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Constitution 101: Module 12: Slavery in America: From the Founding to America's Second Founding

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Grade Level Grades 9-12
Resource Type Handout, Media, Worksheet

About This Lesson

Slavery was embedded into America’s fabric by the time of the framing and ratification of the Constitution. At the Constitutional Convention, the delegates refused to write the word “slavery” or enshrine a “right to property in men” in the Constitution’s text, but they did compromise on the issue of slavery, writing important protections for slaveholders into our nations’s charter. Debates over slavery continued (and increased) in the decades to come, culminating in Abraham Lincoln’s election as America’s first anti-slavery president, Southern secession, and the Civil War. Following this bloody war, the Reconstruction Republicans worked to rebuild our nation on a stronger constitutional foundation, passing our nation’s first civil rights laws and ratifying the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments. These amendments ended slavery, wrote the Declaration of Independence’s promise of freedom and equality into the Constitution, and promised to end racial discrimination in voting. Many scholars refer to this key period as America’s “Second Founding.”

Resources

Files

12.1 Visual Info Brief_ Patrick Henry and Slavery .pptx

Media
September 27, 2022
574.04 KB

12.5 Primary Source_ Charles Sumner, One Man Power vs. Congress (1866).docx

Handout, Worksheet
September 27, 2022
76.86 KB

12.4 Primary Source_ South Carolina Declaration of Secession (1860).docx

Handout, Worksheet
September 27, 2022
73.37 KB

12.3 Primary Source_ David Walker, Appeal to the Colored Citizens of the World (1829).docx

Media
September 27, 2022
75.55 KB

12.2 Video Reflection_ Slavery in America.docx

Worksheet
September 27, 2022
76.69 KB
External resources

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