States Rights and Slavery in America

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States Rights and Slavery in America

Post by Comrade Frank on Wed Jan 14, 2015 1:33 pm

After carefully reading the US Constitution and John Jay's letter to Elias Boudinot, my belief is the US Constitution is an anti-slavery document. In other words the creators of the Constitution fully intended to abolish the institution of slavery and included in the document the means to gradually eradicate slavery from the United States of America. In the opinion of John Jay, slavery should not be allowed to be introduced nor permitted in any newly established State during the period in question and that it should be gradually diminished and finally abolished in all of them. He felt that the constitutional authority of Congress to prohibit the migration or importation of slaves into any of the newly formed States appeared to him to be unquestionable.

It is my opinion that the Founding Fathers fully intended to abolish the institution of slavery by no later than 1808 when they created the Constitution. My belief and the belief of John Jay was that Article 1, Section 9, Clause 1; was fully intended to abolish the institution of slavery within 20 years. Clause 1 states, 'The migration or importation of such persons as any of the now existing States shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the year 1808. But a tax or duty may be imposed on such importations, not exceeding ten dollars for each person'; which in my opinion clearly shows their intent was to begin prohibiting the practice after 1808 and reserved the right to Tax the importation of slaves until that date. My belief is the Founder Fathers intended to heavily tax the practice of slavery until 1808 and thereafter abolish the practice through legislation, the fact that the economy of those 12 states remained largely agriculture based and industrial growth was minimal; forced these states to rely more heavily on slavery rather than diminishing the need for slaves.

Like John Jay I believe that Article 1 Section 9 Clause 1 was meant to prohibit such migration and importation after 1808, while allowing Congress to make such prohibition in any new States which were established within those 20 years; but would not be exercised in the existing states for that period to allow a gradual move away the use of slave labor. However, from that period Congress would be authorized to make such prohibition in all States, whether new or old. We must assume that slaves were the persons intended and that the use of the word slave was avoided in part because of the toleration of the practice and because of its discordances with the principles of the Revolution. The Founding Fathers were conscience of the fact that slavery was repugnant to the positions in the Declaration of Independence.

Although I believe that Article 1 Section 9 Clause 1 was a passive aggressive compromise to appease the 12 Slaveholding States and secure their signing of the Declaration of Independence, the Founding Fathers had the expectations of a gradual move away from the institution of slavery. Since the majority of the representatives at Independence Hall were from Slaveholding States, the fact that Article 1, Section 9, Clause 1 was included is in my opinion irrefutable proof that the Founding Fathers wish to eradicate the practice of Slavery. Abraham Lincoln believed and I concur that the representatives meeting in Independence Hall, said to the whole world of men: '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.'

Last edited by Admin on Sun Jan 18, 2015 9:32 am; edited 5 times in total
Comrade Frank
Comrade Frank

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