What historical forces led to the rise of liberalism?

The rise of liberalism began in the late 1600s with the Glorious Revolution in England, which limited the monarch's power and gave that power to Parliament. Liberalism was strengthened by the ideas of John Locke and Montesquieu, whose ideas were influential in America's founding principles in the late 1700s. All these factors together entrenched liberalism as a prominent political philosophy.

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Liberalism, at its core, is the belief in freedom and human rights. John Locke and Montesquieu are examples of thinkers with which liberalism is usually associated. Liberalism's political movement spans centuries, with various historical factors playing a part in its rise.

Going back to 1688, the Glorious Revolution was the first major event that really laid the foundation for liberalism. The constitutional power of the English monarch was limited, parliament was given a more powerful role in the government, and a bill of rights was created. Suddenly, one ruler was no longer absolute, and the rights of the people were being taken into consideration. A century later, the Declaration of Independence in the US spurred another surge of liberalism. It proudly declared that "all men are created equal" and championed freedom, drawing directly on many of John Locke's core ideals.

These two events became hallmarks of the liberalism movement. The Glorious Revolution set the stage for widespread change in Europe, change that would follow settlers to the New World. The American Revolution sparked a revolution in France, the people calling upon the same core liberal ideas found in America's fight for independence. Even today, a large portion of the world has adopted a strong belief in individual rights and freedom, indicating that liberalism is stronger than ever.

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