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Liberalism

In: Historical Events

Submitted By kinghenry30
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In 19th century dramatic effects of Industrial Revolution prompted the rise of Classical or "Utilitarian" Liberalism throughout Europe and United States. The foundation of this new social philosophy was the rule of law designed for protecting the freedom of the individual, which required some restrictions placed on the power of the government. The idea of a limited government involvement led to the concept of a deregulated economy, which was supported by the emerging field of political economy, or classical economics.
Eventually, by the end of the century, Liberalism evolved into so-called Social Darwinism, which took the principles of small government and economic liberty to their absolute. This new form of liberal thinking argued that the principle of "Survival of the Fittest" was applicable and in fact beneficial to the society as a whole. Apparent ruthlessness associated with such an approach was justified by claiming this to be the only way our society could progress. Overall, the deregulated economic environment of United States in early 20th century ultimately brought forward the Great Depression of 1930s.
It was the Great Depression that made Franklin D. Roosevelt's the New Deal a reality. This vast and comprehensive set of policies was the first venture of United States government into the realm of Welfare State, which manifested in government-provided relief and aid targeted at unemployed and distressed citizens. In 1965 President Lyndon B. Johnson built upon the foundation provided by the New Deal and enacted an array of economic policies known as the Great Society, which created the US welfare system as we know it today. Elements of this legislation - Medicare and Medicaid were expanded upon by President Barack Obama when in 2010 he signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law. These three examples are illustrating nicely the tendency of Democratic Party members to favor the idea of Welfare State.
Given the history of our society in the second half of 20th century, I find myself compelled to conclude that the concept of Welfare State is indeed the most reliable, moral and humane way to maintain a healthy and stable society.

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