• Conservatism is a preference for the historically inherited rather than the abstract and ideal.
  • Believes society should be rooted in long-standing traditions and its institutions should reflect those traditions

Why conservatives believe this:

  • Movement began as a response to the French Revolution (1789)- people of France replaced monarchy with new forms of gov’t, resulting in a chaotic decade
  • Believe customs and social structures that have successfully withstood the test of time will do so in the future as well- “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality
  • Old ideas are preferable to new ideas, which are needless and potentially harmful experimentation

How this works:

  • Gov’ts responsibility: be the servant, not the master, of existing ways of life- politicians must resist the temptation to transform society and politics

What is the difference between Conservatives and Liberals?

  • American writer Ambrose Bierce defined the conservative as: “a statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as distinguished from the Liberal, who wishes to replace them with others.”

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