Niall Ferguson Quote

It was an idea that made the crucial difference between British and Iberian America – an idea about the way people should govern themselves. Some people make the mistake of calling that idea ‘democracy’ and imagining that any country can adopt it merely by holding elections. In reality, democracy was the capstone of an edifice that had as its foundation the rule of law – to be precise, the sanctity of individual freedom and the security of private property rights, ensured by representative, constitutional government.

Niall Ferguson

It was an idea that made the crucial difference between British and Iberian America – an idea about the way people should govern themselves. Some people make the mistake of calling that idea ‘democracy’ and imagining that any country can adopt it merely by holding elections. In reality, democracy was the capstone of an edifice that had as its foundation the rule of law – to be precise, the sanctity of individual freedom and the security of private property rights, ensured by representative, constitutional government.

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About Niall Ferguson

Niall Campbell Ferguson FRSE (; born 18 April 1964) is a Scottish-American historian based in the United States who is the Milbank Family Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and a senior fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University. Previously, he was a professor at Harvard University, the London School of Economics, New York University, a visiting professor at the New College of the Humanities, and a senior research fellow at Jesus College, Oxford.
Ferguson writes and lectures on international history, economic history, financial history and the history of the British Empire and American imperialism. He holds positive views concerning the British Empire. He once ironically called himself "a fully paid-up member of the neo-imperialist gang" following the 2003 invasion of Iraq. In 2004, he was one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people in the world. Ferguson has written and presented numerous television documentary series, including The Ascent of Money, which won an International Emmy award for Best Documentary in 2009.Ferguson has been a contributing editor for Bloomberg Television and a columnist for Newsweek. He began writing a twice-a-month column for Bloomberg Opinion in June 2020.