The Evolution of Modern Liberty
The degree of liberty and security a people enjoy will profoundly influence their progress. While degradation has been the rule in despotisms, the strongest and most progressive States have been those in which the sphere of individual liberty was large.
The Introduction to George L. Scherger’s The Evolution of Modern Liberty, from which this quote is taken, provides a lucid and welcome review of individual liberty across the ages and up until the beginning of the twentieth century. The author’s engagement with his subject– “It is a fascinating as well as an important undertaking to trace the gradual evolution of modern liberty,” he writes– is evident throughout, and his enthusiasm adds to his readers’ pleasure.
Dr. Scherger follows his Introduction with four parts, dealing with the history and development of natural law, the history of the doctrine of the sovereignty of the people, the American Bill of Rights, and the French declaration of the Rights of Man and of the citizen.