The Constitution Did Not Condone Slavery

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Joe Kawfi
Joe Kawfi's picture
Joined: 07/20/2009

The Constitution Did Not Condone Slavery

Then, there’s the Post’s ritual repeating of the falsehood that the Founders viewed black people as “three fifths of a person.” That is a wholly tendentious misreading of the Three-Fifths Clause. Don Fehrenbacher is a leading authority on this. In his penetrating study, The Slaveholding Republic, he writes: “[The] fraction ‘three-fifths’ had no racial meaning. It did not represent a perception of blacks as three-fifths human…” It was a compromise on methods of levying taxes and apportioning representation in Congress.

Further, the Three-Fifths Compromise reduced the power in Congress of slaveholding states while giving an electoral bonus to any state that voluntarily emancipated its slaves. When seven of the original thirteen states abolished slavery, they were allowed to count free black people in the census for purposes of representation in Congress.

It is especially galling to have liberals attack Republican Members on these matters. They forget that it was Republicans who gave us the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments—those great guarantees of civil rights. Every vote cast against those amendments was cast by a Democrat. It was Republicans who passed the first anti-lynching bill in the House—in 1922. Those bills were routinely killed by Senate Democrats until 1957.

Observerofu's picture
Joined: 07/14/2010
Oh now you've gone and done it Joe

the history revisionist will come out now and claim all sorts of "facts" about the thoughts of the Founders. I mean they know what they "really" meant after all.

PTC Observer
PTC Observer's picture
Joined: 04/23/2007
But - Joe

We have had only two dictator Presidents, one Republican and the other Democrat. You know the ones that suspended Habeas Corpus, imprisoned political opponents, shutdown newspapers and tried and failed to pack the Supreme Court to get around the Constitution? And that's only if you don't count the racist President Wilson.

That messy little document the Constitution just keeps getting in the way of personal ambition and dogmatic political philosophy! No wonder some Presidents and Supremes seem to minimize its “relevance” to today’s world, it just keeps getting in their way.

Davids mom
Davids mom's picture
Joined: 10/30/2005
Students - truth and The Constitution

Take the time to do your own research regarding this period in history. What were the economic concerns of the different geographical areas in our country at this time? How were people of color treated in 'slave' states? How were people of color treated in 'free' states? Did the founders and writers of the Constitution discuss the topic of ‘slavery’? Black African slavery had existed in the North American English colonies for 168 years before the U.S. Constitution was drafted in 1787. Why? Is there mention of 'slavery' in the Constitution? Why/why not? There is a plethora of information online and in the library. The research should not be supportive of an ideology - but just the truth .

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