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Modern Political Thoery and Liberalism

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The subject given for this paper was to "assess the alienation from liberalism found in modern and contemporary political theory." To be honest, I don't see a correlation with alienating liberalism and modern political thought through the time line of political theory in the 18th and19th century and through the 20th century. So, for this paper, I will prove the opposite. I will show, in my opinion, how the rise of liberalism has kept alive modern and contemporary political thought and action. I will begin with what I know of the beginning of liberal ideas and move through time showing how these liberal movements have been the basis for major changes in countries and that liberalism, in my opinion, has not been alienated.

The French Revolution marks the beginning of liberalism where the community lashed out against French society. This is where status was legally stratified by birth. In consequence, French citizens persistently negotiated with one another and with the crown for better and more human rights. This is the marking of citizens wanting "natural rights" and lashing out against a political organization/government in order to achieve this. Webster's Dictionary defines Liberal as "a political philosophy based on belief in progress, the essential goodness of the human race, and the autonomy of the individual and standing for the protection of political and civil liberties."(Webster) I think that the rebel of citizens in the French Revolution fits perfectly into this definition and marks the basis for the subject of political thought.

During the and after Industrial Revolution, due to liberalism, the social structure of society changed considerably. Before the Revolution most people lived in small villages, working either as farmers or craftsmen. With industrialization everything changed. The new enclosure law had left many poor farmers bankrupt and unemployed and machines capable of huge outputs made small hand weavers redundant. As a result, there were many people who were forced to work at the new factories. This required them to move to towns and cities so that they could be close to their new jobs. It also meant that they made less money for working longer hours. Add to this the higher living expenses due to urbanization and one can easily see that many families' resources would be extremely stretched.

In return, women and children were sent out to work. They were forced to work as long as eighteen hours each day. This unprecedented growth and profit was another social change that occurred during the Industrial Revolution. The laissez-faire method taken by the government permitted to thrive. This allowed the wealthy, middle-class owners to pursue whichever path was most profitable because no government action was taken against this harsh treatment of workers. Before the Report, governments were averse to the implementation of reforms based on their strict policy of laissez-faire the government found this sacred. Citizens claimed "human rights" and "natural rights" they began to rebel, breaking into factories and destroying hundreds of them in the span of a few weeks. After this outcry and revolt of many citizens, the British government was forced to act. In the future many changes were made due to the social and working conditions in Britain. Politics separated from the electoral system due to the effects of the Industrial Revolution on.

Guided by the political notion of liberalism in the 18th century this meant a new age in British politics, which continued through the Industrial Revolution. The industrialization of Europe, like the French Revolution, left a permanent mark on society. Changes such as the Health and Morals Apprentices Act, where 12 hours of work a day was all that was allowed with no night shifts and employers were to provide education and the Factory Act where women and children of the ages 13-18 could not work more than 12 hours a day and children under 13 could not work no more than 61/2 hours a day. Life as citizens knew it in the 18th century



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