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Back to Lysander Spooner

by George H. Smith on Oct 20, 2017

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.

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The Slave Trade and the Constitution

by George H. Smith on Sep 29, 2017

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.

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Slavery in the Constitutional Convention

by George H. Smith on Sep 22, 2017

Smith discusses some controversies over slavery during the framing of the Constitution, especially the three-fifths clause.

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Constitutional Controversies

by George H. Smith on Sep 15, 2017

Smith discusses some major controversies provoked by the debate over ratification of the U.S. Constitution.

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Lysander Spooner on Natural Law

by George H. Smith on Aug 18, 2017

Smith discusses Spooner’s secular theory of natural law and his belief that no legislation is valid unless it conforms to natural law.

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Some Thoughts about Writing Essays

by George H. Smith on Aug 4, 2017

With his 250th essay, Smith interrupts his series on abolitionism to offer some reflections on writing essays.

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Are Judges Bound to Enforce Unjust Laws?

by George H. Smith on Jul 28, 2017

Smith details the scholarly debate between Lysander Spooner and Wendell Phillips over the constitutionality of slavery.

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The Constitution and Slavery

by George H. Smith on Jun 23, 2017

Smith discusses the schism in the abolitionist movement over the constitutionality of slavery, and he begins his analysis of Lysander Spooner’s arguments in The Unconstitutionality of Slavery.

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Lysander Spooner’s Moral Theory

by George H. Smith on Jun 2, 2017

Smith discusses the influence of puritanism, the religious revival in the early 19th century, and Spooner’s disagreements with Christian ethics.

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Some Background on the Prohibition Movement

by George H. Smith on May 26, 2017

Smith explains some reasons why the temperance movement switched from advocating voluntary methods to calling for coercive prohibitory laws during the 1830s.

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Lysander Spooner on Vices and Crimes

by George H. Smith on May 5, 2017

Smith begins his discussion of Lysander Spooner’s libertarian classic, “Vices are not Crimes.”