Saturday, September 19, 2009

Slavery and the Framing of the U.S. Constitution

The question of prohibiting the African slave-trade by a provision in the national Constitution caused much and warm debate in the convention that framed that instrument. A compromise was agreed to by the insertion of a clause (art. I., sec. 9, clause 1) in the Constitution, as follows: "The migration or importation of such persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight; but a tax, or duty, may be imposed on such importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each person." The idea of prohibiting the African slave-trade, then warmly advocated, was not new. In 1774 the Continental Congress, while releasing the colonies from other provisions of the AMERICAN ASSOCIATION , had expressly resolved " that no slave be imported into any of the United States."

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Janis said...

Glad they abolished slavery, it took them long enough.

Jan n Jer said...

Bottom line, the fact is that the U.S. Constitution was wrote by a bunch of slave ownerstraders. No matter how you "perfume that hog" it is still a hog. The Emancipation Proclamation took a 100 years from the signing of the Constitution and the Civil Rights Act did not occur for another 100 years. Prior to that, only blacks were required to pass a literacy test in order to vote. Not bad------220 years later and in some parts of the country they are still treated as "second class" citizens.Go figure