The founding fathers knew slavery was the core question with the potential to rip the country apart. During the years following the adoption of the Constitution, the abolition movement was alive and well. Several northern states had either abolished slavery or started down the road of gradual emancipation. This chapter details a debate within Congress where it was decided that the federal government not touch the issue until 1808.
Here are some questions to consider for this section. The one with the * is required. Choose one from the other three.
1. Describe some of the things mentioned in the chapter that made the abolition of slavery highly unlikely at this time.
2. Explain the results of the 1790 census, what showed in terms of slavery, the development of the country, and the directions the north and south were headed.
3. Explain the significance of the chapters title
* This was a pivotal moment in the young republic’s history. The decision to punt the issue of slavery to another generation has ramifications that can be felt for more than a hundred years later. Why did a country built on the Declaration of Independence allow slavery to continue. Was it the right decision knowing what was at stake then and what would happen some 50 years later? If not, what do you should have been done? What do you think would have changed if this moment had been different? Speculation Time!