Call Number: UCF ONLINE General Collection -- KF4541.G548 2020
This book argues that conflicts over slavery and abolition in the early American Republic generated a mode of constitutional interpretation that remains powerful today: the belief that the historical spirit of founding holds authority over the current moment. Simon J. Gilhooley traces how debates around the existence of slavery in the District of Columbia gave rise to the articulation of this constitutional interpretation, which constrained the radical potential of the constitutional text. To reconstruct the origins of this interpretation, Gilhooley draws on rich sources that include historical newspapers, pamphlets, and congressional debates. Examining free black activism in the North, Abolitionism in the 1830s, and the evolution of pro-slavery thought, this book shows how in navigating the existence of slavery in the District and the fundamental constitutional issue of the enslaved's personhood, Antebellum opponents of abolition came to promote an enduring but constraining constitutional imaginary.
Call Number: UCF ONLINE General Collection -- E446.V36 2010
NOTE: Online access is limited to 4 simultaneous users
After its early introduction into the English colonies in North America, slavery in the United States lasted as a legal institution until the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution in 1865. But increasingly during the contested politics of the early republic, abolitionists cried out that the Constitution itself was a slaveowners' document, produced to protect and further their rights. A Slaveholders' Union furthers this unsettling claim by demonstrating once and for all that slavery was indeed an essential part of the foundation of the nascent republic. In this powerful book, George William Van Cleve demonstrates that the Constitution was pro-slavery in its politics, its economics, and its law. He convincingly shows that the Constitutional provisions protecting slavery were much more than mere "political" compromises--they were integral to the principles of the new nation. By the late 1780s, a majority of Americans wanted to create a strong federal republic that would be capable of expanding into a continental empire. In order for America to become an empire on such a scale, Van Cleve argues, the Southern states had to be willing partners in the endeavor, and the cost of their allegiance was the deliberate long-term protection of slavery by America's leaders through the nation's early expansion. Reconsidering the role played by the gradual abolition of slavery in the North, Van Cleve also shows that abolition there was much less progressive in its origins--and had much less influence on slavery's expansion--than previously thought. Deftly interweaving historical and political analyses, A Slaveholders' Union will likely become the definitive explanation of slavery's persistence and growth--and of its influence on American constitutional development--from the Revolutionary War through the Missouri Compromise of 1821.
Call Number: UCF Main General Collection -- KF4545.S5 F565 1996
NOTE: Online access is limited to 5 simultaneous users ch4ck availability of print edition
This text studies the attitudes of the founding "fathers" toward slavery. Specifically, it examines the views of Thomas Jefferson reflected in his life and writings and those of other founders as expressed in the Northwest Ordinance, the Constitutional Convention and the Constitution itself, and the fugitive slave legislation of the 1790s. The author contends: slavery fatally permeated the founding of the American republic; the original constitution was, as the abilitionists later maintained, "a covnenant with death"; and Jefferson's anti-slavery reputation is undeserved and most historians and biographers have prettified Jefferson's record on slavery.
Call Number: UCF Main General Collection -- KF4545.S5 W53 1977
ch4ck availability of print edition
This ambitious book examines the constitutional and legal doctrines of the antislavery movement from the eve of the American Revolution to the Wilmot Proviso and the 1848 national elections. Relating political activity to constitutional thought, William M. Wiecek surveys the antislavery societies, the ideas of their individual members, and the actions of those opposed to slavery and its expansion into the territories. He shows that the idea of constitutionalism has popular origins and was not the exclusive creation of a caste of lawyers. In offering a sophisticated examination of both sides of the argument about slavery, he not only discusses court cases and statutes, but also considers a broad range of "extrajudicial" thought, political speeches and pamphlets, legislative debates and arguments.