The Root of the Problem: How the Proslavery Constitution Shaped American Race Relations

Barry Law Review, Vol. 4, No. 1, 2003

17 Pages Posted: 12 Jul 2009

See all articles by Paul Finkelman

Paul Finkelman

Gratz College; Albany Law School

Date Written: 2003

Abstract

This article is about how the Constitution, prior to the 13th Amendment, gave special protection to slavery as a way to preserve the southern economy and racial control. The words “negro,” “black,” and “slave” were left out of the Constitution itself to expedite the process and avoid antagonizing northern constituents, though descriptions were clear and unmistakable. Special treatment provided by the “three-fifths clause,” “slave trade clause,” “capitation tax clause,” “fugitive slave clause,” and the prohibition of any amendment of the salve importation or capitation clauses before 1808 guaranteed that slavery was protected.

Suggested Citation

Finkelman, Paul, The Root of the Problem: How the Proslavery Constitution Shaped American Race Relations (2003). Barry Law Review, Vol. 4, No. 1, 2003. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1432125

Paul Finkelman (Contact Author)

Gratz College ( email )

7605 Old York Road
Melrose Park, PA 19027
United States

Albany Law School

NY
United States

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