Sample Essay on the Constitution of the United States-A History

Any person who understands the American history needs to be aware that the initial American patriots who outlined the United States Constitution permitted the institution of slavery to be preserved in each document that offered a commission for global human freedoms and rights. The present essay examines ways through which the U.S constitution addressed the institution of slavery. The essay also provides evidence to show that the Constitution was a proslavery document.

The U.S. Constitution dealt with slavery in three main ways without declaring the words slave or slavery. Firstly, the three-fifths compromise counts every enslaved individual as 3/5 of a persontowards the population of the state. It enabled the white south to have more power in the House of Representatives due totheir large numberscompared to smaller Northern colonies, such as New Jersey. Secondly, the Transatlantic Slave trade clause forbade the Congress for 20 years from banning slave trade. Congress forbade the activity of importing future slaves on the first day.Nevertheless, approximately 170,000 slaves had been imported in those twenty years. The Constitution introduced a limit of ten dollars for each individual for an import tax. The clause gave individual states the freedom of choosing whether to permit the practice of importingslaves. Thirdly, slavery was tackled in the Constitution through the Fugitive Slave Law. The law required runaway slaves to be taken back, regardless of whether they made it into free-state land or not. The slaves were to be taken back to their masters upon the masters’ demand.Article 5 forbids anymodification in the instruction of the manner in which a census is to be conducted until 1808. The statementfundamentallyupholdsthe count of slaves as 3/5 of an individual until the way the census was calculated could be changed, and it could not be done before 1808(Waldstreicher).

The Constitution was a proslavery document even though it did not haveclear information on slaves and slavery. The Constitution entrenched slavery into American life than it ever had been before. It is clear that it safeguarded slavery because Congress did not have power to alter it. Slavery could only be eliminatedby amending the Constitution, which would necessitate all 13 coloniesto agree. As a result,slavery was not eradicated until the passage of an amendment after Lincolns Emancipation Proclamation speech(Waldstreicher).The constitution was a proslavery document because out of the 11 clauses in the constitution that address or contain policy inferences for slavery, 10 guard slave property and the authority of masters. Moreover, just one, the international slave-trade clause, talks about a probable future power whereby after 20 years, slavery could be reduced. However, it did not work out as expected.

The three-fifths clause, which states that three-fifths of all individuals, namely slaves, would be considered for both levy and representation, was a major benefit to the slave states.It is important to note that itnever counted five-fifths, but rather counted 60% of slaves added massively to slave-state power in the determinative years of the nation(Waldstreicher). In 1800, northern opponentstermed this event “the slave power” and requested for its dismantle.

In the past, the United States influential guidelines were proslavery since the national government was under the authority of activists of territorial expansion policies from the South, for example, Jefferson and Jackson. The two believed that blacks were incarcerated countries that eagerly needed to be liberated.


Work Cited

Waldstreicher, David. “How the Constitution Was Indeed Pro-Slavery.”The Atlantic, 19 Sep.2015, Accessed 14 April 2017.