Why Liberalism Developed in England?


At this stage it may be pertinent to raise a question as to why Liberal­ism first developed in England and not in Europe or USA. This was mainly due to the fact that the two vital requirements for the growth of Liberalism-a broad liberal movement and a powerful liberal party-were present in England alone.

While in the Continent (Europe) the first condition was missing in USA, the second one was absent. Further, in European countries Liberalism remained fragmented and sectarian be­cause of the civil and religious strifes as well as the slow development of commerce and industry.

The presence of strong traditions of authority in countries like France and Germany also hampered the growth of Liberal­ism. But above all, the factor which hampered the growth of Liberalism in Europe was the lack of “the well-grown middle class and the economic, legal and political environment needed to make the cause of economic freedom effective and more important, to give Liberalism a central direction.” [3]

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