, in Drumalig, Saintfield Parish, County Down, Ireland, on 8 Aug 1694
Measures of Freedom
Human Freedom Index
[PDF], The Human Freedom Index 2016
2014: 8.61, Rank: 6, Personal Freedom: 9.29, Economic Freedom: 7.93, Democracy Index: 8.04
Level of Economic Freedom
, Economic Freedom of the World
2014: 7.93, Rank: 10
United Kingdom | Freedom House
, Freedom in the World 2016
2016: Status: Free, Aggregate Score: 95, Political Rights: 1, Civil Liberties: 1
"Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservative Party won general elections held in May 2015, enabling it to govern without its former coalition partner, the Liberal Democrats. Euroskeptic groups, including some within the ruling party, continued to criticize Britain's membership in the European Union (EU), and Cameron pledged to hold a referendum by the end of 2017 on whether the country should leave the bloc."
Better Them Than Us
, by Scott McPherson, 19 Jan 2004
Discusses the Brazilian disarmament statute of 2003 and similar 1997 United Kingdom ban vis-à-vis findings by Gary Kleck and John Lott regarding gun ownership and prevalence of crime
"Casting further doubt on the efficacy of gun control, the United Kingdom in 1997 passed a total ban on the private possession of handguns following a high-profile public shooting in Scotland and all but eliminated every other form of gun ownership. This is the precise 'antidote' desired by gun-control supporters elsewhere. Six years later, 'peaceful' Britain now has the highest overall crime rate in the Western world, and violent crime is skyrocketing. Gang wars and drive-by shootings are increasing."
Child Labor and the British Industrial Revolution, Part 1
, by Lawrence Reed
, Future of Freedom
, Sep 1999
Contrasts the situation of "free labour" and "parish apprentice" children during the British Industrial Revolution, the latter being mostly orphans placed in the custody of parish, i.e., government, authorities
"Everyone agrees that in the 100 years between 1750 and 1850 there took place in Great Britain profound economic changes. It was the age of the Industrial Revolution, complete with a cascade of technical innovations, a vast increase in industrial production, a renaissance of world trade, and a rapid growth of urban populations. Where historians and other observers clash is in the interpretation of these great changes."
Federalist No. 4: The Same Subject Continued: Concerning Dangers from Foreign Force and Influence
, by John Jay
Considers the potential of invasion on Great Britain's constituent countries (if they had separate armies and fleets) and the United States if divided into 13 states or three or four confederacies, arguing for the advantages of centralization
"What would the militia of Britain be if the English militia obeyed the government of England, if the Scotch militia obeyed the government of Scotland, and if the Welsh militia obeyed the government of Wales? Suppose an invasion; would those three governments (if they agreed at all) be able, with all their respective forces, to operate against the enemy so effectually as the single government of Great Britain would? ... let those four of the constituent parts of the British empire be be under four independent governments, and it is easy to perceive how soon they would each dwindle into comparative insignificance."
Federalist No. 5: The Same Subject Continued: Concerning Dangers from Foreign Force and Influence
, by John Jay
Ironically argues that separate confederacies, specifically Northern and Southern, may result in conflict between them since one could be at war with a foreign nation with which the other wants to be at peace
"The history of Great Britain is the one with which we are in general the best acquainted, and it gives us many useful lessons. ... Although it seems obvious to common sense that the people of such an island should be but one nation, yet we find that they were for ages divided into three, and that those three were almost constantly embroiled in quarrels and wars with one another. Notwithstanding their true interest with respect to the continental nations was really the same, yet by the arts and policy and practices of those nations, their mutual jealousies were perpetually kept inflamed ..."
, by James Bovard
, The American Conservative
, 15 Dec 2003
Provides various examples of "free speech zone" incidents as well as reactions in the U.S. and overseas
"For Bush's recent visit to London, the White House demanded that British police ban all protest marches, close down the center of the city, and impose a 'virtual three day shutdown of central London in a bid to foil disruption of the visit by anti-war protesters,' according to Britain's Evening Standard. But instead of a 'free speech zone'—as such areas are labeled in the U.S.—the Bush administration demanded an 'exclusion zone' to protect Bush from protesters' messages."
Government Interventionism in Ireland, Part 1
, by Scott McPherson, Future of Freedom
, May 2004
Account of Irish history in the early 20th century, contrasting the views of unionists in Ulster with those of nationalists desiring home rule or outright separation from Britain
How Franklin Roosevelt Lied America Into War
, by William Henry Chamberlin
, Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace
Excerpted from chapter 8, "The Bankruptcy of a Policy", of the Harry Elmer Barnes anthology; describes several actions by Roosevelt and his administration which contradicted his campaign pledges "to keep our country out of war"
"The exchange of American destroyers for British bases ... in September, 1940. ... The secret American-British staff talks in Washington in January-March, 1941. ... The British Isles were not invaded in 1940, at the height of Hitler's military success on the Continent. They were much more secure against invasion in 1941. Contrast the scare predications ... about the impending invasion of Britain in the first months of 1941, with the testimony of Winston Churchill, as set down in his memoirs: 'I did not regard invasion as a serious danger in April, 1941, since proper preparations had been made against it.'"
Middle-of-the-Road Policy Leads to Socialism
, by Ludwig von Mises
, 18 Apr 1950
Speech to the University Club of New York; argues that the middle of the road policies of interventionism, such as price controls and progressive taxation, eventually lead to socialism via central planning
"... in the second World War ... Great Britain again resorted to price ceilings for a few vital commodities and had to run the whole gamut proceeding further and further until it had substituted all-around planning of the country's whole economy for economic freedom. When the war came to an end, Great Britain was a socialist commonwealth. It is noteworthy to remember that British socialism was not an achievement of Mr. Attlee's Labor Government, but of the war cabinet of Mr. Winston Churchill. "
Money and Gold in the 1920s and 1930s: An Austrian View
, by Joseph Salerno
, The Freeman
, Oct 1999
Criticizes Richard Timberlake's Freeman
articles on U.S. monetary policy during 1920-39, contrasting the British Banking School vs. Currency School definitions of inflation
"The British pound in the mid-1920s was overvalued vis-à-vis gold and the U.S. dollar, causing British products to appear relatively overpriced in world markets. As a result, Great Britain experienced imports chronically in excess of exports accompanied by persistent balance-of-payments deficits and outflows of gold reserves. Had the Fed deflated the U.S. money supply, thus lowering U.S. prices even more relative to British prices as Timberlake claims was its intention, it would have exacerbated, and not resolved, Great Britain's gold drain."
Our Elective Monarchy
, by Sheldon Richman
, 16 Jun 2004
Comments on the seemingly royal funeral for Ronald Reagan and the similar treatment given to other U.S. Presidents, contrasting them to British Prime Ministers
"Great Britain's government is a parliamentary system under a monarchy. Thus the head of state and the head of government are different people. ... The Parliament's vigorous questioning of the prime minister is the most public manifestation of this feature of the British government. Elected officials grill the chief executive, who is one of their own, and he must answer."
Terrorism Comes with Empire
, by Jacob Hornberger
, 8 Jul 2005
Reflects on the 7 July 2005 London bombings (and 1993 and 2001 attacks in New York and the Pentagon) and why England and the U.S. were the targets rather than Switzerland
"Of course, the same cannot be said of England, whose foreign policy in the Middle East can be summed up as follows: Whatever the U.S. government does, the British government supports and joins. Thus, the British government participated in President Bush's recent war on Iraq — a war against a sovereign and independent country that never attacked the United States or England or even threatened to do so."
The Colonial Venture of Ireland, Part 2
, by Wendy McElroy
, Future of Freedom
, Jun 2004
Historical account of Ireland from 1840 to the early years of the twentieth century, including the Young Irelanders, the famines, the Irish in North America, Captain Boycott, the demand for home rule, the Gaelic League and the emergence of Sinn Fein
"Meanwhile, in Britain, the costs of the Boer War in South Africa and a declining economy made the Tories unpopular and brought the Liberals to power in 1906. When the Liberals created the foundation of a welfare state, the British budget was strained. Taxes on inheritance, land profits, and high incomes were increased but the Tories used the House of Lords to veto such measures. To break the stalemate, the Liberals needed support from the Irish delegates in the House of Commons."
The Colonial Venture of Ireland, Part 4
, by Wendy McElroy
, Future of Freedom
, Aug 2004
Historical account of the partitioned Ireland from 1922 to the 1970's, including Éamon de Valera, the creation of the Republic of Ireland, the conflicts with and eventual split up of the IRA, and civil rights marches and riots in the North
"As for the British, Eddie McAteer declared in the spring of 1972, 'I am not anti-British, but I do complain that the British mind seems incapable of realizing that other countries would wish to deprive themselves of the services of British rule. If we had been allowed to develop normally, it is possible that we would have married the two bloodstreams, the two religions, and the two cultures here in the north of Ireland, but we have not succeeded because Britain wished to retain her foothold here. ...'"
The Roots of the Great Depression
, by Richard Timberlake
, Jan 2001
Topics discussed include Federal Reserve policy during 1920-1939, the British attempt to return the pound to its World War I value and U.S. interventions during the Hoover and Roosevelt administrations
"... British policymakers called for returning the pound to its pre-war value of $4.865. (During the 1920s, the pound's value fluctuated between $4.40 and $4.80.) The pre-war parity could not be reached unless (1) the British price level was brought down from its wartime level to something near its pre-war value, or (2) the price level of Britain's major trading partner, the United States, increased by approximately the same amount. ... The ongoing attempt to raise the gold value of the pound resulted in this constant pressure to lower money prices, which had a depressive effect on employment, income, and output."
The U.S. Base on Diego Garcia: An Overlooked Atrocity
, by Sheldon Richman
, 4 Jun 2013
Describes the forced evacuation of Diego Garcia's native inhabitants by Great Britain during 1968-1973, so that the United States could set up a Navy base, as well as current efforts to redress those actions
"Britain 'agreed to take those "administrative measures" necessary to remove the nearly 2,000 Chagossians in exchange for $14 million in secret U.S. payments.' The British kept their end of the bargain. In 1968, Britain began blocking the return of Chagossians who left to obtain medical treatment or to go on vacation, 'marooning them often without family members and almost all their possessions,' Vine writes."