It is well known that only a handful of blinkered fools believe that "conservative" and "liberal" are objective terms. The standards for what is conservative and what is liberal changes as one moves from age to age and place to place. The most famous example of this would be the meaning of the word "pagan." In Roman days the word was roughly equivalent to our "rube" or "redneck". Those who adhered to the old gods were considered too unsophisticated to groove with the new monotheistic cryptoerotic death cult. So we see that the ancient meaning of "pagan" was completely different from the modern definition, i.e. "lesbian book store owner."
When one looks at the whole of recorded history, the terms "conservative" and "liberal" become wholly inadequate. A somewhat better general division would be between traditionalists who view their native society as a father or a god, something to obey and submit to, and reformists or innovationalists who view their native society as an enterprise that they are entitled to influence. This is, admittedly, still grossly simplistic, but it's the best I can do for now. If I were getting paid to write this than perhaps I would take the time to think up more developed classifications.
If one again looks at the whole of recorded history, it becomes obvious that the countryside of any civilization is always more "conservative", while the cities are always more "liberal." It is as predictable as the despised minority group and lamely justified male dominion. The reasons for this are not, I think, really that abstract or obtuse; nothing that a person of average intelligence couldn't get a basic grasp on if they took the time to think about it. But I've been tumbling my own ideas for how and why for the past few hours now. At any rate this is my blog. This is the age for the narcissist to gorge himself and I shall have my fill.
The countryside is, of course, closer to nature, and the tyrannical dictates thereof, in ways that are both important and superficial. The human tendency to equate the harvest cycle with our own life and reproduction cycles is universal. The rural mind is less inclined to be bothered by the notion that it exists chiefly to spawn somebody else than the city mind is. The old gender roles don't appear to be anywhere near as baffling or insane as they do to the modern urbanite. Now that I think about it, there have been many people, myself included, who have unfairly supposed that the adherence to these roles is born out of a desperate and cowardly attempt to impose predetermined meaning on a life that appears to be empty and chaotic. It would be more accurate to say that the rustic mind is simply trying to interpret the meaning that seems self-apparent to him.
But than there are darker reasons for traditionalism in the country. One is economic force. If we go back to traditional gender roles, we see that they tend to hold in areas where physical labor, and thus brute physical strength, is still of central importance to the local economy. (Indeed, traditional manliness is held in higher value in medium-sized industrial cities like Akron or Toledo than in some smaller college towns.) The fact that I am bigger than the lass sitting across from me, than, is not just a cute evolutionary accident, (There are reasons why country-dwellers are loathe to believe that there is any such thing.) but my means to provide for myself, gain resources, and attract a mate, and it simply must be a purpose ordained to me by a higher power, because that's the only way that spending fourteen hours dragging a plow through a shit-inseminated barley field would be more appealing than suicide.
Beyond this are the psychological effects of living in the country. Life in a small community of people discourages personal distinction, sharpening of individual thought. To be in a human settlement dwarfed by the surrounding countryside creates a sense of intangibility, a heightened awareness of mortality. The desire to reproduce becomes intense, and it won't do to merely pass on the length of your nose or the color of your eyes. My son must inherit my personality, otherwise I never rose from this earth at all. To truly reproduce myself I must destroy time. To destroy time I must make all other ways of life deviant, I must make every figure of authority a father, and I must make every tradition sacred and unchangeable. Than let me smoke and gorge and drink and work until my spine is twisted like the windbreaks that have been dead for fifty years, yet still stand because they too understand the rules of the land. Than let me have an early rest and let my son become me.