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See also modern conservatism for a concise analysis of current issues in the movement.

A conservative is someone who rises above his personal self-interest and promotes moral and economic values beneficial to all. A conservative is willing to learn and advocate the insights of economics and traditional morality for the benefit of all.

More formally, a conservative typically adheres to principles of personal responsibility, moral values, and limited government, agreeing with George Washington's Farewell Address that "religion and morality are indispensable supports" to political prosperity.[1][2]

Former President Ronald Reagan said, "The basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom."[3]

Goals and principles

Main Article: Modern conservatism

Specifically, many conservatives seek or support some or all of the following:


List of Liberty-minded states

"The most conservative states surveyed were mainly located in the South and West. They include (in order) Wyoming, Mississippi, Idaho, Utah, Montana, Arkansas, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Alabama."

"The East and West Coasts had the most liberal states including Vermont, Massachusetts, Delaware, New York, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, Maine, California and New Jersey."

"Those liberal states all voted for President Obama in both 2008 and 2012."

"Kansas and Nebraska are two of the most Republican states, but were not included on the most conservative list, Gallup notes. The same went for Maryland, Illinois, Connecticut and New Mexico — all considered some of the most Democrat states." [6]

List of prominent conservatives

Hall of Fame

Conservative scholar Clinton Rossiter[7] names Alexander Hamilton, John Adams, John Marshall, Daniel Webster, John C. Calhoun, Elihu Root, and Theodore Roosevelt to the "Conservative's Hall of Fame," with John Adams as the greatest of American conservatives.


Periodically a conservative has been elected president of the United States. The most prominent conservative presidents include:

The most prominent conservative Congresses have been:

  • The 80th Congress (elected in 1946)
  • The 104th Congress (elected in 1994)

Conservative is a word that can mean vastly different things depending on the context within which it is used. It is often used in a way to create a dichotomy with the term and ideals labeled as liberal. This is usually done intentionally by Media bias to create a sense of class warfare in the general population. Areas within which this dichontomny is used are politics, social issues, economics, and many more.

Founding Fathers

The Founding Fathers created the single most important set of political ideas in American history, known as Republicanism, which all groups, liberal and conservative alike, have drawn from. Two parties were named "Republican"-- the one founded in 1794 by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison (it disappeared in the 1820s), and the modern GOP founded in 1854.

During the First Party System (1790s-1820s) the Federalist Party, led by Alexander Hamilton, developed an important variation of republicanism that can be considered conservative. Rejecting monarchy and aristocracy, they emphasized civic virtue as the core American value. The Federalists spoke for the propertied interests and the upper classes of the cities. They envisioned a modernizing land of banks and factories, with a strong Army and Navy. George Washington was their great hero.

On many issues American conservatism also derives from the republicanism of Thomas Jefferson and his followers, especially John Randolph of Roanoke and his "Old Republicans" or "Quids." They idealized the yeoman farmer as the epitome of civic virtue, warned that banking and industry led to corruption -- that is to the illegitimate use of government power for private ends. Jefferson himself was a vehement opponent of what today is called "judicial activism". [8] The Jeffersonians stressed small government.

Conservatives Resist Incremental Gun-Grabbing of the Nanny State

Liberals and socialists support "common sense" measures - a "good first step" of the Nanny State. To a citizen-prepper-patriot and to the Bill of Rights, this is "death by a thousand paper cuts".

This Second Amendment Foundation video is the formal response to Hollywood's Demand a Plan gun-grabbing propaganda video. The video shows one of the main differences between liberal gun control Nanny states (Blue states) and conservative and/or libertarian Second Amendment-supporting "free states" (Red states). This video shows why we vote with our feet:

See Also


  1. United States Department of State George Washington, farewell address, 1796
  2. Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary has the following definition of conservative: "tending or disposed to maintain existing views, conditions, or institutions : TRADITIONAL"[1] Therefore, a conservative Christian would be one that tends to adhere to the morally sound doctrines of the early Christianity and Judeo-Christian values.
  4. "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." - George Washington
  5. "To anger a conservative, lie to him. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth." — Theodore Roosevelt
  7. Rossiter, "The Giants of American Conservatism," American Heritage 1955 6(6): 56-59, 94-96, online in EBSCO
  8. [2]

External Links

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Further reading

  • Critchlow, Donald T. The Conservative Ascendancy: How the GOP Right Made Political History (2007)
  • Filler, Louis. Dictionary of American Conservatism The First Complete Guide to Issues, People, Organizations and Events (1987), useful older encyclopedia
  • Frank, Thomas. What's the Matter with Kansas?: How Conservatives Won the Heart of America (2005), a liberal perspective excerpt and text search
  • Frohnen, Bruce et al eds. American Conservatism: An Encyclopedia (2006), the most detailed reference
  • Judis, John B. William F. Buckley, Jr.: Patron Saint of the Conservatives (1988) excerpt and text search
  • Kirk, Russell. The Conservative Mind. (7th ed. 2001). highly influential conservative history of ideas online at ACLS e-books
  • Link, William A. Righteous warrior: Jesse Helms and the rise of modern conservatism (2008) 643 pages
  • Micklethwait, John, and Adrian Wooldridge. The Right Nation, (2004) influential survey excerpt and text search
  • Micklethwait, John, and Adrian Wooldridge. God Is Back: How the Global Revival of Faith Is Changing the World (2009)
  • Nash, George. The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America Since 1945 (2006), excellent scholarly history. excerpt and text search
  • Pemberton, William E. Exit with Honor: The Life and Presidency of Ronald Reagan (1998) online edition
  • Perlstein, Rick. Before the Storm: Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of the American Consensus (2004) on 1964 excerpt and text search
  • Perlstein, Rick. Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America (2008) excerpt and text search
  • Schneider, Gregory L. ed. Conservatism in America Since 1930: A Reader (2003)
  • Schoenwald; Jonathan . A Time for Choosing: The Rise of Modern American Conservatism (2002) online edition also online at ACLS e-books
  • Schweizer, Peter, and Wynton C. Hall, eds. Landmark Speeches of the American Conservative Movement (2007) excerpt and text search
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