A political ideology is a system of opinions and valuations which can be the foundation of for example political parties. In the late 1700s and the early 1800s, modern political ideologies such as conservatism, liberalism and socialism arose. To this day we still use these ideologies when we want to characterize a politician, a newspaper or an opinion etc.
Conservatism was “created” as a protest against enlightenment and against the French revolution. The word conservatism comes from Latin’s “conservare” which means conserve. The foundation of conservatism was created by the British Edmund Burke. In the book “Thoughts about the revolution in France”, from 1790, Burke criticizes what’s happened in France. According to him a generation of people should not be able to change society as much in one day as they did in France 1789. Society isn’t only the living generation but also the past and future generation. If changes really are necessary, they should be made gradually. Burke looked at the state as a living organism that develops with powers greater than a human can understand.
Burke had no illusions about every man being equal in wisdom and capability. Only the educated and wise should have political power according to Burke. Owning land was a sign of wisdom, since the land owning aristocrats felt responsibility for tradition and the national heritage. Aristocrats also had enough time and knowledge to do well in politics. The elite should rule, for every ones best. Burke did not care for the average citizen. To protect the state from both inner and outer enemies the conservative thought that it was necessary with a big army. The church got a big part, and were supposed to raise people to good manners and to show reverence to the people with power.
According to conservative thinkers in the 1800s, the state should not only take care of people but also make sure no one was in distress. That sort of thinking is called “Socialconservatism”. A typical representative for socialconservatism was Benjamin Disraelis. He was the British prime minster in the 1800 and got the parliament to accept laws which gave some levels of healthcare and a few other things.
Whilst conservatism turned against the ideas of the French revolution, there was a lot of people who wanted to continue building on the new ideas. They thought that society should be freed from all the compulsion. The critics against society came hand in hand with the clearance requirements that was brought forward by enlightenment. Freedom became the new slogan. “liber” is free in Latin and there for it’s called Liberalism.