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The southern part of the island of Great Britain

England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west. The Irish Sea lies northwest of England and the Celtic Sea lies to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south. The country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, and includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.

Geographical type: Island Territory

Area: 130,279 km²

ISO 3166-2 code: GB-ENG

  • London - Capital of Great Britain

Birthplace of

John Bright, in Rochdale, Lancashire, on 16 Nov 1811
John Bunyan, in Elstow, Bedfordshire, on Nov 1628
Richard Cobden, in Dunford, Sussex, on 3 Jun 1804
Edward Coke, in Mileham, Norfolk, on 1 Feb 1552
Auberon Herbert, Auberon Edward William Molyneux Herbert, in Highclere Castle, Hampshire, on 18 Jun 1838
Thomas Hodgskin, in Chatham, Kent, on 12 Dec 1787
James P. Hogan, in London, on 27 Jun 1941
Paul Johnson, Paul Bede Johnson, in Manchester, on 2 Nov 1928
John Maynard Keynes, in Cambridge, on 5 Jun 1883
John Lennon, in Liverpool, on 9 Oct 1940
John Lilburne, in Greenwich, on 1614
John Locke, in Wrington, Somerset, on 29 Aug 1632
Thomas Paine, in Thetford, Norfolk, on 29 Jan 1737
Terry Pratchett, in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, on 28 Apr 1948
Lionel Robbins, in Sipson, on 22 Dec 1898
Peter Sellers, in Southsea, Portsmouth, on 8 Sep 1925
Nassau William Senior, in Compton, Berkshire, on 26 Sep 1790
Percy Bysshe Shelley, in Field Place, West Sussex, on 4 Aug 1792
Algernon Sidney, in Penshurst Place, Kent, on Jan 1623
Herbert Spencer, in Derby, Derbyshire, on 27 Apr 1820
E. G. West, in Goldthorpe, Yorkshire, on 27 Feb 1922

Home To

Libertarian Party, Brighton

Events of Interest

Magna Carta, signed, in Runnymede, on 15 Jun 1215

Deathplace of

William Blackstone, in Wallinford, Berkshire, on 14 Feb 1780
John Bright, in Rochdale, Lancashire, on 27 Mar 1889
Edward Coke, in Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire, on 3 Sep 1634
Auberon Herbert, in Burley, Hampshire, on 5 Nov 1906
Thomas Hodgskin, in Feltham, on 21 Aug 1869
John Maynard Keynes, in Tilton, Sussex, on 21 Apr 1946
Stanley Kubrick, in Childwickbury, on 7 Mar 1999
John Lilburne, in Eltham, Kent, on 29 Aug 1657
John Locke, in Otes, Essex, on 28 Oct 1704
Terry Pratchett, in Broad Chalke, Wiltshire, on 12 Mar 2015
David Ricardo, in Gatcombe Park, Gloucestershire, on 11 Sep 1823
Herbert Spencer, in Brighton, Sussex, on 8 Dec 1903
J. R. R. Tolkien, in Bournemouth, on 2 Sep 1973


An Agreement of the Free People of England: Tendered as a Peace-Offering to this distressed Nation, by John Lilburne, 1 May 1649
We the free People of England, ... Agree to ascertain our Government, to abolish all arbitrary Power, and to set bounds and limits both to our Supreme, and all Subordinate Authority ... we are agreed ... That the Supreme Authority ... shall be and reside henceforward in a Representative of the People consisting of four hundred persons, but no more ...
The Antimilitarist Libertarian Heritage, by Sheldon Richman, The Goal Is Freedom, 19 Sep 2014
Reviews writings by Herbert Spencer, "Government Colonization" (in Social Statics (1851)) and "Patriotism" (in Facts and Comments (1902)), on the subjects of war, militarism, colonization and patriotism
England may have done things in the past to advance freedom, Spencer says, but "there are traits, unhappily of late more frequently displayed, which do the reverse."
Contemplation of the acts by which England has acquired over eighty possessions—settlements, colonies, protectorates, &c.—does not arouse feelings of satisfaction. The transitions ... ending in so-called "pacification" ... as that of the new Indian province and that of Barotziland, which was declared a British colony with no more regard for the wills of the inhabiting people than for those of the inhabiting beasts ...
Civil Liberty and the State: The Writ of Habeas Corpus, by Richard Ebeling, Freedom Daily, Apr 2002
Highlights of English and American history on the writ of habeas corpus, in particular the 17th century conflict between Charles I and Edward Coke
While the fight against the continuing attempt by English kings to hold men indefinitely without charges was fought several times in the 400 years following the signing of the Magna Carta, the battle reached a climax in the 1620s during the reign of Charles I. Twice, in 1625 and in 1626, Charles dissolved the Parliament because the members of the House of Commons refused to grant him the monies he needed to finance a foreign war. Charles drew up a list of names of those persons around the country with the financial ability to lend money to him. Many were then imprisoned for refusal to lend him the prescribed amounts.
The Colonial Venture of Ireland, Part 1, by Wendy McElroy, Freedom Daily, May 2004
Historical account of Ireland from its earliest inhabitants, through various invaders, conflicts with the English and between Catholics and Protestants, to the mid-nineteenth century
Fearing that a rival state would arise, King Henry II landed with troops and was officially installed as ruler. His rule was a formality. The English controlled only about 20 square miles around the southern coast-city of Dublin ... In the first half of the 16th century, however, the Tudor king Henry VIII complicated foreign affairs. Failing to get a papal annulment for his first marriage, Henry broke with the Roman Catholic Church. The Anglican Church was established as the state church ... The reign of Henry's daughter, Queen Elizabeth I, was different. England was threatened by Catholic France ...
Common Sense, by Thomas Paine, 14 Feb 1776
Full title: Common Sense; Addressed to the Inhabitants of America, On the following interesting Subjects:
I. Of the Origin and Design of Government in general, with concise Remarks on the English Constitution.
II. Of Monarchy and Hereditary Succession.
III. Thoughts on the present State of American Affairs.
IV. Of the present Ability of America, with some miscellaneous Reflections.
Pamphlet written by Paine in 1775 and 1776, advocating independence from Britain
[The] constitution of England is so exceedingly complex, that the nation may suffer for years together without being able to discover in which part the fault lies ... I know it is difficult to get over local or long standing prejudices, yet if we will suffer ourselves to examine the component parts of the English constitution, we shall find them to be the base remains of two ancient tyrannies, compounded with some new Republican materials ... To say that the constitution of England is a union of three powers reciprocally checking each other, is farcical, either the words have no meaning, or they are flat contradictions.
Related Topics: Government, Society
Crime and Punishment in a Free Society, by Sheldon Richman, The Goal Is Freedom, 6 Dec 2013
Describes how customary law and the principle of restitution were corrupted by English kings into a system of government laws and punishment of crimes (originally, violations of the "king's peace")
In England, the early kings recognized that the administration of justice could be a cash cow. So they grabbed on and never let go ... would-be rulers, who needed money to finance wars of conquest and buy loyalty by dispensing tax-funded jobs, discovered that there was gold to be had ... "Anglo-Saxon kings saw the justice process as a source of revenue, and violations of certain laws began to be referred to as violations of the 'king's peace.' Well before the Norman conquest [1066], outlawry began to involve not only liability to be killed with impunity but ... 'forfeiture of goods to the king.'"
Related Topics: Bruce L. Benson, Law
Forrest McDonald, "The Founding Fathers and the Economic Order", by Forrest McDonald, 19 Apr 2006
Speech given at the Economic Club of Indianapolis; contrasts the economic system the Founding Fathers intended to create with the one that was actually created
Its most vituperative and generally accepted version was that formulated by Henry St. John, First Viscount Bolingbroke, and his circle of English Tory friends. Bolingbroke had led the opposition to Sir Robert Walpole (the first "Prime Minister") who guided the Financial Revolution during the 1720s and 1730s that transformed England into a modern capitalistic state by monetizing the public debt. Bolingbroke glorified landowners and castigated "money men," coining a litany of opposition to capitalism that warped the perspective of Americans as they imbibed it and infected them with a "paranoid political style."
My Time in the Tower of London, by James Bovard, Freedom Daily, Dec 2006
Relates a visit to the Tower of London and then compares the torture of centuries past in the Tower, as described in particular in Shakespeare's Richard III, with the 2006 legalization of similar practices in the United States
Some of the lines of stone near the castle were remnants of the Roman conquest of England. The castle itself was begun in earnest in 1066, just after the Norman conquest of England. Within a few centuries, the castle went from being a symbol of foreign occupation to a symbol of legitimacy. By overshadowing the London landscape, the Tower put fear into the heart of anyone who considered resisting royal authority ... looking at English history, it is difficult to detect a bright moral line separating those who were crowned at Westminster Abbey and those beheaded in the Tower of London.
The Roots of Modern Libertarian Ideas, by Brian Doherty, Cato Policy Report, Mar 2007
Survey of the history of libertarian ideas, from ancient China and Greece to 20th century writers; adapted from Radicals for Capitalism
Americans were, first, Englishmen; and, as historian of the American Revolution Gordon Wood has pointed out, "no people in the history of the world had ever made so much of [liberty]. Unlike the poor enslaved French, the English in the 18th century had no standing army, no letters de cachet; they had their habeas corpus, their trials by jury, their freedom of speech and conscience, and their right to trade and travel; they were free from arbitrary arrests and punishments; their homes were their castles."
Self-Interest and Social Order in Classical Liberalism: Bernard Mandeville, by George H. Smith, 9 Jan 2015
Discusses interpretations of Mandeville's "private vices", his defense of psychological egoism and the movement to curtail personal vices in England at the turn of the 18th century
When Mandeville moved to England during the 1690’s (while he was in his twenties), he encountered a widespread movement to suppress personal vices. The Glorious Revolution of 1688 was widely viewed by pious Christians as not only a revolution for the rights of Englishmen but also as a revolution against moral corruption. The Stuart kings, it was said, had tolerated and even encouraged immorality (drunkenness, whoring, etc.) among their subjects as a means of maintaining political control; only a virtuous citizenry will resist tyranny.
Vices Are Not Crimes: A Vindication of Moral Liberty, by Lysander Spooner, 1875
Contrasts crimes and vices, discussing the need to legislate or take other governmental action against the former but not the latter, countering several potential arguments in favor of vice legislation, in particular laws regarding spirituous liquors
The next greatest crimes committed in the world ... are committed, not so much by men who violate the laws, as by men who, either by themselves or by their instruments, make the laws ... [footnote: An illustration of this fact is found in England, whose government, for a thousand years and more, has been little or nothing else than a band of robbers, who have conspired to monopolize the land, and, as far as possible, all other wealth. These conspirators, calling themselves kings, nobles, and freeholders, ... employ their power solely in robbing and enslaving ... their own people, and in plundering and enslaving other peoples ...]
War Is Peace and Other Things the Government Wants You to Believe [PDF], by Sheldon Richman, Jun 2008
Transcript of speech given at The Future of Freedom Foundation's June 2008 conference, “Restoring the Republic: Foreign Policy & Civil Liberties”, including audience questions
So [Arthur] Ekirch ... points out that [the antimilitarist] tradition stretches back to England; we inherited it from England, where until the 17th century the militia, not the standing army, provided defense and was unsuited to aggressive war. "Attempts in," according to Ekirch, "England to militarize the political system were met with resistance, as Oliver Cromwell and the Stuart Dynasty were to learn. At the close of the 17th century, when the crown saw the permanent standing army to thwart the designs of France on the continent, there was intense opposition both in Parliament and throughout the realm."

The introductory paragraph uses material from the Wikipedia article "England" as of 7 Nov 2018, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.