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Unit Three - Lesson 17. How the Civil War Tested and Transformed the American Constitutional System. How did Constitutional Issues lay Foundations for the Civil War ?. The Constitution and Slavery 3/5ths Compromise

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unit three lesson 17

Unit Three - Lesson 17

How the Civil War Tested and Transformed the American Constitutional System

how did constitutional issues lay foundations for the civil war
How did Constitutional Issues lay Foundations for the Civil War?
  • The Constitution and Slavery
    • 3/5ths Compromise
      • A continual struggle between the interests of the Northern states and the “Southern Block”
      • 3/5ths compromise gave the Southern Block enough voting power in the Senate to block most action designed to chip away at slavery
    • 20 year ban on laws about the importation of new slaves
      • Congress passed and President Jefferson signed a ban on the importation of new slaves 20 years later
    • Americans debated for years whether the Constitution allowed for slavery to exist
        • Those in favor of slavery said yes. The Constitution gave no enumerated power over slavery
        • Those against (Abolitionists) said no. That “slavery” or “slave” was never used in the Constitution and that showed the Framers knew it had no place in a republican country
        • They also stated that the 20 year ban on the importation of new slaves meant that the Framers wanted it banned after 20 years
how did constitutional issues lay foundations for the civil war1
How did Constitutional Issues lay Foundations for the Civil War?
  • The Constitution and New Territories
    • Congress WAS given the power to make rules and regulations about the territories and about new states
      • The Northwest Ordinance (1787) banned slavery in the Northwest Territory and all states created from it
      • The Louisiana Purchase opened up a whole new huge territory
        • Missouri Compromise (1820): Missouri would be a slave state, and any territory south of Missouri’s border could also become slave states. Any territory north of Missouri’s border would be “free” states
      • The Annexation of Texas (1846-48) disrupted the balance between slave and free states
        • Southerners feared this would stop the balance of power
        • Northerners believed none of the new territory should be allowed to be slave
          • Compromise: California would be a free state with no slave state to balance it. But the FUGITIVE SLAVE ACT was passed providing for the capture and return of escaped slaves
      • Kansas Nebraska Act (1854) allowed people of the territory to decide if they would be free or slave
how did constitutional issues lay foundations for the civil war2
How did Constitutional Issues lay Foundations for the Civil War?
  • Fugitive Slave Law
      • The Fugitive Slave Act in the Constitution (1787) was rarely enforced
      • The new Fugitive Slave Law (1850) was stronger, angered many northerners
        • Everyone was forced to help capture runaway slaves
        • Many northern states passed “personal liberty laws” to get around the FSL
  • Dred Scott v. Sandford
      • Dred Scott was a slave who’s master took him north to free states
      • Upon return to the South, Scott sued his master for his freedom, citing that he had lived in free states and thus was free
      • The Supreme Court ruled against Scott
          • African Americans, whether free or slave, could not be citizens of the US
            • States could grant citizenship but these individuals could not enjoy the rights of citizenship under the Constitution
          • The national gov’t DID NOT have the power to exclude slavery from new territories
            • Slaves were property and the national gov’t could not limit property
          • The 5th Amendment’s DUE PROCESS protected property rights
            • The Constitution protected the right to own property (slaves) anywhere in the US
arguments for against secession and its constitutionality
Arguments FOR/AGAINST secession and its constitutionality
  • The election of Abraham Lincoln (a free soiler) made southern states believe that slavery would be restricted and/or abolished
  • 11 southern states responded with secession
    • (MS, FL, AL, GE, LA, TX, VR, AR, NC, TN) formed the Confederate States of America and adopted a new constitution in March 1861
      • 2 arguments for their constitutional rights to do so
        • No state gave up its sovereignty when it ratified the Constitution
        • Based in the Declaration of Independence, citizens and states possessed the right to revolt if their fundamental rights (property rights) were violated
  • President Lincoln rejected the constitutional right to secede
    • Framers created a perpetual union
    • Lincoln believed the South seceded not because their rights had been denied but because they were afraid they would lose their slaves
  • The Confederate States of America created a government much like that of the US Constitution
    • Some differences
      • President would serve one 6 year term
      • Congress banned from appropriating money to make internal improvements and making tariffs that benefitted businesses
      • It explicitly protected slavery “no law denying or impairing the right of property in negro slaves”
what constitutional issues did the civil war provoke
What constitutional issues did the Civil War provoke?
  • Slavery: main reason the South went to war (property rights)
  • Preservation of the Union (duty of the president to defend the Constitution)
    • Lincoln saw the Southern secession as a “domestic insurrection”
  • Lincoln expanded the powers of the president (?unconstitutional?)
    • Calling up the militia (expanded when Congress not in session)
    • Suspended HABEAS CORPUS (defying an order by Congress and the Supreme Court)
    • Emancipation Proclamation: ended slavery in states in revolt (committed to LIBERTY for all)
      • Deny source of labor to the South & impact its ability to make war
      • Morally, end the institution of slavery
      • Profound political and symbolic significance
how the civil war resolved issues the framers left unanswered
How the Civil War resolved issues theFramers left unanswered
  • Slavery
    • The Civil War ended slavery, but the 13th Amendment made it real
  • Secession
    • The Civil War ended the idea that states had a constitutional right to secede
    • Federalism ensured states still had significant power, but the supremacy of the national government was locked in
  • National Citizenship
    • Black Codes quickly passed by southern states to prevented former slaves from developing political power (education & vote)
    • 14th Amendment declared all persons born or naturalized in the US are citizens. It prohibits states from making any laws abridging these rights or denying DUE PROCESS or EQUAL PROTECTION OF THE LAW
    • 15th Amendment prohibited national or state governments from denying citizens the right to vote because of their race, color or status as former slaves.
      • Political power will follow, even in the South
bill of rights practice
Bill of Rights Practice
  • Look at the list of rights in the Bill of Rights on the white board
  • Categorize these rights with the following:
  • 1 - Power to Stand Up Against a Gov’t Abusing Its Power
  • 2 - Power Against the Government – Legally
  • 3 - Rights Reserved
bill of rights
Bill of Rights
  • Right to Free Expression (SPRAP)
  • Right to Bear Arms
  • Rights Against Quartering Troops
  • Rights Against Unreasonable Searches and Seizures
  • Rights of Due Process
  • Rights to a Fair Trial
  • Rights to Common Law/Civil Trial
  • Rights Against Cruel and Unusual Punishment
  • Rights Reserved to the People
  • Rights Reserved to the States
the aftermath of the civil war
The Aftermath of the Civil War
  • Public Support for protecting the rights of newly freed slaves weakened
  • 14th & 15th Amendments became ineffectual tools for protecting rights
  • Southern states began passing laws denying rights
    • Poll Taxes: required to pay to vote
    • Literacy Tests: required to prove you could read/write before they could vote
    • Grandfather Clauses: Could only vote if their grandfathers had been eligible to vote
  • When the US government failed to enforce these amendments, African Americans learned the promises weren’t for them
  • For the next 100 years, laws were used to DENY their rights rather than protect them (institutional racism)
  • The African American leaders would try to use the 14th& 15th Amendments to challenge the government, to make them protect rights rather than deny them
  • What was the Dred Scott case about? Why was the Supreme Court’s decision in that case important?
  • How did Southern states justify the decision to secede from the Union? How did President Lincoln and other Northerners justify treating secession as an act of rebellion?
  • In what ways did President Lincoln assert presidential powers during the Civil War.
  • On what constitutional grounds did President Lincoln issue the Emancipation Proclamation? Why did the Emancipation Proclamation not free all the slaves in the US?
  • What are the key provisions of the 13th , 14th, & 15thAmendments?