Phillip W. Magness

U.S. Economic & Political History

The American System and the Political Economy of Colonization

| June 4, 2015

My new article in the Journal of the History of Economic Thought explores the intersection between 19th century economic theory and the colonization movement, including its substantial effect on the antislavery views of Abraham Lincoln. Abstract: “From 1816 through to the end of the Civil War, the colonization of emancipated slaves in Africa and the […]

The day Lincoln joined the American Colonization Society

| August 20, 2013

Abraham Lincoln’s interest in the policy of colonization likely dates at least to the mid 1840s when he picked it up from his political hero Henry Clay. He also delivered at least two speeches to the state colonization society in Illinois and was elected one of its managers in 1857. It might therefore come as […]

The Politics of Remembering Lincoln

| July 30, 2013

Here’s a short piece I wrote for the Daily Caller in which I take a look at the use and abuse of Abraham Lincoln to form modern political arguments. There are plenty of culprits both favorable and hostile to Lincoln, as well as on the political left and right alike. Excerpt: “A casual observer might wonder […]

Compensated Emancipation at the Hampton Roads Conference of 1865

| May 14, 2013

Though long a domain of Civil War specialists, the Hampton Roads Peace Conference of February 3, 1865 largely avoided popular attention until it was recently thrust into the cinematic spotlight as a climactic turning point in Steven Spielberg’s movie Lincoln. This event, held aboard a steamship off of Fort Monroe, Virginia brought together Abraham Lincoln […]

Lincoln & Colonization: A Response to Allen Guelzo

| May 7, 2013

In the Winter 2013 issue of the Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association, historian Allen C. Guelzo of Gettysburg College took vigorous exception to my scholarship on Abraham Lincoln’s involvement with the colonization movement, including two prior articles I have written for the same journal and my 2011 book, co-authored with Sebastian N. Page, Colonization after Emancipation: Lincoln […]