The British response to the Boston Tea Party stiffened American resolve for revolution. In this essay, George Smith tells the story of that event.
The purpose of these Excursions is to explore the fascinating and complex history of libertarian ideas. Over four decades of reading, writing, and lecturing on the history of libertarianism have taught Smith an important lesson, namely, that the theories of some early libertarian thinkers were sometimes better and more sophisticated than the theories we take for granted today.
George H. Smith
George H. Smith was formerly Senior Research Fellow for the Institute for Humane Studies, a lecturer on American History for Cato Summer Seminars, and Executive Editor of Knowledge Products. Smith's fourth and most recent book, The System of Liberty, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2013.
The story of the American Revolution’s prelude continues with the emergence of Committees of Correspondence among the colonists.
Smith continues his look at the events leading up to the American Revolution by telling the story of the Boston Massacre.
Smith uses some of the crucial events that led to the American Revolution as background to explain the theory of resistance and revolution that emerged
Smith explores America’s proud history of smuggling in the colonies—and the disastrous attempts by the British to put an end to it.
Smith begins a series of essays on the Declaration of Independence by examining colonial reaction to its list of grievances.
Smith begins his discussion of one of the most libertarian works on history ever written.
Smith explores some of the traditional biblical arguments for and against religious persecution.
Smith distinguishes “tolerating” religious difference from recognizing a genuine right to religious freedom.
Smith turns to the philosophy of Voluntaryism, discussing how its proponents fought against state control of education in the nineteenth century.
A glance at some economic regulations from the past.
After discussing some implications of early works on international law for libertarian theory, Smith concludes with a defense of Ayn Rand’s theory of rights.
George H. Smith discusses a metaphor that was widely used by early libertarian writers who defended the natural equality of humankind.
Smith examines the argument that minor acts of aggression are morally permissible if they result in good consequences that offset an unjust act.
Smith explains what Adam Smith meant by the “invisible hand” and how he used this explanatory method throughout his writings.
George H. Smith discusses some of Lord Acton’s ideas about freedom and their relevance to the modern libertarian movement.