The case for a racist, pro-slavery constitution collapses under closer scrutiny race and the constitution nowhere in the constitution—or in the declaration of independence, for that matter. Thomas jefferson drafted the declaration and called slavery an abominable crime, yet he was a lifelong slaveholder fearful of dividing the fragile new nation, jefferson and other founders who opposed slavery did not insist on abolishing it. The united states constitution, which initially consisted of some 4,500 words on four parchments pages, is now a document with nearly 8,000 words, some of which advance the notion of equality not only for former slaves through the reconstruction amendments enacted after the civil war, but also for women through the nineteenth amendment of 1920. The founding fathers and the constitution by the time of the constitutional convention in 1787, slavery in the united states was a grim reality in the census of 1790, there were slaves counted in nearly every state, with only massachusetts and the districts of vermont and maine, being the only exceptions. The thirteenth amendment (amendment xiii) to the united states constitution abolished slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crimein congress, it was passed by the senate on april 8, 1864, and by the house on january 31, 1865.
The assertion which we made five weeks ago, that the constitution, if strictly construed according to its reading, is not a pro-slavery instrument, has excited some interest amongst our anti-slavery brethren. Slaves and slavery are mentioned only indirectly in the 1787 constitution for example, article 1, section 2, clause 3 prescribes that three fifths of all other persons are to be counted for the apportionment of seats in the house of representatives and direct taxes. If it should turn out that slavery is a source of insurrection, that there is no security from insurrection while slavery lasts, why, the constitution would be best obeyed by putting an end to slavery, and an anti-slavery congress would do the very same thing. Owning over one hundred slaves himself, jefferson frequently spoke out against the enslavement of african-americans, and included a passage in his declaration that would make slavery impossible in the new united states of america.
Passed by congress on january 31, 1865, and ratified on december 6, 1865, the 13th amendment abolished slavery in the united states and provides that neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the united states, or any place subject to their jurisdiction. Slavery persisted despite the revolutionary war and ratification of the constitution, with most of the signers of the declaration and the constitution owning slaves, and the number of slaves steadily grew through natural increase. The declaration of independence and the bill of rights are two of the us's most important documents, but at the time they were written they were not applicable to a majority of the population. Indeed, the constitution solidified the legality of slavery by defining slaves as 3/5ths of a person for the purposes of state populations and political representations.
Slavery and the constitution not only does the constitution not mention blacks or whites, but it also doesn't mention slaves or slavery throughout the document, slaves are referred to as. In his 1863 gettysburg address, president lincoln embraced the declaration of independence as the foundation of the republic — a foundation which had been undermined by the apologists for slavery. The constitution that protected slavery for three generations, until a devastating war and a constitutional amendment changed the game, was actually antislavery because it didn't explicitly.
The continental convention handled the issue of slavery by the three-fifths clause with reasons for proportional representation and temporarily resolving an unending dispute helping it be consistent with the underlying values of the declaration of independence and the constitution of the united states of america the continental convention. Defenders of slavery turned to the courts, who had ruled, with the dred scott decision, that all blacks — not just slaves — had no legal standing as persons in our courts — they were property, and the constitution protected slave-holders' rights to their property. The constitution and slavery the constitution and slavery we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
The declaration of independence and the debate over slavery when thomas jefferson included a passage attacking slavery in his draft of the declaration of independence it initiated the most intense debate among the delegates gathered at philadelphia in the spring and early summer of 1776. The constitution and slavery although the constitution was designed to move america closer to natural law principles, it was not a single-minded dash toward utopia the founders could not produce a constitution that approximated natural law in every way. For it mattered that the declaration of independence was written as it was, that the nation was established with an unequivocal statement of principles, a statement that was incompatible with slavery and that for the next 87 years lay as a weight —in the end a crushing weight — over the presence of human bondage in this country.
This lesson uses the maryland state constitution of 1776 and the declaration of independence to examine the contradiction between slavery and freedom at the heart of the american revolution. South carolina declaration of the immediate causes which induce and justify the secession of south carolina from the federal union the people of the state of south carolina, in convention assembled, on the 26th day of april, ad, 1852, declared that the frequent violations of the constitution of the united states, by the federal government, and its encroachments upon the reserved rights of. Roger sherman (1723-1793) —roger sherman was a member of the committee of five that was chosen to write the declaration of independence he and robert morris were the only individuals to sign the declaration of independence, the articles of confederation and the constitution.
Constitution without a safeguard for slavery the issue was referred to the committee of eleven the committee recognized a congressional power over the slave trade but recommended that this power. The anti-slavery clause in jefferson's draft of the declaration of independence, 1776 in june 1776, the united states and britain had been at war for over a year, and the second continental congress was nearing agreement to issue a formal declaration of independence. For years, i believed in the purity of our forefathers intent when framing the constitution and declaration of independence i loved to say things like,'our forefathers would be distgusted by the corruption in today's politicians. In his initial draft of the declaration of independence, thomas jefferson condemned the injustice of the slave trade and, by implication, slavery, but he also blamed the presence of enslaved africans in north america on avaricious british colonial policies jefferson thus acknowledged that slavery.