What did James Madison, the father of the Constitution and primary author of the Bill of Rights, consider to be the worst form of oppression?
During the Constitutional Convention, Madison stated that all civilized societies are "divided into different Sects, Factions, and interests," and "where a majority are united by a common interest or passion, the rights of the minority are in danger." He then stated that this was the cause of slavery, "the most oppressive dominion ever exercised by man over man." At the time, slavery had been widely practiced since the dawn of recorded history and was broadly accepted throughout the world, but many of the U.S. founders thought differently and fought to abolish it. Thus, 5 of the original 13 states passed laws to do that within 10 years of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Within 31 years of the signing, the U.S. enacted a law barring the entire nation from participating in the international slave trade, and within 90 years, passed a Constitutional amendment banning slavery.
DocumentationHistory of Slavery