Liberalism refers to a broad array of related ideas and theories of government that consider individual liberty to be the most important political goal. Liberalism has its roots in the Western Age of Enlightenment.Broadly speaking, liberalism emphasizes individual rights and equality of opportunity. Different forms of liberalism may propose very different policies, but they are generally united by their support for a number of principles, including extensive freedom of thought and speech, limitations on the power of governments, the rule of law, the free exchange of ideas, a market or mixed economy, and a transparent system of government. All liberals — as well as some adherents of other political ideologies — support some variant of the form of government known as liberal democracy, with open and fair elections, where all citizens have equal rights by law.Liberalism rejected many foundational assumptions that dominated most earlier theories of government, such as the Divine Right of Kings, hereditary status, and established religion. Social progressivism, the belief that traditions do not carry any inherent value and social practices ought to be continuously adjusted for the greater benefit of humanity, is a common component of liberal ideology.