“Misson designed his Settlement[,] Libertalia, [naming his people] Liberi…desiring [that it might drown the] Names of French, English, Dutch, Africans, &c.”
“Plantain was resolved that he would now make himself King of Madagascar, and govern there with absolute Power and Authority.”
Hume argues that rules of justice do not spring fully-formed from rational calculation but emerge from the uncoordinated actions of individuals.
Hume explores the nature of political society and argues that there is some basic utility to the state.
In this selection from The Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith discusses prices in terms of labor and happiness.
Adam Smith’s The Theory of Moral Sentiments included this passage on two distinct ways of seeing the world: spontaneous order vs planned economy.
Smith explains why benevolence is desirable but justice is essential not just to to civil society but also to how we measure our behavior in the eyes of others.
Dickinson writes on the importance of opposing the Townshend Acts, which threatened the sovereignty of the Thirteen Colonies.
Backus begins the most famous sermon of his life with the argument that no government may justifiably intervene in ecclesiastical life.
Backus details the ways in which early modern British statecraft merged church and state into the same invasive impediment to true salvation and happiness.
Backus details the long history of Baptist sufferings in the American colonies, suggesting that only full disestablishment could protect minorities’ interests.
In his conclusion, Backus links his own generation’s “new light” theological revival of antinomianism with the struggle against “taxation without representation.”
Levi Hart defines and describes the most essential types of liberty—a necessary precursor to his later attacks on all things slavery.
Having defined and described liberty, Hart exposes the sin of slavery, and the slaveholder’s own bondage to Satan.
In this excerpt from The Rights of Man, here Thomas Paine argues that the order naturally observed in human society is not the result of government.
Common Sense: On the Origin and Design of Government in General, with Concise Remarks on the English Constitution
Thomas Paine critiques and expounds upon ideas of government. Claiming it is but a “necessary evil” and distinguishing it from society at large.
Smith explores the significance of the division of labor using his example of the pin factory where specialization lets the employees increase their production.
Paine explores the distinction between society and government and the impact the latter has on the former in this selection from Common Sense.