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What the Confederate States Constitution says about slavery

Discussion in 'Civil War History - Secession and Politics' started by Zeeboe, May 14, 2012.

  1. Zeeboe

    Zeeboe Private

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    Unlike the Founding Fathers of the United States Constitution, who were too embarrassed to mention slavery by name in their document, the Founding Fathers of the Confederate States Constitution refer to slavery explicitly throughout.

    http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Constitution_of_the_Confederate_States_of_America

    Article I, Section 9, Clause 4 prohibited the Confederate government from restricting slavery in any way:

    "No bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law denying or impairing the right of property in negro slaves shall be passed."

    Article IV, Section 2 also prohibited states from interfering with slavery:

    "The citizens of each State shall be entitled to all the privileges and immunities of citizens in the several States; and shall have the right of transit and sojourn in any State of this Confederacy, with their slaves and other property; and the right of property in said slaves shall not be thereby impaired."

    Perhaps the most menacing provision of the Confederate States Constitution was the explicit protection Article IV, Section 3, Clause 3 offered to slavery in all future territories conquered or acquired by the Confederacy:

    "The Confederate States may acquire new territory; and Congress shall have power to legislate and provide governments for the inhabitants of all territory belonging to the Confederate States, lying without the limits of the several States; and may permit them, at such times, and in such manner as it may by law provide, to form States to be admitted into the Confederacy. In all such territory the institution of negro slavery, as it now exists in the Confederate States, shall be recognized and protected by Congress and by the Territorial government; and the inhabitants of the several Confederate States and Territories shall have the right to take to such Territory any slaves lawfully held by them in any of the States or Territories of the Confederate States."

    This provision ensured the perpetuation of slavery as long and as far as the Confederate States could extend it's political reach, and more then a few Confederates had their eyes fixed on Cuba and Central and South America as objects of future conquest.

    Unlike the Confederate States Constitution, the United States Constitution freely permitted states to abolish slavery. If the day ever came when slavery was eliminated voluntarily throughout the United States of America, not one word of the United States Constitution would need to be changed, whereas slavery could never lawfully be abolished under the Confederate States Constitution.

    Both Frederick Douglas and President Abraham Lincoln would probably be shocked to learn that some modern academics use theoretical economics to argue that the Confederate States Constitution offered greater protection for freedom then the United States Constitution.
     
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  3. Sneathen

    Sneathen Sergeant

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    This is all true, but be weary you're posting threads back to back, sooner or later you may ruffle someone's feathers.
     
  4. Zeeboe

    Zeeboe Private

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    I didn't think there were rules about how many threads one can post, but I mean no disrespect with that comment. :smile: Duly noted. Thank you. This will be my last thread for today and I'll kindly stick to starting new topics every so often.
     
  5. Glorybound

    Glorybound Major Retired Moderator

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    Just an observation - sure, many of these topics are controversial and have the potential to flame up, but, this being a forum with it's main theme as the US civil war there are bound to be these hot topics on occasion. It's up to us to stay civil and express our views in such a manner as to get our points across without including personal insults or taunting, or any of those kinds of things that tend to poison a thread and cause it's closure. Mostly we manage to accomplish that here, and that fact is a testament to the maturity of most of the members, and our desire to learn rather than to bicker. And there's no limit to the number of threads that can be posted up by a member, at least none that I know of.

    Lee
     
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  6. mulejack

    mulejack Sergeant

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    I have to agree with everything Lee mentioned and have no problem with what is posted here, but I do think the poster bacause of these recent threads has a chip on his shoulder and looking for a good old fashioned dannybrook.

    Mulejack
     
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  7. cash

    cash Colonel

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    Based on his comments, though, I believe he's willing to abide by rhetorial equivalent of the Marquis of Queensbury rules. :smile:
     
  8. Zeeboe

    Zeeboe Private

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    Lol. Not here to fight. I'm too new here to even know how things operate around here. Some groups are less sensitive then others so I honestly am not sure what type of environment this is. I do enjoy debates and discussions with people who share my passion, and that's really all I'm looking for. :smile:
     
  9. Sneathen

    Sneathen Sergeant

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    We're just here to give you warning, nothing more and nothing less.
     
  10. unionblue

    unionblue Brev. Brig. Gen'l Member of the Year

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    Red Harvest and FourLeafClover like this.
  11. bama46

    bama46 Captain

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    "MAY"?
     
  12. Zeeboe

    Zeeboe Private

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    I'm starting to get the impression that I came here after a big battle. lol. It seems some people here are all on edge, and are trying really hard to keep things peaceful and are holding back some.
     
  13. BillO

    BillO 1st Lieutenant

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    Nope I'm feeling pretty mellow and didn't read anything in your post to get upset about. I might question your use of the word menacing but that would be about it.
     
  14. FourLeafClover

    FourLeafClover First Sergeant

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    If you sense nobody falling over themselves to get their teeth into you Zeeboe. Don't be too disappointed. It seems your previous experience on Facebook has got you fully armed, and geared up for battle with all your Lincoln information. I for one welcome you to post more of it. I need the lessons thank you.

    The folks on here are a very knowledgable community. I have learned so much from this site merely by viewing others displaying their viewpoints and citing sources to back themselves up. It really is enlightening.
    May I recommend the current thread on "All Things Calhoun". If you ever thought you knew anything about pre-secession politics in Southern USA. I guarantee this will add to your understanding.

    Meanwhile welcome to the forum. I look forward to reading more of your posts. I hope you enjoy reading a few that others have put up for your enjoyment and participation.
     
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  15. Red Harvest

    Red Harvest 2nd Lieutenant Trivia Game Winner

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    Thanks for posting that link. It is one I used years ago and hadn't been able to find the link to it last time I looked.
     
  16. Zeeboe

    Zeeboe Private

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    Thank you very much FourLeafClover! Stick around. I have a lot more ammo, and there will be more threads. Honestly, the Facebook thing didn't get me too defensive, but I'm almost 30, and have been going on forums since I was 15, and for years, when going into any new forum, I admit, I *do* like to make a loud noise. Some people love it, and some people hate it, but being a small-timer or a lurker has never sit well with me. Also, I admit, I'm proud of what I learned, which are things I learned in books, and when I learn something new, or know about a topic that I feel are important topics that are not getting enough attention, I just feel the need to share what I know with the world.

    I can even admit, I do like to debate with people online and offline. I love to read and type long posts and have ten+pages of debating. It's like a sporting event to me, and the knowledge that is shared and learned is always great. I prefer things to stay friendly and never resorts to name-calling or anything like that.

    In closing, I love American Civil War History, and I'd love it if people would introduce me to topics within it that I never knew much about before. So I'm just doing what I hope others will do with me.
     
  17. unionblue

    unionblue Brev. Brig. Gen'l Member of the Year

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    bama46,

    The extent of the "MAY" is directly proportional to the thickness of one's skin.

    Sincerely,
    Unionblue
     
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  18. bama46

    bama46 Captain

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    Since I believe the poster knows exactly what he is doing I do not think that skin thickness has anything to do with my skepticism
     
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  19. Nathanb1

    Nathanb1 Brigadier General Moderator Silver Patron Forum Host

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    Just use the search function. I'm sure you'll find a plethora of topics you never knew existed.
     
  20. dvrmte

    dvrmte Major

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    Had your title been "What the CSA Constitution says about taxation", you might've got a bite.

    For tariffs not to be a factor in secession it sure seems like the Confederate Founding Fathers considered them an important enough factor to alter their Constitution.

    US version:
    The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

    CS version:
    The Congress shall have Power
    (1)To lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises for revenue, necessary to pay the debts, provide for the common defense, and carry on the Government of the Confederate States; but no bounties shall be granted from the Treasury; nor shall any duties or taxes on importations from foreign nations be laid to promote or foster any branch of industry; and all duties, imposts, and excises shall be uniform throughout the Confederate States.
     
  21. shanniereb

    shanniereb Sergeant Major

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    While I may not agree with some of your views, that is basically what I am here for. I tend to like the personal stories of the war because I am a genealogist. This is a really welcoming and fertile soil for ideas on this forum. History is history, just as plain and simple as that. The institution of slavery is mentioned in the Confederate Constitution.
     

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