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George H. Smith

George H. Smith was formerly Senior Research Fellow for the Institute for Humane Studies, a lecturer on American History for Cato Summer Seminars, and Executive Editor of Knowledge Products. Smith's fourth and most recent book, The System of Liberty, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2013.

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Defenses of the Right of Secession

by George H. Smith on Mar 30, 2018

Smith discusses the doctrine of state sovereignty, as defended by Alexander Stephens, Thomas Jefferson, and John C. Calhoun.

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Gradualism and the Republican Party

by George H. Smith on Mar 16, 2018

Smith discusses plans for the abolition of slavery by radical members of the Republican Party.

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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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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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Abolitionism: Slavery as Sin

by George H. Smith on Apr 14, 2017

Smith begins his explanation of why so many abolitionists joined the crusade for the legal prohibition of alcohol.

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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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Abolitionism and Modern Voluntaryism

by George H. Smith on Mar 24, 2017

Smith discusses some similarities between the anti-political abolitionists and contemporary voluntaryists. 

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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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Independence Day: What is There to Celebrate?

by George H. Smith on Jul 3, 2014

The ideal of individual freedom is more than a will-o’-the-wisp. It was widely appreciated in the past and so may become widely appreciated in the future.

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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.