Professor of economics and history at San Jose State University

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Home Page of Jeffrey Rogers Hummel, Ph.D.
Department of Economics, San Jose State University

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Jeffrey Rogers Hummel - Libertarian
Advocates for Self-Government


Does Freedom Require Empire?, by Sheldon Richman, 5 Sep 2014
Critiques an essay by Daniel McCarthy justifying British and American imperialism by insisting that "power is the basis of the peaceful order upon which liberal democracy rests"
"As Jeffrey Rogers Hummel puts it in 'The Will to Be Free: The Role of Ideology in National Defense,' 'Ideas ultimately determine in which direction [people] wield their weapons or whether they wield them at all.' 'All successful States are legitimized,' Hummel writes. 'No government rules for long through brute force alone ... Successful ideas therefore can induce alterations in the size, scope, and intrusiveness of government.' If this is the case with respect to the government a population labors under, Hummel argues, then it is also the case with respect to potentially threatening foreign governments."


Garrison, William Lloyd (1805-1879), The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism, 15 Aug 2008
Biographical essay
"William Lloyd Garrison was the most prominent of the young, radical abolitionists who burst on the American landscape in the 1830s. Garrison attacked black slavery, prevalent throughout the southern states, with unparalleled vehemence. Exasperated at the betrayal of the Revolutionary promise that all forms of human bondage would disappear in this new land of liberty and marshaling all the evangelical fervor of the religious revivals then sweeping the country, Garrison demanded no less than the immediate emancipation of all slaves. He ... also demanded full political rights for all blacks, whether in the North or the South."
Martin Van Buren: The American Gladstone, Reassessing the Presidency, 2001
Revised version of the 1999 essay "Martin Van Buren: The Greatest American President"
Martin Van Buren: The Greatest American President [PDF], The Independent Review, 1999
Discusses the Van Buren presidency and why he should be considered "the greatest president in American history"
"President Martin Van Buren does not usually receive high marks from historians. Born of humble Dutch ancestry in December 1782 in the small, upstate New York village of Kinderhook, Van Buren gained admittance to the bar in 1803 without benefit of higher education. ... All will acknowledge, I believe, that Americans once enjoyed greater freedom from government intervention than any other people. For that accomplishment, Martin Van Buren deserves as much credit as any other single individual—and certainly more credit than any other president of the United States."
Not Just Japanese Americans: The Untold Story of U.S. Repression During 'The Good War', The Journal of Historical Review, 1986
"All the aforementioned events, entailing enormous gains for State power, occurred ... at a time when the United States was technically at peace. The Japanese attack ... merely accelerated the civil liberties trends already in motion. ... The internment of Japanese-Americans was ... representative of a wartime administration that respected civil liberties only so far as political expediency required."
Related Topic: World War II
Taking the gloss off of the Great Emancipator, Chicago Tribune, 12 Feb 2009
Examines Lincoln's attitude toward the abolition of slavery as well as the effects of his war on the growth of government
"Abraham Lincoln is justly celebrated as the Great Emancipator. The Civil War freed nearly 4 million African-Americans from human bondage. It thereby fulfilled the promise of the American Revolution, eradicating a major coercive blight on the country. But unfortunately, Lincoln did almost as much to repudiate as to reaffirm the radical principles of the Declaration of Independence. ... [Lincoln] was a perplexing mixture of lofty ideals and political expediency. This portrait may not jibe with the popular hagiography, but that is often what happens when you replace blind hero worship with the complexities of history."

Books Authored

Emancipating Slaves, Enslaving Free Men: A History of the American Civil War, 1996