There’s no point toppling slaveholders without toppling what slaveholders wrought, up to and including their greatest achievement of all – the U.S. Constitution. This is the document that not only governs life in the United States down to the tiniest legal detail but, thanks to America’s global hegemony, undergirds the international system as well.
Yet the Constitution is a plan of government created by slaveholders for slaveholders in order to maintain their wealth and perpetuate their grip on power. Of the 55 delegates to the Philadelphia Constitutional Convention in 1787, twenty-five were slaveowners, which was more than enough to give them an effective veto over the proceedings as a whole. Slaveholders were economically predominant in six of the thirteen states – Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia – which was more than sufficient to stop the constitutional process in its tracks since Article VII stipulated that nine had to approve the new constitution before it could become law.Continue reading