Explore Collections by Time Period

18th Century Commonwealthmen

25 items

According to Caroline Robbins, the 18thC Commonwealthmen built upon the Old or Real Whig tradition and were active from the Glorious Revolution of 1688 to the eve of the American Revolution in 1776. They believed in natural rights,…

American Revolution and Constitution

325 items

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,…

Debate about the French Revolution

21 items

The publication of Richard Price’s sermon on “A Discourse on the Love of Our Country” in November 1789, in which he praised both the American and the French Revolutions, prompted Edmund Burke to write his critique of the French…


860 items

Classic works in the discipline are joined by explorations of how economic reasoning applies to political science and other social sciences, as well as the relevance of economics as moral philosophy. A consistent theme is the view…

Founders of the U.S. Constitution

135 items

The “Founders” refers to that generation of men and women who were active in the American Revolution and the formation of the early American Republic and the Constitution.

Founding Fathers' Library

29 items

Donald Lutz drew up a list of the most frequently cited authors by members of the Founding Generation of the American Republic. A full list can be found here and there is a bibliographical essay on this topic by Forrest McDonald.

French Enlightenment

25 items

During the 18th century there emerged in the French-speaking world a widespread movement of criticism of existing institutions and beliefs which came to be called the “Enlightenment”. The objects of enlightened criticism ranged from…

French Physiocrats

4 items

The Physiocrats were French economists who were advocates of free trade and deregulation before the French Revolution. Their name came from their belief that the economy operated according to the laws of nature which were…

French Revolution

90 items

Like the American Revolution (1775-1783), the French Revolution (1789-1815), had its roots in the Enlightenment and attempted to put enlightened ideas about individual liberty and constitutional government into practice. That one…

Merits of Montesquieu's Spirit of Laws (1748)

5 items

The appearance of Montesquieus Spirit of Laws in 1748 provoked a debate which has raged ever since. Montesquieu anaysed different forms of government, the impact of climate on social organization, advocated the separation of powers…

Natural Law and Enlightenment Series

70 items

The intellectual struggle to articulate the theory of classical liberalism was often as hard fought as the physical battle for its political realization. The Natural Law and Enlightenment Classics Series presents not only some of the…

Natural Law and Natural Rights

24 items

The natural law and natural rights tradition emerged in the 17th and 18th centuries and argues that the world is governed by natural laws which are discoverable by human reason. A key aspect of this intellectual tradition is the…

Scottish Enlightenment

62 items

The 18th century Enlightenment was a European, even a trans-Atlantic phenomenon. Two of its main centres of intellectual activity were France and Scotland. The latter country produced an extraordinary amount of “enlightened”…

The Pamphlet Debate on the American Question in Great Britain, 1764-1776

8 items

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…


8 items

The name given to an ideal political community, “Utopia,” comes from Thomas More’s work Utopia which was published in Latin in 1516. What is interesting about many conceptions of utopian communities is that the authors assumed that…