Smith discusses some of the very few abolitionists who defended the right of southern states to secede from the Union.
Smith examines Lincoln’s views on slavery and some of his many disagreements with abolitionists.
Smith discusses Spooner’s critique of taxation.
Smith summarizes Spooner’s basic arguments for the unconstitutionality of slavery.
Smith discusses Spooner’s contention that the Constitution carries no moral authority but that it still can be understood as antislavery.
Smith explains why Spooner believed that defending the unconstitutionality of slavery was essential to abolitionism.
Smith explores some features of Spooner’s philosophy of law, as found in The Unconstitutionality of Slavery.
Smith discusses Spooner’s defense of the right to use violence in self-defense, even against agents of a government.
Smith explains how Spooner reconciled his theory of nonvoting with his view that the Constitution is antislavery, and how he treated discussions of slavery during the Constitutional Convention.
Smith summarizes the arguments of delegates as to whether the slave trade should be prohibited in the Constitution.
Smith explains some features of the slave trade and the constitutional provision that it would not be banned in America for at least 20 years.
Smith discusses some controversies over slavery during the framing of the Constitution, especially the three-fifths clause.
Smith discusses some major controversies provoked by the debate over ratification of the U.S. Constitution.
Smith discusses some early justifications of slavery and how they repudiated natural rights.
Smith discusses Spooner’s secular theory of natural law and his belief that no legislation is valid unless it conforms to natural law.
With his 250th essay, Smith interrupts his series on abolitionism to offer some reflections on writing essays.
Smith details the scholarly debate between Lysander Spooner and Wendell Phillips over the constitutionality of slavery.
Smith provides some background on Spooner’s influential book The Unconstitutionality of Slavery.