Classical liberalism is a political belief, which endorses civil liberties and political rights in the society. It champions economic liberty, and fairness in the rule of law. It was established in Europe and the United States in the 19th century. It emphasizes on a particular type of community, government and public rules as a reply to the growth of industries and urbanization. Some of the contributors to the ideology of classical liberalism include John Locke, Jean-Baptiste, Thomas Malthus and David Ricardo. Classical liberals, especially Thomas Hobbes, believed that governments were established to prevent people from harming each other, and the government was obliged to reduce cases that would lead to a state of nature among citizens.
Classical republicanism, on the other hand, emphasized the issues that the government would establish by agreement with the public. If the government acted contrary to the motives of the public, the society had the freedom to form a new regime. Thomas Paine, a republican in America, supported a representative form of governance, as it was more transparent than a monarchy; also, it was more visible to most if not all citizens (Study.com).
A good example of classical republicans is the Radical Whigs, who wanted the government to be prohibited from exercising powers beyond what was granted to it (Birzer). The public was authorized to remove any leader or regime that went against this consent. The public was now eligible to make their government. The Whigs ensured that the established government put into consideration the citizens’ welfare. Republicanism was influential in England, especially during the glorious revolution dating the 1680s. The capacity of the legislature grew during this period, and it could preview the powers of the kings (Study.com).
Glorious revolution, correspondingly, came out with a Bill of Human Rights that safeguarded the different types of the people’s rights. The main themes which were highlighted include individualism, agreement, the idea of the rule of law, regimes as trustees, the importance of assets, and religious liberty. Those themes were identified by James I Richardson. He envisioned a condition of nature that was unrestricted and where people were alike. As a trustee, the ruling government was to secure the needs of the citizens, and not those in power. John Locke emphasized on the unity of commonwealths and the institution was to safeguard assets /property. That principle ensured that people possessed great wealth. According to John Locke, each person was to be granted freedom to pursue their beliefs and religion.
In the contemporary American society, there are democrats and republicans. In the current presidential race, Bernie Sanders is the candidate leaning towards classical republicanism and classical liberalism. Some of his ideologies are akin to the views espoused by early classical liberals and classical republicans. For example, he has emphasized on the importance of income equality in the U.S and the need to remove big money from politics (Keiler). He has also campaigned on the platform of raising the living standards of workers through a fair wage and creating avenues to empower tribal nations. Additionally, he has supported the view that the LGBT community deserves fair treatment. These are just a few examples of his ideologies, which lean towards classical liberalism and classical republicanism.
Birzer, Bradley. "Liberalism And Republicanism In The American Revolution —TIC". The Imaginative Conservative. N.p., 2012. Web. 9 May 2016.
Keilar, Brianna. "The Origins Of Sanders' Ideology, In His Own Words". CNN. N.p., 2016. Web. 9 May 2016.
Study.com. "Classical Republicanism: Definition & Overview - Video & Lesson Transcript | Study.Com". Study.com. N.p., 2016. Web. 9 May 2016.