British historian, known as Lord Acton
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  • FreedomPedia
  • John Dalberg-Acton

    John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton, 1st Baron Acton, KCVO DL (10 January 1834 - 19 June 1902), was an English Catholic historian, politician and writer. He was the only son of Sir Ferdinand Dalberg-Acton, 7th Baronet and a grandson of the Neapolitan admiral Sir John Acton, 6th Baronet. From 1837 to 1869 he was known as Sir John Dalberg-Acton, 8th Baronet.

    Acton Institute


    Acton, Lord (1834-1902), by Gregory Gronbacher, The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism, 15 Aug 2008
    Biographical essay
    "John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton, First Baron Acton of Aldenham, was born in Naples, Italy, on January 10, 1834. ... Acton saw the history of liberty as the unfolding resolution of the tension that exists between moral conscience and corruption. Liberty, he professed, is the only appropriate context for religious virtue, but without religious values as an ultimate orientation and guide, liberty would inevitably disintegrate into license. Acton claimed that 'liberty is not a means to a higher political end. It is itself the highest political end.'"
    Related Topic: Liberty

    Images - Lord Acton
    200x226 JPEG, grayscale


    10 Jan 1834, John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton, in Naples, Italy


    19 Jun 1902, in Tegernsee, Bavaria, Germany


    Laissez Faire Books
    Lord Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton (1834-1902), Religion & Liberty, Jan 1993

    Web Pages

    About Lord Acton
    Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty
    Acton Bio: The Online Library of Liberty
    Includes several books, lectures and essays, in HTML and PDF format
    Lord Acton - Libertarian
    Advocates for Self-Government


    Great Thinkers: Lord Acton, by Jim Powell
    Lord Acton on Liberty and Government, by Gary M. Galles, Mises Daily, 11 Nov 2002
    "Because of his concern with freedom, Lord Acton was intensely interested in and concerned about America's experiment in liberty. And he left no doubt about how important our founding was to the cause of liberty throughout the world ..."


    The Acton-Lee Correspondence, 4 Nov 1866
    Exchange of letters between Lord Acton and Robert E. Lee
    "I saw in State Rights the only availing check upon the absolutism of the sovereign will ... I believed that the example of that great Reform would have blessed all the races of mankind by establishing true freedom purged of the native dangers and disorders of Republics."
    The History of Freedom in Antiquity, 26 Feb 1877
    Surveys the ancient history of liberty, both from the side of rulers (despots, Solon, Pericles, Roman Republic and Empire) and philosophers (Pythagoras, Heraclitus, Plato, Aristotle, the Stoics), and the later influence of Christianity
    "In every age [liberty's] progress has been beset by its natural enemies, by ignorance and superstition, by lust of conquest and by love of ease, by the strong man's craving for power, and the poor man's craving for food. ... By liberty I mean the assurance that every man shall be protected in doing what he believes his duty, against the influence of authority and majorities, custom and opinion. ... Liberty is not a means to a higher political end. It is itself the highest political end."

    Books Authored

    Essays in Religion, Politics, and Morality: (Selected Writings of Lord Acton), 1988
    Related Topic: Politics

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