Nineteenth century professor of political and social science at Yale University


William Graham Sumner - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"William Graham Sumner (1840-1910) was the leading American advocate of a free-trade industrial society, which is what he believed the socialists meant by "capitalism." He graduated from Yale University in 1863, where he had been a member of Skull & Bones. Later he became a professor of sociology at Yale. As a sociologist, his major accomplishments were developing the concepts of diffusion, folkways, and ethnocentrism. ..."


30 Oct 1840, in Paterson, New Jersey


12 Apr 1910, in Englewood, New Jersey


Non-Marxist Theories of Imperialism, by Alan Fairgate, Feb 1976
Examines writings of critics of imperialism that are not based on Marxist analysis
"William Graham Sumner's essay 'The Conquest of the United States by Spain' ... provides an excellent introduction to the main elements of the anti-imperialist critique of American foreign policy. ... Sumner went on to develop the theme that republic and empire are antithetical concepts and that interventionism abroad would require the abandonment of America's traditional isolationist policies as well as her anticolonial heritage. Moreover, he argued, annexing overseas territories is morally wrong, violating such fundamental principles as liberty, democracy, equality, and self-government."
Peace and Pacifism, by Robert Higgs, The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism, 15 Aug 2008
Reviews what prominent classical liberals and libertarians had to say on the subject of peace and war, as well as the history of United States wars from the War of 1812 to the 2003 invasion of Iraq and the efforts of those who opposed them
"In 1899, Sumner wrote a tract called 'The Conquest of the United States by Spain' to show how the U.S. embrace of imperialism undermined the nation's best traditions as a limited-government republic and presaged higher taxes, bigger armed forces, conscription, and conquest. As if to demonstrate the accuracy of Sumner's warning, the government immediately undertook to defeat the Filipinos who sought self-rule, savagely suppressing their insurgency during the Philippine-American War (1899–1902)."
The Roots of Modern Libertarian Ideas, by Brian Doherty, Cato Policy Report, Mar 2007
Survey of the history of libertarian ideas, from ancient China and Greece to 20th century writers
"Another 19th-century American libertarian thinker, of great public renown in his time, was the Episcopal priest and Yale University sociologist William Graham Sumner. Sumner was a great anti-imperialist as well as an advocate of laissez faire and a celebrator of the spirit of enterprise who saw that the market order is so brain-bustingly complex that government attempts to manipulate it are apt to lead to unpredictable and very likely negative results. Sumner celebrated 'the forgotten man,' the independent middle-class producer who gets torn between the plutocrats ... and the paupers who receive benefits from government reformers ..."