Lincoln Phoenix

Lincoln: Founding Father of the American Leviathan State

H_LALS_2013_B — with Thomas J. DiLorenzo

Dates: May 9, 2013 - June 12, 2013
Status: Closed


In Omnipotent Government (p. 268) Ludwig von Mises wrote that “the adversaries of the trend toward more government control describe their opposition as a . . . contest of states’ rights versus the central power.” To Mises, centralized governmental power was the greatest threat to liberty.  And as Edmund Wilson once noted, no one is more responsible for the birth of the centralized, bureaucratic state that Americans slave under than Abraham Lincoln, the “Great Centralizer.” This course will utilize Austrian economics and Austrian social theory to understand the economic and political legacies of the real Lincoln, the man who waged total war on his own fellow countrymen, killing some 350,000 of them; who shredded the Constitution and essentially declared himself dictator; who suspended Habeas Corpus and imprisoned political opponents by the thousands; who  shut down opposition newspapers by the hundreds; who intimidated federal judges and deported an opposition member of Congress; who ignored how most of the rest of the world ended slavery peacefully; who destroyed the voluntary union of the founding fathers that was based on states’ rights and federalism; and whose regime introduced America to income taxation, military conscription, decades of protectionism, corrupt corporate welfare, the internal revenue bureaucracy, and transformed the country from a republic to an empire.

Live Sessions

Lectures will be Thursdays at 5:30 p.m. Eastern time.


Week 1: Lincoln, Race, And Slavery

Week 2: Lincoln The Hamiltonian Mercantilist

Week 3: The Lincoln Dictatorship

Week 4: Founding Father Of The American Warfare State

Week 5: The Lincoln Curse: Militarism, Dictatorship, Economic Fascism


All readings will be free and online. A fully hyper-linked syllabus with readings for each weekly topic will be available for registered students.

Grades and Certificates

The final grade will depend on quizzes. Taking the course for a grade is optional. This course is worth 3 credits in Mises Academy. Feel free to ask your school to accept Mises Academy credits. You will receive a digital Certificate of Completion for this course if you take it for a grade, and a Certificate of Participation if you take it on a paid-audit basis.

Refund Policy

If you drop the course during its first week (7 calendar days), you will receive a full refund, minus a $25 processing fee. If you drop the course during its second week, you will receive a half refund. No refunds will be granted after the second week.

Thomas DiLorenzo

Thomas J. DiLorenzo

Author of The Real LincolnLincoln Unmasked, and Hamilton’s Curse. Dr. DiLorenzo is today’s foremost critic of “Lincoln hagiography”.

DiLorenzo is a professor of economics at Loyola University Maryland and a senior fellow at the Ludwig von Mises Institute, he has written for the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, the Washington Post, Reader’s Digest, Barron’s, and many other publications.  He is widely published in the academic journals, including the American Economic Review, Economic Inquiry, International Review of Law and Economics, Public Choice, Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics, and many others. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from Virginia Tech.

Click here to read an interview with Professor DiLorenzo.

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