Before either political liberalism or nationalism could become institutionalized, the Continent passed through a period of conservative reaction. Taking their cue from Edmund Burke, who "as early as 1790 strove to discredit France's great experiment by associating it with the excesses of reason and revolution, many people blamed liberalism for the quarter century of war, and chaos that followed. The "Reign Terror" in France, under the sway of Madame Guillotine, gave a connotation of horror to the slogan of "liberty, equality, and fraternity," Conservativeminded folk tended to regard the abstract ideas of freedom, brotherhood, and a society without class distinctions as mere will-o'-the=wisps leading inevitably to anarchy. In the interests of orderly government, the sacred rights of property, and the very existence of Western Civilization itself, they therefore set their faces resolutely against any doctrine which carried the liberal taint. [excerpt]
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Bloom, Robert L. et al. "1. The Era of Metternichian Conservatism, 1815-1848. Pt. XIII: Political Liberalism and Nationalism, 1815-1871." Ideas and Institutions of Western Man (Gettysburg College, 1958), 1-15.