Conservatives typically believe in keeping political and societal traditions intact, but the definition of a conservative can vary greatly around the world. In the United States, conservatives have a broad range of ideologies.Know More
The term conservative was often applied to those who supported monarchies in European nations, and conservatives in those countries are likely to support policies maintaining old institutions that republicans and progressives might want to disband. In most of these nations, they fight against socialist ideals as well.
In the United States, however, the term conservative can stand for a wide range of political positions. Many conservatives argue in favor of small government and actively campaign against popular social programs that have existed for decades. They often fight regulations and argue for lower tax rates across the board.
The real conflict arises between libertarians and Christian conservatives. While libertarians argue that gay marriage should not be outlawed by the government, the Christian right is in favor of these restrictions. Similarly, the libertarian wing of American conservatism believes in the strict separation of religion and government; the Christian wing argues in favor of school vouchers, prayer being sanctioned in schools and the use of the Bible for supporting political positions. Despite their differences, these wings are all called conservative.Learn more about Political Parties
The conservative party's website asserts that it "strongly believes in the freedoms and liberties ingrained in our founding documents." They state that they "support the Constitution as it is written–to protect, among other things, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, the right to petition the government and the right to keep and bear arms."Full Answer >
Progressives were reformers in the late 19th and early 20th centuries who believed in creating a "new" America, a new order to replace the old order that didn't have to deal with the economic, political and cultural changes borne from the shift from an agrarian society to an urban society. The Industrial Revolution and modern capitalism brought social ills that the Progressive movement sought to ease, believing that the democratic ideals and social justice espoused by ideals of the Founding Fathers could co-exist in this new world.Full Answer >
Classical liberalism focuses on individual freedom; contemporary liberalism focuses more on social infrastructure and an expanded definition of human rights. Liberalism is considered the standard left-wing position in the United States. However, it is considered more right-wing in some nations.Full Answer >
Socialists believe in an economic system that promotes common property ownership and a political hierarchy government. Under socialism, people in positions of authority make the decisions for the collective group, according to About.com. Although far less intrusive, socialism is often confused with communism. The difference is that communism encompasses both the economic and political systems, whereas socialism is more subtle and flexible, and usually applies only to economic systems.Full Answer >