21H.181 | Spring 2014 | Undergraduate

Libertarianism in History


Reading Response Papers

Students will be asked on a few occasions to post brief responses to the readings on the class website during the course of the semester (roughly one for each part of the course, for a total of three). These responses should consist of 200–300 words on a topic / question that will be posted on the class website two weeks before the responses are due. Your responses should be thoughtful and thought-provoking. You are not expected to do any extra preparation for these posts. You will receive a composite grade for all three of your forum posts and that grade will form a portion of your overall final grade.

Reading Response 1: The American and French Revolutions (PDF)

Reading Response 2: The Role of “History” in Libertarian Theory (PDF)

Reading Response 3: On Changing Your Mind (PDF)


We will hold two in-class debates during the course of the semester. The class will be divided into two teams and each side will be asked to prepare a “pro” or “con” position as represented by the readings for that day. You will be evaluated on your debate performances as part of your overall class participation portion of the final grade.

Debate 1: Rawls v. Nozick (PDF)

Debate 2: Obamacare (PDF)


The first paper should be 8–10 pages on a topic relating to the history and political theory of liberty as an ideal (Part One of the course).

Paper 1 prompt (PDF)

The second paper should be 10–12 pages that more deeply explores one of the case studies or controversies we will study in Parts Two and Three of the course. You are welcome and encouraged to show me a detailed outline with source notes or a rough draft.

Paper 2 prompt (PDF)

Course Info

As Taught In
Spring 2014
Learning Resource Types
Problem Sets
Written Assignments