Skip to comments.Second Amendment Ratified to Preserve Slavery (barf-up both lungs alert)
Posted on 01/26/2013 11:35:46 AM PST by pabianice
Received from a Navy buddy who has since been seduced by the Dark Side.
The real reason the Second Amendment was ratified, and why it says "State" instead of "Country" (the Framers knew the difference - see the 10th Amendment), was to preserve the slave patrol militias in the southern states, which was necessary to get Virginia's vote. Founders Patrick Henry, George Mason, and James Madison were totally clear on that . . . and we all should be too.
In the beginning, there were the militias. In the South, they were also called the "slave patrols," and they were regulated by the states.
In Georgia, for example, a generation before the American Revolution, laws were passed in 1755 and 1757 that required all plantation owners or their male white employees to be members of the Georgia Militia, and for those armed militia members to make monthly inspections of the quarters of all slaves in the state. The law defined which counties had which armed militias and even required armed militia members to keep a keen eye out for slaves who may be planning uprisings.
As Dr. Carl T. Bogus wrote for the University of California Law Review in 1998, "The Georgia statutes required patrols, under the direction of commissioned militia officers, to examine every plantation each month and authorized them to search 'all Negro Houses for offensive Weapons and Ammunition' and to apprehend and give twenty lashes to any slave found outside plantation grounds."
It's the answer to the question raised by the character played by Leonardo DiCaprio in Django Unchained when he asks, "Why don't they just rise up and kill the whites?" If the movie were real, it would have been a purely rhetorical question, because every southerner of the era knew the simple answer: Well regulated militias kept the slaves in chains.
Sally E. Haden, in her book Slave Patrols: Law and Violence in Virginia and the Carolinas, notes that, "Although eligibility for the Militia seemed all-encompassing, not every middle-aged white male Virginian or Carolinian became a slave patroller." There were exemptions so "men in critical professions" like judges, legislators and students could stay at their work. Generally, though, she documents how most southern men between ages 18 and 45 - including physicians and ministers - had to serve on slave patrol in the militia at one time or another in their lives.
And slave rebellions were keeping the slave patrols busy.
By the time the Constitution was ratified, hundreds of substantial slave uprisings had occurred across the South. Blacks outnumbered whites in large areas, and the state militias were used to both prevent and to put down slave uprisings. As Dr. Bogus points out, slavery can only exist in the context of a police state, and the enforcement of that police state was the explicit job of the militias.
If the anti-slavery folks in the North had figured out a way to disband - or even move out of the state - those southern militias, the police state of the South would collapse. And, similarly, if the North were to invite into military service the slaves of the South, then they could be emancipated, which would collapse the institution of slavery, and the southern economic and social systems, altogether.
These two possibilities worried southerners like James Monroe, George Mason (who owned over 300 slaves) and the southern Christian evangelical, Patrick Henry (who opposed slavery on principle, but also opposed freeing slaves).
Their main concern was that Article 1, Section 8 of the newly-proposed Constitution, which gave the federal government the power to raise and supervise a militia, could also allow that federal militia to subsume their state militias and change them from slavery-enforcing institutions into something that could even, one day, free the slaves.
This was not an imagined threat. Famously, 12 years earlier, during the lead-up to the Revolutionary War, Lord Dunsmore offered freedom to slaves who could escape and join his forces. "Liberty to Slaves" was stitched onto their jacket pocket flaps. During the War, British General Henry Clinton extended the practice in 1779. And numerous freed slaves served in General Washington's army.
Thus, southern legislators and plantation owners lived not just in fear of their own slaves rebelling, but also in fear that their slaves could be emancipated through military service.
At the ratifying convention in Virginia in 1788, Henry laid it out:
"Let me here call your attention to that part [Article 1, Section 8 of the proposed Constitution] which gives the Congress power to provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States. . . .
"By this, sir, you see that their control over our last and best defence is unlimited. If they neglect or refuse to discipline or arm our militia, they will be useless: the states can do neither . . . this power being exclusively given to Congress. The power of appointing officers over men not disciplined or armed is ridiculous; so that this pretended little remains of power left to the states may, at the pleasure of Congress, be rendered nugatory."
George Mason expressed a similar fear:
"The militia may be here destroyed by that method which has been practised in other parts of the world before; that is, by rendering them useless, by disarming them. Under various pretences, Congress may neglect to provide for arming and disciplining the militia; and the state governments cannot do it, for Congress has an exclusive right to arm them [under this proposed Constitution] . . . "
Henry then bluntly laid it out:
"If the country be invaded, a state may go to war, but cannot suppress [slave] insurrections [under this new Constitution]. If there should happen an insurrection of slaves, the country cannot be said to be invaded. They cannot, therefore, suppress it without the interposition of Congress . . . . Congress, and Congress only [under this new Constitution], can call forth the militia."
And why was that such a concern for Patrick Henry?
"In this state," he said, "there are two hundred and thirty-six thousand blacks, and there are many in several other states. But there are few or none in the Northern States. . . . May Congress not say, that every black man must fight? Did we not see a little of this last war? We were not so hard pushed as to make emancipation general; but acts of Assembly passed that every slave who would go to the army should be free."
Patrick Henry was also convinced that the power over the various state militias given the federal government in the new Constitution could be used to strip the slave states of their slave-patrol militias. He knew the majority attitude in the North opposed slavery, and he worried they'd use the Constitution to free the South's slaves (a process then called "Manumission").
The abolitionists would, he was certain, use that power (and, ironically, this is pretty much what Abraham Lincoln ended up doing):
"[T]hey will search that paper [the Constitution], and see if they have power of manumission," said Henry. "And have they not, sir? Have they not power to provide for the general defence and welfare? May they not think that these call for the abolition of slavery? May they not pronounce all slaves free, and will they not be warranted by that power?
"This is no ambiguous implication or logical deduction. The paper speaks to the point: they have the power in clear, unequivocal terms, and will clearly and certainly exercise it."
He added: "This is a local matter, and I can see no propriety in subjecting it to Congress."
James Madison, the "Father of the Constitution" and a slaveholder himself, basically called Patrick Henry paranoid.
"I was struck with surprise," Madison said, "when I heard him express himself alarmed with respect to the emancipation of slaves. . . . There is no power to warrant it, in that paper [the Constitution]. If there be, I know it not."
But the southern fears wouldn't go away.
Patrick Henry even argued that southerner's "property" (slaves) would be lost under the new Constitution, and the resulting slave uprising would be less than peaceful or tranquil:
"In this situation," Henry said to Madison, "I see a great deal of the property of the people of Virginia in jeopardy, and their peace and tranquility gone."
So Madison, who had (at Jefferson's insistence) already begun to prepare proposed amendments to the Constitution, changed his first draft of one that addressed the militia issue to make sure it was unambiguous that the southern states could maintain their slave patrol militias.
His first draft for what became the Second Amendment had said: "The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; a well armed, and well regulated militia being the best security of a free country [emphasis mine]: but no person religiously scrupulous of bearing arms, shall be compelled to render military service in person."
But Henry, Mason and others wanted southern states to preserve their slave-patrol militias independent of the federal government. So Madison changed the word "country" to the word "state," and redrafted the Second Amendment into today's form:
"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State [emphasis mine], the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."
Little did Madison realize that one day in the future weapons-manufacturing corporations, newly defined as "persons" by a Supreme Court some have called dysfunctional, would use his slave patrol militia amendment to protect their "right" to manufacture and sell assault weapons used to murder schoolchildren.
Looks like LiesOut.org felt the need to re-stoke the propaganda machine and make extra flames for the memory hole.
It might help to provide clear evidence that GUN CONTROL was specifically designed to disarm Blacks!
Just a dew. There are lots more.
1854: The Republican Party is formed to stop the spread of slavery. The Democratic Party is decidedly Pro-Slavery
March 20, 1854: Opponents of Democrats pro-slavery policies meet in Ripon, Wisconsin to establish the Republican Party
*Stephen Douglas, Democratic Party Leader authored the Kansas-Nebraska Act.
May 30, 1854: Democrat President Franklin Pierce signs Democrats Kansas-Nebraska Act, expanding slavery into U.S. territories; opponents unite to form the Republican Party
June 16, 1854: Newspaper editor Horace Greeley calls on opponents of slavery to unite in the Republican Party
July 6, 1854: First state Republican Party officially organized in Jackson, Michigan, to oppose Democrats pro-slavery policies
February 11, 1856: Republican Montgomery Blair argues before U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of his client, the slave Dred Scott; later served in [Republican] President Lincolns Cabinet
February 22, 1856: First national meeting of the Republican Party, in Pittsburgh, to coordinate opposition to Democrats pro-slavery policies
March 27, 1856: First meeting of Republican National Committee in Washington, DC to oppose Democrats pro-slavery policies
May 22, 1856: For denouncing Democrats pro-slavery policy, Republican U.S. Senator Charles Sumner (R-MA) is beaten nearly to death on floor of Senate by U.S. Rep. Preston Brooks (D-SC), takes three years to recover
Where are these poor excuses for intellectuals getting this bovine excrement, from their lower sphincter?
Seriously, they suffer from cranialial rectumitis.
Paging Dr. Bogus..... Paging Dr. Bogus.... Dr. Bogus, please pick up a white courtesy phone...
This rewriting of history is reminiscent of the old Soviet Union where receipients of a Russian enclycopaedia were given strips of paper that said for Beria substitute the Bering Straits. They are trying to shove the intent of the 2nd amendment to have arms in case the government turns tyrannical down the memeory hole.
Yes it had to be don't you see..
Tried and true methods were no longer available, whites had to find new methods to kill off blacks.. Democratic [Congressman Major Owens] from New York City . . . stated in a 1995 speech on the House floor that during the African slave trade more than 200,000,000 people were thrown over the sides of the slave ships which carried them across the Atlantic, permanently disrupting the ecology and causing sharks to follow any and all ships since the trade was stopped in the 1850's. This figure worked out to be 152 slaves taken aboard nine ships per day for 200 years to get the total amount of slaves thrown overboard. After reworking his absurd figure down to 100,000,000 slaves, Owens' claim was picked up by ABC News, which reported the claim as "fact".
They first tried putting 200,000,000 on an island but when the island didn't tip over as expected the whites boarded the slaves and put back out to sea.
So now that there is no longer slavery, we no longer need the Second Amendment? UNMITIGATED BULLSHIT!!!
You’re NOT helping anything.
It is important when discussing this issue that you don’t open yourself to charges of racism.
Here’s my approach:
Require all Gangbangers and Drug Lords to run background checks on all new recruits, before arming them.
Some true conservative should actually write this single piece of legislation, while remarking on special concern for Chicago, Detroit, and D.C.
When charged with racism be prepared to inform the attacker that they are racist for suggesting only minorities hold those positions.
A few of my words on the topic from another venue:
In the years before the American Revolution, my 5th Great Grandfather was Captain of the Rowan County, NC militia. His duties were several: collect the property taxes for those property owners in his militia district, see to it that all able bodied males were equipped to serve when the militia were called out (usually to respond to threats or results of Indian attacks), and to be a voice for the neighborhood at government deliberations in Salisbury. In addition, he served on the Committee of Safety which concerned itself with safety of a sort somewhat different than sidewalk ramps and trigger locks on muskets.
When things got a little testy with the government of King George, his duties saw an increase as the county militias began to drill and prepare in case the British Army should make an appearance in that part of the Carolina Backwoods. Before they did, he moved to neighboring Lincoln County where he was appointed Major of Horse of the Lincoln County regiment. No long responsible for tax collection and infantry drill, he ensured that the County had a troop of well mounted and trained soldiers who could both ride and shoot - the rapid reaction force of its day. In the course of his duties, he incurred expenses which he submitted to the government of North Carolina, but these were kept in arrears until after the war as they were generally short of funds. However, since his fellow settlers took their civic duties seriously, they were well armed with locally made rifles, better than the Brown Bess musket of their opponents, and fine horses bred by the local planters. Saddles were made by local craftsmen, gunpowder from a colonial mill nearby, and bullets could be cast by just about anybody.
So when the British did show up at King's Mountain in 1780, they were ready. Cavalry had spread the word of the British advance and the militia responded toute de suite from all around and as far away as Watauga, in Tennessee. Major Dickson gathered his troops and went to defend their homes, families, and property. They beat the British that day and the campaign to supress the rebellion in the South was essentially done.
When Congressman Dickson took up his duties in Philadelphia and later the new capitol of Washington, he recognized the deficiencies of the militia and stood for a strong national government and a national army like the Continental Army had been. But, his opinion was in the minority. Thomas Jefferson (1st cousin, 7x removed) did not support a National Army, but rather believed in the militia system and hoped to keep it strong. The Second Amendment arose from men like this who believed it was the right of the people to rise up against an unjust central government and one of the compromises that was crafted into the Bill of Rights was a right of those citizens to keep arms. Not for hunting, not for self defense against brigands, but rather to embody forever the right and ability of the citizenary to oppose domestic and foreign governments when they decide to trample the rights of the people.
Progress has shown that Dickson was right as it applied to foreign governments, a National Army is the only answer to those threats. But Jefferson's notion is as viable today as it ever was as evidenced by the behavior of many of our elected officials, their toady political hack law enforcement officials, and others who are as ignorant of our history as they are of our rights.
STOP IT, STOP IT, STOP IT!!!!!
DON”T confuse the left with FACTS!! Today, they thrive on the ignorance of themselves and their supporters. If you tell them the facts, it could END CIVILIZATION AS WE KNOW IT!!!
“Dr. Carl T. Bogus”
Problem solved: Let the slaves have guns with the same Constitutional rights of the slave owners. Good ideas like the 2nd Amendment have a way of encouraging equality under the law and liberty.
The context suggests that they were using "state" not to refer to specific units comprising our country, but in a general philosophical sense to mean "polity" or "politically organized society" which might mean anything from a village or town up to a nation or empire.
Anyway, there were enough farmers throughout the country who had a rifle by the fire who took it out and used it against the British in the Revolution to make his speculation look silly.
I doubt the representatives of New Hampshire or Massachusetts or Pennsylvania farmers and shopkeepers were thinking much about slave patrols when they ratified the amendment.
As Dr. Carl T. Bogus wrote...Apropos name.
On the other hand, Danny Glover et al, have their own Stargate Portal with which they step into and out of reality as it suits them, so perhaps they believe Patrick Henry had one, too; using it, he went back in time to grant free Protestants the RKBA so he could have it for himself later on...
But even if we confine liberal amnesia to the post Revolutionary period, they've kind of got a problem. Because the Pennsylvania Constitution, which predates ratification of the US Constitution by 13 years, includes this rather curious provision:
Section 21 . Right to Bear Arms The right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the State shall not be questioned.
Now, it is true that Pennsylvania did not actually outlaw slavery until 1780, but I note no reference to a "militia" in this provision. People who actually care about history should also note that in 1780 the free population (which included blacks) outnumbered the slave population (which included whites) by about 40:1 in The Commonwealth.
So, even if those sneaky Pennsylvanians left out "militia" to avoid being called racists, but were just as anxious to keep their slave populations in check as those evil Virginians, they surely didn't need a militia or even a RKBA to do that. With that kind of ratio even pacifist Quakers with harsh words could have done so.
Yet still, for some reason, they felt the need to specifically recognize a right of personal and collective self-defense. Maybe, just maybe, it was this: Birthplace of the Second Amendment 1765
Facts can be pesky things. Except to liberals...