My Favorite Period in History, by Jacob G. Hornberger

The world reached an apex of freedom in the United States during the Industrial Revolution. The Golden Pinnacle is a novel by Robert Gore that celebrates that time. I would cut off the period at 1913, when the income tax amendment was ratified and the Federal Reserve instituted. From Jacob G. Hornberger at

My favorite period of history is the United States in the years 1870-1915.


Because it is the freest period in the history of man.

Was it a libertarian panacea? Nope. There were, in fact, infringements on liberty, such as the violation of women’s rights, the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1870, compulsory school-attendance laws in Massachusetts, and others.

But in terms of economic liberty, there is nothing that can match it.


No income taxation or IRS. People were free to keep everything they earned.

No welfare, including Social Security and Medicare. Charity was entirely voluntary.

No drug laws. People were free to consume, possess, or distribute whatever they wanted.

No immigration controls. Everyone was free to come to the United States.

No minimum-wage laws.

Very few economic regulations. Economic enterprise was free of governmental control.

No foreign wars, interventions, wars of aggression, coups, state-sponsored assassinations, torture, or indefinite detention, except, unfortunately, the Spanish-American War in 1898 and the war against the Filipino people, which signaled the turn toward empire.

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