Civil Rights Class Week 3

Why are black people still fighting for civil rights in america?

Activist Ericka Huggins sits down with BAYCAT to discuss the cultural climate and how some of the issues of today have roots in those from past generations.

Between 1492 and 1820 10 million people entered the “new wold” and about 7.7 million were enslaved Africans.

Noble-status = living with out the need to work

Mestizos – person of mixed origin (Spanish colonizers could marry ingenious or African legally by 1514) (children at free)

Mulatto – mixed race in British North America treated as black (children at enslaved )

Métis – children of marriages between French colonizers and ingenious or African women (children at free)

Three Race System – “races” of “savage” Indians, “subhuman” Africans, and “white” men. The social inventions succeeded in uniting the white colonists, dispossessing and marginalizing native people, and permanently enslaving most African-descended people for generations.

Civil Religion ~ “an institutionalized collection of sacred American beliefs providing sources of cohesion and prophetic guidance through times of national crises.” Central to the American civil religion are two eighteenth-century documents: the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution and, later, Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. Around these documents, and linked with them in the religion, are a limited number of historical figures—for all Americans, the Founding Fathers; for most Americans, also Abraham Lincoln.

Since 1998 and a DNA study, most historians have accepted that Thomas Jefferson repeatedly raped Sally Hemings, and fathered six childre from her, four of whom survived to adulthood.

President Thomas Jefferson was a slave rapist, child sex trafficker, and architect of American democracy. Sarah “Sally” Hemings (c. 1773 – 1835) was a biracial enslaved woman who was owned by Jefferson. Multiple lines of evidence, including modern DNA analyses, indicate that Jefferson repeatedly raped Hemmings over the span of many years, and he was the father of her six children. Hemings was a half-sister of Jefferson’s late wife, Martha Jefferson (née Wayles). Four of Hemings’ children survived into adulthood. Hemings died in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 1835. [Stockman, Farah (June 16, 2018). “Monticello Is Done Avoiding Jefferson’s Relationship With Sally Hemings”. The New York Times. Retrieved July 15, 2018.]

1792 – Jefferson calculated that Monticello was making a 4 percent profit every year on the birth of black children. Jefferson wrote, “I allow nothing for losses by death, but, on the contrary, shall presently take credit four per cent. per annum, for their increase over and above keeping up their own numbers.” His plantation was producing inexhaustible human assets.

In the 1970s, when economists taking a hardheaded look at slavery found that on the eve of the Civil War, enslaved black people, in the aggregate, formed the second most valuable capital asset in the United States. David Brion Davis sums up their findings: “In 1860, the value of Southern slaves was about three times the amount invested in manufacturing or railroads nationwide.”

partus sequitur ventured -legal doctrine passed in colonial Virginia in 1662 and other English crown colonies in the Americas which defined the legal status of children born there; the doctrine mandated that all children would inherit the legal status of their mothers. The doctrine also meant that multiracial children with white mothers were born free.

Runaway advertisement for Ona, The Philadelphia Gazette & Universal Daily Advertiser (Philadelphia), May 24, 1796.

President George Washington was “Father of the country, “ ensalver of black people [At 11 years of age, upon the death of his father in 1743, Washington inherited his first ten slaves. ] and relentless hunter of Ona “Oney” Judge Staines (while he was president!). She was enslaved by him and liberated herself in 1796 and lived as a fugitive slave in New Hampshire for the rest of her life. [“Washington’s Runaway Slave”, The Granite Freeman, Concord, New Hampshire (May 22, 1845), President’s House, Independence Hall Association, US, accessed 11 February 2011]

The young George Washington did not seem destined for greatness. Born as the third son by his father’s second wife, young George at the age of five or six was “breech,” that is, dressed as an adult and given a slave of his own. He eventually sought his fortune by marrying into wealth. He bought and sold slaves as a dandy landowner. He was known for his horsemanship, not only in fox hunting, but also in the Revolutionary War. Less well known is that always by his side in that war was Billy Lee, a slave every bit as accomplished an equestrian as Washington.

Blacks were 20% of Washington’s army during the revolution.

President Abraham Lincoln, a white supremacist, made those remarks on 18 September 1858.

“I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races … I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of Negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races from living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be a position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race.”

President Abraham Lincoln, a white supremacist, made those remarks on 18 September 1858 at the beginning of his opening speech at the fourth of seven famous debates with Stephen Douglas, during Lincoln’s unsuccessful campaign for the U.S. Senate in Illinois. Lincoln had been under attack from Democrats who accused him of supporting racial equality, and his comments were a defense against those allegations. The accounts published at the time in two Illinois newspapers — the Republican Chicago Press and Tribune and the Democratic Chicago Times — often diverged along partisan lines, according to Rodney Davis and Douglas Wilson’s annotated “Lincoln-Douglas Debates” (page vii.)

W.E.B. Dubois explains in The Souls of Black Folks the duality that African Americans often face, the feeling of “two-ness—as an American, a Negro, two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings, the ‘soul at war with the spirit.'”

Massachusetts = puritan, merchant-dominated colonial government

Royal African Company -1660 given a monopoly on slave trade which continued to engage in slave trading until 1731, when it switched to trafficking in gold dust and ivory

Gullah– a language that mixed various African roots

Before the Civil War, moneyed men tended to support the Democrats, for the big money in the country was in the cotton enterprises of the leading enslavers in the American South, and they expressed their political power through the Democratic Party, which promised to protect and nurture the institution of human enslavement. Indeed, when soldiers of the Confederacy fired on Fort Sumter in the harbor of Charleston, South Carolina, in April 1861, it was not clear at all whether bankers in New York City would back the United States or the southern rebels. After all, the South was the wealthiest region of the country, and the North had just undergone the devastating Panic of 1857. Southern leaders laughed that without the South, northerners would starve.

Heather Cox Richardson

Homework 1:

Watch a CNN interview here:

Listen to an NPR recording The Founding Fathers, Slavery and Black Patriotism here:

Jefferson’s Views on Race Assignment.

  1. According to Roger Wilkins, how did Thomas Jefferson view Black people?
  2. What did Thomas Jefferson say about the institution of slavery in Notes on the State of Virginia?
  3. How did Jefferson’s description of slavery compare to his description of Black people?

1. Some of the most racist writings of the times came from Jefferson’s pen. He was an aggressive and vindictive racist. Enslaving people enabled Jefferson to be the “poet of freedom.” They allowed him the leisure to write, to reflect and to engage in lavish living. Despite his dependence upon them, Jefferson was not kind in his description of blacks. In his Notes on Virginia, Jefferson found blacks to be “uglier,” “smellier” and “dumber” than others, Roger Wilkins said. For all of Jefferson’s piety, Wilkins noted, he was a harsh slave owner. Jefferson railed against miscegenation while evidence shows that he participated in it. When questioned about the elimination of slavery, Jefferson could only reply: “What we need to do is get white replacements.”

2. “God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that his justice cannot sleep forever. Commerce between master and slave is despotism.” – This passage is taken from Notes on the State of Virginia.

Jefferson’s Autobiography, “Nothing is more certainly written in the book of fate than that these people are to be freeNor is it less certain that the two races, equally free, cannot live in the same government. Nature, habit, opinion has drawn indelible lines of distinction between them.” (Emphasis added.)

In short, these people are to be free, and then deported. Jefferson’s teaching on that matter is quite clear and often repeated.

In 1778 Jefferson wrote significant additions to the slave codes designed to prevent the increase of the state’s free Negro population. It was to be illegal for free Negroes to come into Virginia of their own accord or to remain there for more than one year after they were emancipated. A white woman having a child by a Negro would be required to leave the state within a year. The individual who violated these regulations would be placed “out of the protection of the laws.” This would have left them subject to re-enslavement or even to murder at the whim of their neighbors and was, therefore, a most severe punishment. The new codes did not pass.

In theory, Jefferson’s “solution” to slavery consisted of “colonization”: the deportation of all the freed blacks from the United States, preferably back to Africa.

William Cohen: The entire body of Jefferson’s writings shows that he never seriously considered the possibility of any form of racial coexistence on the basis of equality and that, from at least 1778 until his death, he saw colonization as the only alternative to slavery.

Cohen writes: In 1824 Jefferson argued that there were a million and a half slaves in the nation and that no one conceived it to be “practicable for us, or expedient for them” to send all the blacks away at once. He then went on to calculate: Their estimated value as property, in the first place, (for actual property has been lawfully vested in that form, and who can lawfully take it from the possessors?) at an average of two hundred dollars each … would amount to six hundred millions of dollars which must be paid or lost by somebody. To this add the cost of their transportation by land and sea to Mesurado [the west coast of Liberia], a year’s provision of food and clothes, implements of husbandry and of their trades, which will amount to three hundred millions more … and it is impossible to look at the question a second time.

Since African colonization seemed an impossibility, Jefferson suggested a plan which entailed “emancipating the afterborn, leaving them, on due compensation, with their mothers, until their services are worth their maintenance, and putting them to industrious occupations until a proper age for deportation.” The individuals who would be “freed” immediately after their birth would eventually be sent to Santo Domingo which, according to the newspapers, had recently offered to open its doors to such persons. In effect, Jefferson was proposing that the federal government buy all newborn slaves from their owners (at twelve dollars and fifty cents each) and that it pay for their “nurture with the mother [for] a few years.” Beyond this, the plan would not cost the government anything, for the young blacks would then work for their maintenance until deported. Santo Domingo had offered to bear the cost of passage.

He writes: Jefferson was a man of many dimensions, and any explanation of his behavior must contain a myriad of seeming contradictions. He was a sincere and dedicated foe of the slave trade who bought and sold men whenever he found it personally necessary. He believed that all men were entitled to life and liberty regardless of their abilities, yet he tracked down those slaves who had the courage to take their rights by running away. He believed that slavery was morally and politically wrong, but still he wrote a slave code for his state and opposed a national attempt in 1819 to limit the further expansion of the institution. He believed that one hour of slavery was worse than ages of British oppression, yet he was able to discuss the matter of slave breeding in much the same terms that one would use when speaking of the propagation of dogs and horses.

3. While Jefferson called slavery a moral depravity and believed the institution ran contrary to the laws of nature, and of nature’s God, he believed it would be dangerous to suddenly free all enslaved people at once. He feared racial conflict would erupt. He feared such a radical change would result in harm both to enslaved people and to white citizens. Jefferson believed blacks were inferior to whites.

Jefferson’s vision of the future America—after the hypothetical abolition of slavery by the slaveowners themselves—was a lily-white one. All the ex-slaves were to be deported to Africa. In the meantime, free blacks had to be eliminated from Virginia. Jefferson’s proposals for their elimination were too draconian to be stomached even by his fellow slaveowners. His proposed (and rejected) amendments to the Virginia legal code included a recommendation for penalizing what Virginia slaveowners called miscegenation, by which they always meant sexual intercourse between black men and white women, never between white men and black women—an event of frequent but unmentionable occurrence. Jefferson made provision for the case of a white woman who might bear a mulatto child. Both the mother and her child were to leave Virginia within a year of the birth. In the event of their failure to do so, mother and child were declared to be “out of the protection of the laws.” In the circumstances that proposition was a license for lynching—for the physical destruction of mother and child by any Virginian who might care to do the job. Volunteers would not be lacking.

The Jeffersonian doctrine of no free blacks in America was a doctrine of apartheid for America. []

More Jefferson notes:

Isaac Granger Jefferson, an enslaved blacksmith

Jefferson owned over 600 enslaved people during his lifetime, the most of any U.S. president.

Jefferson was also the president who established the Native American policy, which simply stated was “move or die.”

Jefferson’s maxim ‘The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants’ inspired the Oklahoma City bombing.

(The words were actually written in November of 1787, before the federal government came into existence, and they were about a rebellion against the State of Massachusetts.)

Dr. Steven Hochman (identified as a Jefferson scholar): “What Jefferson is saying is that it is a fact that in order to preserve freedom, you’re going to have a situation where there is violence—as a wake-up call, you might say, to the leaders.”

1786 Virginia Bill for Religious Freedom (forerunner of the first amendment ):. God hath created the mind free, that no person can be compelled to attend any church or support it with his taxes (An individual is free to worship as he pleases with no discrimination) and new laws can not end religious freedom. []

Homework 2:

The Constitution and Race

Read the following parts of the Constitution, a copy of which is attached.

  • Article I, Section 2
  • Article I, Section 9
  • Article IV, Section 2
  • Article V
The Annenberg Guide to the United States Constitution

Article I, Section 2:

The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States, and the Electors in each State shall have the Qualifications requisite for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State Legislature.

No Person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the Age of twenty five Years, and been seven Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen.

[Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.]1 The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct. The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand, but each State shall have at Least one Representative; and until such enumeration shall be made, the State of New Hampshire shall be entitled to chuse three, Massachusetts eight, Rhode-Island and Providence Plantations one, Connecticut five, New-York six, New Jersey four, Pennsylvania eight, Delaware one, Maryland six, Virginia ten, North Carolina five, South Carolina five, and Georgia three.

When vacancies happen in the Representation from any State, the Executive Authority thereof shall issue Writs of Election to fill such Vacancies.

The House of Representatives shall chuse their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.

1Modified by Amendment XIV, Section 2.

Meaning – Article I, Section 2, specifies that the House of Representatives be composed of members who are chosen every two years by the people of the states. There are only three qualifications: a representative must be at least 25 years old, have been a citizen of the United States for at least seven years, and must live in the state from which they are chosen.

Article I, Section 2, also specifies other operating rules for the House of Representatives. When a House member dies or resigns during the term, the governor of that state may call for a special election to fill the vacancy. The House of Representatives chooses its own speaker, who is in line to become president, if neither the president nor the vice president is able to serve.

Three-fifths compromise, compromise agreement between delegates from the Northern and the Southern states at the United States Constitutional Convention (1787) that three-fifths of the slave population would be counted for determining direct taxation and representation in the House of Representatives

Lastly, this section specifies that only the House of Representatives holds the power of impeachment. House members may charge a president, vice president or any civil officer of the United States with “Treason, Bribery or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.” A trial on the charges is then held in the Senate.

Article I, Section 9

The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a Tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person.

The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.

No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.

No capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid,[unless in Proportion to the Census or Enumeration herein before directed to be taken.5

No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any State.

No Preference shall be given by any Regulation of Commerce or Revenue to the Ports of one State over those of another: nor shall Vessels bound to, or from, one State, be obliged to enter, clear, or pay Duties in another.

No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.

No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.

5 Modified by Amendment XVI.


Article I, Section 9 specifically prohibits Congress from legislating in certain areas. In the first clause, the Constitution bars Congress from banning the importation of slaves before 1808.

In the second and third clauses, the Constitution specifically guarantees rights to those accused of crimes. It provides that the privilege of a writ of habeas corpus, which allows a prisoner to challenge his or her imprisonment in court, cannot be suspended except in extreme circumstances such as rebellion or invasion, where the public is in danger. Suspension of the writ of habeas corpus has occurred only a few times in history. For example, President Lincoln suspended the writ during the Civil War. In 1871, it was suspended in nine counties in South Carolina to combat the Ku Klux Klan.

Similarly, the Constitution specifically prohibits bills of attainder — laws that are directed against a specific person or group of persons, making them automatically guilty of serious crimes, such as treason, without a normal court proceeding. The ban is intended to prevent Congress from bypassing the courts and denying criminal defendants the protections guaranteed by other parts of the Constitution.

In addition, the Constitution prohibits “ex post facto” laws — criminal laws that make an action illegal after someone has already taken it. This protection guarantees that individuals are warned ahead of time that their actions are illegal.

The provision in the fourth clause prohibiting states from imposing direct taxes was changed by Amendment XVI, which gives Congress the power to impose a federal income tax. To ensure equality among the states, the Constitution prohibits states from imposing taxes on goods coming into their state from another state and from favoring the ports of one state over the ports of others.

Article I, Section 9, also requires that Congress produce a regular accounting of the monies the federal government spends. Rejecting the monarchy of England, the Constitution also specifically prohibits Congress from granting a title of nobility to any person and prohibits public officials from accepting a title of nobility, office, or gift from any foreign country or monarch without congressional approval.

Article IV, Section 2

The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States. A Person charged in any State with Treason, Felony, or other Crime, who shall flee from Justice, and be found in another State, shall on Demand of the executive Authority of the State from which he fled, be delivered up, to be removed to the State having Jurisdiction of the Crime.

[No Person held to Service or Labour in one State, under the Laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in Consequence of any Law or Regulation therein, be discharged from such Service or Labour, but shall be delivered up on Claim of the Party to whom such Service or Labour may be due.]10

10 Modified by Amendment XIII.

Meaning: – Article IV, Section 2 guarantees that states cannot discriminate against citizens of other states. States must give people from other states the same fundamental rights it gives its own citizens. For example, Arizona cannot prohibit New Mexico residents from traveling, owning property, or working in Arizona, nor can the state impose substantially different taxes on residents and nonresidents. But certain distinctions between residents and nonresidents— such as giving state residents a right to buy a hunting license at a lower cost— are permitted.

Article IV, Section 2 also establishes rules for when an alleged criminal flees to another state. It provides that the second state is obligated to return the fugitive to the state where the crime was committed. The process used to return fugitives (extradition) was first created by Congress and originally enforced by the governors of each state. Today courts enforce the return of accused prisoners. Fugitives do not need to have been charged with the crime in the first state in order to be captured in the second and sent back. Once returned, the state can charge the accused with any crime for which there is evidence.

In contrast, when a foreign country returns a fugitive to a state for trial, the state is only allowed to try the fugitive on the charges named in the extradition papers (the formal, written request for the fugitive’s return).

The fugitives from labor provision gave slave owners a nearly absolute right to recapture runaway slaves who fled to another state, even if slavery was outlawed in that state. This also meant that state laws in free states intended to protect runaway slaves were unconstitutional because they interfered with the slave owner’s right to the slave’s return. The adoption of Amendment XIII, which abolishes slavery and prohibits involuntary servitude, nullified this provision.

Article V ~ The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.

Meaning: Realizing that over time the nation may want to make changes to the Constitution, Article V establishes the amendment process. But unlike laws and regulations, which can be passed or amended by a simple majority of those voting in Congress, the Constitution is difficult to change. An amendment can be offered in one of two ways: when two-thirds of the Senate (67 of 100 senators) and two-thirds of the House of Representatives (290 of 435 representatives) call for a change to be made; or when two-thirds of the states (34 of 50 states) call for a national constitutional convention (a gathering of representatives of each state) to make a change.

Once the amendment is proposed, three-fourths of the state legislatures or state conventions (38 of 50 states) must vote to approve (ratify) the change. An amendment becomes effective when the necessary states have ratified it.

The article also forbids three specific amendments: that would deny a state its votes in the Senate, that before 1808 would enable Congress to prohibit the importation of slaves and that before 1808 would allow direct taxation except as based on the system of enumeration set out in Article I, Section 2. As a result, the three-fifths compromise contained in Article I, Section 9 remained in place until 1808 when Congress banned the international slave trade.


Although these four key provisions of the Constitution dealt with slavery, the words “slave and “slavery” were not mentioned a single time. In each case, “Person” or “Persons” appear as euphemisms for slaves and slavery.

In its draft form, Article I, Section 9 referred to “prohibiting the importation of slaves,” but the word was struck and “Persons” substituted. The first direct mention of slavery in the Constitution appeared 1865, when the Thirteenth Amendment was ratified.

What is the three-fifths clause in the Constitution?

Image result for 3 fifths compromise

Three-Fifths Clause” dictated that for purposes of representation in the House of Representatives African-American slaves were to be counted as less than full persons.

13th Amendment
  • Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
  • Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Meaning: In 1863, based on his war powers (see Article II, Section 2), President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed the slaves held within any designated state and part of a state in rebellion against the United States. The Proclamation provided “all persons held as slaves . . . are, and henceforward shall be free . . . ” Because the Proclamation did not address slaves held in the Northern states, there were questions about its validity. Following the end of the fighting, on February 1, 1865, Congress passed the Thirteenth Amendment and forwarded it to the states. It was ratified on December 18, 1865. The Thirteenth Amendment was the first of three Reconstruction Era amendments (the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth) that eliminated slavery, guaranteed due process, equal protection and voting rights to all Americans. By its adoption, Congress intended the Thirteenth Amendment to take the question of emancipation away from politics. The Supreme Court found in In Re Slaughter-House Cases, that the “word servitude is of larger meaning than slavery . . . and the obvious purpose was to forbid all shades and conditions of African slavery.” Although some may have questioned whether persons other than African Americans could share in the amendment’s protection, the Court held that the amendment “forbids any other kind of slavery, now or hereafter. If Mexican peonage (the practice of forcing someone to work against one’s will to pay off a debt) or the Chinese coolie labor system shall develop slavery of the Mexican or Chinese race within our territory, this amendment may safely be trusted to make it void.” In more recent cases, the Supreme Court has defined involuntary servitude broadly to forbid work forced by the use or threat of physical restraint or injury or through law. But the Supreme Court has rejected claims that define mandatory community service, taxation, and the draft as involuntary servitude.

The Revolutionary Era
Around 1750, the British mainland American colonies had a population of approximately 1.5 million. In addition to settlers from Great Britain, a steady stream of German immigrants began to arrive in the late 1600s and reached its peak between 1749 and 1754, when more than 5,000 Germans arrived annually. Each year 3,500 black captives arrived from Africa or the Caribbean. Nearly 1 in 5 Americans, or 300,000 people, were enslaved. Poverty in Northern Ireland forced a massive flight of Scots-Irish to the colonies. The majority of white colonists resided in the North, but the majority of black people lived in the South, driving agricultural economies based on tobacco in Virginia and Maryland and on rice along the coasts of South Carolina and Georgia.

Class notes February 11, 2022:

Commonwealth = Power of the people “We have the right to govern ourselves.” [Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Virginia & Kentucky ]

In PA, slavery was not the primary source of the economy. Politically it was a question of property ownership. Ending slavery affected few white people, but they were the wealthy white property owners.

Property rights – the liberty to own land – is the most significant thing in United States historical culture.

Hippopotamuses are fiercely territorial and kill about 3,000 humans each year.

The Parts of the U.S. Constitution

The Preamble

“We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our prosperity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

The Preamble defines the following six goals:

  1. ) “to form a more perfect union” – They hoped to construct a stronger and more effective government than the Articles of Confederation.
  2. ) “establish justice” – Form, or create, a better system of courts and trial system.
  3. ) “ensure domestic tranquility” – Keep peace between the different states.
  4. ) “provide for the common defense” – Defend the nation from threats and others that will do the nation harm or evil.
  5. ) “promote the general welfare” – Guard the right of the people to work for a high standard of living, or good living conditions.
  6. ) “secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.” – Safeguard the same freedom for themselves and generations of Americans to come.


  • Article I – Outlines the Legislative Branch
  • Article II – Outlines the Executive Branch
  • Article III – Outlines the Judicial Branch
  • Article IV – Defines the rules for and relationship between the states
  • Article V – States the rules and procedures for amending the Constitution
  • Article VI – Declares that the Constitution is the Supreme law of the land
  • Article VII – Outlines the process for ratifying, or approving, the Constitution


  • The Bill of Rights – The first ten amendments
  • Additional Amendments – Amendments 11 through 27

3 fifths comprise / slaves counted as 3 fifths of a white person, women counted but could not vote and Native Americans did not count and were not taxed.

The expansion of slavery

Words matter.

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