Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Political Science

Document Type



This dissertation focuses on how Abraham Lincoln’s idea of “liberty to all” affected his political thought about the intersection of government and the economy. It is a search for Lincoln’s political economy. While contemporary economists focus on a single aspect of the person such as self-interest, Lincoln following thinkers such as Francis Wayland viewed economics as a moral science. I do this by examining the speeches and deeds of Abraham Lincoln. I explore topics such as what he meant by “liberty to all”, his valuing of a commercial society over an agrarian one, and his understanding of the importance of free labor in terms of Lincoln’s thinking on theology and natural rights. Additionally, I examine Lincoln on what the US Constitution allows the national government to do to promote economic prosperity and the role political parties play on these policies. Lastly, I consider several thinkers from the Progressive Era and how they understood Lincoln and considered themselves to be impacted by his administration. My goal is to understand not just what Lincoln was against, i.e. slavery but what Lincoln was for; free labor and what he thought the national government should do to support its cause.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Stoner, James