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PierzStyx

AArticle 1 Section 9 About Slave Trade

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Quote Originally Posted by PierzStyx View Post
Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
I would wonder if being consistently wrong would be embarrassing for you. But those who insist on being wrong are probably incapable of being embarrassed by their error.

I do this mostly so others won't be lead into error by your preponderance of lies.

Article 1, Section 9 has nothing to do with immigration. It is all about slavery and the slave trade.

A1 S9 Text: The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a Tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person."
The context:

The Slave Trade Clause
By Gordon Lloyd and Jenny S. Martinez

Article 1, Section 9, Clause 1, is one of a handful of provisions in the original Constitution related to slavery, though it does not use the word “slave.” This Clause prohibited the federal government from limiting the importation of “persons” (understood at the time to mean primarily enslaved African persons) where the existing state governments saw fit to allow it, until some twenty years after the Constitution took effect. It was a compromise between Southern states, where slavery was pivotal to the economy, and states where the abolition of slavery had been accomplished or was contemplated.

There is a sense in which the Clause is no longer constitutionally relevant since it expired in 1808. At the time the Constitution was adopted, there was no guarantee whether or when the federal Congress would act to prohibit the importation of slaves. So there is a legitimate inquiry about what took place in the political realm over the 20-year period between the adoption of the Constitution and 1808. During that time period, popular support for the abolition of the slave trade and slavery itself increased both in the United States and in other countries. There was more support for restricting the slave trade initially than slavery itself in this time period. In the 1790s, Congress passed statutes regulating the trade in slaves by U.S. ships on the high seas. The United Kingdom and other countries also passed legislation restricting the slave trade, increasing international pressure on the United States to likewise curb the practice.

In December 1806, President Thomas Jefferson’s annual message to Congress anticipated the upcoming expiration of Article 1, Section 9, Clause 1. His message said, “I congratulate you, fellow-citizens, on the approach of the period at which you may interpose your authority constitutionally to withdraw the citizens of the United States from all further participation in those violations of human rights which have been so long continued on the unoffending inhabitants of Africa, and which the morality, the reputation, and the best interests of our country have long been eager to proscribe.” Does it seem odd that a slave owner was supporting this legislation?

In 1807, the U.S. Congress passed a statute prohibiting the importation of slaves as of the first constitutionally-allowable moment of January 1, 1808. This act was signed by President Jefferson and entered into force in 1808, rendering this part of the Constitution irrelevant except as a historical curiosity.

This in itself is a fascinating exception to constitutional change, in which a provision came with a built-in expiration date, after which the powers of the federal government would no longer be restricted. Note also that the Clause itself does not grant Congress the power to restrict the slave trade, but Congress presumably used the foreign and interstate commerce powers it had been given in Article 1, Section 8, to do so.

In an important sense, there is a settled meaning of the Clause: it is no longer relevant in the same sense, for example, that the First Amendment is still constitutionally relevant. But the Clause, although constitutionally inoperative for over 200 years, still remains there for all to see and read. It is in the Constitution. And so the Clause, in a larger sense, has a continuing cultural and political constitutional relevance in the discourse of the morality and profitability of the international trade in human beings.

https://constitutioncenter.org/inter...inez/clause/43

The final text of the slave trade provision was designed to disguise what the Convention had done. The clause read: "The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a Tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person."

It is important to understand that the clause did not require an end to the trade in 1808. Moreover, it reflected the assumption, held by almost everyone at the Convention, that the Deep South would grow faster than the rest of the nation, and that by 1808 the states that most wanted to continue the trade would have enough political power, and enough allies, to prevent an end to it. Ending the trade would require that a bill pass both houses of Congress and be signed by the president. That process would give the supporters of the trade three opportunities to stop such a bill.

The slave trade provision was a significant factor in the debates over ratification, but its impact was complicated. Opponents of the Constitution, in both the North and the South, roundly condemned the clause. On the other hand, supporters of the Constitution–even those who were ambivalent or hostile to slavery–praised it.

Northern supporters of the Constitution were at a rhetorical disadvantage in this debate, but they nevertheless had to engage the issue. They developed two tactics. The first, best put forth by James Wilson of Pennsylvania, was intellectually dishonest but politically shrewd. He argued that the slave trade clause would in fact allow for the end of slavery itself. In speeches he made the subtle shift from the "trade" to slavery, and since most of his listeners were not as legally sophisticated as Wilson, he was able to fudge the issue. Thus, Wilson told the Pennsylvania ratifying convention that after "the lapse of a few years... Congress will have power to exterminate slavery from within our borders."

Since Wilson attended all the debates over this clause, it is impossible to accept this statement as his understanding of the slave trade clause. More likely, he simply made this argument to win support for the Constitution. Supporters in Massachusetts and New Hampshire made similar arguments. In New Hampshire, a supporter of the Constitution also argued that the slave trade clause gave Congress the power to end slavery. A more sophisticated response to the trade was to note that, without the Constitution, the states could keep the trade open indefinitely because the Congress under the Articles of Confederation had no power to regulate commerce, but under the Constitution it would be possible, in just twenty years, to end the international slave trade. These arguments led northerners to believe that the Constitution required an end to the trade after 1808, when in fact it did not.

Upper South supporters of the Constitution, such as James Madison, also made the argument that a ban on the trade was impossible under the Articles, and thus the Constitution, even if imperfect, was still a good bargain. Deep South supporters, like General Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, simply bragged that they had won a great victory–as indeed they had–in protecting the trade for at least twenty years. In summing up the entire Constitution, Pinckney, who had been one of the ablest defenders of slavery at the Convention, proudly told the South Carolina House of Representatives: "In short, considering all circumstances, we have made the best terms for the security of this species of property it was in our power to make. We would have made better if we could; but on the whole, I do not think them bad."

http://abolition.nypl.org/essays/us_constitution/3/

Clause 1. The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a Tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person.

This is another euphemistic nod to America's dark history of slavery. "Such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit" is a really long-winded way of saying "slaves" without actually saying "slaves." The Constitution barred any attempt to outlaw the slave trade before 1808. As soon as that date rolled around, Congress did vote to block the international slave trade, although slaves continued to be sold within the country and slavery itself lasted for almost another 60 years.


https://www.shmoop.com/constitution/...section-9.html
Article I, Section 9 specifically prohibits Congress from legislating in certain areas. In the first clause, the Constitution bars Congress from banning the importation of slaves before 1808.

http://www.annenbergclassroom.org/pa...le-i-section-9

Updated 02-09-2018 at 03:24 PM by PierzStyx

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