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The LockeSmith Institute

Classical Liberalism Historical Timeline:
Thinkers, Works, And Movements
1632-Present


Classical Liberalism boasts a long and sustaining evolution. This timeline seeks to outline its major thinkers, works, and movements. For additional information on any of these works, one may refer to our overview essayor explore our Classical Liberal links page.

Obviously, no timeline can guarantee full enclosure of all the writers and works in such a rich intellectual tradition. The recent revival of classical liberal scholarship makes the task even more difficult. We have sought to be very thorough, however. Still, if one finds any glaring omissions, please contact the Institute .
 

Year

Thinkers

Works

Movements

1632

John Locke (1632-1704)

 

 

1689

Baron de Montesquieu (1743-1797)

 

 

 

 

Letter Concerning Toleration (Locke, 1689)

 

 

A. R. J. Turgot (1689-1755)

 

 

1690

 

Two Treatises of Civil Government (Locke, 1690)

 

1694

Voltaire (1694-1778)

 

 

1695

 

Vindication of the Reasonableness of Christianity (Locke, 1695)

 

1711

David Hume (1711-1776)

 

 

1714

 

Fable of the Bees (Mandeville, 1714)

Scottish Enlightenment (1714-1817)

1717

 

Persian Letters (Montesquieu, 1717)

French Enlightenment (1717-1778)

1720

 

Cato's Letters (Trenchard and Gordon, 1720-1723)

 

1723

Adam Smith (1723-1790)

 

 

1727

Marquis de Condorcet (1727-1781)

 

 

1734

 

Philosophical Letters (Voltaire, 1734)

 

1737

Thomas Paine (1737-1809)

 

 

1743

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

 

 

1748

 

Spirit of the Laws, (Montesquieu, 1748)

 

1751

James Madison (1751-1836)

 

 

1754

 

History of England (Hume, 1754-1761)

 

1756

William Godwin (1756-1836)

 

 

1759

Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797)

Candide (Voltaire, 1759)

French Physiocrats (1759-1776)

 

 

Theory of Moral Sentiments (Smith, 1759)

 

 

 

Elogy (Turgot, 1759)

 

 

 

Tableau Economique (Quesnay, 1759)

 

 

 

Philosophical Dictionary (Voltaire, 1764)

 

1766

Anne Louise Germaine de Stael (1766-1817)

 

 

 

 

Reflections on the Formation and Distribution of Riches (Turgot, 1766)

 

1767

Jean Baptiste Say (1767-1830)

 

 

 

Benjamin Constant (1767-1830)

 

 

 

Wilhelm Humboldt (1767-1855)

 

 

1772

David Ricardo (1772-1823)

 

 

1773

 

Essay on the History of Civil Society (A. Ferguson, 1773)

 

1776

 

The Wealth of Nations (Smith, 1776)

American Democratic-Republicans (1776-1816)

 

 

Common Sense (Paine, 1776)

 

 

 

Declaration of Independence (Jefferson, 1776)

 

1777

 

American Crisis (Paine, 1777)

 

1782

Felicite Robert de Lamennais (1782-1854)

 

 

1788

 

Federalist Papers (1788)

 

1789

 

Declaration of the Rights of Man (1789)

 

1792

 

Rights of Man (Paine, 1792)

 

 

 

Vindicationof the Rights of Women (Wollstonecraft, 1792)

 

 

 

On Property (Madison, 1792)

 

1794

 

History of Human Progress (Condorcet, 1794)

 

1798

 

Political Justice (Godwin, 1798)

 

1801

Frederic Bastiat (1801-50)

 

 

1803

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

A Treatise on Political Economy (Say, 1803)

 

1804

Richard Cobden (1804-1865)

High Price of Bullion (Ricardo, 1804)

 

1805

Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859)

 

 

1806

John Stuart Mill (1806-1873)

 

 

1808

Lysander Spooner (1808-1887)

 

 

1815

Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815-1902)

Principles of Politics (Constant, (1815)

 

1817

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)

On the Principles of Political Economy and Taxation (Ricardo, 1817)

 

 

 

Catechism of Political Economy (Say, 1817)

 

1818

 

Consideration on the Principal Events of the French Revolution (de Stael, 1818)

 

1820

Herbert Spencer (1820-1903)

 

 

 

 

Heart of Political Constitution (Constant, 1820)

 

1830

 

Complete Course of Political Economy (Say, 1830)

Manchester School (1830-1859)

1834

Lord Acton (1834-1902)

 

 

1835

 

Words of a Believer (Lamennais, 1835)

American Transcendentalism (1835-1882)

 

 

Democracy in America (Tocqueville, 1835)

 

 

 

England, Ireland and America (Cobden, 1835)

 

 

 

Essay on Slavery (Channing, 1835)

 

1836

 

Russia (Cobden, 1836)

 

1840

Carl Menger (1840-1921)

 

 

 

William Graham Sumner (1840-1910)

 

 

1841

 

Self-Reliance (Emerson, 1841)

 

1843

 

Proper Sphere of Government (Spencer, 1843)

 

1848

 

Principles of Political Economy (Mill, 1848)

 

 

 

Declaration of Sentiments (Santon, 1848)

 

1849

 

The Law (Bastiat, 1849)

 

 

 

Civil Disobedience (Thoreau, 1849)

 

1850

 

Social Statics (Spencer, 1850)

 

1851

Eugen Bohm-Bawerk (1851-1914)

Limits of State Action (Humboldt, 1851)

 

1854

Benjamin Tucker (1854-1939)

 

 

1857

 

Progress: Its Law and Cause (Spencer, 1857)

 

1859

 

On Liberty (Mill, 1859)

 

1861

 

Considerations on Representative Government (Mill, 1861)

 

1863

 

Utilitarianism (Mill, 1863)

 

1869

 

On the Subjugation of Women (Mill, 1869)

 

1870

Albert Jay Nock (1870-1945)

 

 

1871

 

Principles of Economics (Menger, 1871)

Austrian School of Economics (1871-present)

1880

H.L. Mencken (1880-1956)

 

 

1881

Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973)

 

 

 

Friedrich von Weiser (1851-1926)

 

 

1883

 

What Social Classes Owe to Each Other (Sumner, 1883)

 

1884

 

The Man Versus The State (Spencer, 1884)

 

 

 

Origin of Economic Value (Weiser, 1884)

 

1886

Isabel Paterson (1886-1961)

 

 

1887

Rose Wilder Lane (1887-1968)

 

 

1889

 

Capital and Interest (Bohm-Bawerk, 1889)

 

1899

Friedrich Hayek (1899-1992)

 

 

1893

 

The Principles of Ethics (Spencer, 1893)

 

1905

Ayn Rand (1905-1982)

 

 

1912

Milton Friedman (1912-)

The Theory of Money and Credit (Mises, 1912)

 

1919

James Buchanan (1919- )

Nation, State, and Economy (Mises, 1919)

 

1922

Gordon Tullock (1922- )

Socialism (Mises, 1922)

 

1926

Murray Rothbard (1926-1995)

 

 

1927

 

Liberalism (Mises, 1927)

Chicago School (1927-present)

1929

 

Monetary Theory of the Trade Cycle (Hayek, 1929)

 

1930

Israel Kirzner (1930- )

 

 

1935

 

Our Enemy, The State (A.J. Nock, 1935)

 

1938

Robert Nozick (1938- )

 

 

1941

 

Pure Theory of Capital (Hayek, 1941)

 

1943

Richard Epstein (1943- )

The Fountainhead (Rand, 1943)

Objectivism (1943-1976)

 

Charles Murray (1943- )

 

 

 

 

The Discovery of Freedom (Lane, 1943)

 

 

 

God of the Machine (Patterson, 1943)

 

1944

 

The Road to Serfdom (Hayek, 1944)

 

 

 

Omnipotent Government (Mises, 1944)

 

1946

 

Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal (Rand, 1946)

 

 

 

Economics in One Lesson (Hazlitt, 1946)

 

1949

 

Human Action (Mises, 1949)

 

1952

 

The Counter-Revolution of Science (Hayek, 1952)

 

1957

 

Atlas Shrugged (Rand, 1957)

 

1959

 

 

Public Choice School (1959-present)

1960

 

Constitution of Liberty (Hayek, 1960)

 

1962

 

Calculus of Consent (Buchanan & Tullock, 1962)

 

 

 

Man, Economy, and State (Rothbard, 1962)

 

 

 

Capitalism and Freedom (M. Friedman, 1962)

 

1964

 

The Virtue of Selfishness (Rand, 1964)

 

1970

 

Power and Market (Rothbard, 1970)

 

1971

 

Libertarianism (J. Hospers, 1971)

 

1973

 

For a New Liberty (Rothbard, 1973)

 

 

 

Machinery of Freedom (D. Friedman, 1973)

 

 

 

Law, Legislation, and Liberty (Hayek, 1973-79)

 

1974

 

Anarchy, State, and Utopia (Nozick, 1974)

 

1975

 

The Limits of Liberty (Buchanan, 1975)

 

1977

 

Capitalism, Expectations, and the Market Process (Lachmann, 1977)

 

1979

 

Free to Choose (M. Friedman, 1979)

 

1980

 

Perception, Opportunity, and Profit (Kirzner, 1980)

 

1982

 

The Ethics of Liberty (Rothbard, 1982)

 

1984

 

Takings (Epstein, 1984)

 

1988

 

The Fatal Conceit (Hayek, 1988)

 

 

 

The Libertarian Idea (Narveson, 1988)

 

1993

 

The Nature of Rationality (Nozick, 1993)

 

1997

 

What it Means to be a Libertarian (Murray, 1997)
Libertarianism (Boaz, 1997)

 

This timeline was created by Amy H. Sturgis and Larry M. Hall. The LockeSmith Institute, 1994; updated 1997. All rights reserved.