Explain the term conservatism. Explain with special reference to Europe.
Meaning of Conservatism:
Conservatism is a political philosophy that stressed the importance of tradition, established institutions and customs and preferred gradual development to quick change.
European Conservatism After the defeat of Napoleon in 1815 European Governments were driven by Conservatism. Conservatives were people who believed that established, traditional institutions of state and society like the monarchy church, social hierarchies, property and the family should be preserved.
Change in Ideas of Conservatism:
But after the rule of Napolean the basic ideas of conservatism were changed. Most conservatives did not want to return to the society of pre-revolutionary days.
They realised the changes initiated by Napoleon - strengthened the traditional institutions like the monarchy in reality.
They understood that a modern army, an efficient bureaucracy, a dynamic economy, the abolition of feudalism and serfdom could strengthen the autocratic monarchies in Europe. Thus, the conservatives of that time accepted the changes which were in favour of their interests.