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The Founding Fathers and Slavery

For discussion and debate about anything. (Not a roleplay related forum; out-of-character commentary only.)

Why didn't the founders emancipate the slaves? (Yes, this is the same question rephrased)

Racism
5
14%
Apathy
3
8%
Inability
18
49%
Selfishness
6
16%
Other
5
14%
 
Total votes : 37

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Cordel One
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Liberal Democratic Socialists

The Founding Fathers and Slavery

Postby Cordel One » Mon Oct 19, 2020 8:55 pm

Hopefully this will contain my debate with San Lumen to one thread.

As much as Americans love to glorify the freedoms the Founding Fathers gave them with the Constitution, it's important to remember not everyone was free to enjoy these new liberties. Not only were women denied the right to vote, slavery remained a legal institution within the United States. Why did the founders allow slavery to remain? Was it apathy, was it the inability to do so, or was it white supremacy?


I believe they never intended to release the slaves. Less famous founders aside, Washington owned slaves (though he did free most) and had dentures of slave teeth, Jefferson raped one of his slaves, and very few founders even bothered to suggest such a thing.

Keep in mind I'm referring to the decisions of the founders collectively when I call them terrible. That doesn't mean there weren't a few individuals who did care.
Last edited by Cordel One on Sat Oct 24, 2020 9:34 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Kowani
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Postby Kowani » Mon Oct 19, 2020 8:56 pm

oh no
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Cordel One
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Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Cordel One » Mon Oct 19, 2020 8:56 pm

Kowani wrote:oh no

oh yes
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Animu Place
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Postby Animu Place » Mon Oct 19, 2020 8:59 pm

sadly this was normal back in the day

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San Lumen
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Postby San Lumen » Mon Oct 19, 2020 9:02 pm

As I explained to you. It was impossible to have abolished slavery in 1787. The southern states would have never gone for it. They would have walked out of the convention.

Jefferson wanted to admonish slavery in the Declaration of Independence but was persuaded not to by Adams and Franklin. The exact reasons for its removal are unknown.

The same reason they didn;t induce women's suffrage. it was not a widely held belief at the time nor was it something on many peoples radar.

The fact that we got the three fifths compromise is feat. It doesn't make what they did right but it was the best they could come up with at the time and not blow up the convention. That clause was repealed by the 14th amendment.
Last edited by San Lumen on Mon Oct 19, 2020 9:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Borderlands of Rojava
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Democratic Socialists

Postby Borderlands of Rojava » Mon Oct 19, 2020 9:03 pm

The founding fathers were racists and hypocrites.

There, I pointed out the elephant in the room.
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Borderlands of Rojava
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Postby Borderlands of Rojava » Mon Oct 19, 2020 9:04 pm

San Lumen wrote:As I explained to you. It was impossible to have abolished slavery in 1787. The southern states would have never gone for it. They would have walked out of the convention.

Jefferson wanted to admonish slavery in the Declaration of Independence but was persuaded not to by Adams and Franklin. The exact reasons for its removal are unknown.

The same reason they didn;t induce women's suffrage. it was not a widely held belief at the time nor was it something on many peoples radar.

The fact that we got the three fifths compromise is feat. It doesn't make what they did right but it was the best they could come up with at the time and not blow up the convention. That clause was repealed by the 14th amendment.


"Nows not a good time. Maybe later we can fight for rights" a common refrain from those who won't stand up.
Leftist, commie and Antifa Guy If you don't think tanks are always the answer, you're big dumb

"The devil is out there. Hiding behind every corner and in every nook and cranny. In all of the dives, all over the city. Before you lays an entire world of enemies, and at day's end when the chips are down, we're a society of strangers. You cant walk by someone on the street anymore without crossing the road to get away from their stare. Welcome to the Twilight Zone. The land of plague and shadow. Nothing innocent survives this world. If it can't corrupt you, it'll kill you."

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Eukaryotic Cells
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Postby Eukaryotic Cells » Mon Oct 19, 2020 9:05 pm

I don't think it's an either/or. There was considerable difference in opinion between the Founding Fathers on slavery, so ascribing intent to them in broad strokes is problematic.

I don't think that the formation of the US would have been possible if they insisted on banning slavery. If the Deep South remained loyal to the British and Canada joined the Union instead, banning slavery right away or early on might have been possible.
Last edited by Eukaryotic Cells on Mon Oct 19, 2020 9:41 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Parxland
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Postby Parxland » Mon Oct 19, 2020 9:06 pm

The First post is half-assed and ill-thought. The poster should be ashamed to have demonstrate so little intelligence with their text. I strongly encourage the poster to strengthen their empathy before revisiting this subject, since they're liable to get punched in the face if they dare to air this 'opinion' in real life to the wrong party.
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San Lumen
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Postby San Lumen » Mon Oct 19, 2020 9:06 pm

Borderlands of Rojava wrote:
San Lumen wrote:As I explained to you. It was impossible to have abolished slavery in 1787. The southern states would have never gone for it. They would have walked out of the convention.

Jefferson wanted to admonish slavery in the Declaration of Independence but was persuaded not to by Adams and Franklin. The exact reasons for its removal are unknown.

The same reason they didn;t induce women's suffrage. it was not a widely held belief at the time nor was it something on many peoples radar.

The fact that we got the three fifths compromise is feat. It doesn't make what they did right but it was the best they could come up with at the time and not blow up the convention. That clause was repealed by the 14th amendment.


"Nows not a good time. Maybe later we can fight for rights" a common refrain from those who won't stand up.

It simply wasn't possible in 1787. The south would have walked out of the convention.

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Nanatsu no Tsuki
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Postby Nanatsu no Tsuki » Mon Oct 19, 2020 9:06 pm

San Lumen wrote:As I explained to you. It was impossible to have abolished slavery in 1787. The southern states would have never gone for it. They would have walked out of the convention.

Jefferson wanted to admonish slavery in the Declaration of Independence but was persuaded not to by Adams and Franklin. The exact reasons for its removal are unknown.

The same reason they didn;t induce women's suffrage. it was not a widely held belief at the time nor was it something on many peoples radar.

The fact that we got the three fifths compromise is feat. It doesn't make what they did right but it was the best they could come up with at the time and not blow up the convention. That clause was repealed by the 14th amendment.


I must point out that slavery abolition wasn’t unheard of at the time, Lumen. Heck, Portugal abolished slavery there and its Indian colonies in 1761.
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Nilokeras
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Left-wing Utopia

Postby Nilokeras » Mon Oct 19, 2020 9:07 pm

This is the fundamental hypocrisy that is a cancer in the heart of the American ideological and political enterprise: of a bunch of landed aristocrats that genuinely believed in the sort of Enlightenment ideas of liberty and equality that they put down on paper, but who were utterly dependent on and enmeshed in a slave society that could not even begin to conceive a America without slavery or racial equality or the wholesale extermination of the First Peoples of the continent. The project of trying to reconcile those two impulses has consumed American political thought since the beginning, and lead pretty directly to its later history of colonialism and imperialism across the world.
Last edited by Nilokeras on Mon Oct 19, 2020 9:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Neanderthaland
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Left-wing Utopia

Postby Neanderthaland » Mon Oct 19, 2020 9:08 pm

Nanatsu no Tsuki wrote:
San Lumen wrote:As I explained to you. It was impossible to have abolished slavery in 1787. The southern states would have never gone for it. They would have walked out of the convention.

Jefferson wanted to admonish slavery in the Declaration of Independence but was persuaded not to by Adams and Franklin. The exact reasons for its removal are unknown.

The same reason they didn;t induce women's suffrage. it was not a widely held belief at the time nor was it something on many peoples radar.

The fact that we got the three fifths compromise is feat. It doesn't make what they did right but it was the best they could come up with at the time and not blow up the convention. That clause was repealed by the 14th amendment.


I must point out that slavery abolition wasn’t unheard of at the time, Lumen. Heck, Portugal abolished slavery there and its Indian colonies in 1761.

...meanwhile, in Brazil.
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Monsone
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Postby Monsone » Mon Oct 19, 2020 9:08 pm

The Founding Father's held "conventional" and "mainstream" views for their time. Sadly those views normalized slavery, sexism, bigotry, racism, etc. But that was the typical viewpoint held by many. Were there abolitionists back in the late 18th century? Yes. Were there feminists? Yes. But they were a small minority that held little power. Yet the main reason that slavery wasn't abolished was for economic reasons. Many founding fathers and many powerful supporters of the revolution owned slaves, there was no reason to give up economically beneficial free labor. Add in the fact that is wasn't really in their mindset to necessarily get rid of slavery along with a lack of incentives to do so, and you have the perfect storm to defer the act 15 presidents down the line
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Nanatsu no Tsuki
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Postby Nanatsu no Tsuki » Mon Oct 19, 2020 9:09 pm

Neanderthaland wrote:
Nanatsu no Tsuki wrote:
I must point out that slavery abolition wasn’t unheard of at the time, Lumen. Heck, Portugal abolished slavery there and its Indian colonies in 1761.

...meanwhile, in Brazil.


Yeah, there slavery continued until 1854, give or take.
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Eukaryotic Cells
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Postby Eukaryotic Cells » Mon Oct 19, 2020 9:10 pm

Nanatsu no Tsuki wrote:
San Lumen wrote:As I explained to you. It was impossible to have abolished slavery in 1787. The southern states would have never gone for it. They would have walked out of the convention.

Jefferson wanted to admonish slavery in the Declaration of Independence but was persuaded not to by Adams and Franklin. The exact reasons for its removal are unknown.

The same reason they didn;t induce women's suffrage. it was not a widely held belief at the time nor was it something on many peoples radar.

The fact that we got the three fifths compromise is feat. It doesn't make what they did right but it was the best they could come up with at the time and not blow up the convention. That clause was repealed by the 14th amendment.


I must point out that slavery abolition wasn’t unheard of at the time, Lumen. Heck, Portugal abolished slavery there and its Indian colonies in 1761.

True, although the US wasn't there yet. They had a huge slave-owning planter class and many people saw little issue with enslaving people of African descent.

Economic considerations drive many decisions. For example, the Japanese-Americans living in Hawaii were not interned on a wide scale, mainly because they formed an important part of the labor market there.

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San Lumen
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Postby San Lumen » Mon Oct 19, 2020 9:11 pm

Nanatsu no Tsuki wrote:
San Lumen wrote:As I explained to you. It was impossible to have abolished slavery in 1787. The southern states would have never gone for it. They would have walked out of the convention.

Jefferson wanted to admonish slavery in the Declaration of Independence but was persuaded not to by Adams and Franklin. The exact reasons for its removal are unknown.

The same reason they didn;t induce women's suffrage. it was not a widely held belief at the time nor was it something on many peoples radar.

The fact that we got the three fifths compromise is feat. It doesn't make what they did right but it was the best they could come up with at the time and not blow up the convention. That clause was repealed by the 14th amendment.


I must point out that slavery abolition wasn’t unheard of at the time, Lumen. Heck, Portugal abolished slavery there and its Indian colonies in 1761.

It wasn't;t the norm though if Im not mistaken.

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Nanatsu no Tsuki
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Postby Nanatsu no Tsuki » Mon Oct 19, 2020 9:13 pm

Eukaryotic Cells wrote:
Nanatsu no Tsuki wrote:
I must point out that slavery abolition wasn’t unheard of at the time, Lumen. Heck, Portugal abolished slavery there and its Indian colonies in 1761.

True, although the US wasn't there yet. They had a huge slave-owning planter class and many people saw little issue with enslaving people of African descent.

Economic considerations drive many decisions. For example, the Japanese-Americans living in Hawaii were not interned on a wide scale, mainly because they formed an important part of the labor market there.


Case by case basis, yes. I understand that every country had its idiosyncrasies. But it wasn’t an unheard of thing is what I mean.
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Kowani
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Postby Kowani » Mon Oct 19, 2020 9:13 pm

Monsone wrote:The Founding Father's held "conventional" and "mainstream" views for their time. Sadly those views normalized slavery, sexism, bigotry, racism, etc. But that was the typical viewpoint held by many. Were there abolitionists back in the late 18th century? Yes. Were there feminists? Yes. But they were a small minority that held little power.
laughs in Benjamin Franklin
Yet the main reason that slavery wasn't abolished was for economic reasons. Many founding fathers and many powerful supporters of the revolution owned slaves, there was no reason to give up economically beneficial free labor. Add in the fact that is wasn't really in their mindset to necessarily get rid of slavery along with a lack of incentives to do so, and you have the perfect storm to defer the act 15 presidents down the line

This is ironically, only half true. Slavery was only economically beneficial to the landed classes who owned slaves (and northern whites who made the clothes I guess). But poor southern whites? No, slavery was economically harmful to them-yet they were some of its most fervent supporters.
Reconciling this contradiction requires an understanding of the ideology of white supremacy that slavery espoused.
Last edited by Kowani on Mon Oct 19, 2020 9:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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I could. But am I going to? Nah.
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The Two Jerseys
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Postby The Two Jerseys » Mon Oct 19, 2020 9:13 pm

Simple: destroying the economies of half the states was a deal-breaker.
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Eukaryotic Cells
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Postby Eukaryotic Cells » Mon Oct 19, 2020 9:18 pm

Nanatsu no Tsuki wrote:
Eukaryotic Cells wrote:True, although the US wasn't there yet. They had a huge slave-owning planter class and many people saw little issue with enslaving people of African descent.

Economic considerations drive many decisions. For example, the Japanese-Americans living in Hawaii were not interned on a wide scale, mainly because they formed an important part of the labor market there.


Case by case basis, yes. I understand that every country had its idiosyncrasies. But it wasn’t an unheard of thing is what I mean.

Yeah, certainly. The US was by no means a frontrunner in abolishing the practice, at least among Western countries. Slavery (and the things that came of it) is a huge stain on US history.

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Cannot think of a name
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Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Cannot think of a name » Mon Oct 19, 2020 9:22 pm

Parxland wrote:The First post is half-assed and ill-thought. The poster should be ashamed to have demonstrate so little intelligence with their text. I strongly encourage the poster to strengthen their empathy before revisiting this subject, since they're liable to get punched in the face if they dare to air this 'opinion' in real life to the wrong party.

While I'm not eager to wade into the giddy hipness of someone who has taken their first college level history class and now feels like they're unlocking the truth to the masses (gosh golly, you're saying many of the founding fathers owned slaves and were shitty to women, non-land owners, indigenous people, poor people in general? You don't say...), not confronting issues 'because someone might punch you' is even more repugnant an idea.
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Rusozak
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Father Knows Best State

Postby Rusozak » Mon Oct 19, 2020 9:24 pm

Idolizing politicians is dumb anyways. Try to name one leader that was absolutely scandal free and benevolent to every life they affected. Go ahead. I'll wait.
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Aclion
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Anarchy

Postby Aclion » Mon Oct 19, 2020 9:25 pm

Kowani wrote:
Monsone wrote:The Founding Father's held "conventional" and "mainstream" views for their time. Sadly those views normalized slavery, sexism, bigotry, racism, etc. But that was the typical viewpoint held by many. Were there abolitionists back in the late 18th century? Yes. Were there feminists? Yes. But they were a small minority that held little power.
laughs in Benjamin Franklin
Yet the main reason that slavery wasn't abolished was for economic reasons. Many founding fathers and many powerful supporters of the revolution owned slaves, there was no reason to give up economically beneficial free labor. Add in the fact that is wasn't really in their mindset to necessarily get rid of slavery along with a lack of incentives to do so, and you have the perfect storm to defer the act 15 presidents down the line

This is ironically, only half true. Slavery was only economically beneficial to the landed classes who owned slaves (and northern whites who made the clothes I guess). But poor southern whites? No, slavery was economically harmful to them-yet they were some of its most fervent supporters.
Reconciling this contradiction requires an understanding of the ideology of white supremacy that slavery espoused.
more importantly it requires looking at how the slave revolt in Haiti went for the whites
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Royal Frankia
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Father Knows Best State

Postby Royal Frankia » Mon Oct 19, 2020 9:25 pm

Cordel One wrote:Hopefully this will contain my debate with San Lumen to one thread.

As much as Americans love to glorify the freedoms the Founding Fathers gave them with the Constitution, it's important to remember not everyone was free to enjoy these new liberties. Not only were women denied the right to vote, slavery remained a legal institution within the United States. Why did the founders allow slavery to remain? Was it apathy, was it the inability to do so, or was it white supremacy?


I believe they never intended to release the slaves. Less famous founders aside, Washington owned slaves (though he did free most) and had dentures of slave teeth, Jefferson raped one of his slaves, and very few founders even bothered to suggest such a thing.


Inability, for the most part, though the states in the South would not be fond of the idea of wrecking their cash crop industry. Slavery had largely been phased out in the North, where the clime permitted crops such as wheat or corn rather than say cotton or tobacco. Also you have to remember that Washington personally had to put down the Whiskey Rebellion, and I do imagine hostility would be much greater to say abolishing slavery at that time. The power of the individual states was also much, much greater, to the point where the Union was at risk of being dissolved multiple times before the Civil War.

Slavery existed in the States, though it was practiced in the Caribbean and Brazil at that time. Based on statistics, slaves in North America had a higher survival rate than say slaves that had gone to the other European colonies where cash crops like sugar were grown. In fact, the majority of slaves that went across the Atlantic were shipped to replace those that had perished from the harsh work and the diseases that circulated at that time.

The Founders were brought up in a different world, for the most part, and have been lionized greatly. You have to remember that they were not saints, but their sins were no greater than those of that time. As time progressed the abolitionist cause grew in strength, which led to patrols along the African coast to stamp out the slave trade in later generations.

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