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One stands out, however, as the first recognizably liberal party in European history: the Levellers.Led by John Lilburne and Richard Overton, this movement of middle-class radicals demanded freedom of trade and an end to state monopolies, separation of church and state, popular representation, and strict limits even to parliamentary authority.To the extent that liberals associated conservatism with militarism and imperialism, another source of conflict arose.
Developing these ideas, Frédéric Bastiat proposed an especially pure form of the liberal doctrine that enjoyed a certain appeal on the Continent and, later, in the United States. This was the case when they turned to the state to promote their own values., 2006] "Classical liberalism" is the term used to designate the ideology advocating private property, an unhampered market economy, the rule of law, constitutional guarantees of freedom of religion and of the press, and international peace based on free trade.Up until around 1900, this ideology was generally known simply as liberalism.Until well into the 20th century, however, the most significant liberal theory continued to be produced in Europe.The 18th century was particularly rich in this regard.In historical perspective, it is clear that what is known as the Industrial Revolution was Europe's (and America's) way of dealing with an otherwise intractable population explosion.Some conservatives went on to forge a critique of the market order based on its alleged materialism, soullessness, and anarchy.That culture — as Lord Acton recognized most clearly — was the West, the Europe that was or had been in communion with the Bishop of Rome. The historical circumstances were the confrontation of the free institutions and values inherited from the Middle Ages with the pretensions of the absolutist state of the 16th and 17th centuries.Its womb, in other words, was the particular human society that underwent "the European miracle" (in E. From the struggle of the Dutch against the absolutism of the Spanish Habsburgs issued a polity that manifested basically liberal traits: the rule of law, including especially a firm adherence to property rights; de facto religious toleration; considerable freedom of expression; and a central government of severely limited powers.Through much of the 19th century it was in many respects a society in which the state could hardly be said to exist, as European observers noted with awe.Radical liberal ideas were manifested and applied by groups such as the Jeffersonians, Jacksonians, abolitionists, and late-19th-century anti-imperialists.