The Confederate Constitution and Slavery – Butler history 1 of 8

The Confederate Constitution and Slavery

Many people in the 19th Century believed that slavery would die out naturally. For most of

Jefferson Davis, “President” of the Confederate States of America. Davis, like many others, wanted to preserve slavery in the southern states and extend it westward.

his own life, President Abraham Lincoln believed the institution would be abandoned without war. To this day, historians still argue whether slavery would have died out or if it would indeed have been extended to the Pacific Ocean if the southern states had won. From the very text of the Confederate Constitution, there appears to be no intention of leaving slavery behind:

The Confederate States may acquire new territory…. In all such territory the institution of negro slavery, as it now exists in the Confederate States, shall be recognized and protected by Congress and by the Territorial government; and the inhabitants of the several Confederate States and Territories shall have the right to take to such Territory any slaves lawfully held by them in any of the States or Territories of the Confederate States.

Confederate Constitution, Article 4, Section 3, Clause 3

The Confederate Constitution was adopted on March 11th, 1861. Many argued (and still argue) that the war was not about slavery, but rather about states rights. In truth, the southern cause was to break up the United States and preserve states rights to own slaves, thus attempting to perpetuate that terrible institution far into posterity.


By: Will Sullivan


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