History matters: The “federal government” did not end slavery
Let me introduce you to Florida Senate Minority Leader Chris Smith. While speaking to a TEA Party group, Smith claimed the founders wrote into the U.S. Constitution that he “wasn’t a man.” Smith is African American and he oversimplifies the issue by 100 fold.
He also mistakenly associates William Marbury – from Marbury v. Madison (1803) – as one of the Founding Fathers. That was just a slip of the tongue, but the “I wasn’t a man” comment and the fact he stated “the federal government had to step in because our Constitution is an imperfect document” was his major error.
Smith completely ignored the states. This was his real mistake since most of the TEA Party crowd knows the United States – at least during her early years – was exclusively a collective group of states where the states hold almost all of the government powers. The states lead the effort to implement Amendments!
The federal government had nothing to do with the changes to the Constitution. William Bigelow writes in Big Government.
…it was because of the 13th and 14th Amendments to the Constitution that the federal government did “step in”, not the other way around.
Of course, I buried the lede (the important part of this post) so keep reading please.
Let me remind the good senator about the actual creation of this Founding document. The three-fifths clause of the Constitution (Article I, Section 2, Clause 3) was specific to apportionment of the House of Representatives.
Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.
The Constitution referred to “free Persons” and “all other Persons,” not just black slaves. Why was Clause 3 written in this way? It was a compromise between the northern and southern states. In the south, the owners of slaves wanted to count the non-free as a full person for House apportionment reasons. Northern states – in part – did not want to count the non-free at all for the same reasons, and for the fact counting the non-free would encourage the importation of more slaves. It’s often argued the three-fifths clause was punishment for the south, but it was a compromise.
History actually turns Smith’s position on its head. Could you imagine a liberal like Smith going out and stating slave owners wanted to count slaves as a full person? He would be laughed out of every Democrat hall in the country.
It’s the truth, but liberals don’t reference the truth, they would rather manipulate history into a formulation they can use to “correct” the “uninformed” TEA Party faithful.
Please share this post not just with other conservatives. Share on Facebook and other social networking sites with all of your friends and family. Please ensure liberals and those who voted for President Obama get this message … we must be wiling to get out of our comfort zone and have these discussions!
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