The webmaster of FreedomCircle.com was introduced to libertarianism by Harry Browne's How To Find Freedom in an Unfree World in the mid-1980's. He also became acquainted with objectivism from reading Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged and later on Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal as well as The Virtue of Selfishness. In 1996, he read from Mark Skousen that Harry was running as the Presidential candidate for the Libertarian Party (LP). That led to a renewed interest in libertarianism (and limited involvement in Libertarian politics, since discontinued).

Influences

Advocates for Self-Government

Aside from the LP itself, two organizations nurtured that interest. One was the Advocates for Self-Government and its "Liberator Online" e-mailed newsletter. The second was The Future of Freedom Foundation and its monthly Freedom Daily publication.

Two libertarian sites served as incubators for the idea that eventually became this directory. The first was the Advocates for Self-Government Libertarian Celebrities. This is a list of libertarian or near-libertarian individuals who have achieved a certain level of fame or notoriety, most with links to separate pages of biographical information. It helps to put a popular perspective on the libertarian movement which is seldom seen in the political or scholarly sites. An objective of this directory is to extend that popular reach.

The second site was Free-Market.net's directory, later known as the ISIL (International Society for Individual Liberty) Freedom Network. This consisted of thousands of links to external web pages and sites each with a brief description. Unfortunately, they were categorized in a way that was not very helpful for someone not already familiar with libertarian topics. The Freedom Circle Directory attempts to make the subjects more accessible to everyone.

Last but not least, the influence of the original Yahoo! Web Directory (see for example, the early 2002 version) as well as the Open Directory Project must be acknowledged. The original conception for the Freedom Circle Directory was to have categories similar to those of Yahoo! and ODP. However, as research and development of the site began, we realized that the Life, Liberty, Property and Pursuit of Happiness themes were a more favorable and appropriate organizing scheme.

Further Developments

In late 2004, we added the full text of the United States Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights, each with links to various topics within the directory. We later translated these documents into Spanish. We subsequently added other documents in original versions and will continue to do so.

Early in 2005, we added a "What's New" page to highlight recent additions and changes to individual directory topics. We also provided a Really Simple Syndication (RSS) capability so that you can be notified via RSS of the new and modified topics.

Between 2008 and 2011, the website was rehosted using Python and Nginx. Most recently, we have started uncovering ancillary sections, such as Freedom Founts, including a responsive redesign suitable for today's devices. In 2016, we migrated to use Flask.