15 Abr What Was The Implied Agreement That Was Reached About Slavery During The Constitutional Convention
I have outlined only three remarks on the prohibition of the slave trade; Many other delegates also spoke. I think it is instructive that justice and injustice have only been raised with regard to slave countries and not slave Africans. The ban on the slave trade would be unfair to South Carolina and Georgia, as it would give an unfair competitive advantage to other slave states. In this case, it is likely that equal rights meant the same right for each state to commit monstrous violations of individual rights, including abduction and murder. A sinister note was taken by Abraham Baldwin of Georgia, who had served as chaplain in the Continental Army. He said the slave trade should be a local matter, not a national one. Georgia has persisted on this issue; it would never ratify a Constitution that called for the abolition of the slave trade. But she could ultimately «put evil» on her own terms, if left alone. The reason was that a «respectable class of people» «applied its ethics beyond the mere equality of human beings and extended its humanity to the demands of all animal creation.» The founding fathers of the United States challenged the issue of slavery. The founders of the South supported slavery because of their region`s economic dependence on slavery and their own racism. Others rejected slavery and argued that freedom was fundamental to the new U.S. government, but preferred to unite the North and the South rather than abolish slavery.  We take these truths for granted that all human beings are equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, including life, freedom and the pursuit of happiness.- Declaration of Independence, 1776 This clause is proof that the Framers anticipated the possibility of circumventing the restrictions they created.
The clause also seems to indicate the vulnerability and unpopularity of the slave trade. 7 Had trade not been called into question, this clause might never have been enshrined in the Constitution. In a way, it legitimized the future abolition of the slave trade. The provisions suggest that Congress could have abolished the slave trade immediately if the clause had not been put in place. Congress effectively abolished it as soon as the clause allowed it on January 1, 1808. One way was to say that the twenty-year clause was in fact a step towards the abolition of slavery. Edmund Randolph, the governor of Virginia, who played an important role in the Constitutional Convention, vigorously denied this rumor at the Virginia Convention (June 21, 1788).