Cato Letters

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The Cato Letters were a collection of essays written by two 18th century Englishmen, John Trenchard and Tomas Gordon. The essays condemned government tyranny and called for the advancement of civil liberties and unalienable rights with lower government intervention. Trenchar and Gordon's writings presented the core ideas of republicanism that were adopted by the Patriots in the American Revolution and form core American political values.

To conceal their identities the authors used the Roman statesman, Cato the Younger, as an alias.[1] All 144 essays were published between 1720-1723; and in 1775, a two-volume modernized sixth edition of the Cato's Letters was printed in London. Many historians see these letters as the foundation of the philosophical foundation of the American Revolution.

A public libertarian policy research organization founded in 1975, the CATO Institute, was named after the letters.[2] The Cato Institute wrote,

"The Cato Institute owes its name to Cato’s Letters, a series of essays published in 18th century Great Britain that presented a vision of a society free from the tyranny of excessive government power. Those same ideals inspired the architects of the American Revolution and continue to inspire the work of the Cato Institute today."[3]