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Portal:Conservatism

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Conservatism is a political and social philosophy that promotes the maintenance of traditional values, accepting that technology and society can shift, but that principles should not. Some conservatives seek to preserve things as they are, emphasizing stability and continuity, while others oppose modernism and seek a return to the way things were. The first established use of the term in a political context was by François-René de Chateaubriand in 1819, following the French Revolution. Political science often credits the Irish politician Edmund Burke with many of the ideas now called conservative. Conservatives have variously sought to preserve institutions including religion, monarchy, parliamentary government, property rights and the social hierarchy, emphasizing stability and continuity, while the more extreme elements called reactionaries oppose modernism and seek a return to "the way things were".

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Margaret Thatcher cropped2.png
Margaret Hilda Thatcher, Baroness Thatcher (born 1925), is a former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom who served from 1979 to 1990. In the 1959 general election she became MP for Finchley. Edward Heath appointed Thatcher Secretary of State for Education and Science in his 1970 government. In 1975 she was elected Leader of the Conservative Party, the first woman to head a major UK political party, and in 1979 she became the UK's first female Prime Minister. After entering 10 Downing Street Thatcher was determined to reverse what she perceived as a precipitous national decline. Her political philosophy and economic policies emphasised deregulation, particularly of the financial sector, flexible labour markets, the sale or closure of state-owned companies, and the withdrawal of subsidies to others. Thatcher's popularity waned amid recession and high unemployment, until economic recovery and the 1982 Falklands War brought a resurgence of support resulting in her re-election in 1983. Thatcher was re-elected for a third term in 1987, but her Community Charge was widely unpopular and her views on the European Community were not shared by others in her Cabinet. She resigned as Prime Minister and party leader in November 1990 after Michael Heseltine's challenge to her leadership of the Conservative Party.

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Reversing Britain’s economic decline was such a huge and painful undertaking that, at least until the later years, the economy had to come first.

In fact, though flawed in some respects, the speech with its emphasis on remoralising society and on strengthening the family, deserves re-reading.

It does not though, reveal much about his essential philosophy, which with Keith — as with most professional politicians — remained below the surface.

The kind of Conservatism which he and I — though coming from very different backgrounds — favoured would be best described as "liberal", in the old-fashioned sense. And I mean the liberalism of Mr Gladstone not of the latter day collectivists.

That is to say, we placed far greater confidence in individuals, families, businesses and neighbourhoods than in the State.
— Margaret Thatcher, Keith Joseph Memorial Lecture ("Liberty and Limited Government"), 11 January 1996

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The traditional mascot of the United States Republican Party is the elephant. A political cartoon by Thomas Nast, published in Harper's Weekly on November 7, 1874, is considered the first important use of the symbol. In the early 20th century, the usual symbol of the Republican Party in Midwestern states such as Indiana and Ohio was the eagle, as opposed to the Democratic rooster. This symbol still appears on Indiana, New York, and West Virginia ballots.

Harper's Weekly (A Journal of Civilization) was an American political magazine based in New York City. Published by Harper & Brothers from 1857 until 1916, it featured foreign and domestic news, fiction, essays on many subjects, and humor.

Credit: Lecter

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Selected anniversaries in February

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