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National liberalism is a variant of liberalism, combining nationalism with some liberal policies, especially regarding economic liberalism. The roots of it are to be found in the 19th century, when conservative liberalism was the ideology of the political classes in most European countries, then governed by monarchies. At that time national liberalism was closely linked with the idea of the nation state and with anti-Catholicism.

In 19th century Germany believers in national liberalism, such as Friedrich Nietzsche, differed from liberal nationalists in that they believed in a more authoritarian presence in Europe and a strong Germanic Empire. Liberal nationalist, such as Max Weber, were looking towards a democratic Germany in cooperation with the other European powers.

The term "national liberalism" was mainly used in German-speaking countries such as Germanymarker and Austriamarker during the 19th century, where "National-Liberal" parties were long in government. National liberals were slightly different from those espousing purer principles of the free market and free trade, indeed most national-liberals supported some forms of autarchy and protectionism, in line with British Tories. Historical national-liberal parties included the National Liberal Party and the German People's Party in Germany, the Rural Federation, the Greater German People's Party and the Federation of Independents in Austria, some of the constituent parties of the Swiss People's Party and the Uomo Qualunque Front in Italymarker.



  • Verlag Beck, Germany from Napoléon to Bismarck, 1800-1866, Princeton University Press
  • Lucien Calvié, Unité nationale et liberté politique chez quelques libéraux allemands au début des années 30 and Naissance et évolution du libéralisme allemand, in Françoise Knopper and Gilbert Merlio (edited by), Notices politiques et littéraires sur l'Allemagne, Presses Universitaires du Mirail, Paris, 1835
  • Eric Hobsbawm, Nations et nationalisme depuis 1780, Paris, Gallimard, 1992
  • Edmond Marc Lipiansky, L'âme française ou le national-libéralisme. Analyse d'une représentation sociale, Anthropos, 1979
  • Yael Tamir, Liberal Nationalism, Princeton University Press, 1995
  • Alfred Wahl, Les forces politiques en Allemagne, Armand Colin

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