political party timeline

Timeline created by ericf20704
  • John Locke writes the Second Treatise of Civil Government

    The state "cannot take from any man any part of his property without his own consent," writes John Locke. His The Second Treatise of Civil Government will inform the Declaration of Independence and the eminent-domain schemes of generations of shopping-mall developers.
  • German philosopher argues

    German philosopher Wilhelm von Humboldt, in The Sphere and Duties of Government, argues that providing security is the only proper role of the state. Citizens must be granted freedom to live as they choose, he writes, because "the absolute and essential importance of human development [is] in its richest diversity.
  • 1 quote

    "Every time collective power wishes to meddle with private speculations, it harasses the speculators," complains Swiss-born thinker Benjamin Constant in France. "Every time governments pretend to do our business, they do it more incompetently and expensively than we would."
  • 148 years

    148 years before the founding of Blackwater, Gustave de Molinari reasons, in his economics treatise Les Soirées de la rue Saint-Lazare, that if trade can supply cheap consumer goods, it can also supply military contractors, rendering government unnecessary.
  • in on liberty

    In On Liberty, British philosopher John Stuart Mill's Harm Principle holds that each individual has the right to act as he wants, so far as his actions do not harm others. He is a firm advocate of free speech.
  • former british house of commons member founds the party of individual liberty

    Former British House of Commons member Auberon Herbert founds the Party of Individual Liberty and later its journal, Free Life, which describes itself as "the organ of voluntary taxation and the voluntary state." His term "voluntaryism" is later adopted by libertarians in 1950s America.
  • helping working folk

    German political economist Franz Oppenheimer publishes the English version of his popular revisionist history of government power, The State, tracing its origins to blood and conquest and its survival to ruthless predation on working folk.
  • claiming a libertarian

    Laura Ingalls Wilder publishes Little House on the Prairie. Libertarians claim her daughter, Rose Wilder Lane, a prominent libertarian author at the time, was the ghostwriter. In 2003 Reason magazine will praise the books for placing "community and commerce—rather than male adventure, escape and violence—at the heart of our national experience."
  • surprising the new

    Austrian School economist F.A. Hayek publishes Road to Serfdom, equating the social democracy of the time to the collectivist tyrannies of fascists and communists. He's ignored by New Dealers but later inspires a new generation of libertarians
  • chicago school of Economics

    Economist Milton Friedman accepts a teaching job at the University of Chicago and later establishes the Chicago School of Economics. Government adviser, best-selling author, columnist, and Nobel Prize winner, his career becomes a tour de force of free-market evangelism.
  • years to come

    Ayn Rand publishes her magnum opus, Atlas Shrugged, guaranteeing a solid market for "Who is John Galt?" T shirts among college objectivist societies for years to come.
  • against the wrong

    Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater loses his bid for the presidency, but instills the Republican Party with fierce anticommunism tempered by moderation on social issues. In later years Goldwater comes out in favor of abortion rights, gays in the military, and medical marijuana.
  • in hollywood

    Sci-fi writer Robert A. Heinlein releases The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress, a libertarian retelling of the American Revolution set on the big cheese. The narrator, a polyandrous computer programmer who rebels against a meddling and incompetent Lunar Authority, appeals to the experimental, fiercely independent mentality of Silicon Valley's emerging generation of techno-libertarian hippies.
  • free mind and free market

    Reason is founded and grows into the mouthpiece of the modern libertarian movement. It is published under the banner "Free minds and free markets."
  • founding Amazon.com

    Libertarian businessman Jeff Bezos founds Amazon.com, becoming the tech boom's John Galt.
  • blaming libertarians through a novle

    Journalist Paulina Borsook publishes "Cyberselfish" in the pages of Mother Jones (and later, as an eponymous book), blaming libertarians for creating a moral vacuum inside the tech bubble.
  • South Park conservitives

    The first episode of South Park, "Cartman Gets an Anal Probe," airs on Comedy Central. Police officer Barbrady doesn't think it unusual that cows have been turned inside out, and Mr. Garrison, a schoolteacher, uses a puppet to tell a student: "You go to hell! You go to hell and you die!" The show's tales of authority gone awry inspire a generation of "South Park Conservatives."
  • Drew Carry Protest

    Comedian and avowed libertarian Drew Carey lights a cigarette in a bar to protest California's anti-smoking law, inspiring a backlash against the "Nanny State."
  • I am a libertarian

    "I am a libertarian," Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura, elected in a third-party bid as the Reform Party candidate, tells Reason. "I've taken the libertarian exam [a query of views on libertarian issues] and scored perfect on it." In later years libertarians won't give his record such stellar marks. Believing that the Y2K virus could cause the collapse of Western civilization and an outbreak of pandemics, Stan Jones, a perennial libertarian candidate in Montana, imbibes a solution of ionic silv
  • in a race

    In a race against Senator Conrad Burns of Montana, Jones earns 3 percent of the don't-tread-on-me vote, which throws the election to Democrat Jon Tester and hands the U.S. Senate to the Democrats.