This page has links to a number of the leading minds, philosophers, authors and some their key writings that contributed to the the fundamental principles of our Founders. These are not in any chronological order.
If you read nothing else, Please read George Washington’s Farewell Address! As he left office and public service, President Washington spoke great words of wisdom that are prophetic. Many of the Warnings that he gave have come to fruition! He includes: “Here, perhaps, I ought to stop. But a solicitude for your welfare which cannot end but with my life, and the apprehension of danger natural to that solicitude, urge me on an occasion like the present to offer to your solemn contemplation and to recommend to your frequent review some sentiments which are the result of much reflection, of no inconsiderable observation, and which appear to me all important to the permanency of your felicity as a people. These will be offered to you with the more freedom as you can only see in them the disinterested warnings of a parting friend, who can possibly have no personal motive to bias his counsel. Nor can I forget as an encouragement to it your indulgent reception of my sentiments on a former and not dissimilar occasion.”
John Locke was widely read by the time of the American Revolution and his influence is clearly seen in the words of the Declaration of Independence as well as in the overall ideas about government held by Americas Founding Fathers. Interestingly, Locke was charged with sedition for his writings (including the Second Treatise) and had to flee to France.
Frederic Bastiat was a French economist, statesman, and author. He did most of his writing during the years just before – and immediately following — the Revolution of February 1848. This was the period when France was rapidly turning to complete socialism. As a Deputy to the Legislative Assembly, Mr. Bastiat was studying and explaining each socialist fallacy as it appeared. And he explained how socialism must inevitably degenerate into communism. But most of his countrymen chose to ignore his logic. A Great pdf version of “The Law” and an audio version of “The Law.”