Getting to Union

Navigating Differences in the Constitutional Convention

Part III. Creating Space to Address Issues Built Trust Among the Delegates.
This Made it Possible to Work Through Big Problems Together.

Part III. Step 4. Other Agreements Regarding Slavery

The task of the Convention was to create a Union among the American states across their deep differences. The Convention at no point debated the morality of slavery, but it did fiercely debate issues of slavery. Below are some of the outcomes of the negotiations about slavery the delegates agreed to include in the final version of the Constitution. 

Slave Trade Clause

The delegates ultimately agreed that the United States would cease the importation of slaves from foreign countries by 1808. This did not ban trading slaves among the states.

Fugitive Slave Clause

Southern States insisted on a fugitive slave clause. This made it possible to legally recover runaway slaves who escaped their captors.

Prepare for Class Discussion

On your own paper, respond to the question below.

The Southern States would not have joined a Union that limited slavery.  In your opinion, could the fragile new country survive without the Southern States? Explain your answer. 


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