The Reading Room

The Best of the OLL No. 46: David Hume, “The Progress of English Liberty” (1761)

This is part of “The Best of the Online Library of Liberty” which is a collection of some of the most important material in the OLL. A thematic list with links to HTML versions of the texts is available [here](/pages/best-of-the-oll). In vol. 2 of his History of England (the last to be published) Hume provides his final reflections on the successive English constitutions and also explains how the progress of the arts and sciences tied in with England's constitutional development so as to produce the nation's unique "system of liberty." This eight-page conclusion not only sums up Hume's historical account, but also stands as one of his most important philosophical statements on modern liberty and the forces that made it possible.