- Jul 30, 2019
then? it was debated as "ironclad" in both houses of congress. Since we are debating it "now" then there must be some consideration "now".
This is getting...well, let's continue to be nice here. Once again,
1.) there's no provision in the amendment about the expansion of slavery, which the rebelling states clearly noted (in their own words, dressed up as states rights) was their issue; the amendment would not change the ban on slavery in the territories. Southern leadership was headstrong and overconfident, but they COULD count; non-slave territories become non-slave states, and pro-slavery states would never control congress again. The Corwin amendment at best would only protect slavery in the states where it existed, and southern leadership knew (and stated clearly) expansion was necessary for slavery's survival. Corwin did nothing to alleviate this.
2.) there are multiple potential ways around the amendment, as have been detailed here; as the USA (and the entire civilized world) grew more hostile to slavery then and in the near future, the animus to implement those ways would dramatically increase. Southern leadership made some stupid decisions, but they were not stupid men, and they understood and appreciated this growing hostility.
3.) the amendment itself came only after most of the rebelling states had already seceded, days before Lincoln's inauguration and shortly before Sumter. Even those inclined to possibly consider it saw it was too little too late.
I understand how difficult it is to argue the 'not-about-slavery' position, especially with the open, public and formal acknowledgments - and all of antebellum political history - so I don't envy you your task. But dragging on trying to stretch the Corwin amendment is just … well again, let's be nice.
I'm beginning to realize I could make better 'not-about-slavery' arguments than the ones I'm encountering across this site. That's disappointing.
Very little point going on with this. So let me toast, with regret, the horrible sacrifices of Americans killing Americans, the preservation of the Union, the ending of the inhumane dishonor of slavery, and all the work that, a century and a half later, still remains for us to do.