rugged individualism

Cultural Dictionary

rugged individualism definition


The belief that all individuals, or nearly all individuals, can succeed on their own and that government help for people should be minimal. The phrase is often associated with policies of the Republican party and was widely used by the Republican president Herbert Hoover. The phrase was later used in scorn by the Democratic presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman to refer to the disasters of Hoover's administration, during which the stock market Crash of 1929 occurred and the Great Depression began.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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WordNet
rugged individualism

noun
individualism in social and economic affairs; belief not only in personal liberty and self-reliance but also in free competition 
WordNet® 3.0, © 2006 by Princeton University.
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