A Frothy Mug in the Houses of Liberty


Free speech in the coffee houses of Europe and America birthed the rise of gentility, republican government, and liberty during a time of, as Beatrix Potter said, “swords and periwigs and full-skirted coats with flowered lappets – when gentlemen wore ruffles, and gold-laced waistcoats of paduasoy and taffeta…” Whether philosophical men between sips passionately debated the latest movements of the British Army in America, or some highwaymen sat brooding plots over steaming mugs, coffee was sure to find its way at the heart of most adventures. With the introduction of coffee into Europe in the 17th century and the subsequent rise of the coffee house as a public forum in the 17th and 18th centuries, some of the greatest political, social, and literary achievements of Great Britain and America started with a cup of coffee.

Read more on Landmarks of Liberty

E. Wesley – Mackinac Center Intern

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