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  • Conservatism as a political and social philosophy promotes retaining traditional social institutions in the context of the culture and civilization. A person who follows the philosophies of conservatism is referred to as a traditionalist or conservative typically with regard to the values and social structures before the French Revolution of the 1790s when "liberalism" presented a modern alternative. Some conservatives seek to preserve things as they are, emphasizing stability and continuity, while others, called reactionaries, oppose modernism and seek a return to "the way things were". The first established use of the term in a political context originated with François-René de Chateaubriand in 1818, during the period of Bourbon restoration that sought to roll back the policies of the French Revolution. The term, historically associated with right-wing politics, has since been used to describe a wide range of views. There is no single set of policies that are universally regarded as conservative, because the meaning of conservatism depends on what is considered traditional in a given place and time.

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