Timeline of libertarian thinkers
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This article is a list of major figures in the theory of libertarianism, a philosophy asserting that individuals have a right to acquire, keep, and exchange their holdings and that the primary purpose of government is to protect these rights.
- Étienne de La Boétie (1530–1563): French judge, writer, and "a founder of modern political philosophy in France."
- Josiah Warren (1798–1874): Inventor, social theorist, and believer in "individual sovereignty." Influenced John Stuart Mill. States "commit more crimes upon persons and property than all criminals put together."
- Frédéric Bastiat (1801–1850): French classical liberal theorist, political economist, author of The Law.
- Adin Ballou (1803–1890): American Christian anarchist.
- William Lloyd Garrison (1805–1879): American abolitionist libertarian and journalist. Influenced Frederick Douglass, ex-slave and anti-slavery crusader.
- Lysander Spooner (1808–1887): American abolitionist, lawyer, entrepreneur, and individualist anarchist theorist. Author of The Unconstitutionality of Slavery and No Treason.
- Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (1809–1865)
- Stephen Pearl Andrews (1812–1886): Abolitionist who tried to sell Texas to Britain to prevent it becoming a slave state.
- Gustave de Molinari (1819– 28 January 1912): French liberal economist and author of The Production of Security in which he argued that security can be produced better through the market than through government monopoly policing.
- Herbert Spencer (1820–1903): Anarchist British parliamentarian. Advocated the "right of people to ignore the state." 
- Auberon Herbert (1838–1906): Anarchist British parliamentarian, founder of "voluntaryism" and anti-democrat. Advocated that the voting majority has no more right to decide a man's life than "either the bayonet-surrounded emperor or the infallible church."
- Benjamin Tucker (1854–1939): American editor and publisher of the individualist anarchist periodical Liberty. Called anarchists "simply unterrified Jeffersonian Democrats."
- Ludwig von Mises (1881–1973): Austrian philosopher, economist, and author of Human Action. After his death, his name was used for the Ludwig von Mises Institute.
- Rose Wilder Lane (1886–1968): American journalist, travel writer, novelist, and libertarian political theorist.
- Leonard Read (1898–1983): American economist and founder of the Foundation for Economic Education, America's first libertarian think-tank.
- Friedrich Hayek (1899–1992): Austrian economist and political thinker, author of The Road to Serfdom.
- Ayn Rand (1905–1982): American philosopher and novelist whose books The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged influenced many towards libertarianism.
- Milton Friedman (1912–2006): Nobel Prize–winning American economist and professor at the University of Chicago. Advocated free market capitalism in books like Capitalism and Freedom.
- Murray N. Rothbard (1926–1995): American philosopher, economist, historian, and the leading theoretician of anarcho-capitalism. Authored For a New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto and The Ethics of Liberty.
- Ron Paul (1935-present): American author of The Revolution: A Manifesto and Liberty Defined, physician, and former politician who has been characterized as the "intellectual godfather" of the Tea Party movement.
- Robert Nozick (1938–2002): American philosopher and author of Anarchy, State, and Utopia.
- Samuel Edward Konkin III (1947–2004): American political philosopher and author of New Libertarian Manifesto in which he promotes a philosophy he named agorism, a revolutionary form of market anarchism that aims to dissolve the state through counter-economic activity.
- Wendy McElroy (1951–present): Canadian individualist anarchist, individualist feminist, and cofounder of The Voluntaryist magazine.
- Vallentyne, Peter. "Libertarianism". Stanford. Retrieved 29 July 2014.
- Doherty, Radicals for Capitalism
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