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Liberalism (from the Latin liberalis, "of freedom") is the belief in the importance of "liberty and "equal rights. Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but most liberals support such fundamental ideas as "constitutions, "liberal democracy, "free and fair elections, "human rights, "democratic capitalism, "free trade, "secular society, and the "market economy. These ideas are often accepted even among political groups that do not openly profess a liberal "ideological orientation. Liberalism first became a distinct "political movement during the "Age of Enlightenment, when it became popular among philosophers and economists in the "Western world. Liberalism rejected the prevailing social and political "norms of "hereditary privilege, "state religion, "absolute monarchy and the "Divine Right of Kings. Leaders in the "Glorious Revolution of 1688, the "American Revolution of 1776 and the "French Revolution of 1789 used liberal philosophy to justify the armed overthrow of royal "tyranny. Liberalism encompasses several "intellectual trends and traditions, but the dominant variants are "classical liberalism, which became popular in the 18th century, and "social liberalism, which became popular in the 20th century. In the United States, "liberal" generally refers specifically to "social liberalism. "Neoliberalism refers primarily to the 20th-century resurgence of 19th-century ideas associated with "laissez-faire economic liberalism.
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Social liberalism is a "political ideology that believes individual "liberty requires a level of "social justice. Like "classical liberalism, social liberalism endorses a "market economy and the expansion of "civil and political rights and "liberties, but differs in that it believes the legitimate role of the "government includes addressing economic and social issues such as "poverty, "health care, and "education. Under social liberalism, the "good of the community is viewed as harmonious with the freedom of the individual. Social liberal policies have been widely adopted in much of the capitalist world, particularly following "World War II. Social liberal ideas and parties tend to be considered "centrist or "centre-left.

In American political usage, the term "social liberalism" describes "progressive stances on socio-political issues like "abortion, "same-sex marriage or "gun control, as opposed to ""social conservatism". A social liberal in this sense may hold either "liberal" or ""conservative" views on "fiscal policy. (See "Modern liberalism in the United States.)

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Norberto Bobbio (Italian: "[norˈbɛrto ˈbɔbbjo]; 18 October 1909 – 9 January 2004) was an "Italian "philosopher of law and "political sciences and a historian of political thought. He also wrote regularly for the "Turin-based daily "La Stampa. Bobbio was a "liberal socialist in the tradition of "Piero Gobetti, "Carlo Rosselli, Guido Calogero, and "Aldo Capitini. He was also strongly influenced by "Hans Kelsen and "Vilfredo Pareto.

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""The storming of the Bastille, 14 July 1789
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The Storming of the Bastille occurred in "Paris, France, on the afternoon of 14 July 1789. The medieval fortress, armory, and political prison in Paris known as the "Bastille represented royal authority in the center of Paris. The "prison contained just seven inmates at the time of its storming but was a symbol of abuses by the monarchy; its fall was the flashpoint of the "French Revolution.


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