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It called for freedom of religion, frequent convening of Parliament and equality under the law.

Isolated strands of liberal thought that had existed in Western philosophy since the Ancient Greeks, began to coalesce at the time of the English Civil War.

Liberalism rejected the notions, common at the time, of hereditary privilege, state religion, absolute monarchy, and the Divine Right of Kings.

The 17th century philosopher John Locke is often credited with founding liberalism as a distinct philosophical tradition.

In this period, the dominant ideological opponent of liberalism was classical conservatism.

During the twentieth century, liberal ideas spread even further, as liberal democracies found themselves on the winning side in both world wars.

Baron de Montesquieu wrote a series of highly influential works in the early 18th century, including Persian letters (1717) and The Spirit of the Laws (1748).

In particular, he argued that political liberty required the separation of the powers of government.

Locke argued that each man has a natural right to life, liberty and property and according to the social contract, governments must not violate these rights.

Liberals opposedtraditional conservatism and sought to replace absolutism in government with representative democracy and the rule of law.

The Bill made royal interference with the law and with elections to parliament illegal, made the agreement of parliament necessary for the implementation of any new taxes and outlawed the maintenance of a standing army during peacetime without parliament’s consent.

The right to petition the monarch was granted to everyone and “cruel and unusual” punishments were made illegal under all circumstances.


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