The Influence of Conservatism, Liberalism and Nationalism in Europe in the Period 1815-1848
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The years between 1815-1830 saw the rise of a number of related and competing ideologies, each holding a powerful influence in their own time. That influence often extended well into the future, continuing to the present day. Largely, these ideologies were reactions to or products of Enlightenment thinking, although they all went in a variety of different directions. Conservatism, Liberalism and Nationalism had great impact on European society and reflected new radical ideas and principles of the different classes (e.g. bourgeoisie, monarchy). Many of the new movements dealt with ideas that had been around for a while; but it was only in this period that the ideas gained formal, coherent structure.
Conservatism sprung as a reactionary philosophy/ideology supporting monarchy and the old ways. Driven by Edmund Burke, who had been horrified by the French Revolution, Conservatism introduced a new concept, one that argued for prudent and gradual change to be made as slowly as possible.
Conservatives advocated belief in faith over reason, tradition over free inquiry, hierarchy over equality, collective values over individualism, and divine or natural law over secular law. Conservatism in society emphasized the merits of the status quo and endorsed the prevailing distribution of power, wealth, and social standing.
Liberalism in the early 19th century can't quite be compared to liberalism found today. In fact, much of what was liberal in the 19th century (free trade, keeping government out of business) is today considered conservative.
Beginning in Spain and France during the 1820s, liberalism soon spread to England. Consisting of businessmen and professionals, the liberals wanted modern,...