On June 3, 1804, Richard Cobden was born. Nicknamed the "Apostle of Free Trade," he spearheaded the campaign against the protectionist English Corn Laws, leading to their repeal in 1846, which then spread to the liberalization of trade throughout much of Europe. His role was so great that it has been said the free market owes its existence to him.
Consider some of what he said:
I have been accused of looking too much to material interests...I believe that the physical gain will be the smallest gain to humanity from the success of this principle. I look farther; I see in the Free-Trade principle that which shall act on the moral world as the principle of gravitation in the universe, drawing men together, thrusting aside the antagonism of race, and creed, and language, and uniting us in the bonds of eternal peace...I believe that the effect will be to change the face of the world, so as to introduce a system of government entirely distinct from that which now prevails. I believe that the desire and the motive for large and mighty empires; for gigantic armies and great navies...will die away; I believe that such things will cease to be necessary, or to be used when man becomes one family, and freely exchanges the fruits of one's labor with his brother man. I believe that...the speculative philosopher of a thousand years hence will date the greatest revolution that ever happened in the world's history from the triumph of the principle which we have met here to advocate.
...our principle, which if carried out, the Free-Traders believe would bring peace and harmony among the nations.