Phillip W. Magness

Historian – 19th century United States


Phillip W. Magness, PhD

Office: 4th Floor, Metropolitan Building (Arlington Campus)
Office Phone: (703) 993-8287
Email: pmagness (at)


2010   Ph.D. George Mason University
2004   MPP, George Mason University
2003   B.A., Political Science, University of St. Thomas (Houston, Texas), Minors: Economics & Philosophy


2010-present   Academic Program Director, Institute for Humane Studies, George Mason University
2010-present  Adjunct Professor of Public Policy, Schar School of Policy & Government, George Mason University
2008-2010   Lecturer, School of Public Affairs, American University


  • Economic History/History of Capitalism (19th century United States)
  • Slavery, Abolition, and the U.S. Civil War
  • Black Colonization Movement
  • Presidency of Abraham Lincoln
  • International Trade & Trade History
  • Higher Education Policy


Colonization after Emancipation: Lincoln and the Movement for Black Resettlement. Co-authored with Sebastian N. Page (University of Missouri Press, 2011)

The Rules of the Game: How Government Works and Why it Sometimes Doesn’tCo-authored with Paul Weissburg. (The Modern Scholar, 2011)


Michael Douma & Phillip Magness, eds. What is Classical Liberal History? (Under Contract, Rowman & Littlefield, 2017)

Jason Brennan & Phillip Magness. Cracks in the Ivory Tower: The Bad Business Ethics of Higher Ed. (Under Contract, Oxford University Press, 2018).

ARTICLES & BOOK CHAPTERS (arranged by topic)

Economic History

Phillip W. Magness and Sean J. Hernandez. “The Economic Eugenicism of John Maynard Keynes,” Journal of Markets and Morality. (Forthcoming, 2017)

Phillip W. Magness and Robert P. Murphy. “Challenging the Empirical Contributions of Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the 21st Century.” Journal of Private Enterprise, (Spring 2015)

Phillip W. Magness & Robert P. Murphy, “Empirical Critiques of Thomas Piketty,” in Emmanuel Martin, ed. Anti-Piketty (Libre Echange, 2015; Cato Institute Press, 2017)

Morrill and the Missing Industries: Strategic Lobbying Behavior and the Tariff of 1861.Journal of the Early Republic, 29 (Summer 2009).

Constitutional Tariffs, Incidental Protection, and the Laffer Relationship.” Constitutional Political Economy, 20 (Winter 2008).

Slavery & the American Civil War

“Between Evidence, Rumor, and Perception: Marshal Lamon and the ‘Plot’ to Arrest Chief Justice Taney” Journal of Supreme Court History. (Forthcoming, July 2017)

“The Changing Legacy of Civil War Colonization” in Beverly Tomek and Matthew Hetrick, eds. Reconsiderations and Redirections in the Study of African Colonization. (Forthcoming, University Press of Florida, 2017)

“Tariffs and the American Civil War” in the Essential Civil War Curriculum. (Forthcoming, 2016)

“Abraham Lincoln and Colonization” in the Essential Civil War Curriculum(February 2016)

The American System and the Political Economy of Black Colonization.” Journal of the History of Economic Thought, (June 2015).

The British Honduras Colony: Black Emigrationist Support for Colonization in the Lincoln Presidency.” Slavery & Abolition, 34-1 (March 2013)

Mitchell and the Mystery of the U.S. Emigration Office Papers.Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association, 32-2 (Summer 2011)

Benjamin Butler’s Colonization Testimony Reevaluated.” Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association, 29-1 (Winter 2008).

Education Policy

Chris Surprenant and Phillip Magness. “Market-Based Measurement for School Achievement” Journal of Markets and Morality, (forthcoming, Fall 2017)

Jason Brennan & Phillip Magness. “Are Adjuncts Exploited?: Some Grounds for Skepticism.” Journal of Business Ethics. (2017).

For-Profit Universities and the roots of Adjunctification in U.S. Higher Education.” Liberal Education. (Spring 2016).

Jason Brennan & Phillip Magness. “Estimating the Cost of Adjunct Justice: A Case Study in University Business Ethics.” Journal of Business Ethics. (January, 2016)

A. Lee Fritschler, Paul Weissburg, and Phillip W. Magness. “Growing Government Demands for Accountability vs. Independence in the University.” Liberal Education, 94-4 (2008).

A. Lee Fritschler, Paul Weissburg, and Phillip W. Magness.  “Changing Relationships with Governments in Europe and the US: Balancing Quality Concerns with the Desire for Intellectual Independence in the University.” in Rovio-Johansson, ed. Essays on Supportive Peer Review. (NOVA Science, 2008)

General American History

Phillip W. Magness. “Alexander Hamilton as Immigrant.” The Independent Review (Spring 2017)



Best Article Award (with Robert P. Murphy), Journal of Private Enterprise, Association of Private Enterprise Educators (2016)

Benjamin Franklin Research Grant, American Philosophical Society (2012)

Albert J. Beveridge Grant, American Historical Association (2011)

Doctoral Research Grant, George Mason University (2009)

Doctoral Research Grant, George Mason University (2007)

Alexis de Tocqueville Award for outstanding MPP graduate, George Mason University (2004)


BOOK REVIEWS                                                     

“Lincoln and the Politics of Slavery: The Other Thirteenth Amendment and the Struggle to Save the Union” by Daniel Crofts, Reviews in History (February, 2017)

“Lincoln’s Dilemma,” by Paul Escott, North Carolina Historical Review (October 2016)

“Lincoln and Liberty,” by Lucas E. Morel, ed. in Pennsylvania Magazine of History (forthcoming)

“Exploring Lincoln,” by Holzer, Symonds, and Williams, eds. Journal of Southern History (August 2016)

“William Wells Brown: An African-American Life” by Ezra Greenspan, Missouri Historical Review (Fall 2016)

Slavery, Race, and Conquest in the Tropics” by Robert E. May, Reviews in History (January, 2015)

Making the Modern American Fiscal State” by Ajay K. Mehrotra, (November 2014)

“Lincoln and McClellan at War” by Chester G. Hearn, North Carolina Historical Review (January 2014)

“Slaves for Hire” by John J. Zaborney, Virginia Magazine of History, (Summer 2013)

“Colonization and its Discontents” by Beverly Tomek, Civil War History, (March 2013)

“Lincoln and the Border States” by William C. Harris, North Carolina Historical Review (July 2012)

“Lincoln on Race and Slavery” by Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Register of the Kentucky Historical Society, (Summer 2011)



How libertarians should think about the Civil War,” Newsweek, July 18, 2015

How we should remember Lincoln,” Daily Caller, July 19, 2013

The Ile a Vache: From Hope to Disaster,” New York Times “Disunion” series, April 12, 2013

A Separate Peace,” New York Times “Disunion” series, January 8, 2013

Wither Liberia? Civil War Emancipation and Freedmen Resettlement in West Africa,” The Civil War Monitor, November 2012

Mr. Lincoln and Mr. Johnson” Co-authored with Sebastian N. Page. New York Times “Disunion” series, February 3, 2012

Lincoln and Black Colonization after Emancipation,”, April 11, 2011

Lincoln and Colonization: Navigating the Evidence.” Co-authored with Sebastian N. Page. History News Network, March 20, 2011



“Slavery and Capitalism: Partners or Antagonists?,” Political Economy Project, Towson University (April 7, 2015)

“Picking Apart Piketty,” Strata, Utah State University (March 3, 2015)

“The Constitutional Havoc of the Income Tax Amendment,” Free Market Institute, Texas Tech University (January 30, 2015)

“Challenging the Legend of Abraham Lincoln: Plans for Colonization after Emancipation,” Centre for the Study of International Slavery, University of Liverpool (October 2, 2014)

Symposium on Alexander Crummell, St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Washington D.C. (September 10, 2014)

“The Political Economy of Colonization from Mathew Carey to Abraham Lincoln” Symposium on American Political Economy from the Age of Jackson to the Civil War. Bowdoin College (October 19-20, 2013)

“The American Civil War: A Classical Liberal View” Institute of Economic Affairs, London (October 9, 2013)

“Emancipation and its Corollaries: Contextualizing Compensation, Colonization, and Black Soldiers in Lincoln’s Proclamation,” Benjamin P. Thomas Symposium Lecture, Abraham Lincoln Association, Springfield, IL (February 12, 2013)

Speaker, 5th Annual Civil War Study Group Symposium, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, Springfield, IL (September 15, 2012)

“D.C. Emancipation: The Struggle for Freedom,” 150th Anniversary Commemoration of the District of Columbia Emancipation Act, National Archives Lecture Series, Washington, D.C. (April 18, 2012)

Emancipation, Emigration, and Revolt: John Willis Menard, the American Civil War, and the Jamaican uprising of 1865.” Black History Month Lecture Series, United States Capitol Historical Society, Washington, DC (February 15, 2012)

“African Americans and Lincoln: The Colonization Debate.” Lecture sponsored by the Afro-American History Society, National Archives and Records Administration Annex, College Park, MD (October 19, 2011).”

“Lincoln and Haiti: Colonization and Haitian Recognition During the Civil War,” National Archives Lecture Series, Washington, D.C., (December 2, 2010).



“The Economic Eugenicism of John Maynard Keynes,” Co-authored with Sean J. Hernandez, Association of Private Enterprise Education, Las Vegas, NV (April 3-5, 2016)

“Between Data and a Historical Narrative: An Evidentiary Critique of Wealth Inequality Trends,” Association of Private Enterprise Education, Cancun, Mexico (April 12-14, 2015)

“The Intellectual Legacy of South Royalton: IHS’s Seminar Program and the Reemergence of Austrian Thought” with Mario Villareal-Diaz and Scott King, Southern Economic Association, Atlanta, GA (November 22-24, 2014)

“The Disputed and Changing Legacy of Civil War Colonization,” Society of Civil War Historians Conference, Baltimore, MD (June 12-14, 2014)

“Slavery and the Security State” Association of Private Enterprise Education, Las Vegas, NV, (April 13-15, 2014)

“The Geography of Black Colonization and Emigration,” American Historical Association, Washington, DC (January 2-5, 2014)

“The Political Economy of Colonization: Mathew Carey, Henry Clay, and Abraham Lincoln,” History of Economics Society, Vancouver, BC (June 21, 2013)

“The 50th Anniversary of Man, Economy, and State,” Southern Economics Association, New Orleans, LA (November 2012)

“Protection and the Income Tax Amendment: Wall Street’s Reaction to the Tariff Debate of 1909” Policy History Conference, Richmond, VA (June 7, 2012)

“Between Evidence, Rumor, and Popular Perception: Marshal Lamon and the “Plot” to Arrest Chief Justice Taney” The Historical Society Conference, Columbia, SC (May 31, 2012)

“The African Civilization Society’s delegation to the Lincoln White House.” 96th Annual ASALH Convention, Richmond, VA (October 5-9, 2011).

“The British Honduras Settlement: Henry Highland Garnet and Black Emigrationist Support for Colonization.” Organization of American Historians Annual Conference, Houston, TX (March 18, 2011).

“Tariffs, Excises and the Volstead Act: The Political Economy of Prohibition.” Policy History Conference, Columbus, OH (June 4, 2010).

“Colonization after the Emancipation Proclamation.” 29th Annual Conference of the Indiana Association of Historians – “Lincoln’s Legacy,” Fort Wayne, IN (February 28, 2009).

“Policy Entrepreneurship and the Warehousing Act of 1846.” Washington, D.C. Legal History Roundtable, Georgetown University (September 19, 2008).

“Walker and the Warehousing Act: A Study in Entrepreneurship.” Policy History Conference, St. Louis, MO (May 30, 2008).

“Calhoun, Story, and Legislative Intent: the Laffer Relationship as a basis for the Constitution’s Revenue Clause.” Southern Political Science Association, New Orleans, LA, (January 11, 2008).



A Club to Beat Down the Tariff: The Political Economy of Tax Swaps and the Interest Group Origins of the 16th Amendment” (May 2016) Available at SSRN:

A Paradox of Secessionism: Slavery and the Confederate Security State” (August 2015) Available at SSRN:

Lincoln, Colonization and Evidentiary Standards: A Response to Allen C. Guelzo” Co-authored with Sebastian N. Page (May 1, 2013) Available at SSRN:



Lincoln and Colonization” Franklin’s Opus, September 2013

Q&A: Abraham Lincoln Wanted the Freed Slaves to Leave AmericaPacific Standard Magazine, (April 23, 2013)

The Contradictions of Fair Hope,” Documentary Film. Whoopi Goldberg, Narrator, Rockell Metcalf, Writer, and  S. Epatha Merkerson, Director/Producer (2012)

The Career of Abolitionist John Willis Menard,” C-Span American History TV, (Aired March 17, 2012)



  • Administrative History of the United States
  • Economic History/History of Capitalism
  • Slavery, Abolition, and the US Civil War Era
  • History of Economic Thought
  • Theory and Methods in Public Policy (PPE)
  • Principles of Political Economy (Public Choice)
  • Applied Quantitative Methods for Social Sciences
  • International Trade (Economics)



“From Tariffs to the Income Tax: Trade Protection and Revenue in the United States Tax System” George Mason University, (Defended October 2009)


Jack C. High (Chair)
A. Lee Fritschler
Kenneth A. Reinert
Peter J. Boettke
Thomas K. McCraw

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