The Second Amendment and Slavery
Last comment by Funkentelecky 1 year, 7 months ago.

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In a "University of California at Davis Law Review" article entitled "The Hidden History of the Second Amendment, Carl T. Bogus, Associate Professor, Roger Williams University School of Law,argues "The Second Amendment was not enacted to provide a check on government tyranny; rather, it was written to assure the Southern states that Congress would not undermine the slave system by using its newly acquired constitutional authority over the militia to disarm the state militia and thereby destroy the South's principal instrument of slave control. In effect, the Second Amendment supplemented the slavery compromise made at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia and obliquely codified in other constitutional provisions." http://www.saf.org/LawReviews/Bogus2.htm

Recently, Thomm Hartmann wrote an article for Alternet explaining how the Second Amendment was considered by representatives of slave-holding states in terms of preventing the Federal government's taking slave property away from slaveholders and also in terms of preventing slave insurrection. His article draws heavily on Bogus' article. He also has a video. Here are links to both:

(Article)

http://www.alternet.org/civil-liberties/thom-hartmann-second-amendment-was-ratified-preserve-slavery

(Video)
http://www.thomhartmann.com/bigpicture/second-amendment-was-passed-protect-slavery


Anyone interested should read Hartmann's article,as a kind of synopsis, watch the video and read Bogus' paper. There is much more to this history than the popular media and the NRA suggest, as Bogus writes "...the Second Amendment lives two lives: one in the law and the other in politics, public policy, and popular culture. The hidden history has ramifications in the second realm as well. The Second Amendment takes on an entirely different complexion when instead of being symbolized by a musket in the hands of the minuteman, it is associated with a musket in the hands of the slave holder" http://www.saf.org/LawReviews/Bogus2.htm



Latest Activity: Jan 21, 2013 at 10:00 AM


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sebekm commented on Monday, Jan 21, 2013 at 13:05 PM

Interesting theory. I suspect that "putting down slave revolts" did factor into it. I tend to favor the more conventional wisdom that the more overriding factors for adoption of the Second Amendment included:

*facilitating creation of a militia system

*enabling citizen support of law enforcement

*deterring "tyrannical government" to include having the capacity to engage armed invasion (which - as we all know - DID occur)

*providing the capacity for self-defense

As for the base document to which the Second Amendment is attached, it is well documented that the authors understood that "concessions on slavery" were "the price they had to pay for the support of southern delegates for a strong central government."

The history of slavery and all its convoluted injustices is spread throughout American history. However, I don't buy the Bogus/Alternet contention that its adoption was principally to facilitate slavery by "assur(ing) the Southern states that Congress would not undermine the slave system by using its newly acquired constitutional authority over the militia to disarm the state militia and thereby destroy the South's principal instrument of slave control."

But in any event, we have the Second Amendment with us now, and it is not likely to go away anytime soon. Other than for purely history perspective, it matters little now WHY the Second Amendment was adopted. But for those who love history (I do), Lincoln University has an interesting history of "The Right To Keep and Bear Arms" on their web site at:

http://www.lincoln.edu/criminaljustic...

Funkentelecky commented on Monday, Jan 21, 2013 at 21:20 PM

Fannie73, WRU?


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