The Invention of American Conservatism

  • Paul Edward Gottfried


This chapter is built on a premise that gradually should seem self-evident: the American and European “conservative” experiences have been intrinsically different. It is therefore dubious and perhaps impossible to fit into a common political framework various European traditionalists, who defended aristocracy, social hierarchy, and ecclesiastical establishment, and the American advocates of such concerns as a market economy, an anti-Communist foreign policy, and a global democratic crusade. Nor are these differences reducible to varying historical backgrounds, even though the term “conservative” has proven sufficiently elastic to cover anything that people at any time may decide to call by this name.


French Revolution Heritage Foundation Conservative Movement National Review American Revolution 
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© Paul Edward Gottfried 2007

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  • Paul Edward Gottfried

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