Well versed in the economics of Adam Smith and Jean-Baptiste Say, and inspired by the free-trade activism of England’s Anti–Corn Law League, Frédéric Bastiat (1801–50) became one of history’s most influential advocates of laissez-faire. Unlike the radical who mellows with age, Bastiat grew more and more idealistic and intransigent, challenging the status quo of his day and exhorting everyone to embrace liberty.