Magazine May 6, 2019, Issue

The Constitution Was Never Pro-Slavery

(VisionsOfAmerica/Joe Sohm)
It was deliberately written to avoid establishing a legal precedent for ownership of human beings

In the world of the woke, the U.S. Constitution is, simply on its face, a document of racial oppression. No one less than Bernie Sanders has declared that the United States is “a nation” that in “many ways was created, and I’m sorry to have to say this, from way back, on racist principles.” Others are less sorry. Paul Finkelman, president of Gratz College in Philadelphia, argues that the Constitution deliberately intended to protect slavery, principally through its provisions for interstate extradition of fugitives from “service” (Art. 4 IV, Sec. 2), through the notorious three-fifths clause in Article I, Section

This article appears as “Slavery and the Constitution: A Defense” in the May 6, 2019, print edition of National Review.

Allen C. GuelzoMr. Guelzo is the senior research scholar in the Council of the Humanities at Princeton University and the director of the James Madison Program’s Initiative on Politics and Statesmanship.

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White House

A Justified Pardon

President Trump’s pardon of retired General Michael Flynn, who fleetingly served as his first national-security adviser, was a justified act of clemency. You don’t have to be a fan of how Trump has wielded his pardon power (often recklessly and on behalf of friends and supporters) or believe that Flynn was ... Read More
White House

A Justified Pardon

President Trump’s pardon of retired General Michael Flynn, who fleetingly served as his first national-security adviser, was a justified act of clemency. You don’t have to be a fan of how Trump has wielded his pardon power (often recklessly and on behalf of friends and supporters) or believe that Flynn was ... Read More
Elections

The Stolen-Election Narrative Needs to End

Happy Cyber Monday! On the menu today: The president speculates that the U.S. Department of Justice and FBI may be involved in the effort to steal the election from him; China hopes that you and the rest of the world forget how the pandemic started; and the 2020 edition of the annual NR Cyber Monday shopping ... Read More
Elections

The Stolen-Election Narrative Needs to End

Happy Cyber Monday! On the menu today: The president speculates that the U.S. Department of Justice and FBI may be involved in the effort to steal the election from him; China hopes that you and the rest of the world forget how the pandemic started; and the 2020 edition of the annual NR Cyber Monday shopping ... Read More
Immigration

What Now for Trump’s Border Wall?

The verdict on the U.S.–Mexico border wall President Trump promised to construct is decidedly mixed as the year comes to a close. The “big, beautiful wall,” as Trump referred to it, reached 400 miles in length by the end of October, when the Department of Homeland Security held a ceremony hailing the ... Read More
Immigration

What Now for Trump’s Border Wall?

The verdict on the U.S.–Mexico border wall President Trump promised to construct is decidedly mixed as the year comes to a close. The “big, beautiful wall,” as Trump referred to it, reached 400 miles in length by the end of October, when the Department of Homeland Security held a ceremony hailing the ... Read More