Slavery s Constitution

Author: David Waldstreicher
Publisher: Hill and Wang
ISBN: 9781429959070
Format: PDF, Docs
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Taking on decades of received wisdom, David Waldstreicher has written the first book to recognize slavery's place at the heart of the U.S. Constitution. Famously, the Constitution never mentions slavery. And yet, of its eighty-four clauses, six were directly concerned with slaves and the interests of their owners. Five other clauses had implications for slavery that were considered and debated by the delegates to the 1787 Constitutional Convention and the citizens of the states during ratification. This "peculiar institution" was not a moral blind spot for America's otherwise enlightened framers, nor was it the expression of a mere economic interest. Slavery was as important to the making of the Constitution as the Constitution was to the survival of slavery. By tracing slavery from before the revolution, through the Constitution's framing, and into the public debate that followed, Waldstreicher rigorously shows that slavery was not only actively discussed behind the closed and locked doors of the Constitutional Convention, but that it was also deftly woven into the Constitution itself. For one thing, slavery was central to the American economy, and since the document set the stage for a national economy, the Constitution could not avoid having implications for slavery. Even more, since the government defined sovereignty over individuals, as well as property in them, discussion of sovereignty led directly to debate over slavery's place in the new republic. Finding meaning in silences that have long been ignored, Slavery's Constitution is a vital and sorely needed contribution to the conversation about the origins, impact, and meaning of our nation's founding document.

Slavery s Constitution

Author: David Waldstreicher
Publisher: Macmillan
ISBN: 0809094533
Format: PDF, ePub
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Identifies a key link between slavery and the creation of the U.S. Constitution, examining how the document contains six clauses pertaining to slavery while never mentioning the institution directly, in a report that reveals how slavery played a role in every major issue in pre-Civil War America.

A Slaveholders Union

Author: George William Van Cleve
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226846695
Format: PDF
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After its early introduction into the English colonies in North America, slavery in the United States lasted as a legal institution until the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution in 1865. But increasingly during the contested politics of the early republic, abolitionists cried out that the Constitution itself was a slaveowners’ document, produced to protect and further their rights. A Slaveholders’ Union furthers this unsettling claim by demonstrating once and for all that slavery was indeed an essential part of the foundation of the nascent republic. In this powerful book, George William Van Cleve demonstrates that the Constitution was pro-slavery in its politics, its economics, and its law. He convincingly shows that the Constitutional provisions protecting slavery were much more than mere “political” compromises—they were integral to the principles of the new nation. By the late 1780s, a majority of Americans wanted to create a strong federal republic that would be capable of expanding into a continental empire. In order for America to become an empire on such a scale, Van Cleve argues, the Southern states had to be willing partners in the endeavor, and the cost of their allegiance was the deliberate long-term protection of slavery by America’s leaders through the nation’s early expansion. Reconsidering the role played by the gradual abolition of slavery in the North, Van Cleve also shows that abolition there was much less progressive in its origins—and had much less influence on slavery’s expansion—than previously thought. Deftly interweaving historical and political analyses, A Slaveholders’ Union will likely become the definitive explanation of slavery’s persistence and growth—and of its influence on American constitutional development—from the Revolutionary War through the Missouri Compromise of 1821.

The Long Road to Change

Author: Eric Guest Nellis
Publisher: University of Toronto Press
ISBN: 9781551111100
Format: PDF, ePub
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"By extending his analysis to 1820, Nellis challenges both students and scholars to re-examine their assumptions about the American Revolution." - Elizabeth Mancke, University of Akron

The Sources of Anti Slavery Constitutionalism in America 1760 1848

Author: William M. Wiecek
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 1501726455
Format: PDF, ePub
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This ambitious book examines the constitutional and legal doctrines of the antislavery movement from the eve of the American Revolution to the Wilmot Proviso and the 1848 national elections. Relating political activity to constitutional thought, William M. Wiecek surveys the antislavery societies, the ideas of their individual members, and the actions of those opposed to slavery and its expansion into the territories. He shows that the idea of constitutionalism has popular origins and was not the exclusive creation of a caste of lawyers. In offering a sophisticated examination of both sides of the argument about slavery, he not only discusses court cases and statutes, but also considers a broad range of "extrajudicial" thought—political speeches and pamphlets, legislative debates and arguments.

Runaway America

Author: David Waldstreicher
Publisher: Macmillan
ISBN: 9780809083152
Format: PDF
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Capturing the paradox of Benjamin Franklin on the issue of slavery, the author chronicles Franklin's time as an indentured servant as well as his later work as a publisher, where he profited from advertising notices about runaway slaves.

American Constitutional Law

Author: Alpheus Thomas Mason
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1315394561
Format: PDF, Kindle
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This classic collection of carefully selected and edited Supreme Court case excerpts and comprehensive background essays explores constitutional law and the role of the Supreme Court in its development and interpretation. Well-grounded in both theory and politics, it endeavors to heighten students' understanding of and interest in these critical areas of our governmental system. New to the 17th Edition 9 new cases (including 2 cases from the 2015–2016 term decided by 8 justices) and discussion of 30 additional new cases. New case highlights include Sebelius on Obamacare, Obergefell on same sex marriage, and 2 new cases on government surveillance. Covers the death of Justice Antonin Scalia and ensuing controversies. Updates every chapter-opening essay and end-of-chapter Selected Readings. Provides an author-written online Instructor’s Manual with Test Bank, historical Supreme Court documents, noteworthy decisions and dissents, and cases from previous editions.

Slavery and Silence

Author: Paul D. Naish
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
ISBN: 0812249453
Format: PDF, Kindle
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In the thirty-five years before the Civil War, it became increasingly difficult for Americans outside the world of politics to have frank and open discussions about the institution of slavery, as divisive sectionalism and heated ideological rhetoric circumscribed public debate. To talk about slavery was to explore--or deny--its obvious shortcomings, its inhumanity, its contradictions. To celebrate it required explaining away the nation's proclaimed belief in equality and its public promise of rights for all, while to condemn it was to insult people who might be related by ties of blood, friendship, or business, and perhaps even to threaten the very economy and political stability of the nation. For this reason, Paul D. Naish argues, Americans displaced their most provocative criticisms and darkest fears about the institution onto Latin America. Naish bolsters this seemingly counterintuitive argument with a compelling focus on realms of public expression that have drawn sparse attention in previous scholarship on this era. In novels, diaries, correspondence, and scientific writings, he contends, the heat and bluster of the political arena was muted, and discussions of slavery staged in these venues often turned their attention south of the Rio Grande. At once familiar and foreign, Cuba, Brazil, Haiti, and the independent republics of Spanish America provided rhetorical landscapes about which everyday citizens could speak, through both outright comparisons or implicit metaphors, what might otherwise be unsayable when talking about slavery at home. At a time of ominous sectional fracture, Americans of many persuasions--Northerners and Southerners, Whigs and Democrats, scholars secure in their libraries and settlers vulnerable on the Mexican frontier--found unity in their disparagement of Latin America. This displacement of anxiety helped create a superficial feeling of nationalism as the country careened toward disunity of the most violent, politically charged, and consequential sort.

The American Enlightenment 1750 1820

Author: Robert A. Ferguson
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674023222
Format: PDF, Kindle
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This concise literary history of the American Enlightenment captures the varied and conflicting voices of religious and political conviction in the decades when the new nation was formed. Ferguson's trenchant interpretation yields new understanding of this pivotal period for American culture.

Inhuman Bondage

Author: David Brion Davis
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0195339444
Format: PDF, Mobi
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The author's lifetime of insight as the leading authority on slavery in the Western world is summed up in this compelling narrative that links together the profits of slavery, the pain of the enslaved, and the legacy of racism in a sweeping and compelling history of the institution of slavery in the United States. By the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Problem of Slavery in Western Culture.