Fifteen years after the end of the Second World War, the liberal and democratic identity of Western Europe had been reinforced on almost all sides by the definition of the West as a place of freedom.
Set against the oppression in the Communist East, by the slow development of a greater understanding of the moral horror of Nazism, and by the engagement of intellectuals and others with the new states (and social and political systems) emerging in the non-European world to the South".
The 17th-century philosopher John Locke is often credited with founding liberalism as a distinct philosophical tradition.
Locke argued that each man has a natural right to life, liberty and property, while adding that governments must not violate these rights based on the social contract.
From 1820 to 1823, during the Trienio Liberal King Ferdinand VII was compelled by the liberales to swear to uphold the Constitution.
Liberals sought and established a constitutional order that prized important individual freedoms, such as freedom of speech and freedom of association; an independent judiciary and public trial by jury; and the abolition of aristocratic privileges.A prominent example of these divisions is the German Free Democratic Party, which was historically divided between national liberal and social liberal factions.The word's early connection with the classical education of a medieval university soon gave way to a proliferation of different denotations and connotations.Liberalism first became a distinct political movement during the Age of Enlightenment, when it became popular among philosophers and economists in the Western world.Liberalism rejected the prevailing social and political norms of hereditary privilege, state religion, absolute monarchy and the divine right of kings.