Interview with Alexander Hamilton: The Slave trade (part three of series)


04 Jan

     Hello readers, In the last two posts I have been sharing information that I received from Alexander Hamilton about the compromises needed to ratify the constitution, which was ratified in 1789. Last time he told me about the 3/5 compromise, and how every five slaves would count as three people. And before that he told me about how the delegates decided that the legislative body in the United States would be bicameral, being made up of two houses. Then I asked him about how the delegates at the constitutional convention decided to handle the issue of the slave trade in the United States. He first gave me a background on the issue. Apparently when the declaration of independence was being passed to send to King George III the slave trade was an issue. Representatives such as Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and James Madison condemned slavery, and wanted to abolish it. However, representatives to thew continental congress from the southern states (colonies) at the time did not want the slave trade to stop, and wanted to continue owning slaves. Eventually, the southern states got their way, after South Carolina threatened to leave the U.S. The reason the southern states didn't want to stop the slave trade or slavery, is because they were making so much money with slavery. They used slaves on their plantations to harvest crops, and that was an enormous part of the southern states economies. During the constitutional convention, many delegates wanted to stop the slave trade. Ten states had already made the trade of slaves illegal. At first it looked like the slave trade was going to be banned, but then Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina threatened to leave the convention if the slave trade was banned. They were making a ton of money selling and using slaves. A special committee of delegates had to be formed to deal with this issue. Eventually the delegates at the constitutional convention decided on a solution. They decided that the slave trade would be legal, at least until 1808, when congress would vote on if the slave trade should continue to be legal.

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