The Levellers

The Levellers were a group of political thinkers in the seventeenth century, during the English Civil War. They are often considered the first influential Western libertarian movement.

The root of the Levellers’ philosophy came, for the most part, from the idea of self-ownership. In other words: you own yourself. They also believed in the right to do what you want with your own property. “You can do what you want, as long as it doesn’t violate another’s individual rights.”

These libertarians also supported property rights, religious tolerance, freedom of contract, free trade and natural law. The latter was one of the most important rights. The Levellers believed that there was one unchangeable standard of right and wrong that had been set before all time. This, they said, could not be over-ridden by any monarch or ruler, not matter how powerful.

This is a brief overview of who the Levellers were and what they thought.

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