The term "liberalism" conveys two distinct positions in political philosophy, the one a pro-individualist theory of people and government, the second a pro-statist or what is better termed a "social democratic" conception. Students of political philosophy ought to be aware of the two schools of thought that reside under the same banner to avoid philosophical confusions that can be resolved by a clarification of terms. The "Great Switch," as cultural historian Jacques Barzun notes, took place in the late Nineteenth Century, a switch which was the product of shifting the political ground towards socialist or social democratic policies under the banner of liberal parties and politics.
In the Ottoman Empire , these ideological reforms did not take place and these views did not integrate into common thought until much later. As well, there was no spread of this doctrine within the New World and the advanced civilizations of the Aztec , Maya , Inca , Mohican , Delaware , Huron and especially the Iroquois . The Iroquois philosophy in particular gave much to Christian thought of the time and in many cases actually inspired some of the institutions adopted in the United States : for example, Benjamin Franklin was a great admirer of some of the methods of the Iroquois Confederacy , and much of early American literature emphasized the political philosophy of the natives. [ 19 ]