Vanderbilt Quiz On Constitution Marked Students Wrong Who Said It Was Not Designed To Perpetuate White Supremacy

The statement is wrong on a number of levels. There is no question the Constitution did not end our deeply shameful history of slavery. However, even with the Declaration of Independence figures like John Adams and Thomas Jefferson sought to address slavery.  The decision was made to accommodate slave states to secure the Declaration. The same political calculus was behind the infamous the Three-Fifths Compromise found in Article 1, Section 2, Clause 3 of the United States Constitution.

Thus, the Constitution did indeed perpetuate and protect the institution of slavery with its inherent white supremacy values.  However, that was not the “design” of the Constitution. The Three-Fifths Compromise was a fight over representation and taxation.  The decision to leave slavery unaddressed was based on the same political expediency. It was wrong. It is no excuse to secure the independence of most citizens at the cost of leaving enslaved others.  It was and remains the original sin of our nation. The design of our Constitution should have guaranteed freedom from all men and women.

Yet, the actual design of the Constitution was the Madisonian vision of shared and limited government.  It was founded on the philosophical work of figures ranging from John Locke to Montesquieu. The assertion that the design was to perpetuate slavery is revisionist and wrong.

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Author: HP McLovincraft

Seeker of rabbit holes. Pessimist. Libertine. Contrarian. Your huckleberry. Possibly true tales of sanity-blasting horror also known as abject reality. Prepare yourself.

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