James Burgh

Burgh was an English whig who made a significant contribution to free speech doctrine is this Political Disquisitions. Many of his other writings contributed in other areas such as educational reform. Thomas Jefferson included the work with other writings in a course of recommended reading for James Madison and James Monroe, and in 1803, while Jefferson was President, he "urged" the work on Congress. The book was popular among American colonists and became a source of inspiration for American Revolutionists. Many critics claim his work is nothing more than a collection of other writer's ideas and propositions. While he does draw extensively from outside theorists and authors, many of his ideas on Parliamentary reform, free speech, and equal opportunity are novel.

Political Disquisitions (1774-5)

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Original date: 2003 July 6 — Updated: 2004 December 12