New glossary entry…Classical Liberals are closer to Libertarians than they are to Liberal Democrats…even today, in Europe, I have heard libertarians referred to as liberals…
Classical liberalism is a political ideology that developed in the nineteenth century in Western Europe, and the Americas. It was committed to the ideal of limited government and individual liberty, including freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, and free markets. It drew on the economics of Adam Smith, a psychological understanding of individual liberty, natural law and utilitarianism, and a belief in progress. Classical liberals established political parties that were called “liberal”, although in the United States classical liberalism came to dominate both existing major political parties.
Although classical liberalism built on ideas that had already developed by the end of the eighteenth century, it advocated a specific kind of society, government and public policy required as a result of the Industrial Revolution and urbanization. Notable individuals who have contributed to classical liberalism include Jean-Baptiste Say, Thomas Malthus, and David Ricardo. There was a revival of interest in classical liberalism in the twentieth century led by Ludwig von Mises, Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman.
The term classical liberalism was applied in retrospect to distinguish earlier nineteenth-century liberalism from the newer social liberalism. The phrase classical liberalism is also sometimes used to refer to all forms of liberalism before the twentieth century, and some conservatives and 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.