under liberalism (lat. rather: freely, lat. liberalis: concerning the liberty,) a world view which is based on a liberal convicition, which understood political-philosophical teachings based on it and the pertinent political direction, becomes liberal.

The liberalism was substantially inspired ofthe philosophy of the clearing-up starting from the 2. Half 17. Century; the term was coined/shaped however only 1812 in Spain.

The liberalism justified the emancipation (release) of delivered dogmas from the Feudalismus and absolutism, which justify unfreenessshould (for example Gottesgnadentum).

In the center of his political philosophy the individual , to who greatest possible liberty is to be given, as well as the principle of the Nichtaggression are located. The individual liberty is after liberal conviction the basic standard and basis of a human society, upthose the state and its political like economic order to align are. Where the liberty of the particular is affected, everyone has, to end also the national force - the state has to intervene only if the liberty of the individuals hurtsbecomes. Its role has itself to limit with priority to the receipt from right and liberty to. Regularizations of the economy, in addition, social security benefits should be minimized just like taxes. The particular is to be by more at liberty also more responsibility for itselfto be even transferred.

The liberalism stands in its theory contrary to the totalitarianism and is considered in many places as a condition, if not as synonym for the view of a modern pluralistischen democracy. Into the present also representatives of do not regard themselves explicitlyliberal parties as liberals in the sense of the aufklärerischen philosophical definition of the liberalism.

From the anarchy mash the today's liberalism differs by the view that the state - although as far as possible in the background - to the safety device of liberty and property asnecessarily one regards, and by decided occurring for a free market order.

Table of contents

terms and concepts

the term of the liberalism is relatively difficult to determine, without on the entire western individualism purchaseto take.

The Spannbreite is enough from the social and/or. Link liberal up to the national and/or. Right liberal.

The “Ultra liberals in such a way specified” or dear ore eras lean in principle everyone by forced contributions financed social measure as inadmissible interference of the state into the personal Liberty of the particular off.


center political demand of the liberalism are after fundamental rights as institutionalized form of the human rights. These are to be guaranteed from the state to and have priority also before democratically caused decisions. See also constitutional state, protection of minorities.

As an important founder of the liberalism John curl is considered. In its 1689 published work Two Treatises OF Government (German: Over the government) it postulates lives, liberty and property as inalienable rights of the citizen. Purpose of the state is, thisTo protect right one. Der FranzoseVoltaire prägte mit seinem Ausspruch "Ich bin nicht Eurer Meinung, aber ich werde darum kämpfen, dass Ihr Euch ausdrücken könnt.“liberals the principle of the tolerance and the liberty of opinion. Charles de Montesquieu applieswith its 1748 published De l'esprit lois (dt. Of the spirit of the laws) as founders of the concept of the division of power. John Stuart Mill formulated on Liberty in his most well-known writing (dt: Over the liberty) the limit, “that thatonly reason, for which mankind unites, individually or, to interfere is authorized into the freedom of action one of their members: to protect itself. That the only purpose, over one dessentwillen obligation against the will of a member of a civilized society rightfullyto exercise may: to prevent the damage of others. “


the right to private property stress economics economic, since only this can ensure the liberty of the particular. Reasons for it can follow either nature-legal argumentation samples or primarily after the effectiveness one upPrivate property of based society system refer. Nature-legal reasons of this kind are in beginnings with Hugo Grotius and Samuel Pufendorf and by John curl are out-formulated: The particular possesses property at its body and therefore also at the work of its body. Itis also entitled to tear things from the natural state if it worked on these (for example the soil, which someone works on first time). If the thing from the natural state tore, it can do that then only by donation or exchangeOwners change. Obligation is hereby impossible. In the tradition of this reason for example the US-American founder fathers, Robert Nozick or Ayn edge argue.

The argumentation which is based on efficiency assumes that the market for the optimal Allokation of resources ensures. [[Ein]]free competition represents thereby optimal in principle control controlling of the economy. Both national competition obstacles (e.g. Tax privileges or protective duties) and concentrations of enterprise are thereby a threat of the competition. First well-known representative of the classical liberalism is Adam Smith, became famous itsConcept of the invisible hand: Self-interested striving of humans contributes to well-being of the entire society. The idea of the classical liberalism - explicit without nature-legal component - is continued to represent by Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill, on socialviennaistic extreme of harsh ore Spencer floated and is in the newer theory for example with James M. Buchanan or Robert Axelrod.

To economic aspects of the liberalism see also: Manchester liberalism, Neoklassik, Austrian school, Neoliberalismus, Ordoliberalismus, Monetarism

history of the liberalism

roots of the liberalism

the history of the liberalism is older than the term. It developed at the same time with the clearing-up as political reaction for the absolutism 17. and 18. Century.

During the liberalism the political scenein England and the USA during 18. and 19. Century , had he controlled nearly perfectly in the continental-European countries first far less influence.

This changed also in the different French revolutions (after „the large “ French revolution of 1789particularly the civil revolution of 1830 and in the consequence also in other countries (Germany, Austria and/or. Austria Hungary, Italy, Switzerland)

the liberalism early 19. Century went into many European states, in particular in the German-speaking countries,in addition, in the Italian and other principalities with the nationalism blossoming nearly everywhere since the French revolution (not only in Europe, but for example also in south - and Central America), that first than uniform with the ideas that Democracy was understood. Particularly into splintered German and particularly of the Austrian having citizens and/or. the Spanish Bourbonen dependent Italian provinces of this time, or the areas such as Böhmen , Hungary and that, standing under Prussian and Austrian ruledivided Poland was also connected the liberalism with at that time revolutionary demands after national independence or nationalnational unit. After striking down the civil liberals revolutions of 1848/49 (see. also Risorgimento, February revolution 1848 and March revolution) became the idea of the national unitparticularly in Germany and Italy taken up from rather conservative circles and about two decades later “converted from above”. Large parts of the with priority national currents departed thereupon ideals aligned by the liberalism with its emancipatory-liberal, at the rights of the individualand at longer term parliamentary groups developed to parties with decidedly anti-democratic and anti-liberals.

Liberalism in Great Britain and the United States

Iin Great Britain is today represented with liberally the Democrats a liberal a party (approx. 22%) in the British House of Commons.

In the USA becomestoday also rather as a direction designates, which is to be shown in the European linguistic usage as “socialliberally”, rather even with “social-democratically”. On the other hand the advocates one collect themselves to an absolute minimum reduced national intervention since the 1930er years straight in demarcation to that“collect rather as” under the term dear ore air to.

Liberalism in Germany

first half 19. Century until the March revolution 1848/49

first high points of the political liberalism in the German states after the clearing-up, those with Immanuel Kant in 18. Centuryan important philosophical representative in at that time Prussian king mountain had, fall into the time of the Vormärz between 1815 and 1848. This phase of German history was strongly coined/shaped by the culture of the romance and philosophies of the German idealism (see. Spruce, Hegel, Schelling), in which partly, connected with the romantic sea protest and mixture of terms like „liberty “, „Patriotismus “were andnationalism “already antiaufklärerische, less tendencies oriented at the reason term of Kant noticeable.

In thisTime connected itself the liberalism with the ideas of a nationalnational unit of the German states. Important events were for example the waiting castle celebration 1817, the Hambacher celebration 1832 and the revolution of 1848. The appropriate before-revolutionary and revolutionary liberals movementsfought on the one hand the principalities aligned again at the absolutism during the nachnapoleonischen era and/or. that the Viennese congress (1814/15) to 1848 the following restoration. They demanded conditions, liberalisation of the trade by removal of the customs barriers and democraticRight one for the people. They occurred at the same time for the agreement of the states of the German federation in an all-German national state .

During the national assembly in the Frankfurt Paulskirche 1848/ 1849, resulted from the March revolution , the civil liberals placed parliamentary groups Casino and Württemberger yard (Heinrich of Gagern), the so-called “half ones”, the majority. They occurred for a constitutional monarchy, a people sovereignty and parliamentary rights. The minority of the “whole ones”, that likewise the liberalism, partly also early socialism assigned radical democrat, underthem for example, a German republic and the removal of monarchistic structures demanded Robert Bluem. Already in these different parliamentary groups during the 1849 by force struck down revolution suggested itself to late more strongly splintering of the German liberalism seizing around itself.

The radicalrule and state-negative current of the liberalism, that anarchy mash, developed starting from the 1840er years particularly under the word leader shank Mikhail Bakunins (for example in the Dresden the May rebellion 1849 in Saxonia was considerably involved), in its substantial philosophical developments ina socialist and communist direction, and represented the interests of the revolutionary workers' movement. Into the early 1870er years escalated the conflict between the trailers of Karl Marx and those Mikhail Bakunins in the first international one (international worker association), andit came to splitting the revolutionary-socialist movement into an anarchist and in a marxist manner - communist development.

Empire to 1918

the German progress party, which was based 1861, was the first political party of Germany in the today's sense, also in a party program formulated politicalGoals. These aligned themselves at the traditional liberalism. To the Prussian condition conflict into the 1860er years still came it between 1866 and 1868 before the establishment of the German empire to most substantial splitting of the party-politically organized German liberalism, the effects toin arguments of the present has. The two largest and most important follow-up parties of the German progress party in the time of the German empire were:

  • the national liberal a party, based 1866/1867. It supported the government politics of Bismarck and the supremacy of Prussia in the realm, favored inProcess of the realm agreement therefore a smallGerman solution (without Austria), and developed very fast in a conservative direction, in which the unit and liberty of the nation had priority before democratic liberty rights. The latters stepped with the national liberals increasingly into the background.The national liberal a party was long time the strongest parliamentary group in Reichstag of the empire and cooperated with the conservative party of the realm chancellor. After that 1. World war disintegrated the national liberal a party. Their largest part went to that in the German people's party (DVP) Weimar ones Republic up.

Witharising the social-democracy the liberals had to divide gradually their influence as coining/shaping political Kraft with the socialists - and, related to the Wählerpotenzial - to beginning 20. Century to it deliver. The realm government became however inEmpire still of the emperor determines and not from the parliament selected. The by the majority government-faithful national liberals found to more consideration than the link liberals or the Social Democrats, who were regarded and treated in the time of the German monarchy long time as public enemies.

Weimar one Republic and time of the national socialism: the liberals played

1918 to 1945 with the establishment of the Weimar Republic after the November revolution beside the Social Democrats and the center again a relatively important role in the parliamentary party spectrum. After that 1. World war were basedagain two parties, from the left and/or. right liberals parties of the Kaiser era came out: the German democratic party (strip packing) and the German people's party (DVP). Despite same name stood the latter with the DtVP of the empire in no contentwise connection.

The left liberal of strip packingwas involved together with the SPD and the center in the so-called Weimar coalition, the first government of the Weimar Republic in the years 1919 and 1920. After 1920 it had to constantly accept voice losses from choice to choice. -On the other hand the right liberal DVP was involved after 1920 many years in different governments.

While the strip packing represented one rather social liberal politics and supported the republic from the outset, there were those in the DVP, to its largest part from thatthe monarchy supporting national liberal a party (NLP) had come out, a strong republic-hostile parliamentary group. The small „links “wings of the NLP was 1918 in the strip packing changed, „right nationalistic “- the völkische wing into the German national people's party (DNVP).

The DVP placed after 1920 with Gustav Stresemann, which applies until today asprototype “ of a material politician, and who help the German Reich after the 1.Weltkrieg again to a relative reputation abroad, over several years the minister of foreign affairs of the Weimar Republic, and 1923 for fewMonths in a multi-party coalition briefly the realm chancellor. It stood according to own statement „for reason reasons “behind the republic and reconciled the party with the democratic system of government, had however in the Industriellen Hugo Stinnes an important internal-party adversary. AfterStresemanns death (1929) drifted the DVP fast to the right to off up to the tolerance and finally support of rechtsdikatorischen contents of the völkischen parties DNVP and NSDAP.

The strip packing united 1930 after violent internal-party arguments with outthe bündischen tradition coming people-national realm combination, more well-known under the name “young-German medal “and designated itself over into German state party. Thus it followed the nationalistic trend of the time increasingly in the end that Weimar Republic crisis-vibrated, to thisTime in the reason had already actually failed. Under this development nearly the entire left wing withdrew from the party, among them also the Pazifist and Nobel peace prize carrier of 1927, Ludwig Quidde. This left wing of the former strip packing basedthe short-lived radical-democratic party, which remained politically unsuccessful however in the last years of the republic.

In the time of the national socialism also the liberalism applied as if verfemt. The appropriate parties were forbidden like all other democratically legitimized parties, if themdid not dissolve. Many, above all left liberals were pursued, if they did not adapt to the system, politically or saw themselves forced to the emigration.

Into the present apply among other personalities such as Friedrich Naumann, max of webers, Roll ago Rathenau, Gustav Stresemann, Hugo Preuss, Reinhold Maier, Theodor Heuss, Ludwig Quidde as Protagonisten of the classical liberalism, although into very different and last end partial opposite political developments.

Federal Republic of Germany: End of the 1940er yearsto presence

after that 2. The representatives of the political liberalism united world war still before the establishment of the Federal Republic of Germany again in a party: the FDP. She was among other things with Thomas's Dehler, Erich Mende, walter cross-eyed, Hans Dietrich Genscher and Klaus Kinkel at different Federal Governments both in a coalition with the CDU/CSU and with the SPD takes part. It was third, and/or. from 1994 to 2005 fourth-strongest Kraft under the parties represented in the Bundestag.With Theodor Heuss placed the FDP from 1949 to 1959 to the first Federals President of the Federal Republic of Germany and with walter cross-eyed from 1974 to 1979 fourth.

For the 1990er years came also from the own rows (e.g. of that rather“) The criticism strengthens party-left ” Sabine Leutheusser Schnarrenberger , Burkhard deer, Gerhart tree and other one up that liberals principles within the range of the citizen rights played a too small role and restaurant economics and/or. neoliberale objectives dominated. Leutheusser Schnarrenberger stepped 1996 from protest against thatat the time at that time of their party „“of their office as a Federal Secretary of Justice in the CDU/CSU FDP coalition among Federal Chancellors Helmut Kohl endorsed large wire-tapping back.

The attempts of Jürgen Möllemann before the election to the Bundestag 2002 with polarizing tapers, it the reproachthe Antisemitismus registered to win new voters for the FDP contributed to the fact that prominent member „of the left liberal of “wing of the party, as for instance Hildegard Hamm Brücher withdrew , 2002 from the FDP.

On the Federal Party Congress of the FDP 2005 in Colognecalm resolutions to the citizen right politics contain among other things the refusal of large wire-tapping, surface covering video monitoring and biometric passport. In economic area it demands a fundamental tax revision, a reform of the social security, the introduction of a citizen money as well as a Entbürokratisierung thatEconomics with the goal of promoting growth and of creating thus jobs.

After the election to the Bundestag 2005 the FDP under its leading candidate Guido Westerwelle with 9,8% of the votes became and/or. After 61 mandates the CDU/CSU and the SPD againto the third-strongest parliamentary group in 16. German Bundestag selected.

Experienced liberalism in

Austria also in Austria the liberals in the second half 19. Century (after 1860) and placed an upswing an important parliamentary group in the parliament. So itself slowly those could Denomination liberty, emancipation of the Jews and the separation from school and church implement. All of this against resistances of the emperor and the conservative animal oiler delegate vebündeten with it.

In the Republic of Austria there - with small exceptions - was long timeno independent liberal a party. Also after the Second World War no political party could hold itself in the long term, which exclusively the goals of the liberalism would have been obligated; the few representatives of the political liberalism closed others, actually non-liberals and strongly budgetisticParties on, the ÖVP, the SPÖ or the Greens. 1949 were formed the “federation of the independent ones” (VdU), which a liberal wings had, but faced this a much weightier “national” wing, its members mostly old Nazisand those were liberal representative rapidly actually marginalisierten or from the party pushed. The same applies also to the follow-up party of the VdU, not only, renamed into a “liberal party of Austria “(FPÖ), since then for 1986 the right-populist Jörg Haider party chairmanthe FPÖ had become. Only 1993 developed as splitting off of the FPÖ with the liberal forum around heath Schmidt again one explicitly liberal a party. This could hold itself until 1999 in the Austrian parliament; with the elections 1999 and 2002 failed ithowever to the 4-Prozent-Klausel.

Liberalism in Switzerland

the liberal movement developed in that aristokratisch, urban and oligarchisch already governed old confederation during the clearing-up in circles of the disadvantaged land aristocracy and the education middle class. After 1814 it came also in thatSwitzerland to a conservative aristokratischen restoration. In particular the equalization of the rural and urban elite was in many places recalled. For this reason the liberal was movement, itself as a defense of the achievements franz. Revolution saw, particularly under the recent rural eliterepresent strongly. The new liberal movement organized itself in singing and contactor associations as well as read companies. The movement disintegrated into liberal (freeintimate) and radicals. The latters demanded likewise the liberals of liberty rights, wanted however large also the census right to vote by a general, free man right to votereplace and a radical separation of the feudalen basic loads achieve. In addition radicals were also ready to intersperse their ideas with force. In different cantons of Switzerland it came to the July revolution 1830 to radical Umstürzen, the so-called. „Regeneration “. Approximatelyradicals 1844/45 the so-called organized the conservative canton Luzern.Free crowd courses. The special federation war 1847 brought the victory to the liberal also on national level. The Swiss Federal Constitution of 1848 was clearly liberally coined/shaped. The Swiss Federal State developed again was in itsBeginnings politically completely of the free-intimate movement dominates. After 1847 became often radical and free intimate in the German linguistic area and/or. liberally meaning uses. Usually the liberals stood politically rather right, for radicals or freeintimate rather center left. Between 1860 and1870 sat down as third liberals Kraft the so-called. Democratic movement for the people choice of the authorities and for the introduction of initiative and referendum, partly against the dominating free-intimate movement. The different groupings of the liberals movement became 1894largest part in the freesense-industrial union-democratic party (FDP) combines. Besides existed still today particularly in the Protestant cantons of the Western part of Switzerland and in Basel an embodied, strongly föderalistische liberals party of Switzerland (LPS), which found however never national spreading.

Liberalism inItaly

also in Italy had the liberalism in 19. Century its large time under king Viktor Emanuel II. and Camillo Cavour, which takes part Piemont Sardinien from 1852 to 1861 as an Prime Minister of the kingdom considerably in the agreement of Italywas.

Its liberal Antiklerikalismus determined also the condition of the Kingdom of Italy (1861 - 1946). Up to the entrance of the conservative Partito Popolare (people's party) of Don Luigi Sturzo into the political landscape 1919 different liberals parties placed the majority in the parliament to thatItalian monarchy.

In the republic Italy became the political discourse of the fight between conservative Christian democrat (DC) and the communist party of Italy determines. Two (usually in the government took part) liberals parties (PLI and PRI ) existed,from the shade large DC to however never step out could. Up-to-date the liberalism in Italy plays a rather insignificant role, if necessary the radicals a party with the former European Union clerk sarin Emma Bonino could certain respect successes obtain, e.g. with the European choice 1999. Also Vittorio Sgarbi, of the conservative house of the liberties created a liberal a party, which co-operates with the PRI. The PRI, radicals and two further parties belongs the ELDR and their delegates is members of the ALDE.In the liberal international one is represented the Federazione dei Liberali as observers.


the pure form of the economic liberalism is called the laissez-faire, also Manchester liberalism. Under the impression of the world economic crisis John placed May pool of broadcasting corporations Keynes (* 1883, † 1946) above all this economic laissez-faire infrage. It was the opinion that the state must intervene with break-downs relating to market conditions actively, in order to replace missing private demand by national demand. Others see herein a damaging market distortion in favor of the enterprises, ofprofit to the national demand and leads also without financing by borrowing to future financial tax burdens of small enterprises.

From the nature-legal derivation of the private property catches fire a criticism, which analyzes this nature term of the natural state. Such a condition proves on closer inspection than Fiction, since on the one hand for example soil was worked on always sometime by someone, thus therefore property would on the other hand be, in addition, verwildern and to weather can, and thus to a natural state to return could, which waives the eigentumsrechlichen effects of the treatment again. Inpractice result from so a nature-legal derivation of the vested title always that that, which is in the possession of something is to also remain this, easily analyzing concrete social conditions. In consequence from this criticism property obligates after thatGerman Basic Law for the attention of the public interest.

Both fascism (and national socialism) and communism fought the political liberalism as one of their main enemies.

Already Karl Marx had its writing the capital as criticism of the political economics of the liberalismformulated.

Important liberals

forerunners and Wegbereiter As forerunners and Wegbereiter John Lilburne ( 1614 - 1657) can, John curl (1632 - 1704) and with restrictions the liberal reconnaissance aircraft Montesquieu (1689 - 1755) be considered.

died 1789 ago:

died 1815 ago:

died 1848 ago

died 1871 ago

died 1900 ago

died 1918 ago:

died before 1933

died 1945 ago

died 1968 ago

died 1989 ago

died after 1989

still living

see also

Wikiquote: Liberalism - quotations


classical author

modern trend

Web on the left of

Wiktionary: Liberalism - word origin, synonyms and translations



  > German to English > (Machine translated into English)