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William Lloyd Garrison

An ardent abolitionist and supporter of the women’s suffrage movement, William Lloyd Garrison is perhaps best known as the editor of the abolitionist newspaper The Liberator, and as one of the founders of the American Anti-Slavery Society.

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More on Garrison and the Civil War

by George H. Smith on Mar 23, 2018

Smith explains why Garrison, an avowed pacifist, supported the North during the Civil War.

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Abolitionism and Self-Ownership

by George H. Smith on Jan 13, 2017

Smith discusses the crucial role played by the inalienable right of self-ownership in the abolitionist crusade to abolish slavery.

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Garrison on the Right of Secession

by George H. Smith on Mar 2, 2018

Smith discusses what Garrison meant by the “right of secession,” and how he reconciled his views with his condemnation of secession by the southern states.

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The Liberty Party

by George H. Smith on May 14, 2018

Smith discusses some circumstances that led to the formation of the abolitionist Liberty Party in 1840.

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Abolitionism: The Schism Over Voting

by George H. Smith on Jan 27, 2017

Smith discusses the split in the American Anti-Slavery Society over voting, equal rights for women, and other causes.

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Final Comments on Wendell Phillips and Non-Voting

by George H. Smith on Apr 7, 2017

Smith concludes his discussion of the no-voting theory of Wendell Phillips by explaining Phillips’s attitude toward taxes and the limits of democracy.

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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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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 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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Defending Slavery by Attacking Capitalists

by George H. Smith on Apr 27, 2018

Smith explains how some Southerners defended chattel slavery by contrasting it favorably with “wage slavery” in the North.