American conservatism is a broad system of political beliefs in the United States that is characterized more info respect for American traditionssupport for Judeo-Christian valuesmoral absolutismeconomic liberalismanti-communismadvocacy of American exceptionalismand a defense of Western culture from threats posed by creeping socialismmoral relativismmulticulturalism and liberal internationalism.
Liberty is a core value, with a particular emphasis on strengthening the free marketlimiting the size John W Dolan Phd Thesis scope of government in the economy, and opposition to high taxes and government or labor union encroachment on the entrepreneur.
American conservatives consider individual libertywithin the bounds of conformity to American values, as the fundamental trait of democracy, which contrasts John W Dolan Phd Thesis modern American liberalswho generally place a greater value on equality and social justice. American conservatism originates from republicanism which rejected aristocratic and monarchical government based on the principles of the Declaration of Independence ofwhich stated that "All men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness".
All major American political parties are based on these two documents. Conservative activists to this day occasionally dress in costumes from the Revolutionary era, and celebrate revolutionary episodes such as the Boston Tea Party. Conservative philosophy also has continuity to the classical liberal tradition of the 18th and 19th centuries, which advocated for laissez-faire economics, also called economic freedom. Historians argue that the conservative tradition has played a major role in American politics and culture since However they have stressed that an organized conservative movement has played a key role in politics only since the s.
According to Peter ViereckAmerican conservatism is distinctive because it was not tied to a monarchy, landed aristocracy, established church, or military elite. They are committed, says Seymour Martin Lipsetto the belief in America's "superiority against the cold reactionary monarchical and more rigidly status-bound system of European society.
The history of American conservatism has been marked by tensions and competing ideologies. Fiscal conservatives and libertarians favor small governmentlaissez-faire economy, low income and corporate taxes, limited regulation, and free enterprise. Social conservatives see traditional social values as threatened by secularism ; they tend to support mandatory school prayer and oppose abortion and same sex marriage. Neoconservatives want to expand American ideals throughout the world.
The conservative movement of the s attempted to bring together these divergent strands, stressing the need for unity to prevent the spread of Editing Uk University Sites communism.
It is the job of centralized government in peacetime to protect its citizens' lives, liberty and property. All other activities of government tend to diminish freedom and hamper progress. The growth of government the dominant social feature of this century must be fought relentlessly. In this great social conflict of the era, we are, without reservations, on the libertarian side. The profound crisis of our era is, in essence, the conflict between the Social Engineers, who seek to adjust mankind to scientific utopias, and the disciples of Truth, who defend the organic moral order.
We believe that truth is neither arrived at nor illuminated by monitoring election results, John W Dolan Phd Thesis though these are for other purposes, but by other means, including a study of human experience.
On this point we are, without reservations, on the conservative side. Traditional Burkean conservatives tend to be anti-ideological, and some would even say anti-philosophical,  promoting rather, as Russell Kirk explained, a steady flow of "prescription and prejudice". Kirk's use of the word John W Dolan Phd Thesis here is not intended to carry its contemporary pejorative connotation: There are two overlapping subgroups of social conservatives—the traditional and the religious.
Traditional conservatives strongly support traditional codes of conduct, especially those they feel are threatened by social change and modernization. For example, traditional conservatives may oppose the use of female soldiers in combat. Religious conservatives focus on conducting society as prescribed by a religious authority or code. In the United States this translates into taking hard-line stances on moral issues, such as opposition to abortion and homosexuality.
Religious conservatives often assert that "America is a Christian nation" and call for laws that enforce Christian morality.
Fiscal conservatives support limited government, low tax, low spending, and a balanced budget. They argue that low taxes produce more jobs and wealth for everyone, and also that, as President Grover Cleveland said, "unnecessary taxation is unjust taxation".
Fiscal conservatives often argue that competition in the free market is more effective than the regulation of industry. Some make exceptions in the case of trusts or monopolies.
More moderate fiscal conservatives argue that " free market economics" is the most efficient way to promote economic growth: Most modern American fiscal conservatives accept some social spending programs not specifically delineated in the Constitution. As such, fiscal conservatism today exists somewhere between classical liberalism and contemporary consequentialist political philosophies.
Through much of the 20th century, a primary force uniting the varied strands of conservatism, and uniting conservatives with liberals and socialists, was opposition to communism, which was seen not only as an enemy of the traditional order, but also the enemy of Western freedom and democracy.
Thus it was the British Labour government—which embraced socialism—that pushed the Truman administration in —47 to take a strong stand against Soviet Communism. Social conservatism in the United States is the defense of traditional social norms and Judeo-Christian values.
Social conservatives tend to strongly identify with John W Dolan Phd Thesis nationalism and patriotism. They often denounce anti-war protesters and support the police and the military.
They hold that military institutions embody core values such as honor, duty, courage, loyalty, and John W Dolan Phd Thesis willingness on the part of the individual to make sacrifices for the good of the country. Social conservatives are strongest in the South and in recent years played a major role in the political coalitions of Ronald ReaganGeorge W. Bush and Sarah Palin. Fiscal conservatism is the economic and political policy that advocates restraint of progressive taxation and expenditure.
Fiscal conservatives since the 19th century have argued that debt is a device to corrupt politics; they argue that big spending ruins the morals of the people, and that a national debt creates a dangerous class of click. A political strategy employed by conservatives to achieve a smaller government is known as starve the beast.
Activist Grover Norquist is a well-known proponent of the strategy and has famously said, "My goal is to cut government in half in twenty-five years, to get it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub.
This belief in small government combines with fiscal conservatism to produce a broader economic liberalismwhich wishes to minimize government intervention in the economy or implement laissez-faire policies.
This economic liberalism borrows from two schools of thought: Donohue argues that classical liberalism in the 19th century U.
The economic philosophy of conservatives in the United States tends to be more liberal allowing for more economic freedom. Economic liberalism can go well beyond fiscal conservatism's concern for fiscal prudence, to a belief or principle that it is not prudent for governments to intervene in markets. John W Dolan Phd Thesis is also, sometimes, extended to a broader " small government " philosophy.
Economic liberalism is associated with free marketor laissez-faire economics. Economic liberalism, insofar as it is ideologicalowes its creation to the " classical liberal " tradition, in the vein of Adam SmithFriedrich A. HayekMilton Friedmanand Ludwig von Mises. Classical liberals and libertarians support John W Dolan Phd Thesis markets on moral, ideological grounds: Supporters of the moral grounds for free markets include Ayn Rand and Ludwig von Mises. The liberal tradition is suspicious of government authority, and prefers individual choice, and hence tends to see free market capitalism as the preferable means of achieving economic ends.
Modern conservatives, on the other hand, derive support for free markets from practical grounds. Free markets, they argue, are the most productive markets. Thus the modern conservative supports free markets not out of necessity, but out of expedience. The support is not moral or ideological, but driven on the Burkean notion of prescription: Another reason why conservatives support a smaller role for the government in the economy is the belief in the importance of the civil society.
As noted by Alexis de Tocquevillethere is a belief that a bigger role of the government in the economy will make people feel less responsible for the society. These responsibilities would then need to be taken over by the government, requiring higher taxes. In his book Democracy in AmericaTocqueville described this as "soft oppression. While classical liberals and modern conservatives reached free markets through different means historically, in recent years the lines have blurred.
Rarely will a conservative politician claim that free markets are "simply more productive" or "simply the right thing to do" but a combination of both.
This blurring is very much a product of the merging of the classical liberal and modern conservative positions under the "umbrella" of the conservative movement. The archetypal free-market conservative administrations of the late 20th century—the Margaret Thatcher government in Britain and the Ronald Reagan administration in the U.
He wanted to increase defense spending and achieved that; liberal Democrats blocked his efforts to cut domestic spending. Federal revenues as a percent of the GDP fell from Federal spending fell slightly from This contrasts with statistics fromwhen government spending was rising more rapidly than it had in decades.
In the United States today, the word "conservative" is often used very differently from the way it is used in Europe and Asia. The Americans after rejected the core ideals of European conservatism, which were based learn more here the landed aristocracythe established church, and the powerful, prestigious army.
Conservatism in the United States is not a single school of thought. Jerry Falwell in the s preached traditional moral and religious social values.
It was Reagan's challenge to form these groups into an electable coalition. In the United States John W Dolan Phd Thesis has never been a John W Dolan Phd Thesis political party called the Conservative Party.
Historian Patrick Allitt expresses the difference between liberal and conservative in terms not of policy but of attitude:. No American party has advocated European ideals of "conservatism" such as a monarchy, an established church, or a hereditary World Affairs Essay Site.
American conservatism is best characterized as a reaction against utopian ideas of progress. President Ronald Reagan set the conservative standard in the s; in the s the Republican leaders typically claim fealty to it. For example, most of the Republican candidates in "claimed to be standard bearers of Reagan's ideological legacy. The s and beyond became known as the " Reagan Era. Other modern conservative beliefs include skepticism of the theory of man-made global warming and opposition to government action to combat it, which conservatives contend would do severe economic damage, and ultimately more harm than good even if one accepts the premise that human activity is contributing to climate change.
Most conservatives support the death penalty for particularly egregious crimes. The "law and order" issue was a major factor weakening liberalism in the s. Bush stressed cutting taxes and minimizing regulation of industry and banking, while increasing regulation of education.
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Although the study does show some distinction between the concentration of moderates source conservatives or liberals between the Republican and Democratic parties. Conservatism appears to be growing stronger at the state level.
The trend is most pronounced among the "least well-off, least educated, most blue collar, most economically hard-hit states. Conservatives generally believe that government action is not the solution to such problems as poverty and inequality.