According to Wikipedia, “Classical liberalism is a political tradition and a branch of liberalism that advocates free market and laissez-faire economics; civil liberties under the rule of law with especial emphasis on individual autonomy, limited government, economic freedom, political freedom and freedom of speech.” The main ideas of classical liberalism are liberty, individualism, and equal rights. Classical liberals believed that these three goals required a free economy with little to no interference from the government.
Frederic Bastiat and his “Petition of the Candlemakers”. Fredrick Bastiat was a French economist and a libertarian. Basically in this essay he wrote “Petition of the Candlemakers”, candlemakers are arguing against unfair competition, the sun. The candlemakers want everyone tho close all windows, stay inside there houses so that the sun can not enter in. Therefore the candlemakers will sell more candles and make a bigger profit. Now this may be good for the candlemakers, but forcing people to buy something when there is a free alternative divertes all money supplies from other businesses and overall just decreases wealth. Bastiat concludes this essay with the following statement: “Make your choice, but be logical; for as long as you ban, as you do, foreign coal, iron, wheat, and textiles, in proportion as their price approaches zero, how inconsistent it would be to admit the light of the sun, whose price is zero all day long!”
Classical liberal themes that can be found in the work of Benjamin Constant. According to Wikipedia, “Constant emphasised how citizens in ancient states found more satisfaction in the public sphere and less in their private lives whereas modern people favoured their private life. Constant’s repeated denunciation of despotism pervaded his critique of French political philosophers Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Abbé de Mably.“