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National liberalism is a variant of
liberalism Liberalism is a political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, or other forms of Power (social and political), power relations between individuals ...

liberalism
, combining liberal policies and issues with elements of
nationalism Nationalism is an idea and movement that holds that the nation A nation is a community A community is a social unitThe term "level of analysis" is used in the social sciences to point to the location, size, or scale of a research target ...
. Historically, national liberalism has also been used in the same meaning as
conservative liberalism Conservative liberalism or right-liberalism is a variant of liberalism Liberalism is a political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, or othe ...
. A series of "national-liberal" political parties, by ideology or just by name, were especially active in Europe in the 19th century in several national contexts such as
Central Europe Central Europe is an area of Europe Europe is a which is also recognised as part of , located entirely in the and mostly in the . It comprises the westernmost peninsulas of the of Eurasia, it shares the continental landmass of with both ...

Central Europe
, the
Nordic countries The Nordic countries (also known as the Nordics or ''Norden''; lit. 'the North') are a geographical and cultural region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics (physical geography), human impac ...

Nordic countries
, and
Southeastern Europe Southeast Europe or Southeastern Europe () is a geographical subregion A subregion is a part of a larger region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to th ...

Southeastern Europe
.


Definitions

National liberalism was primarily an ideology and a movement of the 19th century. National-liberal goals were the pursuit of individual and economic freedom, as well as national sovereignty. József Antall, a historian and
Christian democrat Christian democracy is a political ideology that emerged in 19th-century Europe under the influence of Catholic social teaching Catholic social teaching, commonly abbreviated as CST, is a Catholic doctrine on matters of human dignity D ...
who served as the first post-communist
Prime Minister A prime minister or a premier is the head of the cabinet Cabinet or The Cabinet may refer to: Furniture * Cabinetry, a box-shaped piece of furniture with doors and/or drawers * Display cabinet, a piece of furniture with one or more transpa ...
of Hungary, described national liberalism as "part and parcel of the emergence of the nation state" in 19th-century Europe. According to Oskar Mulej, "in terms of both ideologies and political party traditions it may be argued that in the
Central Europe Central Europe is an area of Europe Europe is a which is also recognised as part of , located entirely in the and mostly in the . It comprises the westernmost peninsulas of the of Eurasia, it shares the continental landmass of with both ...

Central Europe
an lands a distinct type of liberalism, peculiar to this region evolved through the nineteenth century" and citing Maciej Janowski, "the word 'national' acted as more or less synonymous with 'liberal'" ("'national' alone was sufficient to arouse suspicions of liberal associations"). Also according to Mulej, in
Southeast Europe Southeast Europe or Southeastern Europe () is a geographical subregion A subregion is a part of a larger region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to th ...

Southeast Europe
"'national liberals' also played visible if not central roles, but with rather different, region-specific characteristics, which to a considerable extent distinguished them from their Central European counterparts." In his book ''Up From Conservatism,''
Michael Lind Michael Lind (born April 23, 1962) is an American writer and academic. He has explained and defended the tradition of American democratic nationalism in a number of books, beginning with '' The Next American Nation'' (1995). He is currently a prof ...

Michael Lind
defines national liberalism in a way that ''
The Progressive ''The Progressive'' is an American magazine and website of politics, culture and progressivism Progressivism is a political philosophy Political philosophy or political theory is the philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the ...
'' describes as matching
historian A historian is a person who studies and writes about the past and is regarded as an authority on it. Historians are concerned with the continuous, methodical narrative and research of past events as relating to the human race; as well as the stu ...
Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr.'s use of the expression " Vital Center". Lind himself defines national liberalism as uniting "moderate social conservatism with moderate economic liberalism". Gordon Smith, a leading scholar of comparative European politics, understands national liberalism as a political concept that lost popularity when the success of nationalist movements in creating nation states rendered it no longer necessary to specify that a liberal ideal, party or politician was "national"."Between Left and Right: The Ambivalence of European Liberalism," pp. 16–28, in ''Liberal Parties in Western Europe,'' Emil J. Kirchner, ed., Cambridge University Press, 1988, .


History

The roots of national liberalism are to be found in the 19th century, when
conservative liberalism Conservative liberalism or right-liberalism is a variant of liberalism Liberalism is a political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, or othe ...
and/or classical liberalism was the ideology of the political classes in most European countries and in particular those of
Central Europe Central Europe is an area of Europe Europe is a which is also recognised as part of , located entirely in the and mostly in the . It comprises the westernmost peninsulas of the of Eurasia, it shares the continental landmass of with both ...

Central Europe
, then governed by hereditary monarchy, monarchies. At their origin, national liberals, although pro-business, were not necessarily advocates of free trade and economic liberalism per se and sometimes favoured cooperation between the government and the national industry, moderate levels of protectionism, the establishment of preferential custom unions, subsidies for infant industry or companies considered of national strategic importance and various forms of industrial planning. National liberalism was popular in a number of countries including Germany, Austria, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Romania during the 19th century.Kurunmaki, Jussi. "On the Difficulty of Being a National Liberal in Nineteenth-Century Finland". Contributions to the History of Concepts, vol. 8, no. 2, 2013, pp. 83–95., https://www.jstor.org/stable/43610946. In Germany, Austria and Romania, national liberals and/or "National Liberal" parties were long in government. More specifically, in German language, German-speaking countries national liberals were also in favour of a more authoritarian or conservative political regime because of the multi-ethnic character or heterogeneous nature of countries like the Austrian Empire (later officially renamed Austria-Hungary) or the newly created Germany under Chancellor of Germany, Chancellor Otto von Bismarck.


Germany

In 19th-century Germany, believers in national liberalism differed from civic nationalism, liberal nationalists in that they believed in a more authoritarian presence in Europe and a strong German Empire. Liberal nationalists, such as Max Weber, were looking towards a democratic Germany in cooperation with the other European powers. At the time of the German Empire, national liberalism was represented by the National Liberal Party (Germany), National Liberal Party (NLP), the largest in the Reichstag (German Empire), Reichstag for several years. National Liberals supported Bismarck, who served as Chancellor from 1871 (unification of Germany) to 1890, until the late 1870s when the Chancellor reversed his early free trade policies, became a proponent of protectionism, opposed increasing parliamentary powers and ultimately pandered for the support of the German Conservative Party (largely representing the wealthy landowning elite Junker (Prussia), Junkers of Prussia). Additionally, the NLP (which had obtained around 30% in the first three federal elections, including 30.1% in the German federal election, 1871, 1871 federal election) suffered huge losses in the German federal election, 1878, 1878 federal election and especially the German federal election, 1881, 1881 federal election (when it was reduced to 14.6%). Later, the party experienced a steady decline in its share of vote, contextually with the rise of the Social Democratic Party of Germany, Social Democratic Party and the Centre Party (Germany), Centre Party at the turn of the century. During the Weimar Republic, the NLP was succeeded by the German People's Party (DVP), whose main leader was Gustav Stresemann, Chancellor (1923) and Minister of Foreign Affairs (1923–1929). The DVP, which was joined by some moderate elements of the Free Conservative Party (FKP) and the Economic Union (political party), Economic Union (WV),Vincent E McHale (1983) ''Political parties of Europe'', Greenwood Press, p421 was generally thought to represent the interests of the great German industrialists and has been classified as a national-liberal party by several observers. Its platform stressed Christian family values, secular education, lower tariffs, opposition to welfare spending and agrarian subsidies and hostility to "Marxism" (that is to say, both the Communist Party of Germany, Communist Party and the Social Democratic Party). After Stresemann's death, the DVP, whose ranks included several anti-republicans, veered sharply to the right. The current Free Democratic Party (Germany), Free Democratic Party (FDP), which was the joint successor of the DVP and the social liberalism, social liberal German Democratic Party (DDP), originally featured conservative and partly nationalist efforts, which were particularly strong in some state associations until the 1950s and more occasionally after that (an interesting example is that of Jürgen Möllemann, FDP leader in North Rhine-Westphalia in 1983–1994 and 1996–2002) and still includes a national-liberal faction, which holds a consistently Euroscepticism, Eurosceptic position, differently from the rest of the party. Some right-wing elements, including Sven Tritschler (former leader of the Stresemann Club), have more recently joined the Alternative for Germany (AfD), which has in turn been characterised by some observers as national liberal.


Austria

In Austria-Hungary, the Constitutional Party (Austria), Constitutional Party was the main representative of national liberalism. In Austria, national liberalism has remained the basis of one of the three ''Lager'', or ideological camps, in the country, dating back to the Revolutions of 1848 in the Austrian Empire. During the interwar period, the national-liberal camp was gathered into the Greater German People's Party. By 1938, with the ''Anschluss'' of Austria into Nazi Germany, the national-liberal camp had been swallowed whole by Austrian National Socialism and all other parties were eventually absorbed into Nazi totalitarianism. Both Socialists and Christian Socials were persecuted under the Nazi regime and the national-liberal camp was scarred after the war due to association fallacy, guilt by association with National Socialism. In 1949, the Federation of Independents (VdU) was founded as a national-liberal alternative to the main Austrian parties. It incorporated an array of political movements, including free market liberals, populists, former Nazis and German nationalists, all of whom had been unable to join either of the two main parties. The VdU evolved into the Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) in 1955–1956. When Jörg Haider was chosen as new FPÖ leader in 1986, the party started an ideological turn towards right-wing populism, which resulted in the split of most liberals, who formed the Liberal Forum (LiF), which took over the FPÖ's membership in the Liberal International and would later eventually merge into NEOS – The New Austria and Liberal Forum, NEOS. Haider himself would split from the party and form the Alliance for the Future of Austria in 2005.


Denmark

In Denmark, from the 1830s the core concept of national liberalism was that the nation and the state should have the same extent. National liberals supported the union the Kingdom of Denmark and the Duchy of Schleswig under a common constitutional framework. On the economy, the state should not interfere with trade and the national-liberal economic vision was transposed in the 1857 Law on Freedom of Business, which abolished the last remnants of the feudal monopolies which had previously formed the framework for the craft of the cities. Danish national liberals supported Scandinavism and thus Scandinavian unity.


South Korea

South Korea's history went through the "Little China (ideology), Little China" ideology of the Joseon, Korea under Japanese rule, Japanese colonial rule, Division of Korea, division of the Korean Peninsula by the United States Army Military Government in Korea, United States and Soviet Civil Administration, Russia, and far-right Anti-communism, anti-communist dictatorships (such as Syngman Rhee, Park Jung-hee and Chun Doo-hwan government) relatively friendly to the United States and Japan. Therefore, almost all South Korean liberals with historical roots in the Korean independence movement, independence movement and democratization movement have a very strong nationalistic tendency since their antipathy and modernity toward the neighboring powers.


Sweden

In Sweden, in the 1860s liberals described themselves as national liberals (''nationalliberaler'') and constituted a coalition of monarchists and liberal reformists in support of parliamentary reforms. Swedish national liberals also supported Scandinavism.


Finland

In the Grand Duchy of Finland, an autonomous entity, autonomous part of the Russian Empire, where as many as 80% of the population was Protestant and Finnish-speaking, somewhat under 20% Protestant Swedish speakers (Sweden ruled Finland until 1809) and a small number Russian Orthodox, the term "national liberal" was used by the elite Swedish-speakers of the Svecoman movement who advocated liberal ideals, but wanted to keep Swedish as the dominant language, an idea opposed by Finnish-speaking nationalists of the Fennoman movement. The Svecoman movement gave birth to the Swedish Party, which was later renamed Swedish People's Party in Finland, which has since moved to mainstream liberalism and social liberalism and is often a party of government in the country.


Russia

In Russia, "national liberalism" was a 1990s movement claiming to be redefining "liberal" principles as understood in the Western tradition to produce a "national liberalism" better suited to Russian culture, being practically a variety of Russian nationalism.


Bulgaria

In Bulgaria the National Liberal Party (Bulgaria), National Liberal Party (NLP) was a political party founded in 1920 by a merger of the Liberal Party (Radoslavists), the People's Liberal Party and the Young Liberals Party, Young Liberals Party. The party has won several seats in some elections including the November 1923 Bulgarian coup d'état, 1923 elections and 1927 Bulgarian parliamentary election, 1927 elections. A party named National Liberal Party 'Stefan Stambolov' was established after the fall of the communist regime, and was part of the Coalition for bulgaria, Coalition for Bulgaria alliance in the 1991 Bulgarian parliamentary election, 1991 parliamentary elections.


Romania

In Romania, the National Liberal Party (Romania), National Liberal Party (PNL), which was initially founded in 1875, then re-founded in 1990, and subsequently enlarged in 2014 (when it absorbed the Democratic Liberal Party (Romania), Democratic Liberal Party, PDL), has also been part of the national-liberal tradition. Nowadays, it is one of the country's two main parties and the first governing force. Incumbent Romanian President Klaus Iohannis stems from it. Currently, in terms of political ideology, the PNL is mainly Liberal conservatism, liberal-conservative and Pro-Europeanism, pro-Europeanist, therefore placed on the Centre-right politics, centre-right of the political spectrum concerning economy, society, culture, freedom of expression, and civil liberties.


Slovakia

Freedom and Solidarity (SaS), the Liberalism, liberal and libertarianism, libertarian main opposition party after the Slovak parliamentary election, 2016, 2016 parliamentary election in Slovakia, has been shifting from liberalism to Euroscepticism and
nationalism Nationalism is an idea and movement that holds that the nation A nation is a community A community is a social unitThe term "level of analysis" is used in the social sciences to point to the location, size, or scale of a research target ...
and/or combining liberalism and nationalism. As a fact, SaS is not a member of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party, but of the Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists in Europe, along with conservative and Eurosceptic parties. SaS leader Richard Sulík described himself both as a liberal and as a nationalist, but later corrected himself by saying that he was a liberal and a patriotism, patriot while condemning chauvinism, racism and religious fanaticism and opposing the withdrawal of Slovakia from the European Union. However, the party has never been classified as national-liberal by third-party sources.


Czech Republic

In Austria-Hungary the Young Czech Party, emerged in 1874 after a split from the Old Czech Party, was a national-liberal force. During Czechoslovakia's era (1918–1992), a few parties were described as national-liberal: Czechoslovak National Democracy, the National Labour Party (1925), National Labour Party and, after 1989, the Czech National Social Party. Today, the conservative Civic Democratic Party (Czech Republic), Civic Democratic Party (ODS) in the Czech Republic has been described as a national-liberal party. The ODS is a member of the Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists in Europe, as Slovakia's Freedom and Solidarity, and the International Democrat Union.


Israel

Since 1973, the Likud, Likud National Liberal Movement operates in Israel as the main Centre-right politics, centre-right and Zionist political party in the country.


Other uses

Several political parties have included "national liberal" in their names or ideology. A list is available at National Liberal Party (disambiguation), National Liberal Party.


See also

*Classical liberalism *Conservative liberalism *Liberalism in South Korea *Paleoconservatism *Old Right (United States)


Footnotes


References

*Verlag Beck, ''Germany from Napoléon to Bismarck, 1800-1866'', Princeton University Press *Lucien Calvié, ''Unité nationale et liberté politique chez quelques libéraux allemands au début des années 30 and Naissance et évolution du libéralisme allemand'', in Françoise Knopper and Gilbert Merlio (edited by), ''Notices politiques et littéraires sur l'Allemagne'', Presses Universitaires du Mirail, Paris, 1835 *Alfred Wahl, Les forces politiques en Allemagne, Armand Colin {{Social and political philosophy National liberalism, Political ideologies Political theories Liberalism Conservative liberalism Liberalism in Europe Liberalism in South Korea National conservatism Nationalism in Europe Conservatism in Europe Central European culture