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Old 07-14-2019, 07:15 PM
Status: "I said God Bless the Coal Miners Union" (set 3 hours ago)
 
Location: Clyde Hill, WA
3,400 posts, read 593,852 times
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US political jargon seems to mutate wildly. Just in the 20th century, the US left went through 'progressive,' 'socialist,' 'liberal,' and then finally back to 'progressive' (and increasingly also back to 'socialist').

The Republic for which it Stands is a book from 2017 by Stanford U historian Richard White. He covers US history from 1865-1896. It's part of the Oxford Press series on US history--highly recommended! He writes:

Quote:
"Liberal" in the nineteenth century United States and Europe designated people who would in many, but not all, respects would be called conservatives in the twenty first century. They embraced minimal government, a free market economy, individualism, and property rights; they attacked slavery, aristocracy, monarchy, standing armies....(p. 172)
They were even pro-gun, such as it existed back then. Henry Ward Beecher, a pastor and leading (right) 'liberal,' was known for distributing Sharps carbines to anti-slavery groups. They called the weapons "Beecher's Bibles."

As far as I know, 'liberal' was not applied to the left side of the aisle until the mid-20th century. I seem to recall that FDR used the term.
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Old 07-14-2019, 07:18 PM
Status: "I said God Bless the Coal Miners Union" (set 3 hours ago)
 
Location: Clyde Hill, WA
3,400 posts, read 593,852 times
Reputation: 1030
Also interesting--these 'right-liberals' (if you will) controlled the major institutions, including education and the elite press, according to White. They founded The Nation and The Atlantic, which are both still with us today. Both are now liberal-left. I don't know how they morphed from right to left.

And the right-liberals definitely tended towards elitism, a label usually thrown at left-liberals today.

Their ideas were polar opposite, but some of the trappings of today's liberal-left were also found in the 19th cent. liberal-right. I don't quite know how all those shifts occurred.
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Old 07-14-2019, 07:25 PM
 
Location: The middle of nowhere
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I don’t completely agree. The parties were opposite though. Back then you had a legitimate “Christian Left” which doesn’t really exist today. It was lead by mainland Protestant churches that today’s conservative Christians consider apostate. The conservative Democrats, back then, were aligned with the Southern Baptist Church, which split from the Northern Baptists over slavery. Today, the Southern Baptist Church is at the forefront of the Republican Party and continually fights against progress, justice, and equality, just like back then.
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Old 07-14-2019, 07:40 PM
Status: "I said God Bless the Coal Miners Union" (set 3 hours ago)
 
Location: Clyde Hill, WA
3,400 posts, read 593,852 times
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According to Richard White, the right-liberals (as I call them, to avoid confusion) were Northern Protestant. They would be considered close to evangelical today. I assume you meant 'main line' churches. They went through a transformation around mid-20th century, so it's hard to superimpose today's alignments on the 19th century.

Also I doubt that the Southern Baptists are still pro-slavery, as seems to be implicit in your post.
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Old 07-14-2019, 08:09 PM
 
5,272 posts, read 1,441,988 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by travis t View Post
US political jargon seems to mutate wildly. Just in the 20th century, the US left went through 'progressive,' 'socialist,' 'liberal,' and then finally back to 'progressive' (and increasingly also back to 'socialist').

The Republic for which it Stands is a book from 2017 by Stanford U historian Richard White. He covers US history from 1865-1896. It's part of the Oxford Press series on US history--highly recommended! He writes:



They were even pro-gun, such as it existed back then. Henry Ward Beecher, a pastor and leading (right) 'liberal,' was known for distributing Sharps carbines to anti-slavery groups. They called the weapons "Beecher's Bibles."

As far as I know, 'liberal' was not applied to the left side of the aisle until the mid-20th century. I seem to recall that FDR used the term.

"Liberal" in the nineteenth century United States and Europe designated people who would in many, but not all, respects would be called conservatives in the twenty first century. They embraced minimal government, a free market economy, individualism, and property rights; they attacked slavery, aristocracy, monarchy, standing armies....(p. 172)


This was the foundation of the Republican party in the 1850s and it continues to be so today.
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Old 07-14-2019, 08:18 PM
 
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The term liberal back then had a different connotation back then... It didn't really stand for a political group like it does today....
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Old Yesterday, 04:47 PM
Status: "I said God Bless the Coal Miners Union" (set 3 hours ago)
 
Location: Clyde Hill, WA
3,400 posts, read 593,852 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evilnewbie View Post
The term liberal back then had a different connotation back then... It didn't really stand for a political group like it does today....
Yes it did. The 'liberals' were a faction of the GOP then just as they are a faction of the Democrats today. The GOP was fractious from the start. There was another faction known as the whigs, who could be seen as the progeny of Alexander Hamilton. Unlike the right-liberals they favored strong gov't intervention into the economy, especially regarding development of railroads.

According to Richard White, the right-liberals (my term) and the whigs were united in being anti-slavery, but had a contentious alliance in other matters.
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Old Yesterday, 04:54 PM
Status: "I said God Bless the Coal Miners Union" (set 3 hours ago)
 
Location: Clyde Hill, WA
3,400 posts, read 593,852 times
Reputation: 1030
Quote:
Originally Posted by bawac34618 View Post
I don’t completely agree. The parties were opposite though. Back then you had a legitimate “Christian Left” which doesn’t really exist today. It was lead by mainland Protestant churches that today’s conservative Christians consider apostate. The conservative Democrats, back then, were aligned with the Southern Baptist Church, which split from the Northern Baptists over slavery. Today, the Southern Baptist Church is at the forefront of the Republican Party and continually fights against progress, justice, and equality, just like back then.
To follow up some more on this, according to White, the congregational, Presbyterian, Unitarian, and universalist churches were all dominated by the right-liberals. Henry Ward Beecher (brother of Harriet Beecher Stowe) was pastor of a Congregationalist church in NYC with 3000 members.
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Old Yesterday, 05:48 PM
 
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Fox News namesake William Fox was a conservative in the 1920s but might be deemed more of a liberal by today's standards.
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Old Yesterday, 06:30 PM
 
15,327 posts, read 4,047,808 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by travis t View Post
US political jargon seems to mutate wildly. Just in the 20th century, the US left went through 'progressive,' 'socialist,' 'liberal,' and then finally back to 'progressive' (and increasingly also back to 'socialist').
That is too convoluted to ever decipher....so people from 160 years ago, if they lived today, would be called something by TODAYS definition???

New England and Eastern PA, etc. were the cradles of "more liberty" then and they have been ever since.

We know Ted Roosevelt was a "progressive" because he was from the North and helped the working person and was interested in conservation and things like that. FDR was also a progressive (both from the same NY family)...

Andrew Jackson, on the other hand, would be considered a "conservative" today and if he was a bit younger they'd have Confederate Statues celebrating him in the South. He loved killing Indians and driving them out of their lands....due to White Supremacy.

Liberalism, as defined properly is simply:
"they generally support limited government, individual rights (including civil rights and human rights), capitalism (free markets), democracy, secularism, gender equality, racial equality, internationalism, freedom of speech, freedom of the press and freedom of religion"

Being a Progressive naturally assumes you are a liberal as a "base", but that you change with the times and, as society changes, you think it should PROGRESS. That's pretty simple - you believe in making changes which head toward the liberal ideals.

Conservatism is embracing some form of status quo - and often includes nationalism and authoritarianism.

It seems you are confused by language. Surely you realize that movements or stances can be defined by more than one word???

Left and Right are really poor terms IMHO....because they describe nothing in themselves. Someone on the center-right in Europe would be considered far left in the USA.

The terms - tho- are accurate. Authoritarianism is perhaps the biggest danger to a free people and you are seeing a LOT of examples of that world-view right here on this forum.
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