Five Articles for the Fourth
The Declaration of Independence, and the Revolution it helped inspire, have long been subjects of commentary here at mises.org. Here is just a small portion of some of what our archives have to offer.
1) The Causes of the Revolution of 1776 by Albert Jay Nock
The colonists regarded the State primarily as an instrument whereby one might help oneself and hurt others; that is to say, first and foremost they regarded it as the organization of the political means. No other view of the State was ever held in colonial America. Romance and poetry were brought to bear on the subject in the customary way; glamorous myths about it were propagated with the customary intent; but when all came to all, nowhere in colonial America were actual practical relations with the State ever determined by any other view than this.
2) The Real Jefferson by Luigi Marco Bassani
Of course there were many inconsistencies in Jefferson’s writings, and his behavior in politics often contradicted his stated political philosophy. That said, it remains indisputably true that Jefferson was a Lockean who believed in the natural right of property and in the rights of the states as independent political entities to determine their own destinies.
3) Was the American Revolution Radical? by Murray N. Rothbard
The Americans had always been intractable, rebellious, impatient of oppression, as witness the numerous rebellions of the late seventeenth century; they also had their own individualist and libertarian heritage, their Ann Hutchinsons and Rhode Island quasi anarchists, some directly linked with the left wing of the English Revolution. Now, strengthened and guided by the developed libertarian natural rights ideology of the eighteenth century, and reacting to aggrandizement of the British imperial state in the economic, constitutional, and religious spheres, the Americans, in escalated and radicalized confrontations with Great Britain, had made and won their Revolution. By doing so, this revolution, based on the growing libertarian idea pervading enlightened opinion in Europe, itself gave immeasurable impetus to the liberal revolutionary movement throughout the Old World, for here was a living example of a liberal revolution that had taken its daring chance, against all odds and against the mightiest state in the world, and had actually succeeded. Here, indeed, was a beacon light to all the oppressed peoples of the world!
4) Five Laws to Repeal on Independence Day by Ryan McMaken
Just as the Constitution itself is contrary to what is celebrated on Independence Day, we can also look to several Acts of Congress since 1787 that have perhaps done some of the most damage in undoing what the revolutionaries had intended.
5) How Government Ruins 4th of July Travel by Tho Bishop
If you find yourself wasting hours stuck in holiday traffic or at the airport this 4th of July, remind yourself that the solution to your headache can be found within the reason for this particular season. If we were to claim independence from the modern-day royalty of the beltway, the markets will ensure better holidays in the future.