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Classical liberalism is a political ideology and a branch of liberalism which advocates civil liberties and political freedom with representative democracy under the rule of law and emphasizes economic freedoms found in economic liberalism which is also called free market capitalism.

Classical liberalism is a political ideology and a branch of liberalism which advocates civil liberties and political freedom with representative democracy under the rule of law and emphasizes economic freedoms found in economic liberalism which is also called free market capitalism.

Classical liberalism was first called that in the early 19th century, but was built on ideas of the previous century. It was a response to urbanization, and to the Industrial Revolution in Europe and the United States. Notable individuals whose ideas contributed to classical liberalism include John Locke, Thomas Jefferson, Jean-Baptiste Say, Thomas Malthus, and David Ricardo. It drew on the economics of Adam Smith and on a belief in natural law, utilitarianism, and progress.