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 Posted: Fri Nov 30th, 2007 08:14 pm
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Doc C
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Hank

You're correct that Madison made this statement (28 June 1787) during debates at the Constitutional Convention. However, as evidenced by his quote, his concern was not on apportionment but the apparent and probably unsolvable (in his mind) problem of slavery. Though, he agreed with the north and abolitionists, Madison believed that attempts, which included debates, to resolve this issue at this point in the country's young history would eventually result in the dissolution of the United States, a belief that Washington and other Federalists held. Hence one possible reason for their silence, not because they didn't recognize slavery's presence or evil but b/o the consequences of slavery battle at that time. In addition, the potential solutions to the problem seemed insurmountable - create a biracial society with the freeing of the slaves (inconceivable to southerners and probably a majority of northerners at the time), creation of a separate country for freed slaves in the Caribbean, Africa or western areas of America; or compensating the slave owners for their loss of "property". South Carolina and Georgia did bring up the issue of secession during the debate of Benjamin Franklins and Pennsylvania's bill introduced to Congress but who is to know if it was real or a bluff b/o the passage of the house bill which stated that Congress to have no authority to interfere in the emancipation of slaves, or in the treatment of them within any of the states.

Doc C

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