Slavery and the Constitution

Slavery and the Constitution

The most serious criticism of the Constitution of the United States, the fundamental charter of our government, is that it originated as a proslavery document. Slavery persisted in the United States long after the adoption of the Constitution, but what position on slavery is taken in the Constitution itself? Are the 3/5ths Compromise, the fugitive slave clause, the delay on abolishing the importation of slaves, and other such provisions evidence of a pro-slavery orientation? Or are they necessary compromises designed to preserve the Union until such a time as slavery could be abolished? We will examine the provisions in the Constitution that bear on slavery, considering them through the eyes both of those who argue that it is a pro-slavery document and those who argue that it is not.

This program will be conducted as a Socratic discussion, utilizing primary source documents as the only readings, and with the Discussion Leader facilitating the conversation, instead of lecturing or presenting. Registrants, therefore, are highly encouraged to read all the documents in advance and come ready with questions. All attendees will receive a Letter of Attendance at the end of the seminar.


May 14, 2024 -
May 14, 2024
8:30 AM EDT
2:15 PM EDT
Greenville, Oh
Darke County ESC
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The Scholars

Honored Visiting Graduate Faculty at Saint Vincent College