United States

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Libertarians frequently claim the United States was libertarian or laissez-faire between Reconstruction and the New Deal. Alternatively, they claim it is the closest state now. Both claims are ahistorical and ridiculous.

Links

Adventures in Libertarian Blind Spots [More...]
Libertarians cannot agree on whether the 19th century USA was more or less free than today. Easy clue: more than half the population could not vote and could not own property when married. Oh, and let's not forget the slavery.
Antimonopoly Is as Old as the Republic [More...]
Should the U.S. enforce more explicit restrictions on monopolies, or can innovation and democracy alone mitigate the pervasive effects of monopoly power? A panel of historians and economists at the recent Stigler Center conference on concentration in America discussed the historical evolution of this debate.
Emancipating Slaves, Enslaving Free Men: A History of the American Civil War (book)
Revisionist libertarian historian Jeffrey Hummel shows that Abraham Lincoln is the Great Statist Satan who transformed the US into a statist hellhole. How does that work with libertarian claims that the late 19th century US was closest to libertarian?
Libertarians: Still a cult [More...]
Claims that the US between Reconstruction and FDR was "libertarian" show an amazing ignorance of history.
The Voluntarism Fantasy [More...]
Libertarian stories of 19th century voluntary charity ignore the historical facts of how horribly insufficient that system was and how much it was supplemented by state and federal aid. The Great Depression destroyed most voluntary charity, and brought about progressive social insurance programs.

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