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  • Individualism is a political, moral, and social philosophy that emphasizes the significance of an individual actor in a given society. For French conservatives in the wake of the French Revolution, individualisme signified social dissolution and anarchy. The German Romantic idea of individuality, Einzigkeit, denoted uniqueness and self-realization and was a source of national character. Within English liberalism, individualism was used in contrast to other concepts like socialism, communism, and collectivism.

    In the nineteenth century, American individualism was celebrated as a national value that embraced capitalism and liberal democracy. It did not refer to the government's dissolution but to limiting its power while protecting a cohesive society of individuals, natural rights, and equal opportunities. French political philosopher Alexis de Tocqueville commented on early American individualism and its ...

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