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Inventing Freedom is an ambitious account of the historical origin and spread of the principles that have made our country great, and their role in creating a sphere of economic and political liberty that is as crucial as it is imperiled. According to British politician Daniel Hannan, the ideas and institutions we consider essential to maintaining and preserving our freedoms - individual rights, private property, the rule of law, and representative government - are the legacy of a very specific tradition that was born in England.
By the tenth century, a thousand years before most modern countries, England was a nation-state whose people were beginning to define themselves by inherited common-law rights. The story of liberty is the story of how that model triumphed, enshrined in a series of landmark victories - the Magna Carta, the English Civil War, the Glorious Revolution, the US Constitution - and how it came to defeat every international rival. Yet today these ideas are being abandoned and scorned. A chronicle of the success of Anglosphere exceptionalism, Inventing Freedom explains why the extraordinary idea that the state was the servant, not the ruler, of the individual evolved uniquely in the English-speaking world.
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