Slavery Dbq

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The increasingly bitter political and legal conflicts over slavery in the 1840’s and 50’s revealed fundamental defects in the United States Constitution that became pro slavery from the start. With the absence of a clear definition of citizenship, emphasis on states’ rights, and limitations of federal power; the constitution became subject to numerous manipulations from the south, that allowed slavery to persist because of the permission of the United States Constitution. Firstly, the founding fathers specifically emphasized the power of states to ensure the unification of the Union as the southern states feared a possible interference on slavery from the federal government. The 10th Amendment was in pursuance to outline the powers of the …show more content…

The citizenship issue was brought to light in one of the most famous supreme court cases, Dred Scott v. Stanford. Dred Scott was a slave who bought him and his family’s freedoms. He sued his former owner over unpaid wages again and again, until The Supreme Court ruled that people of African descent could not be United States Citizens, and are unable to sue in court. Before this, the constitution had no verbiage of what a makes a person a United States citizen. This proves problematic as the constitution is filled with rights citizens can have, but somehow misses the criteria of who can have those rights. Because of Dred v Scott, Slaves and free black people had no constitutional power because they were not citizens. Without the right to press, petition, and speech, how does one create societal change in a democratic government that doesn’t deem you as one of their own. If you are not allowed to freely express your ideas and have them legally fought for, what good is it to fight for your rights as a human being when you don’t have them. The omission of citizenship in the constitution allows the federal and state governments to create erroneous citizenship laws that hinder black people from living their lives and fighting for what they believe

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