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
Date Written: 2003
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.
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