Conservatism
Overview
Conservatism is a political
Political philosophy
Political philosophy is the study of such topics as liberty, justice, property, rights, law, and the enforcement of a legal code by authority: what they are, why they are needed, what, if anything, makes a government legitimate, what rights and freedoms it should protect and why, what form it...

 and social philosophy
Social philosophy
Social philosophy is the philosophical study of questions about social behavior . Social philosophy addresses a wide range of subjects, from individual meanings to legitimacy of laws, from the social contract to criteria for revolution, from the functions of everyday actions to the effects of...

 that promotes the maintenance of traditional institutions and supports, at the most, minimal and gradual change in society. Some conservatives seek to preserve things as they are, emphasizing stability and continuity, while others oppose modernism
Modernism
Modernism, in its broadest definition, is modern thought, character, or practice. More specifically, the term describes the modernist movement, its set of cultural tendencies and array of associated cultural movements, originally arising from wide-scale and far-reaching changes to Western society...

 and seek a return to the way things were. The first established use of the term in a political context was by François-René de Chateaubriand
François-René de Chateaubriand
François-René, vicomte de Chateaubriand was a French writer, politician, diplomat and historian. He is considered the founder of Romanticism in French literature.-Early life and exile:...

 in 1819, following the French Revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

.
Quotations

"I am a conservative to preserve all that is good in our constitution, a radical to remove all that is bad. I seek to preserve property and to respect order, and I equally decry the appeal to the passions of the many or the prejudices of the few."

Benjamin Disraeli

The conservative hates all action against the order, the constitution, the laws, the moral, the liberty, the equality, the tolerance, the property, the security and the civilization.

Jose Eusebio Caro

A state without the means of some change is without the means of its conservation

Edmund Burke Reflection on the revolution of France

The perils of change are so great, the promise of the most hopeful theories is so often deceptive, that it is frequently the wiser part to uphold the existing state of things, if it can be done, even though, in point of argument, it should be utterly indefensible.

Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury|Lord Salisbury, c. 1890. Quoted in Peter Clarke, A Question of Leadership (Penguin, 1991).

The use of Conservatism was to delay changes 'til they became harmless.

Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury|Lord Salisbury (1892).

A radical generally meant a man who thought he could somehow pull up the root without affecting the flower. A conservative generally meant a man who wanted to conserve everything except his own reason for conserving anything.

G.K. Chesterton

A general dissolution of principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy. While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but when once they lose their virtue then will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader.

Samuel Adams

Conservatives do not believe that political struggle is the most important thing in life...The simplest among them prefer fox-hunting—the wisest religion.

Quintin Hogg, The Case for Conservatism (Penguin, 1947), p. 10.

Encyclopedia
Conservatism is a political
Political philosophy
Political philosophy is the study of such topics as liberty, justice, property, rights, law, and the enforcement of a legal code by authority: what they are, why they are needed, what, if anything, makes a government legitimate, what rights and freedoms it should protect and why, what form it...

 and social philosophy
Social philosophy
Social philosophy is the philosophical study of questions about social behavior . Social philosophy addresses a wide range of subjects, from individual meanings to legitimacy of laws, from the social contract to criteria for revolution, from the functions of everyday actions to the effects of...

 that promotes the maintenance of traditional institutions and supports, at the most, minimal and gradual change in society. Some conservatives seek to preserve things as they are, emphasizing stability and continuity, while others oppose modernism
Modernism
Modernism, in its broadest definition, is modern thought, character, or practice. More specifically, the term describes the modernist movement, its set of cultural tendencies and array of associated cultural movements, originally arising from wide-scale and far-reaching changes to Western society...

 and seek a return to the way things were. The first established use of the term in a political context was by François-René de Chateaubriand
François-René de Chateaubriand
François-René, vicomte de Chateaubriand was a French writer, politician, diplomat and historian. He is considered the founder of Romanticism in French literature.-Early life and exile:...

 in 1819, following the French Revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

. The term has since been used to describe a wide range of views.

Political science
Political science
Political Science is a social science discipline concerned with the study of the state, government and politics. Aristotle defined it as the study of the state. It deals extensively with the theory and practice of politics, and the analysis of political systems and political behavior...

 often credits the Irish
Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

 politician Edmund Burke
Edmund Burke
Edmund Burke PC was an Irish statesman, author, orator, political theorist and philosopher who, after moving to England, served for many years in the House of Commons of Great Britain as a member of the Whig party....

 (who served in the British House of Commons and opposed the French Revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

) with many of the ideas now called conservative. According to Hailsham
Quintin Hogg, Baron Hailsham of St Marylebone
For the businessman and philanthropist, see Quintin Hogg Quintin McGarel Hogg, Baron Hailsham of St Marylebone, KG, CH, PC, QC, FRS , formerly 2nd Viscount Hailsham , was a British politician who was known for the longevity of his career, the vigour with which he campaigned for the Conservative...

, a former chairman of the British Conservative Party
Conservative Party (UK)
The Conservative Party, formally the Conservative and Unionist Party, is a centre-right political party in the United Kingdom that adheres to the philosophies of conservatism and British unionism. It is the largest political party in the UK, and is currently the largest single party in the House...

, "Conservatism is not so much a philosophy as an attitude, a constant force, performing a timeless function in the development of a free society, and corresponding to a deep and permanent requirement of human nature itself."

English conservatism

English conservatism, which was called Toryism, emerged during the Restoration (1660–1688). It supported a hierarchical society with a monarch who ruled by divine right
Divine Right of Kings
The divine right of kings or divine-right theory of kingship is a political and religious doctrine of royal and political legitimacy. It asserts that a monarch is subject to no earthly authority, deriving his right to rule directly from the will of God...

. However the Glorious Revolution
Glorious Revolution
The Glorious Revolution, also called the Revolution of 1688, is the overthrow of King James II of England by a union of English Parliamentarians with the Dutch stadtholder William III of Orange-Nassau...

 (1688), which established constitutional government, led to a reformulation of Toryism which now considered sovereignty vested in the three estates of Crown, Lords, and Commons.

According to conservative historians, Richard Hooker
Richard Hooker
Richard Hooker was an Anglican priest and an influential theologian. Hooker's emphases on reason, tolerance and the value of tradition came to exert a lasting influence on the development of the Church of England...

 was the founding father of conservatism, the Marquess of Halifax
George Savile, 1st Marquess of Halifax
George Savile, 1st Marquess of Halifax PC was an English statesman, writer, and politician.-Family and early life, 1633–1667:...

 is commended for his pragmatism, David Hume
David Hume
David Hume was a Scottish philosopher, historian, economist, and essayist, known especially for his philosophical empiricism and skepticism. He was one of the most important figures in the history of Western philosophy and the Scottish Enlightenment...

 is commended for his conservative mistrust of rationalism
Rationalism
In epistemology and in its modern sense, rationalism is "any view appealing to reason as a source of knowledge or justification" . In more technical terms, it is a method or a theory "in which the criterion of the truth is not sensory but intellectual and deductive"...

 in politics, and Edmund Burke
Edmund Burke
Edmund Burke PC was an Irish statesman, author, orator, political theorist and philosopher who, after moving to England, served for many years in the House of Commons of Great Britain as a member of the Whig party....

 is considered the leading early theorist. They have, however, been accused of selectivity in choosing writers who present a moderate and defensible view of conservatism. For example, Hooker lived before the emergence of conservatism, Halifax did not belong to any party, Hume was not involved in politics, and Burke was a Whig. In the 19th century, Conservatives rejected Burke because of his defense of Catholic emancipation, and found inspiration in Bolingbroke
Henry St John, 1st Viscount Bolingbroke
Henry St John, 1st Viscount Bolingbroke was an English politician, government official and political philosopher. He was a leader of the Tories, and supported the Church of England politically despite his atheism. In 1715 he supported the Jacobite rebellion of 1715 which sought to overthrow the...

 instead. John Reeves
John Reeves
John Reeves , was a British judge, public official and conservative activist. In 1792 he founded the Association for Preserving Liberty and Property against Republicans and Levellers to campaign against the ideas of the French Revolution and their British supporters...

, who wrote a Tory response to the French Revolution, is ignored. Conservatives also objected to Burke's support of the American Revolution, which the Tory Samuel Johnson
Samuel Johnson
Samuel Johnson , often referred to as Dr. Johnson, was an English author who made lasting contributions to English literature as a poet, essayist, moralist, literary critic, biographer, editor and lexicographer...

, for example, attacked in "Taxation No Tyranny
Samuel Johnson
Samuel Johnson , often referred to as Dr. Johnson, was an English author who made lasting contributions to English literature as a poet, essayist, moralist, literary critic, biographer, editor and lexicographer...

".

Conservatism developed in Restoration England from royalism
Cavalier
Cavalier was the name used by Parliamentarians for a Royalist supporter of King Charles I and son Charles II during the English Civil War, the Interregnum, and the Restoration...

. Royalists supported absolute monarchy, arguing that the sovereign governed by divine right
Divine Right of Kings
The divine right of kings or divine-right theory of kingship is a political and religious doctrine of royal and political legitimacy. It asserts that a monarch is subject to no earthly authority, deriving his right to rule directly from the will of God...

. They opposed the theory that sovereignty derived from the people, the authority of parliament and freedom of religion. Robert Filmer
Robert Filmer
thumbnail|150px|right|Robert Filmer Sir Robert Filmer was an English political theorist who defended the divine right of kings...

’s Patriarcha: or the Natural Power of Kings, which had been written before the English Civil War
English Civil War
The English Civil War was a series of armed conflicts and political machinations between Parliamentarians and Royalists...

, became accepted as the statement of their doctrine. Following the Glorious Revolution
Glorious Revolution
The Glorious Revolution, also called the Revolution of 1688, is the overthrow of King James II of England by a union of English Parliamentarians with the Dutch stadtholder William III of Orange-Nassau...

 of 1688, the conservatives, known as Tories, accepted that the three estates of Crown, Lords, and Commons held sovereignty jointly. However Toryism became marginalized during the long period of Whig ascendency. The party, which was renamed the Conservative Party in the 1830s, returned as a major political force after becoming home to both paternalistic aristocrats and free market capitalists in an uneasy alliance.

Edmund Burke
Edmund Burke
Edmund Burke PC was an Irish statesman, author, orator, political theorist and philosopher who, after moving to England, served for many years in the House of Commons of Great Britain as a member of the Whig party....

 was the private secretary to the Marquis of Rockingham and official pamphleteer to the Rockingham branch of the Whig Party. Together with the Tories, they were the conservatives in the late 18th century United Kingdom. Burke's views were a mixture of liberal and conservative, with the crucial caveat that the meaning of these terms in this time period was markedly different from popular conceptions of the present day. He supported the American Revolution
American Revolution
The American Revolution was the political upheaval during the last half of the 18th century in which thirteen colonies in North America joined together to break free from the British Empire, combining to become the United States of America...

 but abhorred the violence of the French Revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

. He accepted the liberal ideals of private property and the economics of Adam Smith, but thought that economics should be kept subordinate to the conservative social ethic, that capitalism should be subordinate to the medieval social tradition and that the business class should be subordinate to aristocracy. He insisted on standards of honor derived from the medieval aristocratic tradition, and saw the aristocracy as the nation's natural leaders. That meant limits on the powers of the Crown, since he found the institutions of Parliament to be better informed than commissions appointed by the executive. He favored an established church, but allowed for a degree of religious toleration
Religious toleration
Toleration is "the practice of deliberately allowing or permitting a thing of which one disapproves. One can meaningfully speak of tolerating, ie of allowing or permitting, only if one is in a position to disallow”. It has also been defined as "to bear or endure" or "to nourish, sustain or preserve"...

. Burke justified the social order on the basis of tradition: tradition represented the wisdom of the species and he valued community and social harmony over social reforms.
In the 19th century, conflict between wealthy businessmen and the aristocracy split the British conservative movement, with the aristocracy calling for a return to medieval ideas while the business classes called for laissez-faire capitalism.

Although conservatives opposed attempts to allow greater representation of the middle class in parliament, in 1834 they conceded that electoral reform could not be reversed and promised to support further reforms so long as they did not erode the institutions of church and state. These new principles were presented in the Tamworth Manifesto
Tamworth Manifesto
The Tamworth Manifesto was a political manifesto issued by Sir Robert Peel in 1834 in Tamworth, which is widely credited by historians as having laid down the principles upon which the modern British Conservative Party is based....

 which is considered by historians to be the basic statement of the beliefs of the new Conservative Party.

Some conservatives lamented the passing of a pastoral world where the ethos of noblesse oblige
Noblesse oblige
Noblesse oblige is a French phrase literally meaning "nobility obliges".The Dictionnaire de l’Académie française defines it thus:# Whoever claims to be noble must conduct himself nobly....

had promoted respect from the lower classes. They saw the Anglican Church and the aristocracy as balances against commercial wealth. They worked toward legislation for improved working conditions and urban housing. This viewpoint would later be called Tory Democracy. However since Burke there has always been tension between traditional aristocratic conservatism and the wealthy business class.

By the late 19th century, the traditional business supporters of the UK Liberal Party
Liberal Party (UK)
The Liberal Party was one of the two major political parties of the United Kingdom during the 19th and early 20th centuries. It was a third party of negligible importance throughout the latter half of the 20th Century, before merging with the Social Democratic Party in 1988 to form the present day...

 had joined the Conservatives, making them the party of business and commerce.

In the United States, conservatism developed after the Second World War when Russell Kirk
Russell Kirk
Russell Kirk was an American political theorist, moralist, historian, social critic, literary critic, and fiction author 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...

 and other writers identified an American conservative tradition based on the ideas of Edmund Burke. However many writers do not accept American conservatism as genuine and consider it to be a variety of liberalism.

Continental conservatism

Another form of conservatism developed in France in parallel to conservatism in Britain. It was influenced by Counter-Enlightenment
Counter-Enlightenment
"Counter-Enlightenment" is a term used to refer to a movement that arose in the late-18th and early-19th centuries in opposition to the 18th century Enlightenment...

 works by men such as Joseph de Maistre
Joseph de Maistre
Joseph-Marie, comte de Maistre was a French-speaking Savoyard philosopher, writer, lawyer, and diplomat. He defended hierarchical societies and a monarchical State in the period immediately following the French Revolution...

 and Louis de Bonald. Latin conservatism was less pragmatic and more reactionary
Reactionary
The term reactionary refers to viewpoints that seek to return to a previous state in a society. The term is meant to describe one end of a political spectrum whose opposite pole is "radical". While it has not been generally considered a term of praise it has been adopted as a self-description by...

 than the conservatism of Burke.

Eventually conservatives added patriotism
Patriotism
Patriotism is a devotion to one's country, excluding differences caused by the dependencies of the term's meaning upon context, geography and philosophy...

 and nationalism
Nationalism
Nationalism is a political ideology that involves a strong identification of a group of individuals with a political entity defined in national terms, i.e. a nation. In the 'modernist' image of the nation, it is nationalism that creates national identity. There are various definitions for what...

 to the list of traditional values they support. German conservatives were the first to embrace nationalism, which was previously associated with liberalism
Liberalism
Liberalism is the belief in the importance of liberty and equal rights. Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but generally, liberals support ideas such as constitutionalism, liberal democracy, free and fair elections, human rights,...

 and the Revolution in France.

Today, movements that use the name "conservative" have a wide variety of views.

Liberal conservatism

Liberal conservatism
Liberal conservatism
Liberal conservatism also known as progressive conservatism is a variant of political conservatism which incorporates liberal elements. As "conservatism" and "liberalism" have had different meanings over time and across countries, the term "liberal conservatism" has been used in quite different...

 is a variant of conservatism that combines conservative values and policies with classical liberal
Liberalism
Liberalism is the belief in the importance of liberty and equal rights. Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but generally, liberals support ideas such as constitutionalism, liberal democracy, free and fair elections, human rights,...

 stances. As these latter two terms have had different meanings over time and across countries, liberal conservatism also has a wide variety of meanings. Historically, the term often referred to the combination of economic liberalism, which champions laissez-faire
Laissez-faire
In economics, laissez-faire describes an environment in which transactions between private parties are free from state intervention, including restrictive regulations, taxes, tariffs and enforced monopolies....

 markets, with the classical conservatism concern for established tradition
Tradition
A tradition is a ritual, belief or object passed down within a society, still maintained in the present, with origins in the past. Common examples include holidays or impractical but socially meaningful clothes , but the idea has also been applied to social norms such as greetings...

, respect for authority and religious values. It contrasted itself with classical liberalism
Classical liberalism
Classical liberalism is the philosophy committed to the ideal of limited government, constitutionalism, rule of law, due process, and liberty of individuals including freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, and free markets....

, which supported freedom for the individual in both the economic and social spheres.

Over time, the general conservative ideology in many countries adopted economic liberal arguments, and the term liberal conservatism was replaced with conservatism. This is also the case in countries where liberal economic ideas have been the tradition, such as the United States, and are thus considered conservative. In other countries where liberal conservative movements have entered the political mainstream, such as Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 and Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

, the terms liberal and conservative may be synonymous. The liberal conservative tradition in the United States combines the economic individualism
Individualism
Individualism is the moral stance, political philosophy, ideology, or social outlook that stresses "the moral worth of the individual". Individualists promote the exercise of one's goals and desires and so value independence and self-reliance while opposing most external interference upon one's own...

 of the classical liberals with a Burkean
Edmund Burke
Edmund Burke PC was an Irish statesman, author, orator, political theorist and philosopher who, after moving to England, served for many years in the House of Commons of Great Britain as a member of the Whig party....

 form of conservatism (which has also become part of the American conservative
American conservatism
Conservatism in the United States has played an important role in American politics since the 1950s. Historian Gregory Schneider identifies several constants in American conservatism: respect for tradition, support of republicanism, preservation of "the rule of law and the Christian religion", and...

 tradition, such as in the writings of Russell Kirk
Russell Kirk
Russell Kirk was an American political theorist, moralist, historian, social critic, literary critic, and fiction author 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...

).

A secondary meaning for the term liberal conservatism that has developed in Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

 is a combination of more modern conservative (less traditionalist) views with those of social liberalism
Social liberalism
Social liberalism is the belief that liberalism should include social justice. It differs from classical liberalism in that it believes the legitimate role of the state includes addressing economic and social issues such as unemployment, health care, and education while simultaneously expanding...

. This has developed as an opposition to the more collectivist views of socialism
Socialism
Socialism is an economic system characterized by social ownership of the means of production and cooperative management of the economy; or a political philosophy advocating such a system. "Social ownership" may refer to any one of, or a combination of, the following: cooperative enterprises,...

. Often this involves stressing what are now conservative views of free-market economics and belief in individual responsibility, with social liberal views on defence of civil rights
Civil rights
Civil and political rights are a class of rights that protect individuals' freedom from unwarranted infringement by governments and private organizations, and ensure one's ability to participate in the civil and political life of the state without discrimination or repression.Civil rights include...

, environmentalism
Environmentalism
Environmentalism is a broad philosophy, ideology and social movement regarding concerns for environmental conservation and improvement of the health of the environment, particularly as the measure for this health seeks to incorporate the concerns of non-human elements...

 and support for a limited welfare state
Welfare state
A welfare state is a "concept of government in which the state plays a key role in the protection and promotion of the economic and social well-being of its citizens. It is based on the principles of equality of opportunity, equitable distribution of wealth, and public responsibility for those...

. This philosophy is that of Swedish
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

 Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt
Fredrik Reinfeldt
John Fredrik Reinfeldt is the Prime Minister of Sweden, leader of the liberal conservative Moderate Party and former President of the European Council...

. In continental Europe, this is sometimes also translated into English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

 as social conservatism
Social conservatism
Social Conservatism is primarily a political, and usually morally influenced, ideology that focuses on the preservation of what are seen as traditional values. Social conservatism is a form of authoritarianism often associated with the position that the federal government should have a greater role...

.

Conservative liberalism

Conservative liberalism
Conservative liberalism
Conservative liberalism is a variant of liberalism, combining liberal values and policies with conservative stances, or, more simply, representing the right-wing of the liberal movement....

 is a variant of liberalism
Liberalism
Liberalism is the belief in the importance of liberty and equal rights. Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but generally, liberals support ideas such as constitutionalism, liberal democracy, free and fair elections, human rights,...

 that combines liberal values and policies with conservative stances, or, more simply, the right wing of the liberal movement. The roots of conservative liberalism are found at the beginning of the history of liberalism. Until the two World Wars, in most European countries the political class was formed by conservative liberals, from Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 to Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

. The events such as World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 occurring after 1917 brought the more radical version of classical liberalism to a more conservative (i.e. more moderate) type of liberalism.

Libertarian conservatism

Libertarian conservatism
Libertarian conservatism
Libertarian conservatism, also known as conservative libertarianism , includes political ideologies which meld libertarianism and conservatism...

 describes certain political ideologies within the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 and Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 which combine libertarian
Libertarianism
Libertarianism, in the strictest sense, is the political philosophy that holds individual liberty as the basic moral principle of society. In the broadest sense, it is any political philosophy which approximates this view...

 economic issues with aspects of conservatism. Its five main branches are Constitutionalism
Constitutionalism
Constitutionalism has a variety of meanings. Most generally, it is "a complex of ideas, attitudes, and patterns of behavior elaborating the principle that the authority of government derives from and is limited by a body of fundamental law"....

, paleolibertarianism
Paleolibertarianism
Paleolibertarianism is a school of thought within American libertarianism associated with the late economist Murray Rothbard, and the Ludwig von Mises Institute. It is based on a combination of right-libertarianism in politics and cultural conservatism in social thought...

, neolibertarianism, small government conservatism
American conservatism
Conservatism in the United States has played an important role in American politics since the 1950s. Historian Gregory Schneider identifies several constants in American conservatism: respect for tradition, support of republicanism, preservation of "the rule of law and the Christian religion", and...

 and Christian libertarianism
Christian libertarianism
Christian libertarianism describes the synthesis of Christian beliefs concerning human nature and dignity with libertarian political philosophy. It is also a political philosophy in itself that has its roots in libertarianism and it is a political ideology to the extent that Christian libertarians...

. They generally differ from paleoconservatives, in that they are in favor of more personal
Liberty
Liberty is a moral and political principle, or Right, that identifies the condition in which human beings are able to govern themselves, to behave according to their own free will, and take responsibility for their actions...

 and economic freedom
Economic freedom
Economic freedom is a term used in economic and policy debates. As with freedom generally, there are various definitions, but no universally accepted concept of economic freedom...

.

Agorists such as Samuel Edward Konkin III
Samuel Edward Konkin III
Samuel Edward Konkin III was the author of the New Libertarian Manifesto and a proponent of the political philosophy which he called agorism. Agorism is a leftward evolution of anarcho-capitalism, and subset of market anarchism...

 labeled libertarian conservatism right-libertarianism
Right-libertarianism
Right-libertarianism names several related libertarian political philosophies which support capitalism. The term is typically used to differentiate privatist based forms of libertarianism from Left-libertarianism; which generally supports forms of economic democracy and...

.

In contrast to paleoconservatives, libertarian conservatives support strict laissez-faire
Laissez-faire
In economics, laissez-faire describes an environment in which transactions between private parties are free from state intervention, including restrictive regulations, taxes, tariffs and enforced monopolies....

 policies such as free trade
Free trade
Under a free trade policy, prices emerge from supply and demand, and are the sole determinant of resource allocation. 'Free' trade differs from other forms of trade policy where the allocation of goods and services among trading countries are determined by price strategies that may differ from...

, opposition to any national bank and opposition to business regulations. They are vehemently opposed to environmental regulations, corporate welfare
Corporate welfare
Corporate welfare is a pejorative term describing a government's bestowal of money grants, tax breaks, or other special favorable treatment on corporations or selected corporations. The term compares corporate subsidies and welfare payments to the poor, and implies that corporations are much less...

, subsidies, and other areas of economic intervention. Many of them have views in accord to Ludwig von Mises
Ludwig von Mises
Ludwig Heinrich Edler von Mises was an Austrian economist, philosopher, and classical liberal who had a significant influence on the modern Libertarian movement and the "Austrian School" of economic thought.-Biography:-Early life:...

. However, many of them oppose abortion
Abortion
Abortion is defined as the termination of pregnancy by the removal or expulsion from the uterus of a fetus or embryo prior to viability. An abortion can occur spontaneously, in which case it is usually called a miscarriage, or it can be purposely induced...

, as they see it as a positive liberty
Positive liberty
Positive liberty is defined as having the power and resources to fulfill one's own potential ; as opposed to negative liberty, which is freedom from external restraint...

 and violates the non-aggression principle
Non-aggression principle
The non-aggression principle , or NAP for short, is a moral stance which asserts that aggression is inherently illegitimate...

 because abortion is aggression towards the fetus.

Fiscal conservatism

Fiscal conservatism
Fiscal conservatism
Fiscal conservatism is a political term used to describe a fiscal policy that advocates avoiding deficit spending. Fiscal conservatives often consider reduction of overall government spending and national debt as well as ensuring balanced budget of paramount importance...

 is the economic philosophy of prudence in government spending and debt. Edmund Burke, in his 'Reflections on the Revolution in France
Reflections on the Revolution in France
Reflections on the Revolution in France , by Edmund Burke, is one of the best-known intellectual attacks against the French Revolution...

', argued that a government does not have the right to run up large debts and then throw the burden on the taxpayer:

...[I]t is to the property of the citizen, and not to the demands of the creditor of the state, that the first and original faith of civil society is pledged. The claim of the citizen is prior in time, paramount in title, superior in equity. The fortunes of individuals, whether possessed by acquisition or by descent or in virtue of a participation in the goods of some community, were no part of the creditor's security, expressed or implied...[T]he public, whether represented by a monarch or by a senate, can pledge nothing but the public estate; and it can have no public estate except in what it derives from a just and proportioned imposition upon the citizens at large.

Green conservatism

Green conservatism
Green conservatism
Green conservatism is a term used to refer to conservatives who have incorporated green concerns into their ideology. One of the first uses of the term green conservatism was by former United States Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich, in a debate on environmental issues with John Kerry...

 is a term used to refer to conservatives who have incorporated green
Green politics
Green politics is a political ideology that aims for the creation of an ecologically sustainable society rooted in environmentalism, social liberalism, and grassroots democracy...

 concerns into their ideology
Ideology
An ideology is a set of ideas that constitutes one's goals, expectations, and actions. An ideology can be thought of as a comprehensive vision, as a way of looking at things , as in common sense and several philosophical tendencies , or a set of ideas proposed by the dominant class of a society to...

. One of the first uses of the term green conservatism was by former United States Republican
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

 House Speaker
Speaker of the United States House of Representatives
The Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, or Speaker of the House, is the presiding officer of the United States House of Representatives...

 Newt Gingrich
Newt Gingrich
Newton Leroy "Newt" Gingrich is a U.S. Republican Party politician who served as the House Minority Whip from 1989 to 1995 and as the 58th Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 to 1999....

, in a debate on environmental issues with John Kerry
John Kerry
John Forbes Kerry is the senior United States Senator from Massachusetts, the 10th most senior U.S. Senator and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He was the presidential nominee of the Democratic Party in the 2004 presidential election, but lost to former President George W...

. Around this time, the green conservative movement was sometimes referred to as the crunchy con movement, a term popularized by National Review
National Review
National Review is a biweekly magazine founded by the late author William F. Buckley, Jr., in 1955 and based in New York City. It describes itself as "America's most widely read and influential magazine and web site for conservative news, commentary, and opinion."Although the print version of the...

magazine and the writings of Rod Dreher
Rod Dreher
Rod Dreher is an American writer and editor. He was a conservative editorial writer and a columnist for The Dallas Morning News, but departed that newspaper in late 2009 to affiliate with the John Templeton Foundation. He has also contributed in the past to The American Conservative and National...

. The group Republicans for Environmental Protection seeks to strengthen the Republican Party's
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

 stance on environmental issues, and supports efforts to conserve natural resources and protect human and environmental health.

The Conservative Party in the United Kingdom under David Cameron has embraced a green agenda:, including a tax on workplace car parking spaces, a halt to airport growth, a tax on 'gas-guzzling' 4x4s and restrictions on car advertising. The measures were suggested by The Quality of Life Policy Group, which was set up by Cameron to help fight climate change.

Cultural and social conservatism

Cultural conservatives support the preservation of the heritage of one nation, or of a shared culture that is not defined by national boundaries. The shared culture may be as divergent as Western culture
Western culture
Western culture, sometimes equated with Western civilization or European civilization, refers to cultures of European origin and is used very broadly to refer to a heritage of social norms, ethical values, traditional customs, religious beliefs, political systems, and specific artifacts and...

 or Chinese culture. In the United States, the term cultural conservative may imply a conservative position in the culture war
Culture war
The culture war in American usage is a metaphor used to claim that political conflict is based on sets of conflicting cultural values. The term frequently implies a conflict between those values considered traditionalist or conservative and those considered progressive or liberal...

. Cultural conservatives hold fast to traditional ways of thinking even in the face of monumental change. They believe strongly in traditional values and traditional politics, and often have an urgent sense of nationalism.

Social conservatism is distinct from cultural conservatism, although there are some overlaps. Social conservatives believe that the government has a role in encouraging or enforcing what they consider traditional values or behaviors. A social conservative wants to preserve traditional morality and social mores, often through civil law or regulation. Social change is generally regarded as suspect.

A second meaning of the term social conservatism developed in the Nordic countries
Nordic countries
The Nordic countries make up a region in Northern Europe and the North Atlantic which consists of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden and their associated territories, the Faroe Islands, Greenland and Åland...

 and continental Europe
Continental Europe
Continental Europe, also referred to as mainland Europe or simply the Continent, is the continent of Europe, explicitly excluding European islands....

. There it refers to liberal conservatives
Liberal conservatism
Liberal conservatism also known as progressive conservatism is a variant of political conservatism which incorporates liberal elements. As "conservatism" and "liberalism" have had different meanings over time and across countries, the term "liberal conservatism" has been used in quite different...

 supporting modern European welfare states.

Social conservatives (in the first meaning of the word) in many countries generally favor the pro-life
Pro-life
Opposition to the legalization of abortion is centered around the pro-life, or anti-abortion, movement, a social and political movement opposing elective abortion on moral grounds and supporting its legal prohibition or restriction...

 position in the abortion controversy and oppose embryonic stem cell
Embryonic stem cell
Embryonic stem cells are pluripotent stem cells derived from the inner cell mass of the blastocyst, an early-stage embryo. Human embryos reach the blastocyst stage 4–5 days post fertilization, at which time they consist of 50–150 cells...

 research (particularly if publicly funded); oppose both eugenics
Eugenics
Eugenics is the "applied science or the bio-social movement which advocates the use of practices aimed at improving the genetic composition of a population", usually referring to human populations. The origins of the concept of eugenics began with certain interpretations of Mendelian inheritance,...

 and human enhancement
Human enhancement
Human enhancement refers to any attempt to temporarily or permanently overcome the current limitations of the human body through natural or artificial means...

 (transhumanism
Transhumanism
Transhumanism, often abbreviated as H+ or h+, is an international intellectual and cultural movement that affirms the possibility and desirability of fundamentally transforming the human condition by developing and making widely available technologies to eliminate aging and to greatly enhance human...

) while supporting bioconservatism; support a traditional definition of marriage as being one man and one woman; view the nuclear family
Nuclear family
Nuclear family is a term used to define a family group consisting of a father and mother and their children. This is in contrast to the smaller single-parent family, and to the larger extended family. Nuclear families typically center on a married couple, but not always; the nuclear family may have...

 model as society's foundational unit; oppose expansion of civil marriage
Civil marriage
Civil marriage is marriage performed by a government official and not a religious organization.-History:Every country maintaining a population registry of its residents keeps track of marital status, and most countries believe that it is their responsibility to register married couples. Most...

 and child adoption rights to couples in same-sex relationship
Same-sex relationship
A same-sex relationship is a relationship between two persons of the same sex and can take many forms, from romantic and sexual, to non-romantic close relationships. The term is mainly associated with gay and lesbian people...

s; promote public morality
Public morality
Public morality refers to moral and ethical standards enforced in a society, by law or police work or social pressure, and applied to public life, to the content of the media, and to conduct in public places...

 and traditional family values
Family values
Family values are political and social beliefs that hold the nuclear family to be the essential ethical and moral unit of society. Familialism is the ideology that promotes the family and its values as an institution....

; oppose atheism, especially militant atheism, secularism
Secularism
Secularism is the principle of separation between government institutions and the persons mandated to represent the State from religious institutions and religious dignitaries...

 and the separation of church and state
Separation of church and state
The concept of the separation of church and state refers to the distance in the relationship between organized religion and the nation state....

; support the prohibition of drugs
Prohibition (drugs)
The prohibition of drugs through sumptuary legislation or religious law is a common means of attempting to prevent drug use. Prohibition of drugs has existed at various levels of government or other authority from the Middle Ages to the present....

, prostitution
Prostitution
Prostitution is the act or practice of providing sexual services to another person in return for payment. The person who receives payment for sexual services is called a prostitute and the person who receives such services is known by a multitude of terms, including a "john". Prostitution is one of...

, premarital sex
Premarital sex
Premarital sex is sexual activity, including vaginal intercourse, oral sex, and anal sex, practiced by persons who are unmarried. Although it has always been practiced, in the West it has increased in prevalence since the mid-1950s...

, non-marital sex
Extramarital sex
Extramarital sex occurs when a married person engages in sexual activity with someone other than his or her marriage partner.Where extramarital sexual relations breach a sexual norm it may also be referred to as adultery, fornication, philandery, or infidelity...

 and euthanasia
Euthanasia
Euthanasia refers to the practice of intentionally ending a life in order to relieve pain and suffering....

; and support the censorship
Censorship
thumb|[[Book burning]] following the [[1973 Chilean coup d'état|1973 coup]] that installed the [[Military government of Chile |Pinochet regime]] in Chile...

 of pornography
Pornography
Pornography or porn is the explicit portrayal of sexual subject matter for the purposes of sexual arousal and erotic satisfaction.Pornography may use any of a variety of media, ranging from books, magazines, postcards, photos, sculpture, drawing, painting, animation, sound recording, film, video,...

 and what they consider to be obscenity
Obscenity
An obscenity is any statement or act which strongly offends the prevalent morality of the time, is a profanity, or is otherwise taboo, indecent, abhorrent, or disgusting, or is especially inauspicious...

 or indecency.

Some conservatives also support harsh, eye for an eye
Eye For An Eye
Eye for an Eye is a Polish hardcore punk rock band founded in 1997 in Bielsko-Biała. EFAE, as it is also known, plays an old school style of punk, more along the veins of The Exploited or even, some say, Agnostic Front. The punk stylings of EFAE has been compared to fellow countrymen Post Regiment,...

-based punishment such as the death penalty and long prison terms over punishments that focus on rehabilitation
Rehabilitation
-Mental health:* Drug rehabilitation* Rehabilitation , the rehabilitation of criminal behavior.* Rehabilitation , therapy aimed at improving neurocognitive function that has been lost or diminished by disease or traumatic injury...

. However, a significant minority of conservatives, including Ron Paul
Ron Paul
Ronald Ernest "Ron" Paul is an American physician, author and United States Congressman who is seeking to be the Republican Party candidate in the 2012 presidential election. Paul represents Texas's 14th congressional district, which covers an area south and southwest of Houston that includes...

, oppose the death penalty, and some conservative Catholics and members of the peace churches
Peace churches
Peace churches are Christian churches, groups or communities advocating Christian pacifism. The term historic peace churches refers specifically only to three church groups among pacifist churches: Church of the Brethren, Mennonites including the Amish, and Religious Society of Friends and has...

  oppose the death penalty because of their beliefs in Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

 forgiveness
Forgiveness
Forgiveness is typically defined as the process of concluding resentment, indignation or anger as a result of a perceived offense, difference or mistake, or ceasing to demand punishment or restitution. The Oxford English Dictionary defines forgiveness as 'to grant free pardon and to give up all...

 and the sanctity of life.

Religious conservatism

Religious conservatives principally seek to apply the teachings of particular religions to politics, sometimes by merely proclaiming the value of those teachings, at other times by having those teachings influence laws.

Conservatism in different countries

Conservative political parties vary widely from country to country in the goals they wish to achieve. Both conservative and liberal parties tend to favor private ownership of property, in opposition to communist, socialist and green parties, which favor communal ownership or laws requiring social responsibility on the part of property owners. Where conservatives and liberals differ is primarily on social issues. Conservatives tend to reject behavior that does not conform to some social norm. For many years, conservative parties fought to stop extension of voting rights to groups such as to non-Christians, non-whites and women. Modern conservative parties often define themselves by their opposition to liberal or labour parties. The United States usage of the term conservative is unique to that country.

According to Alan Ware, Belgium, Denmark, Iceland, Finland, France, Greece, Iceland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK retained viable conservative parties into the 1980s. Ware said that Australia, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, Malta, New Zealand, Spain and the US had no conservative parties, although they had either Christian Democrats or liberals as major right-wing parties. Canada, Ireland, and Portugal had right-wing political parties that defied categorization: the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada
Progressive Conservative Party of Canada
The Progressive Conservative Party of Canada was a Canadian political party with a centre-right stance on economic issues and, after the 1970s, a centrist stance on social issues....

; Fianna Fáil
Fianna Fáil
Fianna Fáil – The Republican Party , more commonly known as Fianna Fáil is a centrist political party in the Republic of Ireland, founded on 23 March 1926. Fianna Fáil's name is traditionally translated into English as Soldiers of Destiny, although a more accurate rendition would be Warriors of Fál...

, Fine Gael
Fine Gael
Fine Gael is a centre-right to centrist political party in the Republic of Ireland. It is the single largest party in Ireland in the Oireachtas, in local government, and in terms of Members of the European Parliament. The party has a membership of over 35,000...

, and Progressive Democrats
Progressive Democrats
The Progressive Democrats , commonly known as the PDs, was a pro-free market liberal political party in the Republic of Ireland.Launched on 21 December 1985 by Desmond O'Malley and other politicians who had split from Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, the Progressive Democrats took liberal positions on...

 in Ireland; and the Social Democratic Party
Social Democratic Party (Portugal)
The Social Democratic Party , is a centre-right liberal conservative political party in Portugal. It is commonly known by its initials, PSD; on ballot papers, its initials appear as PPD/PSD, with the first three letters coming from the party's original name, Democratic People's Party...

 of Portugal. Since then, the Swiss People's Party
Swiss People's Party
The Swiss People's Party , also known as the Democratic Union of the Centre , is a conservative political party in Switzerland. Chaired by Toni Brunner, but spearheaded by Christoph Blocher, the party is the largest party in the Federal Assembly, with 58 members of the National Council and 6 of...

 has moved to the extreme right and is no longer considered to be conservative.

Klaus von Beyme
Klaus von Beyme
Klaus von Beyme is Professor of Political Science Emeritus at the Faculty of Economic and Social Sciences of the University of Heidelberg.- Education :...

, who developed the method of party categorization, found that no modern Eastern European parties could be considered conservative, although the communist and communist-successor parties had strong similarities.

In Italy, which was united by liberals and radicals (risorgimento), liberals not conservatives emerged as the party of the Right. In the Netherlands, conservatives merged into a new Christian democratic party in 1980. In Austria, Germany, Portugal and Spain, conservatism was transformed into and incorporated into fascism or the far right
Far right
Far-right, extreme right, hard right, radical right, and ultra-right are terms used to discuss the qualitative or quantitative position a group or person occupies within right-wing politics. Far-right politics may involve anti-immigration and anti-integration stances towards groups that are...

. In 1940, all Japanese parties were merged into a single fascist party. Following the war, Japanese conservatives briefly returned to politics but were largely purged from public office.

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

 explained the absence of conservatism in Australia or the United States as a result of their settlement as radical or liberal fragments of Great Britain. Although he said English Canada had a negligible conservative influence, subsequent writers claimed that loyalists opposed to the American Revolution brought a Tory ideology into Canada. Hartz explained conservatism in Quebec and Latin America as a result of their settlement as feudal societies. The American conservative writer Russell Kirk
Russell Kirk
Russell Kirk was an American political theorist, moralist, historian, social critic, literary critic, and fiction author 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...

 provided the opinion that conservatism had been brought to the US and interpreted the American revolution as a "conservative revolution".

Conservative elites have long dominated Latin American nations. Mostly this has been achieved through control of and support for civil institutions, the church and the armed forces, rather than through party politics. Typically the church was exempt from taxes and its employees immune from civil prosecution. Where national conservative parties were weak or non-existent, conservatives were more likely to rely on military dictatorship as a preferred form of government. However in some nations where the elites were able to mobilize popular support for conservative parties, longer periods of political stability were achieved. Chile, Colombia and Venezuela are examples of nations that developed strong conservative parties. Argentina, Brazil, El Salvador and Peru are examples of nations where this did not occur. The Conservative Party of Venezuela disappeared following the Federal War
Federal War
The Federal War - also known as the Great War or the Five Year War - was a civil war in Venezuela between the conservative party and the liberal party about the monopoly of the conservatives of the land and the government positions, and their reluctance to grant any reforms. This drove the...

s of 1858-1863. Chile's conservative party, the National Party disbanded in 1973 following a military coup and did not re-emerge as a political force following the subsequent return to democracy.

The conservative Union Nationale governed the province of Quebec in periods from 1936 to 1960, in a close alliance with English Canadian business elites and the Catholic Church. This period, known as the Great Darkness
Grande Noirceur
The Grande Noirceur is the name that critics of Quebec premier Maurice Duplessis's regime have given to the conservative policies undertaken by the provincial government in the 1936-1939 and 1944-1959 period of Quebec history.-Rural areas:...

 ended with the Quiet Revolution
Quiet Revolution
The Quiet Revolution was the 1960s period of intense change in Quebec, Canada, characterized by the rapid and effective secularization of society, the creation of a welfare state and a re-alignment of politics into federalist and separatist factions...

 and the party went into terminal decline.

Belgium

Founded in 1945 as the Christian People's Party, the Flemish Christian Democrats (CD&V) dominated politics in post-war Belgium. In 1999, the party's support collapsed and it became the country's fifth largest party.

Brazil

Brazil's last conservative party, in a democratic regime, was the UDN
National Democratic Union
The National Democratic Union was a political party that existed in Brazil between 1945 and 1965. It was ideologically aligned with the right-wing and conservatism, being considered the precursor of the current Democrats...

, but it ceased to exist in 1965 with the rise of Brazil's military government. Today, even with little political representation, individuals such as philosopher Olavo de Carvalho
Olavo de Carvalho
Olavo Luiz Pimentel de Carvalho is a Brazilian journalist, and essayist on several issues like the history of astrology and mysticism; the history of revolutionary mentality; and Philosophical Anthropology...

 try to rescue the country's conservative values.

Canada

Canada's Conservatives had their roots in the Loyalists - Tories - who left America after the American Revolution. They developed in the socio-economic and political cleavages that existed during the first three decades of the 19th century, and had the support of the business, professional and established Church (Anglican) elites in Ontario and to a lesser extent in Quebec. Holding a monopoly over administrative and judicial offices, they were called the "Family Compact
Family Compact
Fully developed after the War of 1812, the Compact lasted until Upper and Lower Canada were united in 1841. In Lower Canada, its equivalent was the Château Clique. The influence of the Family Compact on the government administration at different levels lasted to the 1880s...

" in Ontario and the "Chateau Clique
Château Clique
The Clique du Château or Château Clique was a group of wealthy families in Lower Canada in the early 19th century. They were the Lower Canadian equivalent of the Family Compact in Upper Canada...

" in Quebec. John A. Macdonald
John A. Macdonald
Sir John Alexander Macdonald, GCB, KCMG, PC, PC , QC was the first Prime Minister of Canada. The dominant figure of Canadian Confederation, his political career spanned almost half a century...

's successful leadership of the movement to confederate the provinces and his subsequent tenure as prime minister for most of the late 19th century rested on his ability to bring together the English-speaking Protestant oligarchy and the ultramontane Catholic hierarchy of Quebec and to keep them united in a conservative coalition.

The Conservatives combined pro-market liberalism
Economic liberalism
Economic liberalism is the ideological belief in giving all people economic freedom, and as such granting people with more basis to control their own lives and make their own mistakes. It is an economic philosophy that supports and promotes individual liberty and choice in economic matters and...

 and Toryism. They generally supported an activist government and state intervention in the marketplace, and their policies were marked by noblesse oblige
Noblesse oblige
Noblesse oblige is a French phrase literally meaning "nobility obliges".The Dictionnaire de l’Académie française defines it thus:# Whoever claims to be noble must conduct himself nobly....

, a paternalistic responsibility of the elites for the less well-off. From 1942, the party was known as the Progressive Conservatives, until 2003, when the national party merged with the Canadian Alliance
Canadian Alliance
The Canadian Alliance , formally the Canadian Reform Conservative Alliance , was a Canadian conservative political party that existed from 2000 to 2003. The party was the successor to the Reform Party of Canada and inherited its position as the Official Opposition in the House of Commons and held...

 to form the Conservative Party of Canada
Conservative Party of Canada
The Conservative Party of Canada , is a political party in Canada which was formed by the merger of the Canadian Alliance and the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada in 2003. It is positioned on the right of the Canadian political spectrum...

.

Colombia

The Colombian Conservative Party
Colombian Conservative Party
The Colombian Conservative Party , is a conservative political party in Colombia. The party was unofficially founded by a group of Revolutionary Commoners during the Revolutionary War for Independence from the Spanish Monarchy and later formally established during the Greater Colombia...

, founded in 1849, traces its origins to opponents of General Francisco de Paula Santander
Francisco de Paula Santander
Francisco José de Paula Santander y Omaña , was a Colombian military and political leader during the 1810–1819 independence war of the United Provinces of New Granada...

's 1833-37 administration. While the term "liberal" had been used to describe all political forces in Colombia, the conservatives began describing themselves as "conservative liberals" and their opponents as "red liberals". From the 1860s until the present, the party has supported strong central government, and supported the Catholic Church, especially its role as protector of the sanctity of the family, and opposed separation of church and state. Its policies include the legal equality of all men, the citizen's right to own property and opposition to dictatorship. It has usually been Colombia's second largest party, with the Colombian Liberal Party
Colombian Liberal Party
The Colombian Liberal Party is a center-left party in Colombia that adheres to social democracy and social liberalism.The Party was founded in 1848 and, together with the Colombian Conservative Party, subsequently became one of the two main political forces in the country for over a century.After...

 being the largest.

Denmark

Founded in 1915, the Conservative People's Party of Denmark
Conservative People's Party (Denmark)
The Conservative People's Party , also known as Conservatives is a Danish political party.-History:The party was founded 1915 based mostly on its predecessor, Højre , but also on the Free Conservatives and a moderate faction of Venstre , the liberals.The party has participated in several coalition...

. was the successor of Højre (literally "right"
Right-wing politics
In politics, Right, right-wing and rightist generally refer to support for a hierarchical society justified on the basis of an appeal to natural law or tradition. To varying degrees, the Right rejects the egalitarian objectives of left-wing politics, claiming that the imposition of equality is...

). In the 2005 election it won 18 out of 179 seats in the Folketing and became a junior partner in coalition with the Liberals. The party is preceded by 11 years by the Young Conservatives‎‎‎ (KU)
Young Conservatives (Denmark)
Young Conservatives is the youth wing of the Conservative People's Party of Denmark, and the oldest political youth organization in the world. KU is considered an institution in Danish youth politics and often seen as a rebellious and ideological watchdog of the mother-party...

, today the youth movement of the party. The Party suffered a major defeat in the parliamentary elections of September 2011 in which the party lost more than half of its seat and also lost governmental power.

Finland

The conservative party in Finland is the National Coalition Party (in Finnish Kansallinen Kokoomus, Kok). The party was founded in 1918 when several monarchist parties united. Although in the past the party was right-wing, today it is a moderate party. While the party advocates economic liberalism
Economic liberalism
Economic liberalism is the ideological belief in giving all people economic freedom, and as such granting people with more basis to control their own lives and make their own mistakes. It is an economic philosophy that supports and promotes individual liberty and choice in economic matters and...

, it is committed to the social market economy
Social market economy
The social market economy is the main economic model used in West Germany after World War II. It is based on the economic philosophy of Ordoliberalism from the Freiburg School...

.

France

Following the Second World War, conservatives in France supported Gaullist groups and have been nationalistic, and emphasized tradition, order, and the regeneration of France. Gaullists held divergent views on social issues. The number of Conservative groups, their lack of stability, and their tendency to be identified with local issues defy simple categorization. Conservatism has been the major political force in France since the second world war. Unusually, post-war French conservatism was formed around the personality of a leader, Charles de Gaulle
Charles de Gaulle
Charles André Joseph Marie de Gaulle was a French general and statesman who led the Free French Forces during World War II. He later founded the French Fifth Republic in 1958 and served as its first President from 1959 to 1969....

, and did not draw on traditional French conservatism, but on the Bonapartism
Bonapartism
Bonapartism is often defined as a political expression in the vocabulary of Marxism and Leninism, deriving from the career of Napoleon Bonaparte. Karl Marx was a student of Jacobinism and the French Revolution as well as a contemporary critic of the Second Republic and Second Empire...

 tradition. Gaullism in France continues under the Union for a Popular Movement
Union for a Popular Movement
The Union for a Popular Movement is a centre-right political party in France, and one of the two major contemporary political parties in the country along with the center-left Socialist Party...

. The word "conservative" itself is a term of abuse in France.

Greece

The main interwar conservative party was called the People's Party
People's Party (Greece)
The People's Party of Greece was a conservative and pro-monarchist political party founded by Dimitrios Gounaris, the main political rival of Eleftherios Venizelos and his Liberal Party. The party existed from 1920 until 1958....

 (PP), which supported constitutional monarchy and opposed the republican Liberal Party. It was able to re-group after the Second World War as part of a United Nationalist Front which achieved power campaigning on a simple anticommunist, ultranationalist platform. However, the vote received by the PP declined, leading them to create an expanded party, the Greek Rally
Greek Rally
Greek Rally , Ellinikos Synagermos ) was a Greek political party founded on 6 August 1951 by former general Alexandros Papagos. The party encompassed a broad spectrum of the royalist conservative right in Greek society and was modeled on the Charles de Gaulle's Rassemblement du Peuple Français...

, under the leadership of the charismatic General Alexandros Papagos. The conservatives opposed the far right dictatorship of the colonels (1967–1974) and established the New Democratic Party
New Democracy (Greece)
New Democracy is the main centre-right political party and one of the two major parties in Greece. It was founded in 1974 by Konstantinos Karamanlis and formed the first cabinet of the Third Hellenic Republic...

 following the fall of the dictatorship. The new party had four objectives: to confront Turkish expansionism in Cyprus, to reestablish and solidify democratic rule, to give the country a strong government, and to make a powerful moderate party a force in Greek politics.

Iceland

Founded in 1926 as the Conservative Party, Iceland's Independence Party
Independence Party (Iceland)
The Independence Party is a centre-right political party in Iceland. Liberal conservative and Eurosceptic, it is the second-largest party in the Althing, with sixteen seats. The chairman of the party is Bjarni Benediktsson and vice chairman is Ólöf Nordal....

 adopted its current name in 1929. From the beginning they have been the largest vote-winning party, averaging around 40%. They combine liberalism and conservatism, supporting nationalization and opposed to class conflict. While mostly in opposition during the 1930s, they embraced economic liberalism
Economic liberalism
Economic liberalism is the ideological belief in giving all people economic freedom, and as such granting people with more basis to control their own lives and make their own mistakes. It is an economic philosophy that supports and promotes individual liberty and choice in economic matters and...

, but accepted the welfare state after the war and participated in governments supportive of state intervention and protectionism. Unlike other Scandanivian conservative (and liberal) parties, it has always had a large working-class following.

Luxembourg

Luxembourg's major conservative party, the Christian Social People's Party
Christian Social People's Party
The Christian Social People's Party , abbreviated to CSV or PCS, is the largest political party in Luxembourg. The party follows a Christian Democratic and conservative ideology and, like most parties in Luxembourg, it is strongly pro-European...

 (CSV or PCS) was formed as the Party of the Right in 1914, and adopted its present name in 1945. It was consistently the largest political party in Luxembourg and dominated politics throughout the 20th century.

Norway

The Conservative Party of Norway (Norwegian: Høyre, literally "right"
Right-wing politics
In politics, Right, right-wing and rightist generally refer to support for a hierarchical society justified on the basis of an appeal to natural law or tradition. To varying degrees, the Right rejects the egalitarian objectives of left-wing politics, claiming that the imposition of equality is...

) was formed by the old upper class of state officials and wealthy merchants to fight the populist democracy of the Liberal Party, but lost power in 1884 when parliamentarian government was first practised. It formed it's first government under parliamentarism in 1889, and continued to alternate in power with the Liberals until the 1930s, when Labour became the dominant political party. It has elements both of paternalism, stressing the responsibilities of the state and of economic liberalism. It first returned to power in the 1960s.

Singapore

Singapore
Singapore
Singapore , officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the...

's only conservative party or party on the right of the political spectrum is the People's Action Party
People's Action Party
The People's Action Party is the leading political party in Singapore. It has been the city-state's ruling political party since 1959....

. It is currently in government and has been in government since independence from the British in the 1960s. It has promoted conservative values in the form of 'Asian values
Asian values
Asian values was a concept that came into vogue briefly in the 1990s to justify authoritarian regimes in Asia, predicated on the belief in the existence within Asian countries of a unique set of institutions and political ideologies which reflected the region's culture and history...

' or 'shared values'. The main party on the left of the political spectrum in Singapore is the Workers' Party of Singapore
Workers' Party of Singapore
The Workers' Party of Singapore is a centre-left opposition political party in Singapore. The party currently has six elected seats in Parliament, with the party's Secretary-General Low Thia Khiang, Chairman Sylvia Lim, Chen Show Mao, Muhamad Faisal Manap and Pritam Singh serving as Members of...

.

Sweden

Sweden's conservative party, the Moderate Party
Moderate Party
The Moderate Party is a centre-right, liberal conservative political party in Sweden. The party was founded in 1904 as the General Electoral League by a group of conservatives in the Swedish parliament...

, was formed in 1904, two years after the founding of the liberal party. The party emphasizes tax reductions, deregulation of private enterprise, and privatization of schools, hospitals and kindergardens.

Switzerland

There are a number of conservative parties in Switzerland's parliament, the Federal Assembly. These include the largest, the Swiss People's Party
Swiss People's Party
The Swiss People's Party , also known as the Democratic Union of the Centre , is a conservative political party in Switzerland. Chaired by Toni Brunner, but spearheaded by Christoph Blocher, the party is the largest party in the Federal Assembly, with 58 members of the National Council and 6 of...

 (SVP), the Christian Democratic People's Party
Christian Democratic People's Party
Several countries have political parties that use the name "Christian Democratic People's Party."*Christian Democratic People's Party of Switzerland*Christian Democratic People's Party of Hungary*Christian Democratic People's Party of Romania...

 (CVP), represented in the Federal Council or cabinet by Doris Leuthard
Doris Leuthard
Doris Leuthard is a Swiss politician and lawyer. Since 1 August 2006, she has been a member of the Swiss Federal Council. From 1 August 2006 till 31 October 2010 she was head of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs...

 (in 2011), and the Conservative Democratic Party of Switzerland (BDP), which is a spliter of the SVP created after a failed attempt to expel Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf from the SVP.

The Swiss People's Party (SVP or UDC) was formed from the 1971 merger of the Party of Farmers, Traders, and Citizens, formed in 1917 and the smaller Swiss Democratic Party, formed in 1942. The SVP emphasized agricultural policy, and was strong among farmers in German-speaking Protestant areas. As Switzerland considered closer relations with the European Union in the 1990s, the SVP adopted a more militant protectionist and isolationist stance. This stance has allowed it to expand into German-speaking Catholic mountainous areas. The Anti-Defamation League
Anti-Defamation League
The Anti-Defamation League is an international non-governmental organization based in the United States. Describing itself as "the nation's premier civil rights/human relations agency", the ADL states that it "fights anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry, defends democratic ideals and protects...

 has accused them of manipulating issues such as immigration, Swiss neutrality and welfare benefits, awakening anti-Semitism and racism. The Council of Europe
Council of Europe
The Council of Europe is an international organisation promoting co-operation between all countries of Europe in the areas of legal standards, human rights, democratic development, the rule of law and cultural co-operation...

 has called the SVP "extreme right", although some scholars dispute this classification. Hans-Georg Betz for example describes it as "populist radical right".

United Kingdom

Conservatism in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 is related to its counterparts in other Western nations, but has a distinct tradition. Edmund Burke
Edmund Burke
Edmund Burke PC was an Irish statesman, author, orator, political theorist and philosopher who, after moving to England, served for many years in the House of Commons of Great Britain as a member of the Whig party....

 is often considered the father of conservatism in the English-speaking world. Burke was a Whig
British Whig Party
The Whigs were a party in the Parliament of England, Parliament of Great Britain, and Parliament of the United Kingdom, who contested power with the rival Tories from the 1680s to the 1850s. The Whigs' origin lay in constitutional monarchism and opposition to absolute rule...

, while the term Tory
Tory
Toryism is a traditionalist and conservative political philosophy which grew out of the Cavalier faction in the Wars of the Three Kingdoms. It is a prominent ideology in the politics of the United Kingdom, but also features in parts of The Commonwealth, particularly in Canada...

is given to the later Conservative Party. One Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

n scholar argues, "For Edmund Burke and Australians of a like mind, the essence of conservatism lies not in a body of theory, but in the disposition to maintain those institutions seen as central to the beliefs and practices of society."

The old established form of English and, after the Act of Union
Acts of Union 1707
The Acts of Union were two Parliamentary Acts - the Union with Scotland Act passed in 1706 by the Parliament of England, and the Union with England Act passed in 1707 by the Parliament of Scotland - which put into effect the terms of the Treaty of Union that had been agreed on 22 July 1706,...

, British conservatism, was the Tory Party. It reflected the attitudes of a rural land owning class, and championed the institutions of the monarchy, the Anglican Church
Anglican Communion
The Anglican Communion is an international association of national and regional Anglican churches in full communion with the Church of England and specifically with its principal primate, the Archbishop of Canterbury...

, the family, and property as the best defence of the social order. In the early stages of the industrial revolution
Industrial Revolution
The Industrial Revolution was a period from the 18th to the 19th century where major changes in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, transportation, and technology had a profound effect on the social, economic and cultural conditions of the times...

, it seemed to be totally opposed to a process that seemed to undermine some of these bulwarks. The new industrial elite were seen by many as enemies to the social order. Robert Peel
Robert Peel
Sir Robert Peel, 2nd Baronet was a British Conservative statesman who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 10 December 1834 to 8 April 1835, and again from 30 August 1841 to 29 June 1846...

 was able to reconcile the new industrial class to the Tory landed class by persuading the latter to accept the repeal of the Corn Laws
Corn Laws
The Corn Laws were trade barriers designed to protect cereal producers in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland against competition from less expensive foreign imports between 1815 and 1846. The barriers were introduced by the Importation Act 1815 and repealed by the Importation Act 1846...

 in 1846. He created a new political group that sought to preserve the old status quo while accepting the basics of laissez-faire
Laissez-faire
In economics, laissez-faire describes an environment in which transactions between private parties are free from state intervention, including restrictive regulations, taxes, tariffs and enforced monopolies....

 and free trade
Free trade
Under a free trade policy, prices emerge from supply and demand, and are the sole determinant of resource allocation. 'Free' trade differs from other forms of trade policy where the allocation of goods and services among trading countries are determined by price strategies that may differ from...

. The new coalition of traditional landowners and sympathetic industrialists constituted the new Conservative Party.

Benjamin Disraeli
Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield
Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield, KG, PC, FRS, was a British Prime Minister, parliamentarian, Conservative statesman and literary figure. Starting from comparatively humble origins, he served in government for three decades, twice as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom...

 gave the new party a political ideology. As a young man, he was influenced by the romantic movement and medievalism
Medievalism
Medievalism is the system of belief and practice characteristic of the Middle Ages, or devotion to elements of that period, which has been expressed in areas such as architecture, literature, music, art, philosophy, scholarship, and various vehicles of popular culture.Since the 18th century, a...

, and developed a devastating critique of industrialism. In his novels, he outlined an England divided into two nations, each living in perfect ignorance of each other. He foresaw, like Karl Marx
Karl Marx
Karl Heinrich Marx was a German philosopher, economist, sociologist, historian, journalist, and revolutionary socialist. His ideas played a significant role in the development of social science and the socialist political movement...

, the phenomenon of an alienated industrial proletariat. His solution involved a return to an idealised view of a corporate or organic society, in which everyone had duties and responsibilities towards other people or groups. This "one nation" conservatism is still a significant tradition in British politics. It has animated a great deal of social reform undertaken by successive Conservative governments.

Although nominally a Conservative, Disraeli was sympathetic to some of the demands of the Chartists and argued for an alliance between the landed aristocracy and the working class against the increasing power of the middle class, helping to found the Young England
Young England
Young England was a Victorian era political group. The group was born on the playing fields of Cambridge and Eton. For the most part, its unofficial membership was confined to a splinter group of Tory aristocrats who had attended public school together, among them George Smythe, Lord John...

 group in 1842 to promote the view that the rich should use their power to protect the poor from exploitation by the middle class. The conversion of the Conservative Party into a modern mass organisation was accelerated by the concept of Tory Democracy attributed to Lord Randolph Churchill
Lord Randolph Churchill
Lord Randolph Henry Spencer-Churchill MP was a British statesman. He was the third son of the 7th Duke of Marlborough and his wife Lady Frances Anne Emily Vane , daughter of the 3rd Marquess of Londonderry...

, father of Britain's wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, was a predominantly Conservative British politician and statesman known for his leadership of the United Kingdom during the Second World War. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the century and served as Prime Minister twice...

.

A Liberal-Conservative coalition during World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, coupled with the ascent of the Labour Party
Labour Party (UK)
The Labour Party is a centre-left democratic socialist party in the United Kingdom. It surpassed the Liberal Party in general elections during the early 1920s, forming minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in 1924 and 1929-1931. The party was in a wartime coalition from 1940 to 1945, after...

, hastened the collapse of the Liberals in the 1920s. After World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, the Conservative Party made concessions to the socialist policies of the Left. This compromise was a pragmatic measure to regain power, but also the result of the early successes of central planning and state ownership forming a cross-party consensus. This was known as Butskellism, after the almost identical Keynesian policies of Rab Butler
Rab Butler
Richard Austen Butler, Baron Butler of Saffron Walden, KG CH DL PC , who invariably signed his name R. A. Butler and was familiarly known as Rab, was a British Conservative politician...

 on behalf of the Conservatives, and Hugh Gaitskell
Hugh Gaitskell
Hugh Todd Naylor Gaitskell CBE was a British Labour politician, who held Cabinet office in Clement Attlee's governments, and was the Leader of the Labour Party and Leader of the Opposition from 1955, until his death in 1963.-Early life:He was born in Kensington, London, the third and youngest...

 for Labour.

However, in the 1980s, under the leadership of Margaret Thatcher
Margaret Thatcher
Margaret Hilda Thatcher, Baroness Thatcher, was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990...

, and the influence of Keith Joseph
Keith Joseph
Keith St John Joseph, Baron Joseph, Bt, CH, PC , was a British barrister and politician. A member of the Conservative Party, he served in the Cabinet under three Prime Ministers , and is widely regarded to have been the "power behind the throne" in the creation of what came to be known as...

, there was a dramatic shift in the ideological direction of British conservatism, with a movement towards free-market economic policies. As one commentator explains, "The privatization
Privatization
Privatization is the incidence or process of transferring ownership of a business, enterprise, agency or public service from the public sector to the private sector or to private non-profit organizations...

 of state owned industries, unthinkable before, became commonplace [during Thatcher's government] and has now been imitated all over the world." Some commentators have questioned whether Thatcherism
Thatcherism
Thatcherism describes the conviction politics, economic and social policy, and political style of the British Conservative politician Margaret Thatcher, who was leader of her party from 1975 to 1990...

 was consistent with the traditional concept of conservatism in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, and saw her views as more consistent with radical classical liberalism
Classical liberalism
Classical liberalism is the philosophy committed to the ideal of limited government, constitutionalism, rule of law, due process, and liberty of individuals including freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, and free markets....

. Thatcher was described as "a radical in a conservative party", and her ideology has been seen as confronting "established institutions" and the "accepted beliefs of the elite", both concepts incompatible with the traditional conception of conservatism as signifying support for the established order and existing social convention.

United States

Conservatism in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 includes a variety of political ideologies including fiscal conservatism
Fiscal conservatism
Fiscal conservatism is a political term used to describe a fiscal policy that advocates avoiding deficit spending. Fiscal conservatives often consider reduction of overall government spending and national debt as well as ensuring balanced budget of paramount importance...

, supply-side economics
Supply-side economics
Supply-side economics is a school of macroeconomic thought that argues that economic growth can be most effectively created by lowering barriers for people to produce goods and services, such as lowering income tax and capital gains tax rates, and by allowing greater flexibility by reducing...

, social conservatism
Social conservatism
Social Conservatism is primarily a political, and usually morally influenced, ideology that focuses on the preservation of what are seen as traditional values. Social conservatism is a form of authoritarianism often associated with the position that the federal government should have a greater role...

, libertarian conservatism
Libertarian conservatism
Libertarian conservatism, also known as conservative libertarianism , includes political ideologies which meld libertarianism and conservatism...

, bioconservatism and religious conservatism, as well as support for a strong military
Military
A military is an organization authorized by its greater society to use lethal force, usually including use of weapons, in defending its country by combating actual or perceived threats. The military may have additional functions of use to its greater society, such as advancing a political agenda e.g...

. Modern American conservatism was largely born out of alliance between classical liberals
Classical liberalism
Classical liberalism is the philosophy committed to the ideal of limited government, constitutionalism, rule of law, due process, and liberty of individuals including freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, and free markets....

 and social conservatives in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The Republican Party
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

 is the leading conservative party in the United States. Organizations in the US committed to promoting conservative ideology include the American Conservative Union
American Conservative Union
The American Conservative Union is an American political organization advocating conservative policies, and is the oldest such conservative lobbying organization in the country.-Organization:...

, Eagle Forum
Eagle Forum
Eagle Forum is a conservative interest group in the United States founded by Phyllis Schlafly in 1972 and is the parent organization that also includes the Eagle Forum Education and Legal Defense Fund and the Eagle Forum PAC. The Eagle Forum has been primarily focused on social issues; it describes...

, Heritage Foundation
Heritage Foundation
The Heritage Foundation is a conservative American think tank based in Washington, D.C. Heritage's stated mission is to "formulate and promote conservative public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong...

, Citizens United
Citizens United
Citizens United is a conservative non-profit organization in the United States. Its president and chairman is David Bossie.-Overview:Citizens United describes its mission as being dedicated to restoring the United States government to "citizens' control" and to "assert American values of limited...

, and the Hoover Institution
Hoover Institution
The Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace is a public policy think tank and library founded in 1919 by then future U.S. president, Herbert Hoover, an early alumnus of Stanford....

. US-based media outlets that are conservative include Human Events
Human Events
Human Events is a weekly American conservative magazine. It takes its name from the first sentence of the United States Declaration of Independence...

, National Review
National Review
National Review is a biweekly magazine founded by the late author William F. Buckley, Jr., in 1955 and based in New York City. It describes itself as "America's most widely read and influential magazine and web site for conservative news, commentary, and opinion."Although the print version of the...

, The American Conservative
The American Conservative
The American Conservative is a monthly U.S. opinion magazine published by Ron Unz. Its first editor was Scott McConnell, his successors being Kara Hopkins and the present incumbent, Daniel McCarthy....

, Policy Review
Policy Review
Policy Review is one of America's leading conservative journals. It was founded by the Heritage Foundation and was for many years the foundation's flagship publication. In 2001, the publication was acquired by the Stanford University-based Hoover Institution, though it maintains its office on...

, and The Weekly Standard
The Weekly Standard
The Weekly Standard is an American neoconservative opinion magazine published 48 times per year. Its founding publisher, News Corporation, debuted the title September 18, 1995. Currently edited by founder William Kristol and Fred Barnes, the Standard has been described as a "redoubt of...

.

Psychology

Following the Second World War, psychologists conducted research into the different motives and tendencies that account for ideological differences between left and right. The early studies focused on conservatives, beginning with Theodor W. Adorno
Theodor W. Adorno
Theodor W. Adorno was a German sociologist, philosopher, and musicologist known for his critical theory of society....

's The Authoritarian Personality
The Authoritarian Personality
The Authoritarian Personality is an influential sociology book by Theodor W. Adorno, Else Frenkel-Brunswik, Daniel Levinson, and Nevitt Sanford, researchers working at the University of California, Berkeley, during and shortly after World War II.TAP "invented a set of criteria by which to define...

(1950). This book has been heavily criticized on theoretical and methodological grounds, but some of its findings have been confirmed by further empirical research.

In 1973, British psychologist Glenn Wilson
Glenn Wilson (psychologist)
Glenn Daniel Wilson is a psychologist best known for his work on attitude and personality measurement, sexual attraction, deviation and dysfunction, partner compatibility, and psychology applied to performing arts.In 2001, Wilson was ranked among the 10 most frequently cited British psychologists...

 published an influential book providing evidence that a general factor underlying conservative beliefs is "fear of uncertainty". A meta-analysis of research literature by Jost, Glaser, Kruglanski, and Sulloway in 2003 found that many factors, such as intolerance of ambiguity
Ambiguity tolerance
Ambiguity tolerance is the ability to perceive ambiguity in information and behavior in a neutral and open way.Ambiguity tolerance is an important issue in personality development and education...

 and need for cognitive closure, contribute to the degree of one's political conservatism. A study by Kathleen Maclay stated these traits "might be associated with such generally valued characteristics as personal commitment and unwavering loyalty." The research also suggested that while most people are resistant to change, liberals are more tolerant of it.

According to psychologist Robert Altemeyer
Robert Altemeyer
Robert "Bob" Altemeyer is a retired Professor of Psychology at the University of Manitoba.He has written extensively on authoritarianism and refined the theory into the concept of Right Wing Authoritarianism. Altemeyer's work is extensively referenced in John W. Dean's 2006 book, Conservatives...

, individuals who are politically conservative tend to rank high in Right-Wing Authoritarianism on his RWA scale. This finding was echoed by Theodor Adorno. A study done on Israeli and Palestinian students in Israel found that RWA scores of right-wing party supporters were significantly higher than those of left-wing party supporters. However, a 2005 study by H. Michael Crowson and colleagues suggested a moderate gap between RWA and other conservative positions. "The results indicated that conservatism is not synonymous with RWA."

Psychologist Felicia Pratto and her colleagues have found evidence to support the idea that a high Social Dominance Orientation
Social dominance orientation
Social dominance orientation is a personality trait which predicts social and political attitudes, and is a widely used Social Psychological scale. SDO is conceptualised as a measure of individual differences in levels of group-based discrimination and domination; that is, it is a measure of an...

 (SDO) is strongly correlated with conservative political views, and opposition to social engineering to promote equality, though Pratto's findings have been highly controversial. Pratto and her colleagues found that high SDO scores were highly correlated with measures of prejudice
Prejudice
Prejudice is making a judgment or assumption about someone or something before having enough knowledge to be able to do so with guaranteed accuracy, or "judging a book by its cover"...

. They were refuted in this claim by David J. Schneider
David J. Schneider
David J. Schneider is an American psychologist. He is a professor of psychology and the director of the cognitive sciences program at Rice University.-Career and work:...

, who wrote that "correlations between prejudice and political conservative are reduced virtually to zero when controls for SDO are instituted" and by Kenneth Minogue
Kenneth Minogue
Kenneth Robert Minogue is an Australian political theorist who is Emeritus Professor of Political Science at the London School of Economics.-Biography:...

 who wrote "It is characteristic of the conservative temperament to value established identities, to praise habit and to respect prejudice, not because it is irrational, but because such things anchor the darting impulses of human beings in solidities of custom which we do not often begin to value until we are already losing them. Radicalism often generates youth movements, while conservatism is a condition found among the mature, who have discovered what it is in life they most value."

A 1996 study on the relationship between racism and conservatism found that the correlation was stronger among more educated individuals, though specifically anti-Black racism did not increase. They also found that the correlation between racism and conservatism could be entirely accounted for by their mutual relationship with social dominance orientation. The authors concluded that opposition to affirmative action, especially among more highly educated conservatives, was better explained by social dominance orientation than by principled conservatism.

A 2008 research report found that conservatives are happier than liberals, and that as income inequality increases, conservatives become happier and liberals less happy.

A 2010 study by scientists at Harvard and The University of California at San Diego found that there might be genetic predisposition towards liberalism
Liberalism in the United States
Liberalism in the United States is a broad political philosophy centered on the unalienable rights of the individual. The fundamental liberal ideals of freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion for all belief systems, and the separation of church and state, right to due process...

.

Further reading

  • Our Culture, What's Left of It: the Mandarins and the masses / Theodore Dalrymple
    Anthony Daniels (psychiatrist)
    Anthony Daniels , who generally uses the pen name Theodore Dalrymple, is an English writer and retired prison doctor and psychiatrist. He worked in places including a number of Sub-Saharan African countries and the east end of London...

    ., 2005
  • Fascists and conservatives : the radical right and the establishment in twentieth-century Europe / Martin Blinkhorn., 1990
  • Reflections on the Revolution in France / Edmund Burke
    Edmund Burke
    Edmund Burke PC was an Irish statesman, author, orator, political theorist and philosopher who, after moving to England, served for many years in the House of Commons of Great Britain as a member of the Whig party....

    ., 1997
  • The Superfluous Men: Critics of American Culture, 1900–1945 / Robert Crunden., 1999
  • Recent conservative political thought : American perspectives / Russell G. Fryer., 1979
  • The Conservative Movement / Paul E. Gottfried., 1993
  • The British Right : Conservative and right wing politics in Britain / Neill Nugent., 1977
  • America alone: the neo-conservatives and the global order / Stefan A Halper., 2004
  • Conservatism / Ted Honderich
    Ted Honderich
    Ted Honderich is a Canadian-born British philosopher, Grote Professor Emeritus of the Philosophy of Mind and Logic, University College London and Visiting Professor, University of Bath...

    .
  • The Conservative Mind / Russell Kirk
    Russell Kirk
    Russell Kirk was an American political theorist, moralist, historian, social critic, literary critic, and fiction author 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...

    ., 2001
  • The Politics of Prudence / Russell Kirk., 1993
  • The conservative press in twentieth-century America / Ronald Lora., 1999
  • From the New Deal to the New Right: race and the southern origins of modern conservatism / Joseph E Lowndes., 2008
  • Conservatism / Jerry Z. Muller.
  • Right-wing women: from conservatives to extremists around the world / P Bacchetta., 2002
  • Unmaking law: the Conservative campaign to roll back the common law / Jay M Feinman., 2004
  • Radicals or conservatives?: the contemporary American right / James McEvoy., 1971
  • Conservatism: Dream and Reality / Robert Nisbet
    Robert Nisbet
    Robert Alexander Nisbet was an American sociologist, professor at the University of California, Berkeley, Vice-Chancellor at the University of California, Riverside and as the Albert Schweitzer Professor at Columbia University.-Life:Nisbet was born in Los Angeles in 1913 and raised in the small...

    ., 2001
  • Ought the Neo-Cons be Considered Conservatives?: a philosophical response / AQ: Journal of Contemporary Analysis. 75(6):32-33/40. 2003
  • Conservatism in America since 1930: a reader / Gregory L. Schneider., 2003
  • Conservatism / Noel O'Sullivan.
  • The new racism : conservatives and the ideology of the tribe / Martin Barker., 1982
  • A time for choosing: the rise of modern American conservatism / Jonathan M Schoenwald., 2001
  • The Meaning of Conservatism / Roger Scruton
    Roger Scruton
    Roger Vernon Scruton is a conservative English philosopher and writer. He is the author of over 30 books, including Art and Imagination , Sexual Desire , The Aesthetics of Music , and A Political Philosophy: Arguments For Conservatism...

    .
  • Facing fascism: the conservative party and the European dictators, 1935–1940 / NJ Crowson., 1997
  • The End of Politics: triangulation, realignment and the battle for the centre ground / Alexander Lee and Timothy Stanley., 2006
  • Liberty, Equality, Fraternity / James Fitzjames Stephen
    James Fitzjames Stephen
    Sir James Fitzjames Stephen, 1st Baronet was an English lawyer, judge and writer. He was created 1st Baronet Stephen by Queen Victoria.-Early life:...

    .
  • The Graphic Guide to Conservatism: a visual primer on the conservative worldview / Olivier Ballou. http://issuu.com/ggtc/docs/issuu_ggtc_1. 2011
  • Conservatism / Kieron O'Hara / Reaktion Books, 2011 (Reviewed in The Montreal Review)
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