History

Liberty Fund's history collection opens windows into history, and into the history of writing about history. Whether it is David Hume's eighteenth-century account of English history stretching from Julius Caesar to the Glorious Revolution or Edmund Burke's analysis of the American and French Revolutions as he watched them unfold, our books encourage readers to reflect on the events of history and the ways we discuss those events over time.

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  • The History of the Origins of Representative Government in Europe

    by François Guizot

    The French political philosopher and historian François Guizot (1787–1874) was one of the French Doctrinaires, thinkers who sought to avoid the interpretations of the Revolution advanced by either extreme of Left or Right. He argued that in order to understand the nature of political institutions it is necessary to study first the society, its composition, mores, and the relation between…

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  • John Randolph of Roanoke

    by Russell Kirk

    John Randolph of Roanoke is unique in American political history. For most of his public career Randolph was a leader of the opposition—to both Jeffersonians and Federalists. Only twenty-six when first elected to Congress in 1799, he readily became the most forceful figure at the Capitol. He was, writes Russell Kirk, “devoted to state rights, the agricultural interest, economy in…

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  • Judgments on History and Historians

    by Jacob Burckhardt

    Renowned for his Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy and Reflections on History, Jacob Burckhardt (1818–1897) has well been described as “the most civilized historian of the nineteenth century.” Judgments on History and Historians consists of records collected by Emil Dürr from Burckhardt’s lecture notes for history courses at the University of Basel from 1865 to 1885. The 149 brief…

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  • Lectures on the French Revolution

    by John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton

    This collection of the lectures of Lord Acton on the French Revolution comprises a disciplined, thorough, and elegant history of the actual events of the bloody episode. It is as thorough a record as could be constructed in Acton’s time of the actions of the government of France during the Revolution. Delivered at Cambridge University between 1895 and 1899, Lectures

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  • The Letters of Jacob Burckhardt

    by Jacob Burckhardt

    As a rule, an author’s correspondence possesses only a secondary interest, but Jacob Burckhardt’s letters are of primary interest to students of history because of the nature of the man and of his major writings. Judgments on History and Historians, for example, consists not of Burckhardt’s own lectures, but of notes on his lectures by one of his greatest students.

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  • Select Works of Edmund Burke: Letters on a Regicide Peace

    by Edmund Burke

    This famed Payne edition of Select Works of Edmund Burke is universally revered by students of English history and political thought. Volume 3 presents Burke’s Four Letters on the Proposals for Peace with the Regicide Directory of France—generally styled Letters on a Regicide Peace (1795–1796). The Letters, Payne believed, deserve to “rank even before [Burke’s] Reflections, and to be called…

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  • The Making of Tocqueville’s “Democracy in America”

    by James T. Schleifer

    The Liberty Fund second edition of James T. Schleifer’s celebrated study of Tocqueville includes a new preface by the author and an epilogue, “The Problem of the Two Democracies.” For the first time, the evolution of a number of Tocqueville’s central themes—democracy, individualism, centralization, despotism—emerges into clear relief.

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  • Miscellaneous Writings

    by Edmund Burke

    This famed Payne edition of Select Works of Edmund Burke is universally revered by students of English history and political thought. Volume 1, Thoughts on the Cause of the Present Discontents and The Two Speeches on America, contains Burke’s brilliant defense of the American colonists’ complaints of British policy, including “Thoughts on the Cause of the Present Discontents” (1770), “Speech…

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  • The Natural Law

    by Heinrich A. Rommen

    Originally published in German in 1936, The Natural Law is the first work to clarify the differences between traditional natural law as represented in the writings of Cicero, Aquinas, and Hooker and the revolutionary doctrines of natural rights espoused by Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau. Heinrich A. Rommen (1897–1967) taught in Germany and England before concluding his distinguished scholarly career at…

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  • Origins of the Common Law

    by Arthur R. Hogue

    This introductory analysis of the origin and early development of the English common law provides an excellent grounding for the beginning student as well as the experienced scholar of legal history. Arthur R. Hogue (1906–1986) was Professor of History at Indiana University.

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  • The Rationale of Central Banking

    by Vera C. Smith

    The Rationale of Central Banking was first published in England in 1936. Vera Smith spent her professional career in a variety of research positions. She wrote articles and books on money, banking, economic development, and the labor market and translated into English books by Wilhelm Röpke, Oskar Morgenstern, and Fritz Machlup. This book provides a scholarly review and judicious assessments…

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  • Select Works of Edmund Burke: Reflections on the Revolution in France

    by Edmund Burke

    Originally published by Oxford University Press in the 1890s, the famed three-volume Payne edition of Select Works is universally revered by students of English history and political thought. Faithfully reproduced in each volume are E. J. Payne’s notes and introductory essays. Francis Canavan, one of the great Burke scholars of the twentieth century, has added forewords. Volume 2 consists of…

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