Explore

essays

The Candle Makers’ Petition

by Frédéric Bastiat in 1845

In this satirical essay, Bastiat petitions on behalf of candle makers for the protection from foreign competition, the sun.

essays

A Negative Railroad

by Frédéric Bastiat in 1845

In this short excerpt from Economic Sophisms, Bastiat demonstrates the absurdity of supposed economic benefits from inefficiency.

essays

The Tax Collector

by Frédéric Bastiat in 1848

In this parable, Bastiat conceives a conversation between a wine maker and a tax collector.

essays

High Prices and Low Prices

by Frédéric Bastiat in 1845

In this excerpt from Economic Sophisms, Bastiat dispels the notion that policymakers should attempt to attain “high” or “low” prices.

essays

Brutus’ Anti-Federalist No. 1

by Robert Yates in 1787

Anti-federalist Robert Yates (under the pseudonym Brutus) argues against the constitution, foreseeing many of the expansions of federal power.

essays

Brutus’ Anti-Federalist No. 8

by Robert Yates in 1788

Yates (using the pseudonym “Brutus”) argues that the constitutional power to raise an army and borrow money will lead to an expansion of state power.

essays

Agrippa’s Anti-Federalist No. 1

by James Winthrop in 1787

James Winthrop, writing under the pseudonym Agrippa, argues against the Constitution, suggesting ratification will lead inevitably to the abuse of federal power.

essays

The Federalist No. 45

by James Madison in 1788

Madison attempts to allay concerns about the expansion of federal powers under the Constitution.

 

essays

What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?

by Frederick Douglass in 1852

In this excerpt from a July 4th speech in 1852, Frederick Douglass highlights the contradiction of a country founded on liberty and yet supportive of slavery.

essays

Cato’s Anti-Federalist No. 5

by John Trenchard and Thomas Gordon in 1787

Writing under the pseudonym Cato, Trenchard and Gordon argue against the Constitution, warning that it will lead to a new corruptible aristocracy.

essays

The Federalist No. 76

by Alexander Hamilton in 1788

Alexander Hamilton explains the importance of the Senate’s “advise and consent” power, arguing for its necessity as a check on the executive branch.

essays

Of Political Society

by David Hume in 1748

Hume explores the nature of political society and argues that there is some basic utility to the state.

essays

Three Women Who Launched a Movement

by Cato Institute on Mar 1, 2014

The birth of the modern American libertarian movement can arguably be traced to the work of three women.

essays

Rose Wilder Lane

by Cato Institute on Mar 1, 2014

A short biography of Rose Wilder Lane, one of three women who launched the modern American libertarian movement.

essays

Isabel Paterson

by Cato Institute on Mar 1, 2014

A short biography of Isabel Paterson, one of three women who launched the modern American libertarian movement.

essays

Ayn Rand

by Cato Institute on Mar 1, 2014

A short biography of Ayn Rand, one of three women who launched the modern American libertarian movement.