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Home | Events | History of Liberty Seminar

History of Liberty Seminar

History of Liberty Seminar 2001

May 26, 2002May 31, 2002
Auburn, Alabama

Tags War and Foreign PolicyWorld History

"Ideas are the ultimate given of historical inquiry," wrote Ludwig von Mises. But two ideas—the magnificence of human liberty and the destructiveness of statism and socialism—are given short shrift or completely ignored by mainstream historical writing. Glorifying the state's rise, its wars, its welfare, while denigrating opponents of political regimentation, many historians regard "progress" as anything that takes us toward the dreams of Marx and Rousseau. 

But there is another way. Mises, who sought to understand history in light of human action and choice, celebrated the rise of capitalism. Murray N. Rothbard chronicled the errors and crimes of the state. And Lord Acton, working his way from ancient to modern history, took for his guide Rhadamanthus, the avenger of innocent blood. 

In that tradition, the Mises Institute is hosting a summer instructional seminar for students on the History of Liberty. Modeled on our famous economics instructional program, the History of Liberty brings together some of the best historians working today to examine the European and American experience. The program will be sweeping, rigorous, and unfailingly revisionist, as all good history should be. The program ends with a Mündliche Prüfung, an optional exam for an honors certificate.


  • Marco Bassini (University of Milan) 
  • John V. Denson (Opelika, Alabama)
  • Thomas J. DiLorenzo (Loyola College, Maryland)
  • David Gordon (Mises Review) 
  • Robert Higgs (Independent Review)
  • Jörg Guido Hülsmann (Mises Institute)
  • Donald Livingston (Emory University)
  • Ralph Raico (Buffalo State College)
  • Joseph R. Stromberg (Mises Institute)
  • Mark Thornton (Columbus State University)
  • Scott Trask (Mises Institute) 
  • Thomas E. Woods, Jr. (Suffolk Community College)


Sunday, May 26

  •  How to Think about History. Raico

Monday, May 27

  1. Theory and History. Hülsmann                     
  2. The Rise of the West: The New Paradigm. Raico                      
  3. A Short History of the Idea of Liberty. Gordon                     
  4. Feudalism, Property, and the State. Bassani                      
  5. Rise of the Nation-State. Livingston                      
  6. The Republican Idea. Stromberg                      
  7. Crisis and Leviathan Higgs 

Tuesday, May 28

  1. Hume and the Critique of the Enlightenment. Livingston                      
  2. Intellectual Origins of Natural Rights. Bassani                      
  3. Colonial America and the American Revolution. Woods                      
  4. The U.S. Constitution. Livingston                      
  5. The Anti-Federalist Tradition. Stromberg                   
  6. The Fall of European Liberalism. Raico                      
  7. Q&A with Faculty 

Wednesday, May 29

  1. The American System: Clay and the Corruption of Free Enterprise. DiLorenzo                     
  2. The Southern Secession and Reconstruction. Livingston                      
  3. The American Banking Debates. Trask                      
  4. Big Business and Big Government. Higgs                
  5. Lincoln and the Consolidated State. DiLorenzo                      
  6. American Colonialism and the War Against Spain. Stromberg                      
  7. Progressive Era. Woods

Thursday , May 30

  1. World War I. Raico                      
  2. Marxism, Bolshevism, and Democratic Socialism. Gordon                      
  3. The New Deal. DiLorenzo                      
  4. History of Taxation in America Higgs                      
  5. Prohibitionism: A History of Failure. Thornton                      
  6. Stalinism, National Socialism and Fascism. DiLorenzo                      
  7.  World War II. Higgs         

Friday, May 31

  1. The Great Society. Woods                      
  2. The National Security State. Higgs                      
  3. Regulating from the Right: Nixon to Bush. Woods                      
  4. War and the Presidency. Denson                         
  5. The Role of the Intellectuals. Raico                      
  6. Interventionism in the 21st Century: DiLorenzo           
  7. Mündliche Prüfung (optional exams for honors certificate)


  • Theory and History by Ludwig von Mises
  • Nation, State, and Economy by Ludwig von Mises
  • The Costs of War edited by John V. Denson
  • Reassessing the Presidency edited by John V. Denson
  • Crisis and Leviathan by Robert Higgs  


Publicity Waiver: Registering for this event gives the Mises Institute permission to take photos of attendees and use the photos for fundraising purposes. By this authorization, attendees understand and agree that no participant shall receive remuneration and that all rights, title and interest to the photos and use of them belongs to the Mises Institute.

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