Conservatism (Latin: conservare, "to retain") is a political and social philosophy that promotes retaining traditional social institutions. A person who follows the philosophies of conservatism is referred to as a traditionalist or conservative.

Some conservatives seek to preserve things as they are, emphasizing stability and continuity, while others oppose modernism and seek a return to "the way things were". The first established use of the term in a political context was by François-René de Chateaubriand in 1819, following the French Revolution. The term, historically associated with right-wing politics, has since been used to describe a wide range of views.

Edmund Burke, an Anglo-Irish politician who served in the British House of Commons and opposed the French Revolution, is credited as one of the founders of conservativism in Great Britain. According to Hailsham, a former chairman of the British Conservative Party, "Conservatism is not so much a philosophy as an attitude, a constant force, performing a timeless function in the development of a free society, and corresponding to a deep and permanent requirement of human nature itself."

Read more about ConservatismHistoric Conservatism in Different Countries, Modern Conservatism in Different Countries, Psychology

Other articles related to "conservatism":

Continental Conservatism - Forms of Conservatism - National and Traditional Conservatism
... National conservatism is a political term used primarily in Europe to describe a variant of conservatism which concentrates more on national interests than standard ... National conservatism is heavily oriented towards the traditional family and social stability as well as in favour of limiting immigration ... conservatives, for whom free market economic policies, deregulation and fiscal conservatism are the main priorities ...
Steve Beren
... have emphasized the issues of limited government, fiscal conservatism, foreign policy, immigration, and social conservatism ... colors, wave the Republican flag boldly wave fiscal conservatism, social conservatism, immigration conservatism — boldly." During the 2012 GOP presidential primaries, Beren ...
Movement Conservatism
... The term movement conservatism was an inside term describing conservatism in the United States and New Right ... prominent writer on the right, says, "the conservatism that, when it made its appearance in the early 1950s, was called the New Conservatism and for the past fifty or sixty ... writers using the term "movement conservatism" include Sam Tanenhaus, Paul Gottfried, and Jonathan Riehl ...
Civic Conservatism
... Civic conservatism is a form of modern British conservatism developed by the Conservative intellectual David Willetts ... His 1995 pamphlet, "Civic Conservatism" wished to "place the free market in the context of institutions and values which make up civil society" ... Fourteen years after the publication of "Civic Conservatism" Willetts gave the inaugural Oakeshott Memorial Lecture to the London School of Economics in which he made an attempt to ...
Conservatism - Psychology
... contribute to the degree of one's political conservatism ... The results indicated that conservatism is not synonymous with RWA." Psychologist Felicia Pratto and her colleagues have found evidence to support the idea that a high Social Dominance Orientation ... Radicalism often generates youth movements, while conservatism is a condition found among the mature, who have discovered what it is in life they most value." A 1996 ...

Famous quotes containing the word conservatism:

    The world is burdened with young fogies. Old men with ossified minds are easily dealt with. But men who look young, act young and everlastingly harp on the fact that they are young, but who nevertheless think and act with a degree of caution that would be excessive in their grandfathers, are the curse of the world. Their very conservatism is secondhand, and they don’t know what they are conserving.
    Robertson Davies (b. 1913)

    There is such a thing as caste, even in the West; but it is comparatively faint; it is conservatism here. It says, forsake not your calling, outrage no institution, use no violence, rend no bonds; the State is thy parent. Its virtue or manhood is wholly filial.
    Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)