The Libertarian party was founded in December of 1971, and has since risen to be the third largest United States political party.

The Libertarian platform is mostly based on the philosophy of Libertarianism, which values personal freedom and that the federal government exists only for the purposes set forth in the Constitution. According to their Statement of Principles:

We hold that all individuals have the right to exercise sole dominion over their own lives, and have the right to live in whatever manner they choose, so long as they do not forcibly interfere with the equal right of others to live in whatever manner they choose.

The Libertarian Party platform includes ending the failed "War On Drugs", a free market economy, keeping the Internet free, and keeping the military home as a purely defensive force.

The Libertarian 1996 and 2000 presidential candidate was Harry Browne, and in 2000 it fielded more than 1430 candidates nationwide, of these 280 for Congress.