Conservatism

Conservatism is a cultural, social, and political philosophy that seeks to promote and to preserve traditional social institutions and practices.[1][2] The central tenets of conservatism may vary in relation to the status quo of the culture and civilization in which it appears. In Western culture, conservatives seek to preserve a range of institutions such as organized religion, parliamentary government, and property rights.[3] Conservatives tend to favor institutions and practices that guarantee stability and evolved gradually.[2] Adherents of conservatism often oppose modernism and seek a return to traditional values, though different groups of conservatives may choose different traditional values to preserve.[2][4]

The first established use of the term in a political context originated in 1818 with François-René de Chateaubriand[5] during the period of Bourbon Restoration that sought to roll back the policies of the French Revolution. Historically associated with right-wing politics, the term has since been used to describe a wide range of views.

There is no single set of policies regarded as conservative because the meaning of conservatism depends on what is considered traditional in a given place and time. Conservative thought has varied considerably as it has adapted itself to existing traditions and national cultures.[6] For example, some conservatives advocate for greater economic intervention,[7] while others advocate for a more laissez faire free-market economic system.[8] Thus, conservatives from different parts of the world—each upholding their respective traditions—may disagree on a wide range of issues. Edmund Burke, an 18th-century politician who opposed the French Revolution but supported the American Revolution, is credited as one of the main theorists of conservatism in the 1790s.[9]


Share this article:

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Conservatism, and is written by contributors. Text is available under a CC BY-SA 4.0 International License; additional terms may apply. Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.