Conservatism in North America

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Conservatism in North America is a political philosophy that varies in form, depending on the country and the region, but that has similar themes and goals. Academic study into the differences and similarities between conservatism in North American countries has been undertaken on numerous occasions. Reginald Bibby has asserted that the primary reason that conservatism has been so strong and enduring throughout North America is because of the propagation of religious values from generation to generation. This connection is strongest in mainstream Protestantism in the United States and both Protestantism and Roman Catholicism in Canada. [1]

Reginald Bibby Canadian sociologist

Reginald Wayne Bibby, is a Canadian sociologist. He has held the Board of Governors Research Chair in the Department of Sociology at the University of Lethbridge since 2001.

Protestantism Division within Christianity, originating from the Reformation in the 16th century against the Roman Catholic Church, that rejects the Roman Catholic doctrines of papal supremacy and sacraments

Protestantism is the second largest form of Christianity with collectively between 800 million and more than 900 million adherents worldwide or nearly 40% of all Christians. It originated with the 16th century Reformation, a movement against what its followers perceived to be errors in the Roman Catholic Church. Protestants reject the Roman Catholic doctrine of papal supremacy and sacraments, but disagree among themselves regarding the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. They emphasize the priesthood of all believers, justification by faith alone rather than by good works, and the highest authority of the Bible alone in faith and morals. The "five solae" summarise basic theological differences in opposition to the Roman Catholic Church.

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According to Louis Hartz, nations that developed from settler colonies were European "fragments" that froze the class structure and underlying ideology prevalent in the mother country at the time of their foundation. He considered Latin America and French Canada to be fragments of feudal Europe, and the United States and English Canada as liberal fragments. [2] However Gad Horowitz, writing that Hartz had acknowledged a Tory influence in English Canada, claimed a conservative tradition had developed there as well. [3] American conservatism is different from European conservatism, with its combination of traditionalism and libertarianism, and has its roots in American traditions and classical liberalism of the 18th and 19th centuries, [4] although Canada also developed an American-style conservatism that competed with the older Tory conservatism. [5] A right-wing conservatism, or "Latin conservatism", developed in Latin America and Quebec. Today, conservative and conservative liberal parties in North America cooperate through the International Democrat Union. [6]

Louis Hartz was an American political scientist and influential liberal proponent of the idea of American exceptionalism.

Gad Horowitz is a Canadian political scientist. He is a professor emeritus at the University of Toronto.

Traditionalist conservatism, also known as classical conservatism and traditional conservatism, is a political philosophy or ideology emphasizing the need for the principles of a transcendent moral order, manifested through certain natural laws to which society ought to conform in a prudent manner. Shortened to traditionalism and in the United Kingdom and Canada referred to as Toryism, traditionalist conservatism is a variant of conservatism based on the political philosophies of Aristotle and Edmund Burke. Traditionalists emphasize the bonds of social order and the defense of ancestral institutions over what it considers excessive individualism.

Canada

Conservatism in Canada is generally considered to be primarily represented by the modern-day Conservative Party of Canada in federal party politics, and by various centre-right and right-wing parties at the provincial level. The first party calling itself "Conservative" in what would become Canada was elected in the Province of Canada election of 1854.

Conservatism in Canada

Conservatism in Canada is generally considered to be primarily represented by the modern-day Conservative Party of Canada in federal party politics, and by various centre-right and right-wing parties at the provincial level. The first party calling itself "Conservative" in what would become Canada was elected in the Province of Canada election of 1854.

Conservative Party of Canada political party in Canada founded in 2003

The Conservative Party of Canada, colloquially known as the Tories, is a federal political party in Canada. It was formed in 2003 from the multiple right-wing parties which had existed in Canada for over a century, historically grouped into two camps, "Red Tories" and "Blue Tories". The party sits at the centre-right to the right-wing of the Canadian political spectrum, with the Liberal Party of Canada positioned to the center-left. Like their federal Liberal rivals, the party is defined as a "big tent", welcoming a broad variety of members. The party's leader is Andrew Scheer, who serves as Leader of the Official Opposition.

Right-wing politics hold that certain social orders and hierarchies are inevitable, natural, normal, or desirable, typically supporting this position on the basis of natural law, economics, or tradition. Hierarchy and inequality may be viewed as natural results of traditional social differences or the competition in market economies. The term right-wing can generally refer to "the conservative or reactionary section of a political party or system".

Far-right politics have never been a prominent force in Canadian society. [7] Canadian conservative ideology is rooted in British "Tory-ism", rather than American liberalism. [8] [9] Stemming from the resettlement of United Empire Loyalist after the American Revolutionary War with traditionalist conservatism views alongside pro-market liberalism ideals, [10] [8] is the reason that unlike the conservatives in the United States, Canadian conservatives generally prefer the Westminster system of government. [11] [8] The United States of America is a federal republic, while Canada is a federal parliamentary democracy with a constitutional monarchy.

Far-right politics are politics further on the right of the left-right spectrum than the standard political right, particularly in terms of extreme nationalism, nativist ideologies, and authoritarian tendencies.

Tory A conservative political philosophy

A Tory is a person who holds a political philosophy known as Toryism, based on a British version of traditionalism and conservatism, which upholds the supremacy of social order as it has evolved in the English culture throughout history. The Tory ethos has been summed up with the phrase "God, Queen, and Country". Tories generally advocate monarchism, and were historically of a high church Anglican religious heritage, opposed to the liberalism of the Whig faction.

United Empire Loyalist British Loyalists who resettled in British North America and other British Colonies

United Empire Loyalists is an honorific which was first given by the 1st Lord Dorchester, the Governor of Quebec, and Governor-General of the Canadas, to American Loyalists who resettled in British North America during or after the American Revolution. The Loyalists were also referred to informally as the "King's Loyal Americans". At the time, the demonym Canadian or Canadien was used to refer to the indigenous First Nations groups and the French settlers inhabiting the Province of Quebec.

United States

Conservatism is a major political ideology in the United States. American conservatism is different from European conservatism, and it has its roots in American Republicanism and classical liberalism. In contemporary American politics, it is usually associated with the Republican Party. Core conservative principles include small government, respect for American traditions, support for Judeo-Christian values, traditional morality, and anti-Communism. Economically, U.S. conservatives support fiscal conservatism, economic liberalism, laissez faire capitalism, and opposition to government intervention in economy. In foreign policy, American conservatives usually advocate a strong national defense. They support the doctrine of "American exceptionalism", a belief that the U.S. is unique among nations and that its standing and actions do and should guide the course of world history.

Republicanism in the United States Political philosophy of individual liberty and representative democracy

Modern republicanism is a guiding political philosophy of the United States that has been a major part of American civic thought since its founding. It stresses liberty and unalienable individual rights as central values, making people sovereign as a whole; rejects monarchy, aristocracy and inherited political power, expects citizens to be virtuous and faithful in their performance of civic duties, and vilifies corruption. American republicanism was articulated and first practiced by the Founding Fathers in the 18th century. For them, "republicanism represented more than a particular form of government. It was a way of life, a core ideology, an uncompromising commitment to liberty, and a total rejection of aristocracy."

Classical liberalism is a political ideology and a branch of liberalism which advocates civil liberties under the rule of law with an emphasis on economic freedom. Closely related to economic liberalism, it developed in the early 19th century, building on ideas from the previous century as a response to urbanisation and to the Industrial Revolution in Europe and the United States. Notable individuals whose ideas contributed to classical liberalism include John Locke, Jean-Baptiste Say, and David Ricardo. It drew on the classical economic ideas espoused by Adam Smith in Book One of The Wealth of Nations and on a belief in natural law, utilitarianism and progress. The term classical liberalism has often been applied in retrospect to distinguish earlier 19th-century liberalism from social liberalism.

Republican Party (United States) Major political party in the United States

The Republican Party, also referred to as the GOP, is one of the two major political parties in the United States; the other is its historic rival, the Democratic Party.

Although there has always been a conservative tradition in America, the modern American conservative movement began during the 1950s. Russell Kirk popularized conservatism in 1953; published The Conservative Mind. Two years later, in 1955, William F. Buckley Jr. founded National Review , a conservative magazine that included traditionalists, such as Kirk, along with libertarians and anti-communists. This bringing together of separate ideologies under a conservative umbrella was known as fusionism. The term was invented by Frank Meyer. Politically, the conservative movement in the U.S. has often been a coalition of various groups, which has sometimes contributed to its electoral success and other times been a source of internal conflict.

Russell Kirk American political theorist and writer

Russell Amos Kirk was an American political theorist, moralist, historian, social critic, and literary critic, known for his influence on 20th-century American conservatism. His 1953 book The Conservative Mind gave shape to the amorphous post–World War II conservative movement. It traced the development of conservative thought in the Anglo-American tradition, giving special importance to the ideas of Edmund Burke. Kirk was considered the chief proponent of traditionalist conservatism. He was also an accomplished author of Gothic and ghost story fiction.

William F. Buckley Jr. American conservative author and commentator

William Frank Buckley Jr. was an American public intellectual and conservative author and commentator. In 1955, Buckley founded National Review, a magazine that stimulated the conservative movement in the late-20th century United States. Buckley hosted 1,429 episodes of the public affairs television show Firing Line (1966–1999), the longest-running public affairs show in US television history with a single host, where he became known for his distinctive idiolect and wide vocabulary.

<i>National Review</i> American conservative editorial magazine

National Review is an American semi-monthly editorial magazine focusing on news and commentary pieces on political, social, and cultural affairs. The magazine was founded by the author William F. Buckley Jr. in 1955. It is currently edited by Rich Lowry.

Modern conservatism saw its first national political success with the 1964 nomination of Barry Goldwater, a U.S. Senator from Arizona and author of The Conscience of a Conservative (1960), as the Republican candidate for president. In 1980, the conservative movement was able to attract disaffected Southern Whites (who were formerly Democrats), neoconservatives (former Cold War liberal Democrats), and evangelical Christians, to nominate and elect the Republican candidate Ronald Reagan, a conservative, as president. The 1980s and beyond is known as the Reagan Era, a conservative decade. Today's conservatives regard Reagan as the iconic conservative hero. Subsequent electoral victories included gaining a Republican congressional majority in 1994 and the election of George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004.

The conservative movement has been advanced by influential think tanks such as The Heritage Foundation, American Enterprise Institute, Hoover Institution, Hudson Institute and Manhattan Institute for Policy Research. Major media outlets such as The Wall Street Journal , New York Post and Fox News are often described as conservative.

Since the 1970s, the two major American political parties, the Democrats and the Republicans, have become increasingly polarized, with the Democrats described as "liberal" and "left wing" and the Republicans as "conservative" and "right wing". The alt-right has pushed the Overton window to the right, [12] making conservative positions seem more centrist. [13] [14] [15]

Mexico

In Mexico, political conservatism originally arose in reaction to the Mexican War of Independence. Because of his prominence in the Mexican Conservative Party, Lucas Alamán has been called "the most organized intelligence behind Conservatism in Mexico." [16] Throughout the presidency of Miguel Alemán Valdés between 1946 and 1983, the politics of the country experienced a significant shift towards conservatism. [17] Gastón García Cantú has performed the most extensive study of Mexican conservatism to date. [18]

Central America

Before the 1930s, Central American countries generally had dichotomous politics divided along conservative-liberal lines, but the effects of the Great Depression in the area caused most of these opposing parties to merge in order to maintain authority. [19] Traditionally, political conservatism in the area has been ideologically linked with Protestantism, but this connection has been questioned in recent years. [20] One of the most prominent historical representatives of conservatism in Central America was Rafael Carrera, the first President of Guatemala. Not only did he effectively suppress liberal reforms in his own country, but he contributed greatly to the unity and influence of conservatism in each of the countries throughout Central America. [21]

Belize

Belize is generally a conservative country as demonstrated by their laws which make abortion and male homosexuality illegal. [22] The primary conservative party in Belize since the country's first parliamentary election as an independent state in 1984 has been the United Democratic Party. [23] Nonetheless, the other major political party, the People's United Party, has a very similar political ideology. Historically, both parties have tended to be more conservative while in power than when in opposition. [24]

Guatemala

Conservatism in Guatemala has always been closely linked with the country's Roman Catholic clergy. [25] Between the declaration of Guatemala's independence in 1821 and the Liberal Revolution of 1871, the country's politics were dominated by conservatism. [26] In the mid-twentieth century, Francisco Javier Arana served as a unifying force for conservatives in Guatemala after his own presidency. [27]

Panama

When Panama was separated from Colombia in 1903, the newly independent country of Panama was initially controlled by a military junta led by José Agustín Arango and Manuel Amador Guerrero. Although the junta included a few token liberal members, the administration was heavily conservative. [28] Politics in the country were strongly divided along conservative-liberal lines in the following years. [29] Conservatives were in power until a military coup in 1968. [30]

Caribbean

The main conservative political body in the Caribbean is the Caribbean Democrat Union (CDU) which was formed in 1986 by Anglo-Caribbean leaders to unify conservative political parties in the region. [31] The CDP is a suborganization of the International Democrat Union (IDU). [32] In Beyond a Boundary , C. L. R. James argues that the influence of cricket and English literature have been instrumental in strengthening conservativism in the Caribbean. [33]

Cuba

In the early 20th century, the concept of conservatism was not well-defined in Cuban politics. [34] In 1913, Mario García Menocal became the third President of Cuba and the first Cuban president representing the Conservative Party of Cuba when the Liberal Party of Cuba split between supporters of Alfredo Zayas y Alfonso and supporters of José Miguel Gómez. [35] Still, the conservative-liberal distinction fails to address many of the major political issues in Cuban governmental history. [36]

Study of concept

A 2002 conference at the University of Augsburg which was dedicated to this very topic. [37] There were two main concepts discussed at the conference. The first concept was the connection between the brand of conservatism arising in the 1980s and the 1990s and social democracy. The second concept was simply an exploration of the differences and similarities between conservatism in Canada and the United States. Some feminist scholars have suggested that the prevalence of conservatism throughout North America has resulted in the continent's general post-feminist stance. [38]

See also

Related Research Articles

History of Central America aspect of history

The history of Central America is the study of the region known as Central America.

Social conservatism is the belief that society is built upon a fragile network of relationships which need to be upheld through duty, traditional values and established institutions. This can include moral issues. Social conservatism is generally skeptical of social change, and believes in maintaining the status quo concerning social issues such as family life, sexual relations, and patriotism.

Christian democracy is a political ideology that emerged in nineteenth-century Europe under the influence of Catholic social teaching, as well as Neo-Calvinism. Christian democratic political ideology advocates for a commitment to social market principles and qualified interventionism. It was conceived as a combination of modern democratic ideas and traditional Christian values, incorporating the social teachings espoused by the Catholic, Lutheran, Reformed, and Pentecostal traditions in various parts of the world. After World War II, the Protestant and Catholic movements of the Social Gospel and Neo-Thomism, respectively, played a role in shaping Christian democracy. Christian democracy continues to be influential in Europe and Latin America, although it is also present in other parts of the world.

Venstre, full name Venstre, Danmarks Liberale Parti, is a conservative-liberal, agrarian political party in Denmark. Founded as part of a peasants' movement against the landed aristocracy, today it espouses an economically liberal pro-free market ideology.

A political moderate is a person in the center category of the left–right political spectrum.

Social liberalism, also known as modern liberalism in the United States and left liberalism in Germany, is a political ideology and a variety of liberalism that endorses a regulated market economy and the expansion of civil and political rights. A social liberal government is expected to address economic and social issues such as poverty, health care, education and the climate using government intervention whilst also emphasising the rights and autonomy of the individual. Under social liberalism, the common good is viewed as harmonious with the freedom of the individual. Social liberal policies have been widely adopted in much of the capitalist world. Social liberal ideas and parties tend to be considered centrist or centre-left. In the United States, current political usage of the term social liberalism describes progressivism or cultural liberalism as opposed to social conservatism or cultural conservatism. A social liberal in this sense may hold either more interventionist or liberal views on fiscal policy.

Liberal conservatism is a political ideology combining conservative policies with liberal stances, especially on economic, social and ethical issues, or a brand of political conservatism strongly influenced by liberalism.

This article gives information on liberalism worldwide. It is an overview of parties that adhere to some form of liberalism and is therefore a list of liberal parties around the world.

Conservatism in the United States Conservatism in the United States

Conservatism in the United States is a broad system of political beliefs in the United States that is characterized by respect for American traditions, republicanism, support for Judeo-Christian values, moral universalism, pro-business and anti-labor, anti-communism, individualism, advocacy of American exceptionalism, and a defense of Western culture from the perceived threats posed by socialism, authoritarianism, and moral relativism. Liberty is a core value, as it is with all major American parties. American conservatives consider individual liberty—within the bounds of American values—as the fundamental trait of democracy; this perspective contrasts with that of modern American liberals, who generally place a greater value on equality and social justice and emphasize the need for state intervention to achieve these goals. American conservatives believe in limiting government in size and scope, and in a balance between national government and states' rights. Apart from some libertarians, they tend to favor strong action in areas they believe to be within government's legitimate jurisdiction, particularly national defense and law enforcement. Social conservatives oppose abortion and same-sex marriage, while privileging traditional marriage and supporting Christian prayer in public schools.

Conservative liberalism is a variant of liberalism, combining liberal values and policies with conservative stances, or simply representing the right-wing of the liberal movement. It is a more positive and less radical variant of classical liberalism. Conservative liberal parties tend to combine liberal policies with more traditional stances on social and ethical issues. Neoconservatism has also been identified as an ideological relative or twin to conservative liberalism, and some similarities exist also between conservative liberalism and national liberalism.

National conservatism is a variant of conservatism common in Europe and Asia that concentrates on upholding national and cultural identity.

Fiscal conservatism political ideology

Fiscal conservatism, also referred to as conservative economics or economic conservatism, is a political-economic philosophy regarding fiscal policy and fiscal responsibility advocating low taxes, reduced government spending and minimal government debt. Free trade, deregulation of the economy, lower taxes and privatization are the defining qualities of fiscal conservatism. Fiscal conservatism follows the same philosophical outlook of classical liberalism and economic liberalism. The term has its origins in the era of the New Deal during the 1930s as a result of the policies initiated by reform or modern liberals, when many classical liberals started calling themselves conservatives as they did not wish to be identified with what was passing for liberalism.

Political ideologies in the United States

Political ideologies in the United States refers to the various ideologies and ideological demographics in the United States. Citizens in the United States generally classify themselves as adherent to positions along the political spectrum as either liberal, progressive, moderate, or conservative. Modern American liberalism aims at the preservation and extension of human, social and civil rights as well as the government guaranteed provision of positive rights. It combines social progressivism and to some extent ordoliberalism and is highly similar to European social liberalism. American conservatism commonly refers to a combination of economic liberalism and libertarianism and social conservatism. It aims at protecting the concepts of small government and individual liberty while promoting traditional values on some social issues.

Conservatism in Australia

Conservatism in Australia refers to the political philosophy of conservatism as it has developed in Australia. Politics in Australia has since at least the 1910s been most predominantly a contest between the Australian labour movement and the combined forces of anti-Labour groups. The anti-Labour groups have at times identified themselves as "free trade", as "nationalist", as "anti-communist", as "liberal", “right of centre”, besides other labels. Until the 1990s, the label "conservative" has rarely been used in Australia, and when used it tended to be used by pro-Labour forces as a term of disparagement against their opponents.

National liberalism is a variant of liberalism, combining liberal policies and issues with elements of nationalism and/or a term used to describe a series of European political parties that have been especially active in the 19th century in several national contexts such as Central Europe, the Nordic countries and Southeast Europe.

Index of Central America-related articles

This is an Index of Central America-related articles. This index defines Central America as the seven nations of Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama.

Centrism describes a political outlook or specific position

In politics, centrism—the centre or the center —is a political outlook or specific position that involves acceptance or support of a balance of a degree of social equality and a degree of social hierarchy, while opposing political changes which would result in a significant shift of society strongly to either the left or the right.

References

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  2. The Founding of New Societies: Studies in the History of the United States, Latin America, South Africa, Canada, and Australia (1964), Louis Hartz
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  4. Political ideology today (2001), Ian Adams, p. 32
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  38. Rhoda Reddock (1999). Feminism and Feminist Thought: A Historical Overview. Gender in Caribbean Development: Papers Presented at the Inaugural Seminar of the University of the West Indies, Women and Development Studies Project. Canoe Press. p. 72. ISBN   978-976-8125-55-2. "The rise of conservatism in North America and Western Europe has been a severe challenge to the movement there and many argue that these countries are in a phase of post-feminism."