Liberalism: During the 19th century, this ideology represented liberalism both in the economic market as well as in society in order to preserve 'self governing liberties' of individuals and local communities. It supported a Laissez-Faire economic policy, a limited government, and strong individual liberties and civil rights. Victorian Liberalism set out to curb statist interventions and centralization. Victorian Liberalism thus resembles Libertarianism far more than modern Social Liberalism, albeit both share roots in this ideology.
Conservatism: Victorian Conservatism was supportive of a strong government, a “natural social order” (hierarchy), tradition, agrarianism, localism and regionalism, and a unity of church and state. Conservatives were also generally supportive of the monarchy.
Progressivism: Progressivism was a movement which emerged in the United States, and which reigned from 1890 to 1920. Addressing many of the ills that had emerged in the latter 19th century, Progressivism advocated progress and change. Progressivism called for reform and curtailing political corruption rampant in the era, generally supported social welfare programs and social safety nets, and supported an interventionist government both socially and economically in the name of securing social justice. In these ways, Progressivism resembles modern Social Liberalism and Social Democracy. Progressivism also appears to share many similarities with American Populism which emerged in the United States some decades before, albeit Populism was based among poor agrarian farmers whereas Progressivism was heralded by the urban middle class.
Populism: Populism emerged among rural western farmers within the United States in the latter 19th century. Citing corrupt practices of the railroad industry, as well as a turbulent and frequently corrupt and monopolistic economic market as there was in the Victorian era, the movement supported an eight hour work day, a graduated income tax, civil service reform, direct election of senators, and government control of all railroads, telegraphs, and telephones. Populists were also generally against the gold standard, and believed that greenbacks not backed by a hard mineral standard would allow money to flow more freely through western regions. There also existed support of free silver. Due to the difficulties of western life in the 19th century, many women had taken active roles in western settlement and working to ensure that their town or family could survive. As a result, westerners had a higher opinion of women and many times less sense of inequality between the sexes as was held in the long settled east. This also carried over into populism, in which supporters of feminine equality could also be found (in fact, western states granted women suffrage decades ahead of and to a greater degree than further eastern states). An opinion of a shared identity through hard labor and a shared struggle would also see support for blacks among many Populists. In many ways, Populism resembles the Progressive movement that would follow it some years later, and many of the proposals and ideas first brought up by Populists would see fruition in this era.
Communism: The philosophies and teachings of 19th century economist Karl Marx. Although Marx is credited with the idea of socialism and communism, Marx did not really elaborate much on his Utopian government. The vast majority of his writings were critiques of capitalism. However, he viewed the struggle of workers as a continuation of historical forces that would one day lead to communism. This would occur in three stages. The first stage was capitalism, in which the proletariat (workers) are exploited by capitalists (business owners). The second stage would be socialism, or a “dictatorship of the proletariat.” Marx envisioned that this stage would be brief. In the final stage – communism – society would become so classless and collectivist that the formal state would wither away, and society could spontaneously operate as a collective whole without government.
Socialism: A proposed economic system in which workers, not private capitalist individuals, own and control the means of production. (This includes factories, stores, farmland, machinery, etc.) Not to be confused with the “socialism” nominally practiced by the Soviet Union, which was no more than a dictatorship over workers by a ruling elite. True socialism on a national level has never been tried anywhere in the world. (It is sometimes practices at the company level, with employee-owned firms.) Socialism has been proposed in many forms, ranging from anarcho-socialism to social democracy. However, in those variants where socialism advocates a centralized government, that government is always democratic.
offtopic/victorian_era_politics.txt · Last modified: 2019/03/29 15:13 (external edit)