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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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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.

Excursions

Freethought and Freedom: Introduction

featuring George H. Smith on Jul 26, 2017

George H. Smith begins his series on the historical relationship between religious skepticism and libertarianism.

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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.