Implementing the Proslavery Constitution

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In this essay Finkleman starts by talking about the seizure of fugitive slaves who had lived for years in a community and how this disrupted the lives of , not only themselves, but of there families and of the community as well. The capture of fugitive slaves also caused the seizure of many free slaves in the north. The US constitution was proslavery but left many issues unanswered about the relationship of the US and slavery. For the first decade the US had to deal with many issues such as slave trade, slavery in the territories, and the admission of new slave states.

In 1793 Fugitive Slave Law was passed, this law was implemented by the case of John Davis. The Fugitive Slave Law aided southerners hunting after their runaway human chattel. This law was a huge gain for the south, but it affected the north in no such way. The new clause in the constitution stated that a slave that escaped to another state was not discharge from such "service of labor", and that the person should be delivered on claim of the party to whom owned such slave. This clause made the Constitution seam even more proslavery than what is actually was.

In the convention of 1787 Pierce Butler and Charles Pinckney proposed that a new clause be added to the provision requiring that interstate extradition of fugitives from justice. It was adopted the next day by the Convention without debate or formal vote. By the end of 1787, when the Convention adopted the clause, slavery was one of the major stumbling blocks to a stronger union. Unlike other debates over the slaves like the three fifths compromise and their trade, the fugitive slave clause had no serious opposition what so ever.

The fugitive slave law as well as the fugitive criminal law made for interstate cooperation. They also made for local authorities and slave owners to cooperate with each other. The Virginia-Pennsylvania controversy of 1788-1791 quickly put the nation on notice that the interstate cooperation necessary for...
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