British politician Daniel Hannan's Inventing Freedom is an ambitious account of the historical origin and spread of the principles that have made America great, and their role in creating a sphere of economic and political liberty that is as crucial as it is imperiled.
According to Hannan, the ideas and institutions we consider essential to maintaining and preserving our freedoms—individual rights, private property, the rule of law, and the institutions of representative government—are the legacy of a very specific tradition that was born in England and that we Americans, along with other former British colonies, inherited.
By the tenth century, England was a nation-state whose people were already starting to define themselves with reference to inherited common-law rights. The story of liberty is the story of how that model triumphed. How it was enshrined in a series of landmark victories—the Magna Carta, the English Civil War, the Glorious Revolution, the U.S. Constitution—and how it came to defeat every international rival.
Today we see those ideas abandoned and scorned in the places where they once went unchallenged. Inventing Freedom is a chronicle of the success of Anglosphere exceptionalism. And it is offered at a time that may turn out to be the end of the age of political freedom.
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About the Author
Daniel Hannan is a writer and politician. He contributes to several newspapers, including the Wall Street Journal and the London Daily Telegraph. A former president of the Oxford University Conservative Association, he was elected to the European Parliament in 1999, at the age of 27, and has been twice reelected.
Table of Contents
Introduction: The Anglosphere Miracle 1
1 The Same Language, the Same Hymns, the Same Ideals 19
2 Anglo-Saxon Liberties 55
3 Rediscovering England 91
4 Liberty and Property 127
5 The First Anglosphere Civil War 147
6 The Second Anglosphere Civil War 209
7 Anglobalization 243
8 From Empire to Anglosphere 311
9 Consider What Nation It Is Whereof Ye Are 343
Conclusion: Anglosphere Twilight? 369
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Over the last three centuries the world has seen a miraculous transformation and no one has been more affected by this transformation than the common individual. For he has more political and economic freedom than any time in the history of man. One just needs to examine his own surroundings to see the benefits of these two freedoms. The common man now lives in a state of luxury and convenience that was unimaginable by the most wealthiest monarch just a century ago. In fact, there is so much abundance that items that our parents would have considered luxuries are now considered basic necessities of life. Although we enjoy the benefits of the modern world, we never give too much thought to how the world was able to liberate the common man from his perpetual state of slavery and servitude. In this book, Daniel Hannan outlines the events that occurred in the small island nation of England that set the stage for and then gave birth to the modern age that we take for granted today. In fact, we take it so much for granted that the rights that were unique to "freeborn Englishmen" are today considered "universal human rights". The fact that these rights are now considered universal demonstrates the power of the political and economic system that developed in England. That system of government ( which uniquely puts the individual above that of the state) made England, its successor Britain, and its offspring the United States of America the most freest, prosperous, and powerful nations the world has ever seen. This has allowed those nations to export the concepts of the rule of law, supremacy of the individual, representative system of government, and free market economics around the world. Thus, making the rights of Englishmen appear to be universal. Unfortunately, at this time in history we are at a crossroads. This is especially true for the English-speaking nations that are currently turning their backs on the principles and ideas that made them exceptions in the world where freedom and liberty was rare, if not completely nonexistent. That is why Mr. Hannan's book is a must-read for anyone concerned about the direction the world is now headed. Within its pages you will find a history that is accurate yet, nearly completely unknown to the majority of people. For example, do you know the event that occurred in England in 1688 that set the stage for the events that would follow nearly 100 years later in what would become the United States of America? You will after reading this book and, if you are like me, it will open your eyes to the greatness of the political and economic system we inherited as being part of the English-speaking world.
Hannan's book is very well written and in places very detailed. I found interesting facts concerning our Founding Fathers I was not aware of prior to reading the book. Hannan's discussion of Freedom of Religion,. his discussion of freedom of speech and the right to own property as well the history of individual freedom and slavery is very enlightening. I give the book 5 stars and recommend the book to anyone intersted in the History of Religion, Politics or History itself to read the book. Pew Pew