice?