The essays in this collection investigate two political traditions and their critical interactions. The first series of essays deals with the development of natural rights individualism, some examining its origins in the thought of the seminal political theorist, John Locke, and the influential constitutional theorist, Montesquieu, others the impact of their theories on intellectual leaders during the American Revolution and the Founding era, and still others the culmination of this tradition in the writings of nineteenth-century individualists such as Lysander Spooner. The second series of essays focuses on the Progressive repudiation of natural rights individualism and its far-reaching effect on American politics and public policy.
Introduction; Acknowledgments; Contributors; 1. The ground of Locke's law of nature Thomas G. West; 2. Montesquieu's natural rights constitutionalism Paul A. Rahe; 3. The idea of rights in the imperial crisis Craig Yirush; 4. Thompson on declaring the laws and rights of nature C. Bradley; 5. Lysander Spooner: nineteenth-century America's last natural rights theorist Eric Mack; 6. Progressivism and the doctrine of natural rights James W. Ceaser; 7. Some second thoughts on progressivism and rights Eldon J. Eisenach; 8. Freedom, history, and race in progressive thought Tiffany Jones Miller; 9. The progressive era assault on individualism and property rights James W. Ely, Jr; 10. Saving Locke from Marx: the labor theory of value in intellectual property theory Adam Mossoff; 11. Roosevelt, Wilson, and the democratic theory of national progressivism Ronald J. Pestritto; 12. On the separation of powers: liberal and progressive constitutionalism Michael Zuckert.