Western Civilization Class

Classical Liberalism

Classical liberalism is an ideology that started to form in the late 18th century and fully developed in the 19th century. Unlike modern liberals in the US today, classical liberalists believed in the freedom of speech and of the press, in the protection of private property, and in religious liberty. They also believed in a laissez-faire (free-market) economy and, most importantly, in individual liberty and in a limited government. Some examples of classical liberalists are Alexis de Tocqueville, Benjamin Constant, J. B. Say, Frédéric Bastiat, and Thomas Jefferson.

The classical liberalists would say that “unreasonable searches and seizures”[1] by the government would be a violation of one’s rights. Also, if the government takes away any of your property without due process, that act would be against your freedom to hold property. The classical liberalists believed in the right to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness. They believed that these rights were not to be tampered with by the government.

[1] The 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. 
“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
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