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- One of the first recorded instances of the word liberal occurs in 1375, when it was used to describe the liberal arts in the context of an education desirable for a free-born man. In 16th century England, liberal could have positive or negative attributes in referring to someone's generosity or indiscretion. With the rise of the Enlightenment, the word acquired decisively more positive undertones. In 1815, the first use of the word liberalism appeared in English. By the middle of the 19th century, liberal started to be used as a politicized term for parties and movements all over the world. This article includes quotes about the historical use of the term liberal, as well as about the more current term, liberalism.
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- If you are poor, distinguish yourself by your virtues; if rich, by your good deeds.
- Liberality consists less in giving profusely, than in giving judiciously.