Phil Magness

Phil Magness

Phil Magness
Institute for Humane Studies

Dr. Phil Magness is a policy historian and Academic Program Director at the Institute for Humane Studies.  Echoing the warnings Bastiat and Tocqueville, his research area encompasses the two great political problems of the 19th century United States: slavery and taxation. Magness is the co-author of the critically acclaimed book Colonization after Emancipation: Lincoln and the Movement for Black Resettlement (University of Missouri Press), offering reexamination of Abraham Lincoln’s anti-slavery and freedmen’s policies during the American Civil War. He has also written extensively on the history of the federal income tax, the American free trade movement, and the history of abolitionism. His historical writings have appeared in the Journal of the Early Republic, the Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association, Constitutional Political Economy, and Slavery & Abolition, as well as popular outlets including the New York Times, the Daily CallerBritannica.com and the History News Network.

Originally from Houston, Texas, Magness completed his undergraduate studies in Political Science and Economics at the University of St. Thomas and obtained his MPP and PhD at George Mason University. In addition to his role at IHS, he also teaches at GMU’s School of Public Policy.

Blog Posts

Top 5 myths about Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation

Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation of January 1, 1863, declaring the slaves of the rebellious southern states “forever free,” is probably the most important event of his presidency or even his life. But most people — including a few professional historians — get the Proclamation wrong.

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What should libertarians think about the Civil War?

Instead of looking for a “side” to champion, we are better served by recognizing that even amid the unbridled horrors of slavery and the devastation of war, there may still be a few who are fighting for something better than their country’s cause.

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