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essays

The Twelve-Year Sentence: Introduction

by David Boaz, William Rickenbacker, and Benjamin Rogge in 1974

“Trying to improve the government school system in the 1990s is like a great national effort to improve horses in the 1890s.”

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You Can’t Do That!: Liberty or Law

by George Seldes in 1938

“The insidious forces which produce inequality and destroy liberty are the subject of a large part of this volume.”

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Give Me Liberty

by Rose Wilder Lane in 1936

Lane compares socialism to individualism and shows out the latter is the only path to upholding freedom.

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Anarchism and American Traditions

by Voltairine de Cleyre in 1908

Voltairine De Cleyre reappraises the legacy of the American Revolution through an individualist anarchist lens.

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The Depths of Mutual Hate

by Charles Jared Ingersoll on Mar 24, 1862

Ingersoll tries to revive the Second Party System’s spirit of compromise—one marked by wilful ignorance of slavery, its horrors, and its legacy.

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The Plague of Confederacies

by Charles Jared Ingersoll on Mar 24, 1862

Ingersoll defends the traditional existence of secession throughout American history, but ultimately condemns it as inadvisable and rash.

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The Virtues of Compromise

by Charles Jared Ingersoll on Mar 24, 1862

“Copperhead” Democrat Charles Jared Ingersoll argues that both warring sections should embrace a large measure of compromise and conciliation.

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Three Kinds of Troublesome Northerners

by Charles Jared Ingersoll on Mar 24, 1862

Fearing for his country’s existence, Ingersoll chastises northern warmongers, their thoughtless voters, and reckless activists.

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The Lightning Rod Man

by Herman Melville in 1856

Melville’s short story echoes his generation of artists’ widespread fears for America’s future. Without sufficient individual virtue, could polite society survive?

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You Are a Man And So Am I

by Frederick Douglass on Sep 3, 1848

Frederick Douglass argues that slavery “destroys the central principle of human responsibility” and violates the Constitution in three short essays.

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Democracy vs Doulocracy, Part 2

by William Wilson in 1848

After defining his terms, our author shifts to a full explanation of slavery’s sinful violations of Christian precepts.