The Development of Liberalism


ancient greek democracy

500 BC - 300 BC

Ancient Greek colonies were one of the first people to come up with democracies but Athens was considered the strongest democracy. The democracy was very closed, not many were allowed to vote but it is what shaped modern day democracy because it brought the concept of having allowing the people to have more say and the government to have less which gave the people a feeling of more protection so they could have a say of what happened and how they were treated, aka their rights and freedoms.

Democracy has spread all over the world and is one of the main forms of government now and it all started in ancient Greece.

Magna Carta


The Magna Carta is a charter that controlled the power of the Monarchy in Britain and helped solve problems of taxation between the King and the church. It allowed more rights and freedoms to the people ruled by the King.

The Magna Carta allowed the poorer peasants protection of their rights and freedoms, a lot of colonies used it as a template for their new settlements an example is the American constitution. The Magna Carta also helped form the rule of law and made people rethink the divine rights of kings.


1400 - 1600

When the word Renaissance is used people automatically think of art and culture, it was the rebirth of Europe, when the rebirth happened they came out of the economic depression and also transformed from old ways to the new modern times. The renaissance allowed people to express themselves more and not be dictated by the government as much.

The renaissance era also started the use of the printing press which allowed for modernization also allowing people to learn how to read, therefore allowing education to be more easily accessed instead of only wealthy people having the privilege to learn, closing the gap of poor and rich.

Haudenosaunee Confederacy

1500 - 1776

The Haudenosaunee Confederacy was established from 6 nations coming together and agreeing on the Great Law of Peace. Which was an agreement of equal ruling, allowing women to have a say and to follow their own choice of religion which has been cared to todays liberals beliefs. The Haudenosaunee is one of the first ever and longest standing democracies, but was no longer in effect after the American revolution

Some of the parts of the Great law of Peace were used to write the constitution and helped America to implement more rights and freedoms, also allowing women to have a more active role in society.


1517 - 1648

The reformation period was the reconstruction of churches in Europe after Martin Luther of Germany felt the church has been corrupted and urged for a reformation. The church became more focused on self freedoms instead of being all about the church. Power of the church became less and power of people grew

American Revolution


Britain was taxing America and also forcing them to pay tariffs on imported goods, America didn't want to pay anymore so they went to war against Britain, which later lead to the declaration of independence and their freedom as their own country.
The war established Americas freedom and their self interest to further their economy without the help of Britain and allow America to have the freedom to make their own choices. After the war new ideas were established, like the idea of citizenship for anyone who owned land which is a value shared by liberalism.

French Revolution

1789 - 1799

People of France were sick having no rights so a war started to fight for freedom and rights. The french citizens wanted to get rid go the classes and be able to better their lives because the working classes often had little to no rights. On top the classes everyone was taxed heavily because of the kings spending habits, causing poverty.

The war prompted the deceleration of the Right of Man where liberalism beliefs such as rights and freedoms was established also it put certain limits on the governments ruling.

The Enlightenment


Philosophers had a huge roll in the enlightenment by promoting development of human nature, right and freedoms. The Enlightenment was brought on by the Renaissance and reformation because those eras made people think more about their self interest rather that the interest of the community, which is another main belief of liberalism.
The Enlightenment era made people believe in having more power as citizens instead of the government taking control of everything and allowing people to have the right to make choices fro their own self interest.

industrial revolution

1800 - 1900

Industrial revolution prompted the change of safety rules and the idea that people need to be protected, especially since the industrial revolution is all about modernization of technology working with heavier equipment and more dangerous work places but also allowing more production of food and goods. The workers felt they needed to be protected and also their families needed to be compensated. The laws of private property started to come into play as well as economic freedoms causing a growth of the middle class economy allowing them to become more wealthy as they could choose to run businesses and have more competition which also grew the economy.

Change to class system


With the Industrial revolution people could change social classes and eventually lead to the classes being abolished but in return wealth classes emerged allowing people to change classes if possible. More opportunities were available because of the industrial revolution and people started to encourage self interest more and more changing society into a liberalistic society.