Cicero, a great early writer and orator, articulated a universal legal order that was to become foundational for the natural law tradition.
Charles Comte, politician and prominent writer, was a principle figure in promoting classical liberalism in France in the early 19th century.
An advocate for enlightenment and liberal reforms, Marquis de Condorcet had a brief but eventful influence as part the French Revolutionary government.
A prominent Enlightenment thinker, Denis Diderot’s writings on freedom of thought, religion, and speech bring him to the attention of libertarians today.
Frederick Douglass was an abolitionist who fought for black liberty both before and after the Civil War.
One of the founders of Transcendentalism, Ralph Waldo Emerson was also a noted abolitionist and personal activist in the nineteenth century.
Adam Ferguson’s writings, notably his Essay on the History of Civil Society, provided an important analysis of how social institutions form.
Fisher made an important contribution to the libertarian movement by creating liberty-advancing public policy think tanks active around the globe.
One of the best-known writers of the 20th cent., Michel Foucault criticized overreaching authority structures as well as state and social coercion.
The winner of the Nobel Prize in 1976, Milton Friedman was a recent leading economist who advocated free market liberalism through public policy.
Garrison, known as the editor of the anti-slavery newspaper Liberator, was an outspoken and radical leader for the abolitionist movement.
The former prime minster of the United Kingdom, Gladstone was a statesman advocating a platform of limited government and free-market economics.
A popular novelist as well as a political philosopher, William Godwin was one of the first influential writers on the topic of philosophical anarchism.
Barry Goldwater’s stark commitment to a platform of freedom and limited government helped to realign public opinion in support of economic conservatism.
An accomplished libertarian writer and the founder of the Institute for Humane Studies, Harper devoted his life to educating others about libertarianism.
Henry Hazlitt was an economic journalist and popular author whose works explained and elaborated on many libertarian ideas.
Heinlein, author of a number of fundamental science fiction novels, provided an eerily relevant social critique of the overreach of government.
A staunch defender of property rights and opponent to forced redistribution, Auberon Herbert contributed several major works to classical liberalism.