Here are links to various historical essays on topics of particular interest on Independence Day:

John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) “On Liberty” (published 1859) [Summarized here]

Thomas Paine ( 1737 – 1809) “Common Sense” (published Feb. 1776)[Summarized here]

John Locke (1632 – 1704) “Second Treatise on Government” (published 1690) [Summarized here]

From contemporary authors:

Ms. Natale Szabo “Winner of the 2009 VFW “Voice of Democracy” Essay Contest”

Barack Obama “Essay on the commemoration of Martin Luther King day”

George W. Bush – various quotes

My own thoughts