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Biographical

Jefferson, Thomas (1743-1826)

by Daniel J. Mahoney

Thomas Jefferson, the main author of the Declaration of Independence, contributed some of the most important ideas to early US political theory.

Biographical

Jouvenel, Bertrand de (1903-1987)

by Daniel J. Mahoney

A respected French political philosopher, Bertrand de Jouvenel examined a number of topics to do with power and the role of the state.

Biographical

Kant, Immanuel (1724-1804)

by Ralf Bader

Immanuel Kant provided a systematic treatise of morality that, among other things, relied on reason, noninterference both of government and individuals, and peace.

Biographical

Kirzner, Israel M. (1930-)

by Brian Doherty

Israel M. Kirzner is a noted economist of the Austrian School known most for his work on the role of entrepreneur in the market.

Biographical

Knight, Frank H. (1885-1972)

by Richard Boyd

Frank H. Knight was an economist whose skeptical writings on economic planning and limited government informed the work of the Chicago School.

Biographical

La Boétie, Étienne de (1530-1563)

by Sharon Presley

Étienne de La Boétie’s essay, the Discourse of Voluntary Servitude, called for widespread civil disobedience and remains an influence on anarchism.

Biographical

Lane, Rose Wilder (1886-1968)

by Amy Sturgis

Rose Wilder Lane was an author and reporter who became one of the most prominent libertarian women writing in the 20th century.

Biographical

Lao Tzu (c. 600 BC)

by James A. Dorn

Lao Tzu’s anticipatory work argued that a harmonious and prosperous society was one in which people could make their own economic and personal decisions.

Biographical

Las Casas, Bartolomé de (1474-1566)

by Alejandro A. Chafuen

Bartolome de Las Casas wrote detailed, sometimes propagandist, accounts of Spanish colonization of the Americas and fought for the rights of American Indians.

Biographical

LeFevre, Robert (1911-1986)

by Brian Doherty

Robert LeFevre established educational programs and supported publications that aimed to spread and popularize libertarian ideas.

Biographical

Leggett, William (1801-1839)

by Lawrence H. White

In his writings, William Leggett attacked government regulation of commerce and the rent-seeking behaviors of business.

Biographical

Locke, John (1632-1704)

by Eric Mack

John Locke’s work on natural rights, property, and the limits of just governments makes him a central philosopher among classical liberals.

Biographical

Macaulay, Thomas Babington (1800-1859)

by Walter Olson

Thomas Babington Macaulay was a powerful voice for classical liberal ideas, writing great historical volumes and political essays on individual freedoms.

Biographical

MacBride, Roger Lea (1929-1995)

by David Boaz

With his electoral vote in 1972 and presidential campaign in 1976, Roger Lea MacBride expanded the influence of the Libertarian Party. 

Biographical

Madison, James (1750-1836)

by Michael Zuckert

James Madison was instrumental in creating the values behind the United States Constitution, both as one of its primary authors and in his own writings.

Biographical

Maine, Henry Sumner (1822-1888)

by George Carey

Henry Sumner Maine was a legal scholar of the 1800s. His best-known work, Ancient Law, explained development of societal structure.

Biographical

Mandeville, Bernard (1670-1733)

by George H. Smith

Bernard Mandeville’s controversial essays and allegories raised questions about justice and socially or morally virtuous actions.

Biographical

Mason, George (1725-1792)

by Robert M. S. McDonald

George Mason was a Virginian statesman who decried the centralization of government authority and was one of the major supporters of a written Bill of Rights.