American Revolution and Constitution

About this Collection

The ideals of individual liberty and limited government motivated the men and women who took part in the creation of the American Republic. The OLL includes critical primary sources that helped shape the nation’s cultural, religious, and historical tradition. These books reveal the character of American discourse about such crucial issues as the nature and importance of self-government, the purposes of federal union, and the role of religion in America’s drive for liberty.

Key People

Titles & Essays

A – Z List

America

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American Literature

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Christianity

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Collections. Series. Collected Works

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Great Britain

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History Of Scholarship And Learning. The Humanities

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History Of The Americas

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Language And Literature

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Political Institutions And Public Administration (Europe)

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Political Institutions And Public Administration (United States)

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Political Science

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Political Theory

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Practical Theology

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Public Finance

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United States

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United States

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World History

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Not Categorized

1776: Paine, Common Sense (Pamphlet)

Thomas Paine (contributor)

Related Links:

Collections:The American Revolution and Constitution Thomas Paine

Source: Thomas Paine, The Writings of Thomas Paine, Collected and Edited by Moncure Daniel Conway (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1894). Vol. 1.

The American Nation: Primary Sources

Bruce Frohnen (editor)

This volume is a continuation of Frohnen’s earlier collection of primary sources The American Republic. It contains material from the Civil War to the outbreak of World War Two in the Pacific.

LIBERTY MATTERS

Liberty Matters: The Significance of Lysander Spooner (Jan. 2016)

Randy E. Barnett (author)

In this discussion Randy Barnett explores the political thought and constitutional theories of the 19th century American individualist, anarchist, and abolitionist Lysander Spooner (1808-1887). He concludes that “Spooner’s approach…

LIBERTY MATTERS

LIBERTY MATTERS

LIBERTY MATTERS

The Pamphlet, Entitled, “Taxation No Tyranny,” Candidly Considered, and it’s Arguments, and Pernicious Doctrines, Exposed and Refuted

Anonymous Pamphleteer 1775 (author)

The Pamphlet Debate on the American Question in Great Britain, 1764-1776 selected by Jack Greene, makes available in modern digitized form a trove of eighteenth-century books and pamphlets that directly addressed what became known in…

Taxation no Tyranny; An Answer to the Resolutions and Address of the American Congress

Samuel Johnson (author)

Written in 1775 in response to the Declaration and Resolves of the First Continental Congress, Samuel Johnson’s Taxation no Tyranny is a defense of Parliamentary Sovereignty, particularly the right to tax. One of the greatest English…

LIBERTY MATTERS

LIBERTY MATTERS

Timeline of the American Founding

Designed to provide a chronological representation of the unfolding of the early history of the nation, this PDF features historical events and figures of the founding era.

Included in the timeline are major military events, such as…

LIBERTY MATTERS

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Quotes

Taxation

Alexander Hamilton denounces the British for imposing “oppressive taxes” on the colonists which amount to tyranny, a form of slavery, and vassalage to the Empire (1774)

Alexander Hamilton

Class

Alexander Hamilton on the Civil Balance of Power

Alexander Hamilton

Money & Banking

Alexander Hamilton on the Constitutionality of a National Bank

Alexander Hamilton

War & Peace

Alexander Hamilton warns of the danger to civil society and liberty from a standing army since “the military state becomes elevated above the civil” (1787)

Alexander Hamilton

Colonies, Slavery & Abolition

Benjamin Franklin and the Need for Unity among the Colonies

Benjamin Franklin

Revolution

Carl Lotus Becker, Materialism and Idealism in the Declaration of Independence

Carl Lotus Becker

War & Peace

Daniel Webster thunders that the introduction of conscription would be a violation of the constitution, an affront to individual liberty, and an act of unrivaled despotism (1814)

Daniel Webster

Economics

Forrest McDonald argues that the Founding Fathers envisaged a new economic order based upon Lockean notions of private property and the creation of the largest contiguous area of free trade in the world (2006)

Forrest McDonald

Revolution

George Washington and America’s Future

George Washington

Politics & Liberty

George Washington on the Difference between Commercial and Political Relations with other Countries (1796)

George Washington

Taxation

George Washington on the Whiskey Rebellion and the Pardon Power

George Washington

Presidents, Kings, Tyrants, & Despots

George Washington warns that the knee jerk reaction of citizens to problems is to seek a solution in the creation of a “new monarch”(1786)

George Washington

Politics & Liberty

Gouverneur Morris on the proper balance between commerce, private property, and political liberty (1776)

Gouverneur Morris

Class

James Madison on the “sagacious and monied few” who are able to “harvest” the benefits of government regulations (1787)

James Madison

Parties & Elections

James Madison on the dangers of elections resulting in overbearing majorities who respect neither justice nor individual rights, Federalist 10 (1788)

James Madison

Politics & Liberty

James Madison on the mischievous effects of mutable government in The Federalist no. 62 (1788)

James Madison

War & Peace

James Madison on the necessity of separating the power of “the sword from the purse” (1793)

James Madison

Politics & Liberty

James Madison on the need for the “separation of powers” because “men are not angels,” Federalist 51 (1788)

James Madison

Parties & Elections

Lance Banning argues that within a decade of the creation of the US Constitution the nation was engaged in a bitter battle over the soul of the American Republic (2004)

Lance Banning

War & Peace

Madison argued that war is the major way by which the executive office increases its power, patronage, and taxing power (1793)

James Madison

Liberty

Madison on “Parchment Barriers” and the defence of liberty I (1788)

James Madison

Politics & Liberty

Mercy Otis Warren asks why people are so willing to obey the government and answers that it is supineness, fear of resisting, and the long habit of obedience (1805)

Mercy Otis Warren

Revolution

Mercy Otis Warren on Civil and Religious Rights and Tyranny

Mercy Otis Warren

Presidents, Kings, Tyrants, & Despots

Paine on the idea that the law is king (1776)

Thomas Paine

Liberty

Simeon Howard on liberty as the opposition to “external force and constraint” (1773)

Charles S. Hyneman

Religion & Toleration

The 5th Day of Christmas: Samuel Cooper on the Articles of Confederation and peace on earth (1780)

Ellis Sandoz

War & Peace

The 7th Day of Christmas: Madison on “the most noble of all ambitions” which a government can have, of promoting peace on earth (1816)

James Madison

War & Peace

The 8th Day of Christmas: Jefferson on the inevitability of revolution in England only after which there will be peace on earth (1817)

Thomas Jefferson

Politics & Liberty

The Abbé de Mably argues with John Adams about the dangers of a “commercial elite” seizing control of the new Republic and using it to their own advantage (1785)

Gabriel Bonnot Abbé de Mably

Law

The Fourth Amendment to the American Constitution states that the people shall be secure in their persons against unreasonable searches and seizures and that no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause (1788)

James McClellan

Politics & Liberty

The State of New York declares that the people may “reassume” their delegated powers at any time they choose (1788)

Jonathan Elliot

Money & Banking

Thomas Jefferson and The National Bank Question Yet Again: 1813-1817

Thomas Jefferson

Money & Banking

Thomas Jefferson in a letter to John Taylor condemns the system of banking as “a blot” on the constitution, as corrupt, and that long-term government debt was “swindling” future generations (1816)

Thomas Jefferson

Colonies, Slavery & Abolition

Thomas Jefferson on Slavery and Liberty

Thomas Jefferson

Colonies, Slavery & Abolition

Thomas Jefferson on Slavery and the Wrath of God

Thomas Jefferson

War & Peace

Thomas Jefferson on the Draft as "the last of all oppressions" (1777)

Thomas Jefferson

Revolution

Thomas Jefferson on the Unity of the Nation

Thomas Jefferson

Natural Rights

Thomas Jefferson on whether the American Constitution is binding on those who were not born at the time it was signed and agreed to (1789)

Thomas Jefferson

Presidents, Kings, Tyrants, & Despots

Thomas Jefferson opposed vehemently the Alien and Sedition Laws of 1798 which granted the President enormous powers showing that the government had become a tyranny which desired to govern with "a rod of iron" (1798)

Thomas Jefferson

Origin of Government

Thomas Paine asks how it is that established governments came into being, his answer, is "banditti of ruffians" seized control and turned themselves into monarchs (1792)

Thomas Paine

Presidents, Kings, Tyrants, & Despots

Thomas Paine on the absurdity of an hereditary monarchy (1791)

Thomas Paine

Literature & Music

Thomas Paine’s patriotic song called “Hail Great Republic” which is to be sung to the tune of Rule Britannia

Thomas Paine

Law

Tiedeman on the victimless crime of vagrancy (1900)

Christopher G. Tiedeman

Money & Banking

Tom Paine on the "Decline and Fall of the English System of Finance" (1796)

Thomas Paine

Religion & Toleration

William Findley wants to maintain the separation of church and state and therefore sees no role for the “ecclesiastical branch” in government (1812)

William Findley

Notes About This Collection

See the books published by Liberty Fund in this subject area.

For additional information about the American Founding see the following: