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Date published 2021-11-03
Curation date 2021-11-03
Curator Dr. Victoria A. Stuart, Ph.D.
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Summary Conservatism is an aesthetic,   cultural,   social,  and political philosophy, which seeks to promote and to preserve traditional social institutions. The central tenets of conservatism may vary in relation to the traditional values or practices 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. Adherents of conservatism often oppose modernism, and seek a return to traditional values.
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  • This article is a stub [additional content pending ...].

  • Conservatism

  • Source: Wikipedia, 2021-10-08
  • Conservatism is an aesthetic,   cultural,   social,  and political philosophy, which seeks to promote and to preserve traditional social institutions. The central tenets of conservatism may vary in relation to the traditional values or practices 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. Adherents of conservatism often oppose modernism, and seek a return to traditional values.

    The first established use of the term conservatism in a political context originated in 1818 with François-René de Chateaubriand during the period of Bourbon Restoration that sought to roll back the policies of the French Revolution (1789-1799). 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. For example, some conservatives advocate for greater government intervention in the economy while others advocate for a more Laissez-faire   free market economic system. 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 earlier paradoxically supported the American Revolution (1765-1791), is credited as one of the main theorists of conservatism in the 1790s.

    Conservatism in Canada

  • Source: Wikipedia, 2021-11-24
  • See also: Social Conservatism in Canada.
  • Conservatism in Canada is generally considered to be primarily represented by the modern-day Conservative Party of Canada in federal party politics, and by various center-Right and right-wing parties at the provincial level. The first party calling itself "Conservative" in what would become Canada was elected in the Province of Canada election of 1854.

    Far-right politics have never been a prominent force in Canadian society. Canadian conservative ideology is rooted in British "Tory-ism", rather than American liberalism. Stemming from the resettlement of United Empire Loyalists after the American Revolutionary War with traditionalist conservative views alongside pro-market liberalism ideals, is the reason that Canadian conservatives generally prefer the Westminster system of government.

    Originally, Canadian conservatism tended to be traditionalist conservative. Conservative governments in Canada, such as those of John A. MacdonaldRobert BordenR. B. Bennett, and John Diefenbaker, were known for supporting an active role for government in the economy of the creation of government-operated businesses (early Crown Corporations such as the Canadian National Railway) to develop and protect Canadian industries, protectionist programs such as the National Policy. Canadian conservatism thus mirrored British Conservatism in its values and economic and political outlooks. Canadian conservatives have generally favored the continuation of old political institutions and strong ties to the monarchy.

    In the latter half of the 20th-century, Canadian conservatism embraced neoliberal economic policies including free trade, seeking balanced budgets, and support of privatizations of Crown Corporations claimed to be better provided by the private sector. In this time, division arose between the conservatives in Eastern and Western Canada as Western conservatives perceived Canada's federal parliament as being dominated by Eastern interests. This schism led to the creation of the Reform Party of Canada as a Western-based populist protest party promoting constitutional reform to balance the regions' interests and sought to expand into the East - especially in Ontario - to displace the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada. While the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada and Reform Party of Canada had some similar economic policies, Reformers wanted deeper cuts to government services than the Progressive Conservatives, and Reformers had strong social conservative stances whereas the Progressive Conservatives were more neutral on controversial social issues. The Progressive Conservatives faced an unprecedented collapse in the 1993 federal election and the Reform Party surpassed the Progressive Conservatives as the largest conservative party in Canada's parliament. After several elections where neither party made significant gains, the two parties agreed to merge into the new Conservative Party of Canada in 2003.

    Conservatism in the United States

  • Source: Wikipedia, 2021-09-27  |  "American Right" redirects here
  • See also: Social Conservatism in the United States.
  • Conservatism in the United States is a political philosophy and social philosophy which characteristically prioritizes American traditions,   republicanism, and limited federal governmental power in relation to the states, referred to more simply as limited government and states' rights. It typically supports Judeo-Christian values,   moral universalism,   American exceptionalism, and individualism. It is generally pro-capitalist and pro-business while opposing trade unions. It often advocates for a strong national defense,   gun rights,   free trade, and a defense of Western culture from perceived threats posed by communism,   socialism, and moral relativism.

    American conservatives generally consider individual liberty - within the bounds of conservative values - as the fundamental trait of democracy. They typically believe in a balance between federal government and states' rights. Apart from some right-libertarians, American conservatives tend to favor strong action in areas they believe to be within government's legitimate jurisdiction, particularly national defense and law enforcement. Social conservatives - many of them religious - often oppose abortion,   civil unions,   and same-sex marriage. They often favor Christian prayer in public schools, and government funding for private Christian schools.

    Like most political ideologies in the United States, conservatism originates from republicanism, which rejects aristocratic and monarchical government, and upholds the principles of the 1776 United States Declaration of Independence ("that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness") and of the United States Constitution (which established a federal republic under the rule of law). Conservative philosophy also derives in part from the classical liberal tradition of the 18th and 19th centuries, which advocated for Laissez-faire economics (i.e. economic freedom and deregulation).

    While historians such as Patrick Allitt (1956-) and political theorists such as Russell Kirk (1918-1994) assert that conservative principles have played a major role in United States politics and United States culture since 1776, they also argue that an organized conservative movement - with beliefs that differ from those of other American political parties - did not emerge in the U.S. until the 1950s. The recent movement conservatism has its base in the Republican Party, which has adopted conservative policies since the 1950s; Southern Democrats also became important early figures in the movement's history. In 1937, conservative Republicans and Southern Democrats formed the congressional Conservative Coalition, which played an influential role in Congress from the late 1930s to the mid 1960s. In recent decades Southern conservatives vote heavily Republican.

    Social Conservatism

    Social conservatism is a political philosophy and variety of conservatism which places emphasis on traditional power structures over social pluralism. Social conservatism in North America rose in the early 1800s as a reaction to the perceived anti-Christian and anti-constitutional aspects of slavery, as articulated by William Wilberforce and Abraham Lincoln. They also engaged with the economic insecurity of lower-class Protestant Americans, McCarthyism and other challenges to social institutions. Social conservatives often promoted the organisation and politicisation of social issues.

    Sociologist Harry F. Dahms suggests that social conservatism relates to a "commitment" to traditional values concerned with family structures,   sexual relations,   patriotism,   gun ownership, and military invasions, describing Christian doctrinal conservatives (anti-abortion,   anti-gay marriage) and gun-use conservatives [pro-National Rifle Association of America (NRA)] as the two domains of ideology within. Social conservatives also value the rights of religious institutions to participate in the public sphere, thus supporting government-religious endorsement, and opposing state atheism.

    Social Conservatism in Canada

  • Source: Wikipedia, 2022-01-26.
  • See also: Conservatism in Canada.
  • Social conservatism in Canada represents conservative positions on issues of family,   sexuality, and morality. In the European and North American context, social conservatives believe in natural law as well as traditional family values and traditional policies. In Canada's modern context, social conservatism also includes pro-life stances on abortion and opposition to LGBT rights.


    Canada's political and social history stems from long established ties to conservative institutions and ideals. The major founding institutions of pre-Confederation Canada  [History of Canada], both in English Canada and French Canada, were religious organizations. Groups such as the Jesuits  [Society of Jesus] in Quebec and various Anglican missions in Ontario gave rise to the founding educational, political and social hierarchies of the ensuing centuries. The Catholic Church's control and influence in Quebec was insurmountable for nearly three centuries prior to the Quiet Revolution. Similarly, British Toryism  [Tories, a British political party] and Protestant puritanical ideals in Ontario were so deeply entrenched after the migration of conservative   United Empire Loyalists fleeing the American Revolution that laws regarding alcohol, tobacco sales and gambling are still strictly regulated in Ontario. At the turn of the 20th century, Toronto had strict moralistic by-laws (which included a ban on Sunday sports into the 1950s as well as Sunday shopping into the 1980s). To this day, Ontario has some of the strictest liquor laws outside the Near East and Middle East.

    The extent to which social conservatism was embedded in the 19th centuries and 20th centuries is evidenced by the power and influence of Tory factions in pre-Confederation Canada  [History of Canada], such as the Family Compact and the Chateau Clique, the prominence of the Conservative Party of Canada after Canadian Confederation and the pronounced stifling of left-leaning or progressive views until after World War II. Even to this day, social conservatism in Canada still has support outside the major urban centres in Canada of Toronto,   Montreal and Vancouver.

    In modern times, however, social conservatism has not been as influential in Canada as in the past, and has been in constant decline. The main reason is that right-wing,   neoliberal politics as promoted by leaders such as Paul Martin and former Prime Minister Stephen Harper have not been linked to moral or social conservatism. That is, there is no large political party behind it, and social conservatives have divided their votes.

    Social conservatives demand a return to traditional morality and social mores, often through civil law or regulation. Social change away from traditional values is generally regarded as suspect, while social values based on tradition are generally regarded as tried, tested and true. It is a view commonly associated with religious conservatives, particularly Evangelicals or conservative Roman Catholics.

    Socially conservative values do not necessarily coincide with those of right-wing   fiscal conservatism. Fiscally left-leaning politicians may embrace socially conservative values.

    Examples of socially conservative Canadians include Christian Heritage Party leader Jim Hnatiuk former leader Ron Gray, and former leader of the Conservative Party of CanadaAndrew Scheer.

    Political impact

    In modern Canadian politics, social conservatives often felt that they were being sidelined by officials in the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada. Many of them felt shunned by a party that was largely led and run by Red Tories for the last half of the twentieth century. Many eventually made their political home with the Reform Party of Canada and its forerunner the Social Credit Party of Canada. Despite Reform Party of Canada leader Preston Manning's attempts to broaden the support of the Reform movement through populism, the Reform Party of Canada was dominated by social conservatives. Manning's reluctance to allow his party to wholly embrace socially conservative values contributed to his deposition as leader of the new Canadian Alliance in favour of Stockwell Day.

    The social conservative movement remained very influential in the Canadian Alliance even after Stockwell Day's defeat at the hands of Stephen Harper in 2002.

    In the Conservative Party of Canada that emerged from a coalition of Canadian Alliance members and Progressive Conservatives, social conservatives are still a force to be taken into account, but many Conservative Party of Canada supporters have been disappointed with what they regard as the minimal influence of social conservatism in the Stephen Harper government  [Premiership of Stephen Harper]. In part this minimal influence can be explained by the fact of a minority government, but some would blame it also on Harper's own lack of enthusiasm for the changes social conservatives would advocate.

    There is a large relationship between fiscal liberalism and social conservatism among Canadian ethnic communities. These communities have for the last twenty years voted conservative-leaning.

    The Christian Heritage Party of Canada is also socially conservative, as are its provincial wings like the Christian Heritage Party of British Columbia. The People's Party of Canada has also been described as socially conservative. There are other socially conservative provincial parties such as - formerly - the Family Coalition Party of Ontario, and the Alberta Social Credit Party.


    Social conservatism in Canada is strongest in Alberta, long Canada's most conservative province, where the Social Credit movement preached evangelical values and came to power in the 1930s. It is a factor as well in parts of British Columbia, outside of the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island. Social conservatives are strongest in rural settings, especially in Western Canada; however, social conservatism is not limited geographically to any one area or to any one political party.

  • Regarding Alberta, see also: Jason Kenney  |  United Conservative Party.

  • Social Conservatism in the United States

  • Source: Wikipedia, 2022-01-26.
  • See also: Conservatism in the United States.
  • Social conservatism in the United States is a political ideology focused on the preservation of traditional values and beliefs. Social conservatism in the United States focuses on a concern with moral and social values which proponents of the ideology see as degraded in modern society by liberalism. In the United States, one of the largest forces of social conservatism is the Christian Right.

    Social conservatives in the United States are concerned with many social issues such as the following.

  • Opposition to abortion;

  • opposition to feminism;

  • opposition to pornography;

  • opposition to same-sex marriage;

  • opposition to transgender rights  [transphobia]; and,

  • opposition to gambling;

  • Support for abstinence-only sex education;

  • support for traditional family values;

  • support for school prayer;

  • support for school vouchers;

  • support for Sunday blue laws; and,

  • opposition to recreational drug use, among others.

  • As many of the social conservatives in the United States are religious - more specifically Christian - social conservatives push for a focus on Christian traditions as a guiding force for the country on social issues [partial list, above]. This includes advocacy for the presence of religion within the public sphere, such as the display of Judeo-Christian statuaryin general and especially during Christmastide and Eastertide, as well as supporting the presence of religion in the education system, along with backing parochial schools, as social conservatives believe that "religion is the firmest foundation for the moral development that students need to become productive, law-abiding citizens."

    As a term, social conservatism describes conservative stances on socio-cultural issues such as abortion,   same-sex marriage, and school prayer as opposed to what is termed social liberalism  [cultural liberalism]. A social conservative in this sense is closer to the meaning of cultural conservatism than the broader European social conservatism and may hold either more conservative or liberal views on fiscal policy.

  • This article is a stub [additional content pending ...].

  • Additional Reading

  • [, 2022-02-14] The Man Who Pushed Canada’s Conservatives Further to the RightTed Byfield, the founder of the far-right Alberta Report, left an indelible mark on Canadian conservatism. Ted Byfield was responsible for emboldening the most racist and anti-worker elements of the Right.  |  "The Right is always in a somewhat uncomfortable alliance of the extremely wealthy, the hateful, and the deranged."

  • [, 2021-11-26] Who Is the University of Austin For?  The project’s uphill battle points to a deeper contradiction within what might be called neo-neoconservatism.

  • [, 2021-11-18] The Terrifying Future of the American Right.  What I saw at the National Conservatism Conference.

  • [, 2021-11-16] Librarians are resisting censorship of children’s books by LGBTQ+ and Black authors.  Attempts to keep books out of school libraries aren’t new, but there has been a recent increase in political challenges to literature.

  • [, 2021-11-13] More Republican leaders try to ban books on race, LGBTQ issues.

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