Adam Smith and the Invisible Hand
, by Edmund A. Opitz
, The Freeman
, Jun 1976
Explains mercantilism, the rationales for political power, the proper role of government, Adam Smith's metaphor of the "invisible hand", his concept of "equality, liberty and justice" and how a free society allocates economic goods
"The Wealth of Nations sold briskly in the American colonies, some 2,500 copies within five years of publication, even though our people were at war. This is a remarkable fact, for there were only three million people living on these shores two centuries ago, and about one-third of these were Loyalists. ... The colonies ... were largely agricultural; but of necessity there were also artisans of all sorts. There had to be carpenters and cabinet makers, bricklayers and blacksmiths, weavers and tailors, gunsmiths and bootmakers. These colonial manufacturers and farmers had been practicing economic freedom all along ..."
History Lesson Lost
, by Sheldon Richman
, 6 Oct 2006
Discusses the Articles of Confederation, based mostly on The Articles of Confederation: An Interpretation of the Social-Constitutional History of the American Revolution, 1774-1781
(1940) by Merrill Jensen
"Jensen goes on to describe the deep division that existed in the British North American colonies and, after the Revolution, in the states. Groups of people are rarely of one mind, and the colonies and states were no exception ... a privileged elite came to dominate the government of each colony; power and land were handed out as royal favors, and the recipients became entrenched ... These people came to think of themselves as the wise aristocracy destined to govern, and they were not eager to give up power to the radical democrats who were the first to push for independence from Britain."
How Empires Bamboozle the Bourgeoisie
, by Lew Rockwell
, Mises Daily
, 28 Oct 2006
Comments on two issues, related to the U.S. population reaching 300 million, which Rockwell not being addressed: what kind of economy is needed to support that population and do all these people need to live under the same central government
"Moreover, we should reflect on the reality that self-governing communities were precisely the experience of Colonial America. The colonies traded with each other and with the rest of the world. Citizens moved to locations based on the relative liberality of laws. Our colonial ancestors were widely read. They learned from the experience of Rome that republican government can only coexist with liberty when both the territory and the population size are small. Otherwise, they degenerate into despotic and unworkable schemes ... The knowledge of this reality is what led to the revolt against their masters overseas."
Related Topics: American Revolutionary War
, Patrick Henry
, Iraq War (2003)
, Mises Institute
, Ludwig von Mises
, Murray Rothbard
, United States
, Washington, D.C.
Imperium in Imperio
, by Frank Chodorov
, Jun 1950
Examines the theory of government espoused by James Madison in The Federalist
number 10, and how property rights have regressed since then
"Above all things these Americans cherished freedom. They had come to it by way of hardship and it stuck to their ribs. Many of them were but a generation away from indentured servitude; still quite alive was the memory of the horrors of migration; they had paid a high price for freedom. No government had given them their prized possession; they had literally hewn it out of the forest and they meant to keep it. All their experience with government, in the Europe from which they fled or in the colonies, taught them to distrust political power."
Journals of the Continental Congress: Resolution of Richard Henry Lee; June 7, 1776
, by Richard Henry Lee, 7 Jun 1776
The Avalon Project, Yale Law School
"Resolved, That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved."
The Colonial Venture of Ireland, Part 1
, by Wendy McElroy
, Future of Freedom
, 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
"Many of the British who became prominent in the American colonies had been connected with the Irish experience. For example, the first Indian reservation agent — Gookin of Massachusetts — had seen military service in Ireland, as had many of the leaders of the original Virginia Company ...
Meanwhile, the American colonies had also become restless under British rule. The Revolution of 1776 had many friends in Ireland who sympathized with Benjamin Franklin's appeal for their support against a common enemy: England ... By 1770 ... At least one American in six living south of New England was of Irish origin."
The Philosophy of Paine
, by Thomas Edison, The Diary and Sundry Observations of Thomas Alva Edison
, 7 Jun 1925
Edison laments the lack of interest in Paine's writings, outlines his life, discusses the main writings and encourages others to read him
"Looking back to those times we cannot, without much reading, clearly gauge the sentiment of the Colonies. Perhaps the larger number of responsible men still hoped for peace with England. They did not even venture to express the matter that way. Few men, indeed, had thought in terms of war. Then Paine wrote 'Common Sense,' an anonymous tract which immediately stirred the fires of liberty. It flashed from hand to hand throughout the Colonies."
The Rocky Road of American Taxation
, by Charles Adams
, Mises Daily
, 15 Apr 2006
Adapted from the author's For Good and Evil: The Impact of Taxes on the Course of Civilization
; examines tax resistance in colonial America up to the Jefferson presidency
"The Stamp Act was no mere mite to the colonist. Colonial legislatures held emergency sessions. There were town meetings, speeches, and pamphlets condemning the tax. ... Governors wrote home to Britain advising the government that the rebellion could not be curbed. ... Most important, the Stamp Act united the colonies — something that had been impossible up to 1765. Massachusetts called for a congress of the colonies, and delegates appeared from almost all colonial governments. ... The Boston Tea Party was a turning point in colonial reaction to British rule. By 1773 the tax issue was becoming obscure. Both parties were moving toward war."