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 Posted: Tue Nov 27th, 2007 12:20 pm
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Doc C
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Location:  Eastern Shore, Maryland USA
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Good to see responses. To stir the pot - states rights had every thing to do with this country's founding. One key question - did the federal govt. have control over domestic policy, as preferred by the federalists. In the minds of Jefferson/Madison (republicans), if this occurred, slavery was doomed. Many Virginians were initially staunch federalists but with time they could see the proverbial righting on the wall if they continued their support of the federalist position. The establishment of banks by the federal govt. signaled to the republicans that the govt. could extend its authority wherever it wished, thus to slavery. Again, to the founders who had overall sovereignty - the state or the federal government??

Slavery and to a certain extent treatment of native americans were very much indeed considered problems during the this period. Benjamin Franklin urged congress to take up the question of the slave trade as well as the persistence of slavery itself in any self-respecting American republic. If Washington was not concerned with the rights of native americans, why would he have devoted so much his time while president on the treaty with the Creek Nation.

The founding fathers did "diddle" with the issue of slavery. Virtually all of the most prominent founders recognized that slavery was an embarrassing contradiction that violated the principles the American Revolution claimed to stand for.

I'm not arguing that the founders did not do a good job. Where did they come up with such a strange, at the time and still today, concept as the electoral college. However, their failure to address slavery or least adopt a gradual emancipation scheme lead to the civil war and the end of the institution of slavery.

Doc C

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