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Philosophic Radicals

by George H. Smith

The Philosophic Radicals, including Jeremy Bentham, were British reformers generally supporting Benthian utilitarianism and democratic change.

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Physiocracy

by George H. Smith

The physiocrats were French laissez-faire economists in the late 18th century who based their policies and writings on natural reason and science.

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Positive Liberty

by Tibor Machan

Positive liberty presents a case for liberty as the ability to succeed. Often, though, positive liberty can only be achieved by violating negative liberty.

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Praxeology

by George H. Smith

Praxeology, as popularized by Ludwig von Mises, is an interdisciplinary approach to social questions that abstracts and thus universally explains human action.

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Private Property

by Tom Bethell

Private property succeeds in supporting an ordered, free, and just society where other configurations of property fail.

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Progress

by George H. Smith

Libertarians celebrate increasing individual liberties as the main fuel for human progress - material, moral, and intellectual.

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Progressive Era

by Richard Adelstein

The Progressive Era of the early 20th century brought a new wave of social and economic reform that fueled a much more interventionist government.

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Prohibition of Alcohol

by Jackson Kuhl

The Prohibition of alcohol, from 1919-1933, though intended to reduce alcohol consumption, merely made alcohol consumption more dangerous.

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Puritanism

by Hans Eicholz

Puritans were Protestant Christians in England and Scotland who fought for reform of the church against Anglican opposition and backlash.

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Pursuit of Happiness

by Hans Eicholz

The Declaration of Independence famously spoke of right to “the pursuit of happiness,” a phrase that has been questioned as to its extent and meaning.

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Religion and Liberty

by George H. Smith

Freedom of worship is an individual right and natural right that many people and groups have fought for throughout history.

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Republicanism, Classical

by Jason Kuznicki

Classical Republicans were early advocates of constitutionalism and the rule of law. Their work is foundational to political theory today.

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Responsibility

by Rod L. Evans

Personal freedom and personal responsibility go hand-in-hand. An over-reliance on the government due to the welfare state corrodes both.

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Revolution, Right of

by Robert M. S. McDonald

Many classical liberal writers believed in the right of revolution as a natural right that could be utilized when government failed to serve its purpose.

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Rights, Natural

by Fred Miller

Natural rights are the basic rights held by all individuals by merits of being human; i.e., those rights that exist pre-government and may not be violated.

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Rights, Theories of

by Douglas Rasmussen

In this entry, Douglas Rasmussen offers justification for protecting individual rights from the perspectives of several schools of thought.

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Scholastics/School of Salamanca

by Alejandro A. Chafuen

The Scholastics, writing during the late Middle Ages, contributed notions of individual rights and trade that would influence many classical liberals.

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Secessionism

by Jason Sorens

In this entry, Jason Sorens considers the potential costs, benefits, and moral implications of secessionism and constitutionally allowing secession.