Liberalism Key Thinkers Essay example

Submitted By JoaoP
Words: 666
Pages: 3

Liberalism key thinkers
Rousseau (1712- 1778)
Influenced by French revolution
The social contract, a legitimate political order
“man is born free and everywhere he is in chains”
Abandon claim of natural rights for rights in the civilised society
General will, overall will of the majority

Montesquieu (1689-1755)
French philosopher
The separation of powers, observed the UK
Judiciary – legislature – executive

Voltaire (1649-1778)
French philosopher
Tolerance – religious tolerance
Anti- catholic and French government
“I detest what you say, but I defend to the death your right to say it”

John Locke (1632-1704)
Founding father of modern liberalism
Government by consent
People have natural rights, inalienable rights (cannot be taken away)
Right to life liberty and property
Job of government to protect rights and the government can be removed if fail
Knowledge gained though experience
Rational individuals, unique
Religious tolerance
The social contract
Property –franchise
Limited government, choice of to run life’s, by constitution

Adam Smith (1723-1790)
Scottish enlighten philosopher
The wealth of nations founding father of modern economics
Against the regulation of trade so free trade
Economy is self-regulating “the invisible hand of market forces” (let it be)
Government laissez faire and limited

Bentham (1748-1832)
Founding father of Utilitarianism
Humans as self-interested creatures who seek to maximise their happiness (utility)
Rational – decide for themselves what they wanted
Seek pleasure avoid pain
Fits with free market capitalism
It is possible to measure happiness (utility)
Government should make decisions on what makes people happy. Gives the greatest utility “the greatest good of the greatest number”
Disagrees with Locke about natural rights. “nonsense on stilts”

Samuel Smiles (1812-1904)
Scottish author
Wrote self help
Importance of charter, thrift (saving), perseverance
Individuality ad independence, self and improvement

J.S Mill (1806- 1873)
The harm principle
Individuals should do what they want unless it harms others
Self-regarding actions you can do without harming others
Other regarding actions-action you do without harming others
Government might have to intervene where other regarding actions concerned
Laissez faire economics
“over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign”
University students extra franchise

T.H Green (1836-1882)
Progressive liberal
Organic society- individuals are part of an organic community
Conditions of poor in industrial cities led to his criticism of capitalism
Wanted to see full and equal human development self-actualisation
Emphasised positive freedom, freedom to
Welfare education- greater role of the sate
Believed in classless society could be created though welfare in a free market economy
Influenced Lloyd George

Tom Paine (1737-1809)
Wrote common sense
Argument for US independence
Government a necessary evil to protect us from our own vices
Rejected monarchy- elected representatives