Liberalism Law and Legal Definition

Liberalism is political viewpoint or ideology that stresses a broad interpretation of civil liberties for freedom of expression and religious toleration, for widespread popular participation in the political process, and for the repeal of protectionist legal restrictions inhibiting the operation of a capitalist free market economy. Liberals agree on the primacy of individual freedom and individual choice. Liberalism is the opposite of conservativism.

Modern liberalism has multiple roots. An important one is the provision of human rights, from the Magna Carta through the US Constitution to the International Declaration of Human Rights. Adam Smith, John Stuart Mill and the "classical liberals" of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries were another influence.