Alexis de Tocqueville, Francis Lieber, and Walter Bagehot are all mid-19th-century liberals who both commented on and helped to shape public affairs in the three premier liberal countries of the time: France, the United States, and Britain. Each also had an interest in international politics that stemmed from certain aspects of his broader political philosophy. But what did liberalism mean in this context - spreading the benefits of liberty, building an international society, or practicing tolerant non-intervention? These three men demonstrate the varieties of liberal thought of that time, and in so doing illustrate some important choices facing our own.

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