The Corner Stone Address By Alexander Stephens

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The Corner Stone address was a speech given on March 21st, 1861, by Alexander Stephens in the city of Savannah, Georgia. Stephens, the Vice President of the Confederacy at the time, describes the differences between the Confederacy and the United States. He delivered the speech extemporaneously, weeks before the Confederacy fired on the United States Army at Fort Sumter, thus starting the Civil War. Alexander Stephens clarifies that the enslavement of African Americans was the cornerstone of the Confederacy and explained the superior race had natural rights of slavery.
One main argument that came from Stephens ' speech was the affirmation that African American slavery, or the peculiar institution, was the direct cause of the Confederacy’s secession. He states, “The new constitution has put at rest, forever, all the agitating questions relating to our peculiar institution African slavery as it exists amongst us the proper status of the Negro in our form of civilization. This was the immediate cause of the late rupture and present revolution (Stephens)”. Slavery defined the South and it caused many problems between the slave states and the free states. Because of slavery, the new government for the South change immensely. Stephens said that the new government was based on the reality of natural inequality.
Stephens also explained that African Americans are not equal with the white man, thus putting them at the lowest rank. He clarified that the superior race, meaning whites,

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