Historical Thinkers on Ordered Liberty and Natural Law

The following is a short list of thinkers from Plato to Brownson, whose ideas furthered the understanding of human liberty, reason, and understanding, both globally, and in the context of the American Founding. These thinkers, writers, and philosophers form the foundation of not simply of Western thought, but on the sovereignty of the individual under the authority of the Creator, the role of government, individual and national sovereignty, and the value of the “mediating institutions” of family, church, and community.




St Paul

St Augustine

St Francis of Assissi

Thomas Acquinas

Sir Thomas More

Martin Luther

John Calvin

Stephen Junius Brutus

Christopher St. Germain

Richard Hooker

Sir Edward Coke

Hugo Grotius

Rene Descartes

John Locke

Robert Fleming

David Hume

Samuel Rutherford


Samuel von Pufendorf

Sir William Blackstone

Jean Jacques Burlamaqui

Cornelius van Bynkershoek

Emmerich de Vattel

Edmund Burke

Adam Smith

Thomas Jefferson

John Adams

James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay

George Clinton, Robert Yates, Samuel Bryan, Patrick Henry, Melancton Smith, George Mason, Richard Henry Lee, Mercy Otis Warren

Jesse Root

St. George Tucker

James Kent

Joseph Story

Alexis de Toqueville

Francis Wayland

Frederic Bastiat

Franklin Pierce

Orestes Brownson