• Section 7 Introduction

     |  Roots of the Slavery Crisis

    Section 7 Introduction For the Founders, equality meant that every human being is born free from the arbitrary or non-consensual political rule of any other human being. All legitimate government is hence necessarily based on the consent of the governed. The continued existence of slavery, the most extreme form of denying consent, was thus the great original flaw in the American constitutional order. It is why Thomas Jefferson wrote, "I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just." In a similar vein, Abraham Lincoln would later describe slavery as the "cancer" in the American body politic. It is obvious from the official documents and private statements collected in this section that the Founders agreed that slavery was a moral evil because it violated the ...
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