Debates About Slavery Essay example

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Debates Over Slavery
In 1787, delegates arrived in Philadelphia to begin work on revising the Articles of Confederation. Most states agreed that the Articles had not provided the country with the type of guidelines that it needed to run smoothly. There were many things missing, and many issues that needed further consideration. One of the most controversial topics at the Constitutional Convention was figuring out the country's policy towards slavery. When all was said and done, slavery was still legal after the Convention because the southern economy depended on it and because most people decided that this was an issue that should be decided by each individual state, rather than the country as a whole.
The issue of slavery was taken very
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Some southern states, such as Virginia and Maryland had already begun to change their laws dealing with slavery. They made laws preventing the import of more slaves into their states, and North Carolina was in the process of discussing the same thing. Many people opposed this idea, because if two or three states oppose the importation of slavery, but two or three allow it, then the law of the other two states is useless. This seeming contradiction caused many people to reaffirm the idea that this was a national issue. This brought about one of the first tests of federalism.
Once the Convention heard all the arguments and voted on all the clauses contained about slavery, the delegates concluded that slavery should still be legal. There are a few reasons why they decided this. The first major reason was that the southern economy depended on slavery to operate their plantations. If slavery were abolished, then they would lose their entire work force and would be forced to find white people to work for them instead. This is a major problem, however, since poor white people felt that they were a step up from the African slaves. They didn't want to be doing a job that was normally done by the blacks (It's important to realize that most southern people at that time felt that blacks were an inferior race, and should be treated as such). Many supporters of slavery, such as Charles Pinckney even argued that "In all ages, one-half of mankind
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