Born into slavery, Frederick Douglass became a prominent abolitionist and advocate of women’s rights.
Erasmus, a great Renaissance scholar, was a champion of peace and religious toleration.
Founding father, scientist, businessman, diplomat—Franklin was America’s original “self-made man.”
Hugo Grotius, a 17th century Dutch legal scholar and philosopher, was the father of modern international law and a staunch opponent of war.
Friedrich A. Hayek was a Nobel Laureate economist. He contributed to our understanding of free market economies and free societies generally.
Thomas Jefferson was the author of the Declaration of Independence and the third President of the United States.
Martin Luther King, Jr. was a prominent activist in the civil rights movement, a spectacular orator, and a practitioner of nonviolent resistance.
Rose Wilder Lane, journalist and author, was one of the founding mothers of modern American libertarianism.
In this excerpt from Libertarianism: A Primer, Boaz tells the history of the movement for liberty, from Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu through the 20th century.
17th-century pamphleteer, organizer, and dissident John Lilburne was an important early voice for liberty, especially in matters of criminal justice.
John Locke was an Enlightenment philosopher who developed a social contract theory of natural rights and government.
James Madison was the fourth President of the United States and was the chief architect of the United States Constitution.
Smith concludes his in-depth examination of Spencer’s fundamental objection to the private ownership of land.