The Levellers

The Levellers were a political group in England in the 17th century, and they are widely considered the first libertarians. They are sometimes confused with another political group, the Diggers, who were communist. The Levellers believed in a fundamental right of all mankind, and that is the right to self-ownership. Everyone has the ownership of his own body and mind, and no one can interfere with this. They believed that no man can enslave another, and no man can harm or murder another as this to would violate that right. They also believed in the right for one to own private property, free trade, free contracts, and religious toleration. Some key Leveller figures include Richard Overton, John Lilburn, and William Walwyn.


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