Encyclopedia > Conservative

  Article Content


A Conservative is a person holding to the political beliefs characterized as conservative or conservatism. Generally opposed to liberal or socialist. The modern split between conservative and liberal can be traced back to the English Civil War and the French Revolution. Broadly speaking, the predecessors of the conservatives tended to be opposed to the revolution and changes in the monarchy, and thus in favor of the status quo, and conversely for the predecessors to the liberals. Early conservative thinkers included Edmund Burke who argued forcefully against the French Revolution.

In general, conservatives can be said to be supporters of limited government regulation in the economic sphere, and of the nuclear family in personal life. There will be an emphasis on patrotism.

Although conservativism shares a common historical root, the beliefs of different conservatives have diverges so that it is difficult to state what constitutes conservative doctrine except in the very broadest terms, and different conservatives will often strongly disagree among themselves.

Conservatives in different nations For instance, in the United States, most persons who call themselves conservatives believe strongly in the Second Amendment and are deeply opposed to gun control. In many other industrialized democracies, guns are strictly regulated - in Japan and the United Kingdom, it is extremely difficult for a private citizen to own firearms, and the conservative movements of those countries do not generally make changing these laws a major priority. It is likely that most conservatives in those countries would actively oppose a movement to make gun ownership as unregulated as it is in the USA.

In non democratic nations, conservatives may be the advocates of the existing non-democratic government. For example, in China the conservatives are the leading Communist party officials, while in Iran the conservatives are the hardline Islamic fudamentalists.

In Latin America, conservatives traditionally aligned with the Roman Catholic Church, against separation of church and state, against extending voting rights to decendants of Native Americans, and against public education. As in the USA and many other parts of the world, during the 20th century mainstream conservatives gradually moved their positions to closer to that of the traditional liberals. In Latin America, with the more liberal clergy of the post Vatican II era, conservatives are less strictly aligned with the Church, but continue to afirm what they consider traditional Catholic values.

Conservative goals can vary not only between countries, but in the same country over time. Many conservatives in the USA once supported enforced racial segregation, but no mainstream conservative today would advocate this position.

Although some conservatives generally today agree on the value of free markets and reducing regulation (although to a much lesser extent than favored by libertarians), there is great disagreement on moral questions. Many conservatives feel it is proper for government to take strong actions against homosexuality, abortion, and drug abuse. Other conservatives are concerned that such actions constitute unwarranted intrusion on personal freedom.

See also

External links and references

  • LibertyForums (http://www.libertyforums.com/) - Classical Liberal, Libertarian & Objectivist Discussion Board
  • Chronicles Magazine (http://www.chroniclesmagazine.org)

All Wikipedia text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

  Search Encyclopedia

Search over one million articles, find something about almost anything!
  Featured Article

... Iguaçu[?] falls, the Rio Negro, São Francisco[?], Xingu, Madeira and the Tapajós[?] rivers. Situated along the equator, Brazil's climate is predominantly tropical[?], ...

This page was created in 31.3 ms