“Bourbon Democrats represented business interests, generally supporting the goals of banking and railroads but opposed to subsidies for them and unwilling to protect them from competition. Bourbon Democrats were promoters of laissez-faire capitalism (which included opposition to the protectionism that the Republicans were then advocating). They opposed imperialism and U.S. overseas expansion, fought for the gold standard, and opposed bimetallism. Strong supporters of reform movements such as the Civil Service Reform and opponents of the corrupt city bosses, Bourbons led the fight against the Tweed Ring. The anticorruption theme earned the votes of many Republican Mugwumps in 1884.[2”
A conservative Democrat? Grover Cleavland:
“Cleveland was the leader of the pro-business Bourbon Democrats who opposed high tariffs, Free Silver, inflation, imperialism and subsidies to business, farmers or veterans. His battles for political reform and fiscal conservatism made him an icon for American conservatives. Cleveland won praise for his honesty, independence, integrity, and commitment to the principles of classical liberalism. As a reformer he worked indefatigably against political corruption, patronage, and bossism. His second term coincided with the Panic of 1893, a severe national depression that Cleveland was unable to reverse. It ruined his Democratic party, opening the way for Republican landslides in 1894 and 1896, and for the agrarian and silverite seizure of his Democratic party in 1896. The result was a political realignment that ended the Third Party System and launched the Fourth Party System and the Progressive Era.”
he term classical liberalism was applied in retrospect to distinguish earlier 19th-century liberalism from the newer social liberalism. Some conservatives and right-libertarians use the term classical liberalism to describe their belief in the primacy of economic freedom and minimal government. It is not always clear which meaning is intended.”
“Some call the late 19th century development of classical liberalism “neo-classical liberalism,” which argued for government to be as small as possible in order to allow the exercise of individual freedom, while some refer to all liberalism before the 20th century as classical liberalism. Libertarianism is a modern form of neo-classical liberalism.”
Just to confuse terminology even more:
“Another regularly asserted contrast between classical and modern liberals: classical liberals tend to see government power as the enemy of liberty, while modern liberals fear the concentration of wealth and the expansion of corporate power.”
But that would mean that modern liberals
and conservatives are the same thing?
In high school we are tought that the bipartisan system is supported by dynamic tension between two parties-the liberal/left/democrate and the conservative/right/republican. The tug of war between the polar opposites creates consensus that falls somewhere in the middle.
The theory that contradicts that is the idea that the left/right dichotomy creates radical ideas with 20 percent on
each polar opposing the other-that leaves the 60 percent moderates in the middle sort of scratching their heads.
This is what makes Cleaveland so interesting.
Just to add another confusing twist we could also look into the Counter-Enlightenment:
“Some scholars reject the use of the term ‘the Counter-Enlightenment’ on the grounds that there was no single Enlightenment for its alleged enemies to oppose.”
And if Reagan’s “neo liberal” economic reforms from the early 80’s or just the idea of “counter-englightenment” seem too much it helps to think of the Codification of Language:
“In some countries such codification is done by a body constituted by the state, such as the French Academy. Codification often happens due to new inventions, changes in values or other cultural influences. After the process of decolonialization, many African states had to decide whether they wanted to keep the colonial language or chose one (or more) of their indigenous language varieties as official languages, which made language planning necessary.”