Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson is as close to a patron saint as the libertarian movement gets. His influence may very well be the primary reason the United States Constitution and Bill of Rights are so radically oriented towards freedom.

As author of the U.S. Declaration of Independence, Jefferson made the claim that government is there to protect liberty, not to protect us from liberty.

As third President of the United States, Jefferson abolished all internal taxation, supporting a much-reduced federal government on small tariffs alone.

Jefferson's contributions to liberty make Libertarians generally willing to overlook his few contrary tendencies. He owned slaves, even though he condemned slavery and often argued for abolishing it. He supported public education -- but then he had no experience by which to judge it.

Appearances in Revolution:

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